Ramen

AuthorMike
Rating

We went to Tokyo, Japan in February of 2024. Our youngest son was studying over there, and we felt we were obliged to at least try to understand a little of what he was experiencing. It was cold, a little rainy, and absolutely wonderful. We restricted our visit to Tokyo, but the largest city in the world has plenty to offer. We loved the food - the sushi, the gyoza, and the ramen. We even took a Ramen and Gyoza making class. This ramen recipe is a version of what Chef Andrew Baba Rowe (www.babaramen.com) taught us to make. It's a little less complex than his version, but after trying it several times, I'm very happy with it. Let me know what you think!

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Yields1 Serving
Men-Dare Ingredients
 1 cup Soy Sauce (I prefer low sodium)
 1 cup Filtered Water
 ¼ cup Sake
 ¼ cup Mirin
 4 Cloves Garlic (Sliced)
 1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
 1 tbsp White Granulated Sugar
 12 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
 2 tsp Bonito Flakes (Optional)
Ingredients for Ramen
 2 cups Broth - Chicken, Pork, Beef, Veggie (That's the amount per person)
 1 Medium-Boiled Egg (6 minutes in boiling water, then cooled down)
  lb Protein - Ground pork, sliced chicken, fried chicken (boneless), salmon, shrimp, tofu
 ½ cup Cooked veggies (Bok Choy, Mushrooms, Broccoli)
 ¼ cup Cilantro, de-stemmed and chopped
 1 Green Onion, sliced
 ½ tsp Aroma Oil for the top - I recommend chili oilOne of the final touches of a ramen is to put some kind of oil on the top that the eater will smell mixing in with all of the other flavors. It's why ramens may seem a little fatty, but it's just a little bit for flavor on the surface. My favorite is chili oil, but you can also use some rendered chicken fat, or anything else you would like.
Making the Men-Dare
1

The key to all of this is the Men-Dare - a secret sauce that you store like a sourdough starter in your refrigerator. Make it once, and it will last you for a while. I think there's enough in this recipe for 25-30 servings of Ramen.

2

Mix all of the ingredients together, and let them sit for a while. (1 hour, 6 hours, or best, up to 24 hours)

3

Then slowly bring the mixture to a boil for, turning off the heat once it has reached boiling point.

4

Let cool, then strain liquids into a jar. Seal and store in the refrigerator until you ready to use it. You will use about 1/8 cup per serving. The Men-Dare will last a long time. I plan to either use mine in a year or get rid of it and make a new batch. I will be disappointed if I don't use it all!

Assembling the Ramen
5

Ramen can be anything. What's in your pantry? What's in your refrigerator? The main thing you have to figure out is the broth. True ramen-makers spend three full days making the broth. I spend three full seconds opening a box of it. Sorry, purists.

Our go-to broth these days is Organic Imagine Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth. We use it for everything. Find (or make) a broth you love.

6

Next - Figure out your noodles. They can be anything. Our current noodle of choice is Trader Joe's Thai Wheat Noodles. They are precooked and vacuum sealed in single serving pouches. Super easy! But anything will do. I loved the udo noodles in Japan - big thick chewy noodles. And I have some frozen ones, but so far, I don't like them as much as the ones from TJs.

Preparing Ingredients
7

Ramen can be simple - just noodles and broth, or it can be an artistic masterpiece full of ingredients. My favorite ingredients are:
Medium Boiled Egg cut in half (The recommended eggs are cooked, peeled, placed in a bowl with hot Men-Dare mixture poured over them, refrigerated for 24 hours, then served. I haven't done that yet, but I will!)
Ground Pork - cooked and seasoned with soy sauce, black pepper, and garlic. Though I must say - we had fried chicken thighs in our cooking class, and it was outstanding.
Bok Choy - Cooked
Cilantro - chopped and de-stemmed
Green Onions - Chopped

Assembling the Ramen
8

Place 1/8 cup (2 Tbsp) of Men-Dare in Bowl

9

Add 1.5 to 2 cups of broth to Bowl

10

Lay in cooked noodles

11

Sprinkle the aroma oil (chili oil or other) on top of the broth.

12

Place other ingredients on top, as artistically as possible!

Eating the Ramen!
13

I was told the proper ramen etiquette is to first smell the ramen, then taste one spoonful of both, then go to town with chopsticks, and slurping the noodles in considered a sign of respect. I wish I had known that as a kid - I could have corrected my mom when she told me to stop slurping my spaghetti!

Alternative Quantity
14

One last note - if you wanted to make a Men-Dare for just one meal - you could use these proportions for two servings
- 1.5 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1.5 Tbsp Water
- 1 tsp Sake
- 1 tsp Mirin
- 1 Garlic Clove, Sliced
- A little ginger, sliced
- 1/2 tsp white granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

Category, Cuisine, Cooking Method

Ingredients

Men-Dare Ingredients
 1 cup Soy Sauce (I prefer low sodium)
 1 cup Filtered Water
 ¼ cup Sake
 ¼ cup Mirin
 4 Cloves Garlic (Sliced)
 1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
 1 tbsp White Granulated Sugar
 12 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
 2 tsp Bonito Flakes (Optional)
Ingredients for Ramen
 2 cups Broth - Chicken, Pork, Beef, Veggie (That's the amount per person)
 1 Medium-Boiled Egg (6 minutes in boiling water, then cooled down)
  lb Protein - Ground pork, sliced chicken, fried chicken (boneless), salmon, shrimp, tofu
 ½ cup Cooked veggies (Bok Choy, Mushrooms, Broccoli)
 ¼ cup Cilantro, de-stemmed and chopped
 1 Green Onion, sliced
 ½ tsp Aroma Oil for the top - I recommend chili oilOne of the final touches of a ramen is to put some kind of oil on the top that the eater will smell mixing in with all of the other flavors. It's why ramens may seem a little fatty, but it's just a little bit for flavor on the surface. My favorite is chili oil, but you can also use some rendered chicken fat, or anything else you would like.

Directions

Making the Men-Dare
1

The key to all of this is the Men-Dare - a secret sauce that you store like a sourdough starter in your refrigerator. Make it once, and it will last you for a while. I think there's enough in this recipe for 25-30 servings of Ramen.

2

Mix all of the ingredients together, and let them sit for a while. (1 hour, 6 hours, or best, up to 24 hours)

3

Then slowly bring the mixture to a boil for, turning off the heat once it has reached boiling point.

4

Let cool, then strain liquids into a jar. Seal and store in the refrigerator until you ready to use it. You will use about 1/8 cup per serving. The Men-Dare will last a long time. I plan to either use mine in a year or get rid of it and make a new batch. I will be disappointed if I don't use it all!

Assembling the Ramen
5

Ramen can be anything. What's in your pantry? What's in your refrigerator? The main thing you have to figure out is the broth. True ramen-makers spend three full days making the broth. I spend three full seconds opening a box of it. Sorry, purists.

Our go-to broth these days is Organic Imagine Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth. We use it for everything. Find (or make) a broth you love.

6

Next - Figure out your noodles. They can be anything. Our current noodle of choice is Trader Joe's Thai Wheat Noodles. They are precooked and vacuum sealed in single serving pouches. Super easy! But anything will do. I loved the udo noodles in Japan - big thick chewy noodles. And I have some frozen ones, but so far, I don't like them as much as the ones from TJs.

Preparing Ingredients
7

Ramen can be simple - just noodles and broth, or it can be an artistic masterpiece full of ingredients. My favorite ingredients are:
Medium Boiled Egg cut in half (The recommended eggs are cooked, peeled, placed in a bowl with hot Men-Dare mixture poured over them, refrigerated for 24 hours, then served. I haven't done that yet, but I will!)
Ground Pork - cooked and seasoned with soy sauce, black pepper, and garlic. Though I must say - we had fried chicken thighs in our cooking class, and it was outstanding.
Bok Choy - Cooked
Cilantro - chopped and de-stemmed
Green Onions - Chopped

Assembling the Ramen
8

Place 1/8 cup (2 Tbsp) of Men-Dare in Bowl

9

Add 1.5 to 2 cups of broth to Bowl

10

Lay in cooked noodles

11

Sprinkle the aroma oil (chili oil or other) on top of the broth.

12

Place other ingredients on top, as artistically as possible!

Eating the Ramen!
13

I was told the proper ramen etiquette is to first smell the ramen, then taste one spoonful of both, then go to town with chopsticks, and slurping the noodles in considered a sign of respect. I wish I had known that as a kid - I could have corrected my mom when she told me to stop slurping my spaghetti!

Alternative Quantity
14

One last note - if you wanted to make a Men-Dare for just one meal - you could use these proportions for two servings
- 1.5 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1.5 Tbsp Water
- 1 tsp Sake
- 1 tsp Mirin
- 1 Garlic Clove, Sliced
- A little ginger, sliced
- 1/2 tsp white granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

Ramen
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