Ramen Toppings: Menma

When you make ramen, there are many toppings you can add to make your bowl of noodles interesting. A popular item, menma (simmered bamboo shoots), is available in many stores (according to my book), or you can make your own.

As for “bamboo shoots,” I’ve used those cat-food sized cans of them in impromtu (made-up) Chinese-style stir-fries along with “baby corn cobs” and “sliced waterchestnuts”; I have never thought they were tasty, but they did add a cache of the exotic to a quick sterotype-of-a-foreign-cuisine-throw-together meal.

When I first made a few ramen recipes from my cookbook last year, I found fresh bamboo shoots, and I made this topping for ramen with them. They were crunchy and fresh. The recipe in my book calls for dried bamboo shoots but last year I could not find them on grocery shelves. Now, I found them in the refrigerated section; they are not dried like noodles but are packaged in a semi-moist state in plastic. Who knew?

dried bamboo shoots package

Maybe you can read the charming information on the back of the package the dried bamboo shoots came in.

Sweet Simmered Bamboo Shoots
page 337
1 package (6 ounces) dried bamboo shoots
1/2 cup chashu broth
1 cup water
1/4 cup mirin
In a large bowl of cold water, soak the bamboo shoots for 3 hours.
Drain the bamboo shoots, discarding the soaking water. In a medium pot, combine the bamboo shoots, chashu broth, water, and the mirin. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered with a drop lid, for 30 minutes.
Let the bamboo shoots cool in their cooking liquid. Menma keeps for a week in the fridge, or it can be frozen.


More in this series about ramen:
Ramen Stock:
Homemake Ramen Stock
Ramen Toppings:
garlic paste for ramenmenmachashu

Ramen Recipes:
shoyu ramenshoyu ramenHiyashi Chuka Soba Japanese Summer Ramen

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Ramen Toppings: Chashu Ramen Toppings: Garlic Paste

6 thoughts on “Ramen Toppings: Menma

  1. Pingback: Ramen Toppings: Chashu « Tess’s Japanese Kitchen

  2. I used canned bamboo shoots, and thus did not bother soaking.

    It tastes super great. The shoots have a subtle sweetness, and are neither limp nor chewy/crunchy. A perfect ramen addition!

    • Oh, that sounds really good. I don’t recall seeing it in stores here, but will keep an eye out for it. Refrigerated, frozen, or canned? LaYu chili oil is a nice condiment for soups and stir-fries as well.

  3. Pingback: Momofuku Noodle Bar | Four Letter Life

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