Shoyu Ramen from Scratch

You don’t need a recipe to make shoyu ramen! Once you have made your stock, chashu (and its broth), menma, and garlic paste, all that remains is to cook your noodles and arrange the food in your bowls. This post has links to recipes for all the component recipes to make ramen at home. Plus links to posts about buying ramen noodles and menma!

Ninniku-dare: Garlic Ramen Condiment

Earlier this month, a wonderful surprise arrived in my mailbox: a gift from a friend who had visited Japan recently. She’d asked for my address, and I assumed she’d send a lovely card. Oh, but no! This gorgeous little work of art was nestled in a beautifully wrapped box! The tinned copper turtle looks more like a piece of jewelry than a kitchen tool. I’ve been holding on my palm and admiring it, afraid to put such a delicate thing to practical use. But now I’ve used it, the teeth are strong and sharp, very practical to grate garlic and ginger—more elegant than my utilitarian micro-planes.

Chashu: The pork on ramen!

Japanese ramen has fans around the globe. Ramen has become a dish with infinite variations, so simple: just noodles, liquid and toppings. Yet its cultural place is complicated: it is not exactly a soup, nor is it only a noodle dish.
For many, it is a quixotic search for the perfect ramen: a culmination of delight.

Some toppings on this noodles + stock / mystical dish are used frequently. Slices of flavorful fatty pork belly is one such accoutrement. And very delicious it is; but it’s not beautiful to look at. Take a look, my readers at some lovely seasonal flowers before we approach the meat and bones of the matter.

Ramen Stock
Japanese ramen stock is an elusive elixor of aficionados. I’m talking about a wonderful stock which can be used for making an assortment of different kinds of amazing ramen.
The stock is relatively easy to make, but it is not for the squeamish. It involves lots of bones and some scary cuts of pig all boiled together with “secret flavorings” in a large cauldron.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
——Macbeth Act IV, Scene 1, Wm. Shakespeare

Playing with Food


If you read many cooking blogs, you’ve seen pictures of food that look as though the photographer were in a galley of a small boat in a violent storm. I imagine the plate sliding up one side, down, and over in the opposite direction; oh, my stomach is queasy. It’s possible that no one will enjoy that food before it slides off the plate! All for the sake of “~art~”

These chilled noodles were light and refreshing,
and I’m sure you will enjoy…
eating them, and
my forray into ~art~

Sesame Noodles: an old favorite

sesame-chuka-soba_6501This is a recipe I posted almost a year ago, but it’s one that deserves a second look. It is a delicious version of the very popular “sesame noodles” found in many U.S. restaurants and salad bars inside “fancy” food stores, on many food blogs, and from several different cultures. This version is light and spicy—a full meal with vegetables and protein of your choice.

Cooking Technique: Ramen

Click on a thumbnail to open the recipe. Ramen Ramen is a whole category of food that is essentially a Japanese dish of noodles in hot broth, topped with vegetables and meat. Japanese ramen can be differentiated by the flavor-base of the broth: shio ramen (salt flavored soup), shoyu ramen (soy sauce flavored soup), tonkotsu…

Ramen with Stir-Fried Vegetables

 Stir-Fry VegetablesA quick search in the freezer reminded me that I still have some home-made ramen stock. What would be better than a nice hot bowl of noodles and vegetables? The cook can use seasonal varieties of her choice, being aware of how the colors and textures will mix. I’ve noted the vegetables that were seasonal in my refrigerator. As a guide, you want 9 kinds of vegetables, about 1/2 cup each.