i bought _the complete book of japanese cooking_ by emi kazuko from the borders bargain books section for cameron a while ago. it has some nice pictures and a gigantic glossary section. last week we tried the pretty hardcore recipe for tokyo-style ramen.
tokyo-style ramen noodles in soup
(from the complete book of japanese cooking by emi kazuko)
250 g/9 oz dried ramen noodles
for the soup stock:
4 spring onions
7.5 cm/3 in fresh root ginger, quartered
raw bones from 2 chickens, washed
1 large onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
1 egg shell
120 ml/4 fl oz/1/2 cup sake
60 ml/4 tbsp shoyu (soy sauce)
2.5 ml/1/2 tsp salt
for the cha-shu (pot-roast pork):
500 g/1 1/4 lb pork shoulder, boned
30 ml/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 spring onions, chopped
2.5 cm/1 in fresh root ginger peeled and sliced
15 ml/1 tbsp sake
45 ml/3 tbsp shoyu
15 ml/1 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
for the toppings:
2 hard-boiled eggs
150 g/5 oz menma (pickled bamboo), soaked for 30 minutes and drained
1/2 nori sheet, borken into pieces
2 spring onion, chopped
ground white pepper
sesame oil or chili oil
1. to make the soup stock, bruise the spring onions and ginger by hitting with the side of a large knife or a rolling pin. pour 1.5 liters/2 1/2 pints/6 1/4 cups water into a wok and bring to a boil. add the chicken bones and boil until the colour of the meat changes. discard the water and wash the obnes under water.
2. wash the wok, bring another 2 liters/3 1/2 pints/9 cups water to the boil and add the bones and the other soup stock ingredients, except for the shoyu and salt. reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the water has reduced by half, skimming off any scum. strain into a bowl through a muslin- (cheesecloth-) lined sieve. this will take 1-2 hours.
3. make the cha-shu. roll the meat up tightly, 8 cm/3 1/2 inch in diameter, and tie it with kitchen string.
4. wash the wok and dry over a high heat. heat the oil to smoking point in the wok and add the chopped spring onions and ginger. cook briefly, then add the meat. turn often to brown the outside evenly.
5. sprinkle with sake and add 400 ml/14 fl oz/1 2/3 cups water, the shoyu, and sugar. boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. cook for 25-30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. remove from the heat.
6. slice the pork into 12 fine slices. use any leftover pork for another recipe.
7. shell and halve the boiled eggs, and sprinkle some salt on the yolks.
8. pour 1 liter/1 3/4 pints/4 cups soup stock from the bowl into a large pan. boil and add the shoyu and salt. check the seasoning; add more shoyu if required.
9. wash the wok again and bring 2 liters/3 1/2 pints/9 cups water to the boil. cook the ramen noodles according to the packet instructions until just soft. stir constantly to prevent sticking. if the water bubbles up, pour in 50 ml/2 fl oz/1/4 cup cold water. drain well and divide among four bowls.
10. pour the soup over the noodles to cover. arrange half a boiled egg, pork slices, menma, and nori on top, and sprinkle with spring onions. serve with pepper and sesame or chili oil. season to taste with a little salt, if you like.
comments: this is probably the most involved recipe we’ve ever tried. for the broth, we didn’t do it exactly like the directions because cameron’s grandma already had a bunch of chicken stock made from chicken bones. so we just took that and then cooked it with some of the soup stock ingredients and poured it through the cheesecloth. for the pork, i think the stove heat was too low because when i took it out, it was still kinda raw. so i put them back into the tasty fatty liquid to cook more. we left that for a while so it got nice and tender. we cooked extra eggs too because i love the eggs.
in the end, it turned out really tasty. the only thing that wasn’t that good was the ramen we bought a “fresh” kind of ramen and then accidentally overcooked it so the noodles were a little mushy. but all the other stuff was really good. the pork was nice and tender and had really good flavor; the broth was not overpowering and had a nice sweet taste; and all the toppings were delicious.