Shoyu ramen

SHOYU Ramen

During the cooking class held a few weeks ago at Maya Kitchen Culinary Center, Japanese chef Seiji Kamura peppered his lecture with a few choice Tagalog slang words.

He described the shimeji mushrooms as “sosyal,” and the food as “yummy talaga.” Stressing the importance of a good knife, he said using anything less than a sharp one would be “patay” (dead).

A longtime resident of the Philippines, Kamura apparently seems at home in the language of his adopted country.

His sense of humor aside, Kamura was very serious when it came to ramen, the Japanese noodle soup that has become a craze in Manila. As with most good dishes, he said, a lot of time and effort go into the preparation of a good bowl of ramen.

Just boiling and simmering the soup base already takes three hours, he admonished. And then there’s the matter of buying and gathering all the ingredients, as well as preparing the toppings and noodles.

But once you sit before a bowl of good, long-simmered ramen soup, you’ll realize every sip is well worth all the fuss. If you’re having the ramen in a restaurant, you’ll feel some appreciation for the kitchen staff that prepared the dish. Or, if you cooked the ramen yourself, you’ll feel a well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

Last week, my DIY column was all about the ramen soup base which Kamura taught the class at the Maya Kitchen. It’s the base for two types of ramen:  the miso and the shoyu. However, you can also use the soup base on its own—with any pack of noodles you might have in your pantry. Then just add the seasonings and toppings of your choice, and you’ll have a hearty soup for lunch or dinner.

Which is what one reader did. After preparing the ramen soup base, she “made imbento na lang the laman and the noodles” and found it “so sarap.” Talk about creative cooking.

Of course the soup base will taste even more delicious if you use it as the base for shoyu ramen, which was one of the dishes Kamura showed us how to make. As with the ramen soup base, this also takes much time and effort. The liempo for the chasu, for instance, needs to be boiled then simmered for an hour, then allowed to sit in the shoyu base for another hour.

And then there are the numerous toppings which one must search for in the metropolis. Being specialty Japanese ingredients, they’re not available in every supermarket. Kamura tipped us about the Japanese groceries in Cartimar, where he says he shops for these goods.

However, while I found nearly all the ingredients, the shops have run out of the ichiban powder needed for the shoyu base. As a result, I had to make the shoyu base without ichiban.

Nevertheless, the shoyu ramen still turned out hearty and delicious. Here, as promised in last week’s DIY, is Kamura’s recipe for shoyu ramen.

P.S. Be sure to look up last week’s column for the ramen soup base recipe (Feb. 27,

Inquirer Lifestyle, page C2). You can also get the recipe from my blog www.normachikiamco.

com.

Shoyu Ramen

For the shoyu base:

  • 360 ml sake
  • 100 ml mirin
  • 300 ml water
  • 30 g kombu (dried kelp)
  • 40 g dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water
  • 50 g ginger, sliced
  • 50 g garlic, minced
  • 50 g ichiban powder (see tips)
  • 800 ml soy sauce
  • 30 g hondashi powder

Put all the ingredients in a large pot and boil for 15 minutes. Do not stir. Strain the liquid and use as the base for shoyu ramen.

For the chasu:

  • 1 k whole liempo (pork belly)
  • 1/3 c cooking oil
  • Water, for boiling and simmering

Tie the whole liempo from end to end and around the sides with a kitchen twine so it becomes more compact. Heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan. Put the liempo, fat side down first, in the hot oil, then turn the liempo over to brown all the sides.

Transfer the liempo to the shoyu soup base and let stand for another hour.

Assemble the ramen:

For each cup of ramen noodles:

  • 120 g ramen noodles
  • Water, for boiling noodles
  • 200-250 ml (about 1 cup) ramen soup stock (see last week’s DIY or visit www.normachiki
  • amco.com for the recipe)
  • 50 ml (about 3 tbsp) shoyu base
  • 2 slices naruto (Japanese fish cake)
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, halved
  • 2 slices chasu (see recipe above)
  • 20 g onion leeks (around 3 stems), thinly sliced
  • 10 g wakame (Japanese seaweeds), or to taste (see tips)
  • 1 pc nori

Separate the noodles by hand and boil in water until al dente stage (around three to four minutes). Drain the noodles.  Pour the ramen soup stock into a soup bowl then stir in the shoyu base. Add the drained noodles. Top with the two slices of naruto, half of the egg, two slices of the prepared chasu, onion leeks, wakame and nori. Serve hot. Prepare additional bowls as needed.

For more tips, recipes and stories, visit the author’s blog www.normachikiamco.com and Facebook fan page www.facebook.com/normachikiamco.  Follow on Twitter @NormaChikiamco

Cook’s tips

Wakame is shredded Japanese seaweeds, while nori is seaweed that comes in sheets. Kombu is dried kelp. All are available in Japanese groceries.

To lessen the saltiness of the wakame, before using it, soak first in warm water for about 30 minutes.

Ichiban powder is usually available in Japanese groceries. As of this writing, however, the stores seem to have run out of stock. You can still prepare the shoyu soup base without it and it will still taste good.

When buying liempo, have the butcher remove the outer skin. You can also ask him to tie the liempo for you.

After preparing a bowl of the shoyu ramen, taste a spoonful of the soup. If you find it too salty, use more of the ramen soup base and less of the shoyu base; e.g. 250 ml of ramen soup base and 30 ml (two tablespoons) of shoyu soup base.

Naruto is Japanese fish cake. It’s rolled in a log and is already cooked. Just slice as needed and serve with the ramen. It’s available in Japanese groceries in Cartimar.

Store any leftover shoyu base in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

Source Article from http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/153272/shoyu-ramen
Shoyu ramen
http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/153272/shoyu-ramen
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