After watching the movie Ramen Girl and the TV Series Midnight Diner making my own ramen/noodle soup has become an obsession of mine.
There so many different kinds and methods when looking online. Professionals go years before they are able to create the perfect broth and perfect hand pulled noodles. So of course I looked at it like a fun challenge.
The first thing I needed to do was to decide what kind of broth I should make. Traditionally there are four different kinds:
- Shio (salt based)
- Tonkotsu (pork bone based)
- Miso (miso based)
- Shoyu (soy sauce based)
Since I had pork bones in my freezer I decided on the bone based broth.
I started researching different recipes and all of them varied on time, bones and seasonings. To roast or not to roast, ratio of joint bones to meat bones, 7 hours or 24 hours, clear broth or cloudy broth. You get the point, so many options. So I decided to incorporate different recipes and methods together.
Get out a large stock pot (stainless steel and oven proof).
Add your bones (more joint bones than meat bones will create more of a gel when cooled then a liquid), onion, garlic, ginger, celery, fish sauce, bay leaves and sesame oil to the pot. Add cold water so the bones are completely covered.
Heat until it is simmering with the lid off, do not let it boil.
Turn your oven to 200 degrees or less and place your oven proof pot with lid in the oven.
You are going to let this simmer in the oven for 12-24 hours. I let mine simmer for 14 hours.
I checked it every 4 hours to make sure that water didn’t need to be added. Usually I needed to add a little.
After your 14-24 hours of smelling your delicious broth cooking take it out of the oven and strain your broth into a separate bowl. If you want clearer broth you can strain it again with a cheese cloth after it has cooled down in the fridge. Some people say though that cloudiness means a higher fat content and richer broth. Let it cool in your glass containers and then store in the fridge if you are going to use it within a couple days or in your freezer for longer storage.
My next challenge was hand pulled noodles. Let me just say I have no idea why I thought this was going to go so well. People train for years to be able to do this. I did think that at some point I was going to smack myself in the face with dough, but that fortunately did not happen. The consistency of the dough was not elastic enough which made the pulling difficult. The pulling and the spinning of the dough was quite fun though. Talk about an arm workout! In the end when I needed to pull the dough to form the noodles I had to be extremely careful because the dough kept breaking apart. The taste was delicious but not what I was going for. I will have to try again another day.
When selecting my toppings for my noodle bowl I went with egg, green onion, ham and red chili paste for heat all inspired by the movie Ponyo.
All in all my noodle bowl wasn’t perfect from a professional stand point, but the broth was exceptional, the noodles were delicious just not the right consistency and my toppings were tasty. Not bad for a first try!