Food Emperor

Europeanised ramen

By January 27, 2018 Cooking, Savory

People living in metropolitan areas will have no idea what I’m talking about. But when you’re in a small town in Europe and just need to have ramen, there’s no way of getting kombu and mirin. You’re screwed. Unless you’re willing to compromise. That being said, this westernised noodle recipe is absolutely amazing. It lacks the distinct flavours of Japanese and Chinese cooking, but nevertheless… You’ll love it. And the method of doing it, will give you satisfaction.

The noodles

Simple hand made noodles from what flour. How are they different from say Italian pasta? The difference is that they’re not made from durum wheat (grano duro) nor do they have eggs in them. They are however elastic and chewy in the noodlish way you’re used to if you’ve ever been to Japan. It has always been known in Japan that some regions have better noodles than others. People didn’t know why, but knew it had to do with the water in those places. Today we know it has to do with alkaline water. So, if you want to make noodles in a place where the water isn’t ideal, you can add “kansui” (alkaline solution) to your dough. If you don’t have the perfectly balanced Japanese “kansui” products at hand (which you don’t if you’re reading this article), you can use bicarbonate soda. Yup, simple baking soda. It will do the job good enough.

  • 400 grams of wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons of bicarbonate soda
  • 150-200 grams of water (start with a couple of tablespoons and work your way up from there)
  1. Combine all the ingredients
  2. Run the dough in a stand mixer or use your hands
  3. Put the dough in a ziplock bag and leave it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Preferably over night.
  4. Roll out the dough, and fold it so it forms a rectangle. Now flatten it and you’ll have a big flat rectangle.
  5. Put a cutting board or a ruler or anything straight on top of the flat dough, and use a knife or a pizza cutter to make straight noodles. Make them as thin as you can, that will still be thick. And that’s good.
  6. Boil a lot of water. No salt.
  7. Boil the noodles for about 3-4 minutes. The thicker the longer. When they’re almost done (try one!), they’re done because they’ll still soften in the soup.
  8. Though a sieve, and rinse them in cold water. You want to remove the sliminess and you want to stop the cooking process. Use you hands to wash them.
  9. They’re now ready to use!

The soup

Step 1

  • A kilo of pork belly with skin and fat and everything
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Fresh ginger the size of 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 Scallions
  • 4 dl of Japanese soy sauce (light soy sauce that is)
  • 1/2 dl of natural vinegar (like rice vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp of rice wine (shaoshin wine if you’re in China, sweet sake if you’re in Japan, and just a sweet desert wine if you’re in Europe, like Italian Marsala)
  • A tablespoon of sugar
  • Neutral oil (e.g peanut oil or rapeseed oil)
  1. Cut all vegetables into pieces, not important how finely they’re chopped. Just do it.
  2. Take 2/3 of the scallions and all the garlic and ginger, and place them in a Dutch oven or German clay oven or just a pot with a lid on it.
  3. Add all the liquids (Soy, vinegar, rice wine)
  4. Add sugar
  5. Roll up the meat into a tight tube, and tie it together.
  6. Place the meat into the sauce. Roll it around there so it’s covered in the goodness.
  7. Cover and put into the oven on 130 degrees for about 4 hours.
  8. Take out the meat, let cool, and leave to refrigerate.
  9. Sieve the sauce and make sure to press out all the sauce from the soft veggies
  10. Put the sauce in the refrigerator

Step 2 (this is per serving)

  1. Cut up a handfull of shiitake mushrooms (or any mushrooms if you can’t get a hold of shiitake)
  2. Add a large pinch of chopped up scallions (that you saved in step 1)
  3. Fry in a little oil
  4. Add two large tablespoons of the sauce you chilled. Notice that it’s all jelly and fat now. If you want a less fatty soup, don’t add the white fat. But I recommend a little of both the jelly and the fat.
  5. Two tablespoons of water
  6. Cook it for about 10 minutes without a lid
  7. Now you have a sauce!

Boil an egg

  • An egg (per person)
  1. Bring water to a boil
  2. Now put the egg in there.
  3. If the egg came straight from the refrigerator, boil it for 7,5 minutes
  4. If the egg was room temperature, boil it for 6,5 minutes
  5. Quickly chill in cold water
  6. Peal it. The white is hard, the yolk is soft. That’s the way it should be.

Assemble it all

  1. In a large bowl, put some cold washed noodles. About 120 grams of boiled noodles per person.
  2. Pour soup over it, with mushrooms and scallions swimming in the soup.
  3. Cut the egg in two and put the twos on there.
  4. Cut a thin slice of your chilled pork. It’s all pale. So either use a blow torch to get the skin crackling and being all crispy, or fry the slice in a pan on high heat to give it some color.
  5. You’re basically ready to eat it now! But if you for any reason got a hold of some bean sprouts and bamboo and what not, you can just add it in the bowl to make it even better.

You Might Also Like

6 Comments

  • Reply skorotkiewicz January 27, 2018 at 19:41

    It is awesome, I will do it in one week at MY CHEATMEAL!!!

  • Reply Dorih January 28, 2018 at 18:54

    Can I exchange pork for another meat?

    • Reply The Food Emperor January 29, 2018 at 16:16

      You can, but make sure you pick the fattest part of whatever other meat you pick. E.g. if you pick beef, use the rib-eye (entreôte). You want fat here!

  • Reply BingoBango January 28, 2018 at 22:47

    After adding 100 grams of water the mixture was still as dry as your grannys veggena. Maybe it was due that I dont have stand mixer and was mixing it using my enormous cazzo. In other words: I think you fucked something up with proportions.

    • Reply The Food Emperor January 29, 2018 at 16:21

      Add more then!

  • Reply Pawełek January 31, 2018 at 18:36

    Can I use a heat-resistant vessel instead of clay?

Leave a Reply