Writer Tom Ganley and his girlfriend Charlotte have spent lockdown perfecting the art of ramen. Here they share their ultimate recipe.
Making the perfect ramen - including homemade noodles - takes time and effort. Thankfully, these days, many of us have plenty of time to spare. So dust off your pasta machine, empty the dishwasher and get ready to change the way you think about ramen forever.
FOR THE NOODLES
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 300g Strong white flour
- 120ml Water
Begin by placing the bicarbonate of soda onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper. Bake this in the oven at 150 degrees for one hour; being careful not to touch it once cooked. Dissolve the baked bicarbonate of soda in the water and combine with the flour in a large mixing bowl. The mixture will be shaggy and dry but should come together after mixing for 5-10 mins. Try to not add any more water as the drier the dough the better consistency the noodles will be. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge.
After an hour resting in the fridge, roll out the dough and - using a pasta machine - make the noodles.
Start by passing the dough through the machine's widest setting. It may take a few times to come together because this is a dry dough, so keep putting it through on this setting until it rolls flat without any holes.
You can then start reducing the width of the pasta machine until you have your desired thickness of noodle. Cut the dough into noodles using the machine’s spaghetti cutter, divide into two portions and leave covered in the fridge.
FOR THE BROTH
- 3 Onions (450g)
- 2 Parsnips (275g)
- 3 Carrots (350g)
- 2 Sticks of celery
- 150g Red miso paste
- 50g Dried shiitake mushrooms
- 30g Dried kombu
- 2 Potatoes (180g)
Place the onions, parsnips, carrots and celery into a roasting dish and pop into a 200 degree oven for 30 minutes. After the half hour is up, stir the miso paste through the part-roasted vegetables and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes.
Once the vegetables have finished roasting, place them, along with the shiitake, kombu and potatoes into a large saucepan with 2 litres of water. Deglaze the vegetables’ roasting tin with a further 0.5 litres of water and add this to the large saucepan. Simmer this mixture on a low heat for 3 hours, topping-up the water every 30 minutes. After the 3 hours has elapsed, strain the broth through a fine muslin cloth. You can discard all of the vegetables; but do try to rescue the shiitake.
FOR THE GARNISHES
- 250ml Soy sauce
- 50ml Sake
- 300ml Water
- 80g Sugar
Combine all of the ingredients on a medium heat until the sugar dissolves. You will need the chashu marinade for (1) the Nitamo eggs below; and (2) for seasoning the noodles before serving.
Garnish 1 - Nitamo eggs
- 5 eggs (allow one spare for breakages)
- Chashu marinade (see above)
Boil the eggs for 6 minutes before peeling under cold water. Place the peeled eggs into an airtight container and fill this with 1/3rd chashu marinade and 2/3rds water. Keep these in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Take them out of the fridge an hour or so before serving.
Garnish 2 -Sesame paste
- 30g Sesame seeds
- 20g Sesame oil
- 20g Black garlic cloves
- Pinch of salt
Blend all ingredients until they form a smooth paste.
Garnish 3 -Chilli Oil
- 5g Shichimi togarashi
- 50g Sesame oil
- 4 tsp boiling water
In a small bowl mix together the shichimi and water to make a paste. Heat the sesame oil until smoking, take care with the next step as the oil can spit. Add the chilli paste to the oil and mix together.
Garnish 4 -Chashu tofu
- Extra firm tofu
- 120ml chashu marinade
- 200ml water
Cut the tofu in half lengthways then into 1cm thick slices. Simmer in the marinade and water for at least half an hour.
Garnishes 5 / 6 & 7
- Nori Seaweed sheets (sliced length ways)
- 1 tin of Sweetcorn (drained)
- 2-3 Spring onions (sliced horizontally)
- Shiitake from broth (drained)
Heat the broth and season with 2-3 tbsp of chashu marinade, tasting as you add until the seasoning is correct. In a separate saucepan for 3 minutes. Don’t be tempted to go much longer - they will continue to cook in the broth.
Fill each bowl with broth before adding the noodles, tofu chashu, sweetcorn, shiitake, nori seaweed sheets, spring onions and a whole egg cut in half per dish. Divide the sesame paste between the 4 bowls evenly and spoon over chilli oil to your spice preference.