The Book of Ramen

A 130 page book on ramen. All the questions you've ever had about ramen are answered here.

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The Book of Ramen

A 130 page book on ramen. All the questions you've ever had about ramen are answered here.

food, history, ramen, finance

The Ramen_Lord Book of Ramen

By Mike Satinover (Ramen_Lord) and Scott Satinover, Ph.D.

________________

Copyright © 2020-2024 by Michael T. Satinover and Scott J. Satinover

All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

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Introduction 1

Starting with the Basics: What is Ramen? 4

A Note on Measurement 6

Common Abbreviations for Units of Measure 7

Chapter 1: Noodles 8

What is a Ramen Noodle? 8

Noodle Ingredients 9

Wheat 9

Kansui 11

Water 12

Other Ingredients Worth Discussing 14

Final Noodle Ingredient Remarks 16

Making Noodles 17

Step One: Ingredient Prep 17

Step Two: Partial Hydration 18

Step Three: Remaining Hydration 18

Step Four: The First Rest 19

Step Five: The First Pressing 20

Step Six: Rest it (AGAIN) 21

Step Seven: Roll and Cut 21

Step Eight: Mature Noodles 21

Noodle Recipes 22

Tokyo Style Noodle 22

New Wave Tokyo Style Noodle 23

Jiro Noodle 24

Sapporo Style Noodle 26

Makeshift-Hakata Style Noodle 27

Kitakata Style Noodle 28

Akayu Style Noodle 29

Thick Tsukemen Noodle 30

New Tsukemen Noodle 32

Taishoken Style Tsukemen Noodle 33

Tapioca Tsukemen Noodle 34

Mazesoba / Soupless Ramen Noodle 35

Chapter 2: Soup 37

Collagen Conversion to Gelatin 38

Myoglobin Denaturation and Scum Formation 39

Fat Rendering 39

Aroma and Flavor Extraction 40

Emulsification 41

Gelatin As An Emulsifier 42

Other Emulsifiers: Starch and Protein Blending 42

Measuring Gelatin and Emulsion Quality 43

Cooking Soup: Many Approaches 44

Sous Vide 44

Pressure Cooking 45

Finalize Soup and Storage 46

Cooking Times by Ingredient 47

Dashi 48

Basic Dashi 49

Clam Dashi 50

Bacon Dashi 50

Basic Chintan Method 51

Tokyo Style Chintan 52

“Doubutsu Kei” Style Chintan 52

All-Purpose Chintan 53

New Wave Chicken Chintan 53

Eifukucho Taishoken style Chintan 54

Yamagata Style “Akayu’ Chintan 54

Vegetable Chintan 55

Basic Paitan Method 56

Tonkotsu Soup 57

Roasted Bone Tonkotsu Soup 57

Jiro Style Tonkotsu Soup 58

Tonkotsu Gyokai Soup 59

Chicken Paitan 60

“Cement” Ramen 61

Tsukemen “Thick” Soup 62

Additional Techniques for Soup 63

Double Soup 63

Soup Clarification 65

Chapter 3: Tare 66

Salt 67

Flavor 67

Beyond Salt and Flavor: Adding Umami Concepts 68

Umami From Glutamic Acid 68

A Personal Note on MSG 68

Umami From Synergistic Nucleotides 69

Final Thoughts on Tare 70

Shoyu Tare 70

Standard Shoyu Tare 71

Toasted Shoyu Tare 72

New Wave Shoyu Tare 73

Lighter Shoyu Tare 73

Mushroom Shoyu Tare 74

Black Shoyu Tare 75

Easy Meat Shoyu Tare (Aka Jiro-Style Tare) 76

Kitakata Shoyu Tare 76

Smoked Shoyu Tare 77

Bacon Shoyu Tare 78

Mole Shoyu Tare 78

Shio Tare 79

Bare Bones Shio Tare 80

Sake-based Shio Tare 80

White Wine Chicken Shio 81

Soy/Shio Blend Tare 82

Miso Tare 83

Ramen_Lord’s Miso Tare 83

Kara Miso (Spicy Miso) 84

Sweet Miso Tare (For Akayu Style Bowls) 85

Other Tares 86

Tantanmen Tare 86

“Hot” Tare 86

Chapter 4: Toppings 88

Steeped Egg (Ajitama/Ajidama/Tsuketamago/Ajitamago/Hanjukutamago etc.) 88

Steeping Method Zero: Do Nothing, Eat The Eggs As Prepared Now 90

Steeping Method One: Quick and Easy Brine 90

Steeping Method 2: Equilibrium Brine 91

Chashu 92

Cook in Soup 93

Standard Braise 93

Dry Roasting 94

Sous Vide 95

“Rare” Chashu 96

Combination Method: Braise then Roast 97

Sous Vide Chicken Breast 99

Green Onions 100

Menma 100

Roasted Tomato 101

Wood Ear Mushroom 102

Boiled Spinach 102

Pork Soboro 103

Spice Blend 103

Akayu Spicy Miso Ball 104

Chapter 5: Aroma Oil 106

Chicken Fat 107

Stovetop Method 107

Microwave Method 108

Lard 109

All-Purpose Negi (Scallion) Oil 109

Chicken and Scallion Oil 110

Negi Niboshi Oil 110

Ginger and Onion Lard 111

Celery Seed Oil 111

Chili Oil 112

Mayu 112

Chapter 6: Putting It All Together 115

Mise en Place 115

Preparation Process 115

A Note on Jiro 116

Standard Bowl Assembly 117

Step 0: Identify Your Serving Bowl 117

Step 0.5: Get Your Mise en Place Ready 118

Step 1: Preheat Your Bowl 118

Step 2: Cook Your Noodles 119

Step 3: Add Tare, Aroma Oil, and Soup 119

Step 4: Strain The Noodles 119

Step 5: Separate and Line Up The Noodles: Noodle Fold 120

Step 6: Add Toppings 121

Step 7: EAT 121

Assembly Alternatives 122

Sapporo Miso Wok Method 122

69'N'Roll One And Multiple-Tare Approach 123

Tsukemen 123

Aburasoba/Mazesoba/Mazemen 123

Example Component Combinations 124

Shoyu Ramen 124

New Wave Shoyu Ramen 124

Miso Ramen 125

Shio Ramen 125

Akayu Ramen 125

Tonkotsu 125

Tantanmen 125

Chicken Paitan 126

Tonkotsu Gyokai Tsukemen 126

Jiro Ramen 126

Appendix: Ingredient Discussion (In Progress) 128

References 128

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Introduction

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Thank you for reading this book! This has been a long time coming. Over the last several years I have tinkered with the idea of making a book, to help everyone - from hardcore ramen-lovers to those simply intrigued by interesting food - find an all-inclusive resource of recipes and ideas on how to make ramen. I felt like it would make sense to make this as widely accessible as possible. An e-book format made the most sense, free for anyone to view at any time.

Many of you probably have never had ramen beyond the dry noodle packages found regularly at your local grocery store. This book is not about that kind of ramen, which is more akin to instant noodles. While tasty in their own right, instant noodles aren’t quite the same thing as the dish discussed in this book. Ramen, a dish originating from Japan, is a complex soup that is challenging to make and, even to this day, still has quite a bit of mystery. I’m hoping I can at least break apart the ambiguity a little, primarily through discussing concepts rather than solely relying on recipes.

As for the rest of you, I know what you are thinking. A book on ramen? That sounds awfully specific. Who is this guy? Why should I even care? Why is an American making ramen? Is this a poor man’s Ivan Orkin?

Not exactly.

My name is Mike. I’m a food nerd who lives in Chicago, and I am particularly obsessed with ramen. Most folks know me by the name “Ramen_Lord” on Reddit, which is pretty ostentatious, I know. The username was tongue-in-cheek at first. I thought I might post some of my creations to the ramen subreddit, /r/ramen, have some fun in the process, and learn along the way. I did not, however, expect my posts to catch on at all. And despite this, people started paying attention.

But what sparked this weird obsession? In all sincerity, it was kind of a coincidence. Many years before my interests really kicked in, I’d been studying Japanese in highschool and college, eating ramen with some mild regularity. Usually, I’d go out to a Japanese market in Chicago called Mitsuwa and splurge on miso ramen. The bowls I had were good, but nothing that really sparked the passion I had now. Driven by my interest in Japan, I stumbled on an opportunity in college to move there as part of a study abroad program at Hokkaido University. Naturally, I applied and was accepted to the program, where I moved to Sapporo for a year. Coincidentally, miso ramen was designed, created, and invented in that city. I thought, hey, I like Japanese food, and ramen is good, I ought to get a taste of the real deal. I mean, surely, it must be better than what I’d eaten before.

I tried a few bowls in touristy destinations like Ramen Yokocho. Felt fine. Packed it up.

But it wasn’t until a friend suggested I try out a shop named Sumire that my total worldview on ramen changed. I remember the experience vividly: I climbed some shambly metal stairs to the side of an office building in the drinking district of Sapporo known as Susukino. I walked past a hanging curtain over the door, and selected “miso ramen” from a ticket machine, sitting down, oblivious to what would happen next.

What arrived was ethereal. A scalding hot bowl of rich intense miso and pork soup, with punches of garlic and ginger and a slight tinge of spice. A blanket of melted lard floating on top, trapping the soup’s heat in the bowl. The aggressively chewy, crinkly yellow noodles, the delicate sprinkling of thinly sliced green onion, tender slices of braised pork. This was unlike ramen, no, any food,I’d ever had. Prior, I’d assumed ramen was tasty junk food. With Sumire, this whole idea of “kodawari”, or obsession with quality, became obvious to me.

All I could think was, “THIS is Sapporo’s legacy!” I had to find more of the stuff.

For the next year in Sapporo, I basically went out for ramen whenever I could. I bought guide books, rented textb

The Book of Ramen
Info
Tags Food, History, Ramen, Finance
Type Google Doc
Published 10/04/2024, 11:05:29

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