[Ramen Thoughts]Miso Monday research

 a busy bowl of miso ramen. i am guilty of adding too many ingredients.

a busy bowl of miso ramen. i am guilty of adding too many ingredients.

The thing I love most about making ramen is that there are no limits. I have already spent 5+ years making ramen and I have only scratched the surface. I had pretty good success with my last Miso Ramen so this past weekend I decided to try a few ideas to amp up my miso tare. Miso ramen is a very robust ramen that has very strong flavors so it can be fortified by a lot of ingredients without losing its flavor... or so I thought.

//I'm Creating a Monster

 miso tare... that is a lot of stuff...

miso tare... that is a lot of stuff...

Typically I would use half an onion in my tare, but I decided to caramelize/char the other half and add it to my tare. Apples are also used to provide a tart/tang to the broth, so I added half of an apple to the mix. Finally I added a small amount of cumin to provide a small kick in the background. I tasted subtle cumin/curry flavors in my a bowl of Miso Ramen at Mensho Tokyo which worked really well.

So how did this all turn out? Well it wasn't a failure, but it wasn't quite a success either. Tasting the tare by itself, it was delicious. However there were too many sweet components to my broth. I doubled the quantity of  onion by added that extra half. I think the apple is a good idea, but for the 2 cups of miso that I put in, I probably only needed 1/4 of an apple. 

//Making Chashu in a Pinch

 trussing the pork butt to make sure it holds its shape.

trussing the pork butt to make sure it holds its shape.

 Searing the pork butt for that maillard rection.

Searing the pork butt for that maillard rection.

 adding the marinade to the garlic, green onions, and meat.

adding the marinade to the garlic, green onions, and meat.

I really wanted to make sous vide chashu, but this was a very last minute session so I went with the braising method of making chashu. I grabbed a nice piece of pork but, gave it a nice sear, and combined green onions, garlic, sake, mirin, and soy sauce in a 225 degree oven. The liquid mixture was 1 part sake, 1 part mirin, and 2 parts soy sauce. I draped a paper towel over my meat in an attempt to avoid the need to submerge my meat in the marinade, but it wasn't as effective as I thought it would be.

 covered the chashu with paper towels in an attempt to keep them moist and marinated. 

covered the chashu with paper towels in an attempt to keep them moist and marinated. 

Overall, the braise was delicious. Not quite sous vide juicy, but it only took 2 hours. Could have potentially went longer at a lower temperature but time was the limiting factor.

 Pretty chashu. Yum.

Pretty chashu. Yum.

//Another day another ramen

One good thing that came out of this bowl were the butter and garlic sauteed Oyster and Maiitake Mushrooms. Before I served my ramen, I seared the mushrooms olive oil and hit it with butter and garlic once they were browned nicely. Let's be real, butter and garlic go well with anything. The one thing about eating last is that I always get stuck with the smallest ramen bowl. I also ran out of thin noodles, so I ended up with my thick tsukemen noodles. My miso broth was thick, but my tsukemen noodle were thicker!

 I need a bigger ramen bowl.

I need a bigger ramen bowl.


//Miso Tare Research Recipe

//WARNING - for reference purposes//
It has good potential, but will need to be tweaked to reduce the sweetness.

2 cups of Miso (your choice, but I prefer awase miso or a blend of white and red miso)
1 bulb of garlic
1 piece of giner - 2 inches long
1/2 raw onion
1/2 caramelized onion (probably could do with out this)
1/2 grated apple (1/4 would have been better)
60 g sake
50 g mirin
ichimi/chilli flakes to taste
1 tsp of cumin (I should have toasted this first)
100 g dark soy sauce
salt to taste