For the first page of my grand ramen book, I guess I should start with just writing about the state of my mind while embarking on this quest. This is going to be a difficult journey since I am attempting to make the first good book on ramen. There are many books out there that talks about ramen, but there are very few books out there that actually explain the process thoroughly. Probably the best one out there is Ivan Ramen. However this book is 85% about his journey and 15% about how to make ramen. The book is very enlightening, but only scratches the tip of the iceberg. I have been chiseling away at this iceberg of ramen with my two hands and I feel like I am starting to get through.
I never thought I would make ramen from scratch. I so was obsessed with eating mediocre bowls of fresh ramen in college I was blinded by what is actually out there. It wasn't until I randomly bought the Momofuku book by David Chang that I was inspired to make my own bowl. The idea of using bacon instead of katsuobushi was a very novel idea which got me off of my butt and into the kitchen. I became engaged with this whole day process and came up with an interesting bowl of ramen. It was like I was reborn after standing for 18 hours making noodles and broth, but after the 2 hours of cleaning my dishes and returning to my graduate school life of engineering study and research, the joy of making ramen was stored away for another day.
I could go on about my journey, and what pushed me to become interested in ramen, but maybe that will be for another day and for another page. If ramen has taught me anything, there will be many pages to come and many of those pages will never make it to my final book. This page will most likely not make it to my book but it will be a starting point for the process. It will be just like that first bowl of ramen that I made. A book can seem simple from the outside like a bowl of ramen, but they both have complex components and will take many trials to make a successful product.
When I break down ramen I think of (1) noodles, (2) broth, (3) tare, (4) toppings, (5) aroma oil. That seems simple enough. Then each one of those components can be divided into dozens of other topics. I am excited to get into the nitty gritty, that is the best part of making ramen. It took me over 5 year to get to this point but I will work on getting this book out quicker than that. I will set an arbitrary goal of writing one page a day - at least 5 days a week. I am sure out of 500 of those pages, I can get at least 100 pages of solid content. Well... here is page one. Let's get going on Nichijou Ramen.