The past few months I have been going out of my comfort zone and playing around with a Vegan Ramen. Now I know what a lot of you are thinking: “Ugh vegan ramen, it can’t be that good”. To be honest, I was once like that too. The word “vegan” was a turn off, however I was only exposed to vegan dishes trying to be something that it is not. I have seen dry vegetable/nut logs that are supposed to imitate a hot dog to jack fruit that is supposed to emulate meat, and even the infamous “Tofurkey”. When cooks are so focused in turning an ingredient into something that it is not, often they lose track of what makes that ingredient so special. When cooking we need to elevate the ingredient for what it is.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. The fall weather and colors invoke a warm and cozy feeling from within that is begging to be nourished by ramen. It is a time where friends and family get together to have multiple feasts over a span of a few weeks with amazing leftovers. The day after Thanksgiving my family always takes the leftover bones of the turkey and repurpose it into Turkey Jook (congee). No waste! Since I am living the #ramenlife, I of course have to take it to the next level and make Turkey Ramen.
Ramen is on my mind 24/7 and sometimes I forget to stop and smell the roses. My mind has running at a 100 miles per hour trying to make complex and unique ramen, but sometimes the best bowl of ramen is one that is recognizable with simple and straight forward flavors. That is why this weekend I took a step back and made a Tokyo's signature bowl of Shoyu Ramen.
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.
It is always a pleasant surprise when you are experimenting and you creating something beyond delicious. Last week it was a perfect storm both literally and figuratively. It must have been the second week in a row that it was pouring rain in California with drought ending weather. With some inspiration from i am a food blog's "Warm and Cozy Beef Bourguignon" recipe, I decided to make my own french beef stew. It was an easy and delicious recipe, and how can you go wrong with beef, wine, and bacon? Of course, you can make this killer combination better by turning it into Ramen!
This was originally going to be my New Years post, but I was a little slow to start my new year resolutions. Now that Chinese New Year has come around I can redeem myself. Instead of aiming for a beach bod for my resolution (which I could totally get whenever I want) I decided to aim for a delicious goal: Cook ramen at least 2 times a month. As mentioned before, I am a little behind on my posts as its already February, but I have already made over 5 types of ramen and eaten more bowls than I should have.
Making fried chicken is a daunting task. Frying anything is actually pretty scary if you have never done it before. But let me tell you, Chicken Karaage will be one of the easiest and delicious bang for your buck thing you can fry. What is Chicken Karaage you ask? It is simply delicious.
I know, I know what you're thinking. What the heck is a mookie. For those of you who have seen my Matcha Mochi Cookie post you can guess that is it my mochi cookie (moo-k-ie). Okay, I don't know if that name will stick but let me know what you guys think.
Matcha is an instant favorite in the food world and for a good reason too. But sometimes us food enthusiasts want something different with a tea flavor. Earl Grey is an up and coming favorite with hojicha and genmaicha trailing closely behind his greener older brother. I decided to tackle an earl grey cookie, earl Grey doesn't get the credit it deserves. I stuck with the mactha mochi cookie proportions but had two different methods for incorporating the tea flavor into the cookie. One is to just substitute ground tea leaves as a 1 to 1 substitute for Matcha powder. Another would be to seep the tea in warm milk, hopefully to get a more pronounced flavor. I set up an experiment and made my matcha mochi cookie as my control.
In 2013, the Ramen Burger crazy swept over America by Keizo Shimamoto and it was one of those "Why didn't I think of that..." creations. Immediately there were hundreds of recipes for the Ramen Burger and none of them felt right in my mind. I was able to try the Official Ramen Burger at a San Francisco Tofu Festival last year, and I have to admit, it was pretty damn good. I have never attempted making a Ramen Burger as I was always more interested in making the conventional soup and noodle ramen, but seeing bloggers and imitators making mediocre Ramen Burgers, I decided to see how I could fare.
Mochi cookies are a rare sight to see, but it is about time rice flour is the star of the show and takes its own form. A cookie that is crispy, smooth, chewy, light, and most importantly delicious. My original intent of engineering a mochi cookie was to... well engineer a cookie. I started with a Matcha Mochi Cupcake recipe that I knew was delicious. It had a crisp texture on top and a chewy mochi center. If i could increase the crispiness to chewy ratio I would have something great. I broke down the recipe and looked into the water, fat and protein content of all my ingredients keeping track of details such as an egg is composed of 66.6% egg whites, 90% of which is water. Where did this get me? I was left with a bunch of numbers on a spreadsheet, cookieless and sad. I just needed to start baking. It took me 4 trials to get to my Final Recipe.