Saturday, March 19, 2016

Simply Ramen, Simply Good

Ramen soup sometimes get a bad rap. After all most people associate it with those brittle bricks of noodles with the flavor packet nestled inside.Yet it's so much more than that. Imagine fresh noodles in homemade broth along with the addition of meats and vegetables. Home chefs can, thanks to a new cookbook.

Simply Ramen (Race Point Publishers ) was written by Amy Kimoto-Kahn , a Yonsei or fourth generation of Japanese American (her great grandparents emigrated from Japan to the US). She gives us an entire cookbook dedicated to the soup which can be made not just for lunch and dinner but for breakfast too.Another plus comes at the end when she lists the best ramen houses in Tokyo too. Yet it's the recipes that bring good Japanese cooking into the home. There are other recipes too such as tamogoyaki, Japanese omelets,basic rice and a tasty cucumber salad with a seafood topping.. There's the surprise of a Korean potato salad  recipe along with pickled vegetables and beef and chicken croquettes topped with a funky ketchup- soy sauce mash up. What I like about the cookbook is the way that Ms. Kimoto-Kahn breaks the recipes down into sections, They're devoted to chicken, beef, pork and seafood as well as to veggies and spicy versions. there is also a section dedicated to the broths that make up the soup .It's shared with toppings (yes, ramen soup can have toppings) such as braised  pork, and marinated half cooked egg.

The book is a great how to for all those novice ramen makers.It is a labor intensive project that does require a pasta maker. however it's no difficult than making homemade spaghetti or linguine.The plus is that the noodles can be made in large batches and stored for future use. The dough is a mix of cake , bread and wheat flour along with a baked baking powder that can be easily made.Then there are the bases, Home chefs can choose from miso,  tonkotsu base,a blend of two soups, the soy rich shoyu base and the shio base. Chicken lovers can try the chicken meatball ramen made with nod to Ms. Kimoto- Kahn's husband's Jewish heritage of matzoh balls.There are lush recipes that involve Kobe beef and lobster along with new creations that feature crawfish and cheese. Vegetarians will love the all vegetables ones,from the nasubi  or simmered Japanese eggplant to the kabocha, Japanese winter squash served with tempura battered arugula.Pork and fish are also represented in such dishes as spicy pork tantanmen and furikake salmon. Home chefs can try the chilled ramen and cold broth for those hot summer days.

 Simply Ramen shows that ramen soup is not those bricks of tasteless noodles jazzed up with flavor packets. It's homemade noodles simmered in a homemade broth with toppings. Buy the book and start making your own tasty and fresh creations!

No comments: