My first bowl of ramen was when I came to New York in 2010. However, my love for ramen really exploded after I found a ramen restaurant in my neighborhood and it wasn't too long after that bowl of ramen that I started making it at home. However, I learned that the difference between making pretty good ramen and traditional ramen are knowing the five mandatory elements of every bowl of ramen. Bone broth, tare, noodles, toppings, and aromatic oil. Each component is customizable but essential and brings a special flavor, texture, color, and aroma to your bowl of ramen.
Your bone broth acts as the foundation for your ramen while your tare will be your seasoning agent. Bouncy, chewy, alkalized noodles along with a variety of your favorite topping create the bulk of your ramen while your aromatic oil will infuse more flavor into your ramen and be the finishing touch to your homemade bowl of ramen. In this video, I will teach you all my tips and tricks like what kinds of bones to use, how to properly season your ramen, how to make perfect soft boiled eggs every time, and how to add an extra boost of flavor to finish your ramen so that you can set up your own ramen shop right in the comfort of your own home.
Bone broth is the foundation of your ramen. Cooking down animal bones to extract the flavors from the collagen, cartilage, and meat to create a delicious broth. Even adding bones such as trotter or chicken feet add lots of collagen which helps the mouth feel of your broth.
2 pounds of animal bones, I used chicken bones and pork knuckles.
Preheat your oven to 450. Spread some neutral over on your pan and on top of your bones.
Roast bones for 10 minutes and then then lower your oven temperature to 425 degrees fahrenheit. Then continue roasting for 35 minutes.
Once your bones have been roasting for 45 minutes and have color on them, transfer them over to a pot and cover them with water. Save the oil in the pan in a jar because we will be using that later for our aromatic oil.
Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Keep on a medium heat for 8 hours and every so often skim the foam that rises to the surface of your broth to keep it nice and clear.
After the 8 hours are up, take out your bones and strain your broth into containers. They will keep in the fridge for 5-7 days or in the freezer for a couple of months.
Instead of adding salt to your broth, creating your own tare is a better way of adding savory notes to your broth as well as some umami flavor. There are tons of different tares you can make but here is my simple yet flavorful soy tare recipe:
5 - 6 pieces of dried kombu
⅓ cup of dried shiitake mushrooms
Enough water to cover, about 2 cups
2 cups of soy sauce
½ cup of mirin
In a bowl combine your dried kombu and shiitake mushrooms with water. Cover with water and let them hydrate overnight.
The next day, transfer your soaked kombu and shiitake mushrooms into a pot with 2 cups of soy sauce and ½ cup of mirin.
Bring everything to a boil and once it comes up to a boil, fish out your kombu pieces since it has done its job. However, continue cooking your broth for another 5 minutes to really bring the flavors together. Skim any of the foam that comes to the top. Finally, strain off your tare sauce and place into a jar until you are ready to use it.
My Favorite Ramen Toppings
Ramen toppings are 100% customizable to your taste buds so use your favorite topping. You can use bamboo shoots, ox tails, furikake, and seaweed. Really the options are endless. Here are mine and how I prepped them:
Soft Boiled Eggs
2 pound piece of pork belly
For the char siu, place your pork belly into your stock and gently cook for about 2 hours.
Once the 2 hours are up, take it out of the broth and place it into an airtight container. Keep it fresh in the fridge until you are ready to make your ramen.
Half Boiled Egg
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Using a slotted spoon slowly and gently dip your eggs in and out of the hot water. This is to acclimate them so that they dont break due to the change in temperature.
Once they are acclimated let them sit at the bottom of the pot and cook them for 6 minutes for a soft boil egg.
Take them out and acclimate them in a bowl of ice water. Ater the have been cooled down for 5 minutes, you can take them out and start peeling them by gently cracking the shell on the table.
Making sure to get under the thin film between the egg and the shell. Leave the egg in some water until you are ready to make your ramen.
2 tablespoons of ginger root, peeled and chopped finely
2 tablespoons scallion, chopped finely
1 tablespoons cobanero chili, or any fresh or dried chili you have on hand
¼ cup of oil from the roasted bones
¼ cup of neutral oil
Combine the minced ginger root, scallion, and chili flakes into a jar.
In the meantime, heat both oils in a pot for a few minutes on medium heat. Throw in a scallion and if it starts to sizzle, you can take it off the heat and pour it over the rest of your ingredients to let them infuse with the hot oil.
Let the aromatic oil sit for about 1 day to preferably 2 weeks to reach maximum flavor bomb.
Now that all your ingredients are ready to go, it’s time to set up shop and make some delicious homemade ramen bowls!
Soft boiled egg
When you are ready to make your ramen, cut your char siu into ¼ - ½ inch slices. Take it over to a grill or a cast iron skillet and sear it so that it has some nice coloring on it.
Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil and then get another pot of your bone broth going.
Prep your carrots by peeling them and cutting them into 3 large pieces and cut your bok choy by peeling each leaf off. Once your water is boil, add in your carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Next, add in your bok choy and cook everything for another 1 - 2 minutes. Take everything out and cut up into bite size pieces.
With the water still boiling, add in your noodles and cook according to the instructions on your package. Drain them out and get started on your ramen soup.
Once your bone broth has come to a boil add in your tare sauce. The amount of tare that you use will depend on how many bowls of ramen you are going to make. Generally, I use about 2 -3 tablespoons of tare for 1 bowl of ramen.
Now that everything has ready, it's time to open up your ramen shop! Ladle in some of your ramen broth and add in your noodles. Place each one of your toppings in its own corner. I added in my char siu, carrots, bok choy, and sliced my egg in half. I finished my bowl of ramen up by drizzling in some aromatic oil and sprinkling in some fresh cut up scallions!