So it seems I’ve developed myself an obsession with that wonderful Japanese noodle soup known as ramen. I’m a lover of pho, spicy Korean soups and any soup that comes out of the Sichuan region of China, but nothing quite does it like ramen. It’s that insane umami that I just can’t get enough of. So I recently began cooking my own, and here is where I’ll document each attempt until I end up with what I think is perfection. It serves a dual purpose: to be a record for me and for anyone to offer any advice.
I’ll be rating each bowl of ramen out of 10.
5/10: what I would consider average, and on par with most of the restaurant ramen that I’ve eaten. This is what I call “umami ramen”, which basically means you’re getting a good, hearty bowl with plenty of umami, but not much clarity of flavour.
6 or 7/10: Very good, and something I’d happily charge $15 a bowl for if I had a market stall or restaurant of my own. Here you’re actually tasting different elements of the broth, tare etc. It’s not just an umami bomb.
8 or 9/10: Really freaking good. Lot’s of depth, strong clarity of flavour among the individual elements. Leaves you thinking, “holy shit that was good”.
10/10: I’ll let you know if/when I get there.
Attempt 1 was pretty simple: to make ramen following a recipe to the letter. I went with David Chang’s Momofuku Ramen 2.o. It was relatively easy and gave me a good grounding in how to make it. The result was fantastic — it’s still better than most of the ramen I’ve paid for in restaurants, so I’d give it a 6.5.