It’s been busy around here as I am getting ready for Japan, buying gifts, hanging out A LOT with friends, prepping for the study I’ll do over there, and generally moping about because I won’t see D until he joins me in mid-August. My schedule has been a bit crazy trying to force people to see me at least once before I leave :), so the other day when I suddenly had a free night, I called up a few friends to finally make the ramen night that we’ve been thinking about happen. They freaked a little bit (“I can’t make char siu in just a few hours!”- typical fastidious son of Chinese restaurant owners :P), but we got it sorted out somehow. I’ve made ramen a few times before, every time with a different complicated recipe. This time, since it’s been so crazy, I didn’t put a lot of effort in it, but it still turned out quite good, surprisingly. A Japanese friend came over last night to try to leftover, and gave me a thumb up of approval 🙂 It might or might not be the proudest cooking-related moment of my life!
(I forgot to take picture so please take my words for it! I did, however, take a picture of a random blue normal-sized guitar left on the street of Cambridge. And no I did not bring that guitar home with me.)
What you will need: 2 packages of pig trotters (about 10 trotters each), a daikon radish, and a big yellow/white onion. Yup, really, that’s it. Well, and fish sauce.
Step 1: boil all the trotters in a water, and when it boils, dump all the water out. Clean out the blood stuck the bones, if you see them.
Step 2: simmer the trotters on low heat for 10 hours. I just left it there to simmer away while I did other things, it’s low maintenance. You can do this in a pressure cooker too but I believe the consistency of the soup is better (thicker) if you do low heat cooking.
Step 3: cut the daikon into big slices and the onion in half (you can roast the onion slightly on another pan too if you want to add a bit of smokiness to it), and put in the pot to simmer for another 2 hours or so. Season with soy sauce, salt and fish sauce to taste. Or just fish sauce is ok!
We usually don’t make mayu, but this time I had my friends take care of the mayu and soft boiled eggs. The mayu (recipe here) really elevated the broth, giving it that signature Japanese tonkotsu ramen flavor. I also marinaded some pork belly in five spice and soy sauce, pop it in the oven at 375 for 45 minutes, and it was awesome as a more casual version of char siu (since my friend refused to make it!) Low maintenance ramen sometimes is the best ramen.