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How to make ramen broth (low effort, high payoff!)

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This random blue guitar on the street of Cambridge seems fitting with this post

This random blue guitar on the street of Cambridge seems fitting with this post

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.

 

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