By Jerod McCann & Naoki Miyamura of EN in-house fine dining
RAMEN originated in China and is widely used in Chinese cuisine, although it’s a relative newcomer to Japanese cuisine. Ramen can be broadly categorised by its three main ingredients: noodles, soup and toppings. As you travel from north to south, the flavours dramatically change due to the availability of produce and personal variations by chefs.
Easy lunch: heat your stock, season, add fresh or dry noodles, boiled egg, meat and a few veggies. And you’re flying! Perfect for Hokkaido’s harsh, snowy winters.
1 cup of Chinese rice wine (regular white wine will work)
2 medium onions
3-6 medium carrots
1 head of garlic
1 1/2 lbs of assorted bones, pork preferred (I save them in the freezer until I have enough)
3 tbsp of vegetable oil (preferably canola)
If frozen, allow your bones to reach room temperature.
Cut the head off the garlic and chop the onion bulbs in half. Wash the carrots.
Place your oven rack in the middle setting and heat to 350º F/175º C.
1. Toss your carrots, onions, garlic, and bones in the vegetable oil and spread them out on a roasting pan, placing the onions and garlic cut side up. Roast in the oven at 350º F/175º C, until the bones and vegetables have browned. Some charring is fine. Should take about an hour.
2. Place the bones and vegetables in an even layer along the bottom of a six-quart stock pot. Deglaze the roasting pan with the rice wine and add to the stock pot.
3. Add enough cold water to cover the bones and bring to a simmer making sure never to boil. Add more cold water as needed to keep the liquid about the bones.
4. Simmer for a minimum of three hours. Personally, I do eight hours as to maximise the flavour potential of the bones. If time is an issue, remove from the heat and cool as is. Next day, finish cooking.
5. Carefully strain through a cheese cloth and cool. The faster you cool your stock the longer it will keep. As with any meat product, you want to serve immediately or cool a.s.a.p.
6. Once cool, the stock can be kept frozen for individual use or kept in the fridge for up to a week. If storing in the fridge, you must bring to a boil every two days as to maximise the freshness of the stock.
7. Before use, season with salt and pepper and add it to any recipe that calls for stock.
8. Throw away those instant freeze-dried ramen packs and start cooking like a chef!