Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Almost there.

It's been awhile since my last posting. Anne introduced me to Pho and we have been checking out a few of the local Pho restaurants, pretty good stuff but a little light on the flavor if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

We've also been checking out the local restaurants that feature Ramen on the menu, I have been disappointed with every single one. And in a way hopeful since I believe that this will make it easier for me to make a living selling my Ramen. lol, what a crazy idea. I plan to feature a few other things on my cart as well, jumbo sized chocolate covered coconut macaroons for dessert, and a ginger flavored orange soda! Two things I love just about as much as Ramen!!

It's almost springtime, but not quite. We got a bit of snow the other day. Soon it will be summer and I am not sure how many people will want to try Ramen from a roadside cart when the temperature hits 90 degrees so I will be waiting for Autumn I think, before I begin my Ramen Adventure. The good news is that it looks like I will be able to obtain a cart when I need to do so.

This is the bowl,

No sliced pork, no egg, not even any green onions!! Just a pork broth, a fuckin fantastic miso base, some delicious udon style noodles, nori, cilantro, and a fourth of an avocado. Sriracha to taste.

If I refine the bowl anymore I will post again and will definitely be posting any news about my cart!
On a side note,

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Where it's at

I ran out of noodles yesterday and made up a quick batch which tasted okay. Still a bit thick though. But last night at the grocery store I purchased some Udon noodles. They were very similar to the ones I made, who knew I had been making Udon this entire time lol. It's all still Ramen to me though.

I feel as though I will be able to eat this Ramen every day and never get tired of it. But there is still something missing and I need to find out what it is before I begin to prepare this for public consumption.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Me and the Captain makin it happen

Hi! Yesterday I went to Winco for Ramen ingredients. I got the pork bones, a pork loin, leeks, everything I needed to make my Ramen. Except for one thing, the NOODLES!! lol. Ah, you say, why not just make your own? I do plan to, in fact our friend Anne just moved into our apartment and she brought with her an electric noodle machine. Once I figure out how to use it I will be knee deep in noodles I imagine. Anne and I stopped off at a small market on the way home and I got a cheap package of instant noodles which weren't that bad considering. Later that day, my first try at serving multiple peoples some delicious Ramen.

I just missed taking pictures of Anne and Brittany who ran off to the side, Even Tolkien looks like he didn't enjoy having his picture taken :)  The Ramen was enjoyed by all and not a single drop was left in any of the bowls!!

To make up for the blurry photo here is something else I captured in my kitchen recently.


Monday, December 28, 2009

A Ramen A Day

Brittany dropped me off at Winco today before she went to work, actually she dropped me off at the free clinic which turned out to not be free, so I went shopping for ingredients instead. I spent about nine dollars on pork and six dollars on vegetables. With all the pork bones I bought, I decided a bigger batch of broth was in order, I brought out my biggest pot. The one I use to brew beer. This was taken about halfway through the boil, I could tell early on that this broth was going to be good. I decided to simmer my pork loin too, although I think its supposed to be completely covered.

A few hours later and we have a Ramen.

The avocados are an experiment, they weren't ripe but they still tasted delicious. Especially after they'd had a chance to soak. I think soft avocados will work well in my Ramen. A premium topping ;)

I like taking pictures of Ramen during the day when the sun is shining through. Artificial lights don't do Ramen justice. But this bowl was exceptionally good. At least the broth was anyway, I'm still using prepackaged noodles. I am torn between creating my own, or finding a local noodle maker who has the goods. And I still have to figure out how to cook that pork loin correctly. But the broth! So GOOD!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Secret Ingredients

Ramen Eaters of the World Unite!

I know I should have put that at the end of this post, but why wait? Anyway, I think it is time for an update. My last post was over a week ago.

The other night I was waiting for a train underneath the Burnside bridge when I noticed a sign for noodles. Could it be Ramen? No it was Pho, but I decided to try it anyway. I've never had Pho before but I heard it was a very popular food. It was the stores first day of business so I ordered the number 1, beef soup. It was ok, very fresh tasting. I can't say I'm an instant fan though. What was interesting was some of the garnishes they provided. Two kinds of cilantro I had never seen before and a slice of lime were my favorite. An older lady came over and asked if I worked at a restaurant, perhaps wondering If I was going to steal her secrets. Too late! I already did. I'm not sure if the Cilantro and the lime will work in my Ramen but we shall see.

Making Ramen is an all day affair, it can even stretch into two I think if you like to marinate things a lot. That is 10:49 PM. I should probably get started earlier next time.

That brown stuff on the left is my miso base, this is what it looked like before stirring.

I was using a recipe out of a book I previewed on Amazon, suckers!! The recipe called for hoisin sauce but I didn't have any so I just poured in the pork drippings from the pork roast I cooked. I think next time I will try simmering the pork.

I wasn't all that hungry that night but I did finish my bowl. All I could think about the next day was getting home to try another bowl. I did make and finish another bowl but I think I overdid it with the lime. But this morning, I hadn't planned on making a bowl. Something just came over me, why not I said, it will only take a few minutes. I took out my pots and turned on the heat, a few minutes later I had the first bowl I would definitely have paid for.


There is still a lot of work to be done, but I feel like I am getting closer with every bowl. One day it will be ready.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Its all about the broth

Yesterday I picked up some neck bones from Safeway. I hadn't planned to buy them, Safeway normally does not carry bones. At least that's what I was told by the meat department manager whose name escapes me at the moment. But there they were.

3 pounds of pork neck bones

I tried cutting these into smaller pieces but I just don't have the knife for it. So I have added a large knife to the list of things I need to obtain. The list is growing and I expect it to get longer the closer I get to opening my Ramen shop. I still haven't decided about working out of a cart or setting up shop in the vacant lot nearby behind the Asian market. I plan to do a few sample nights in my apartment, that's going to be fun. But before I can do that I need to obtain a huge stockpot, propane burner etc.. not to mention keep working on my recipe.

But back to the bones. I boiled them today and was a bit disappointed in the flavor I obtained. The broth I made with a few ham hocks from Winco was much tastier. Those had some added salt and smoke flavoring. I didn't need to add any salt to the ham hocks broth, but I did need to add some to the neckbones. I could tell there was something wrong after a few hours when I wasn't tasting any good flavors. I turned up the heat a little in the hopes of releasing some flavor and let the broth finish.

The fried egg is a recent addition as well as the intact slice of red cabbage. I enjoy the crunch that the cabbage gives to my Ramen. The egg is from a local farmer, we got 2 dozen of them and they are the best eggs we have ever eaten. Its frightening to think what is happening to the chickens at those industrial farms to make them produce the garbage they sell in the supermarkets. Its simply cracked open onto a hot skillet for 3 minutes and then flipped into the Ramen. I like how it looks and tastes, but I am wondering if the egg needs something more to it. Or should I keep things as simple as I can? You might note the absence of sliced pork, don't worry it will be back.

This Ramen was ok, I won't be using those neckbones again though. A few recipes online mention using pork and chicken bones for the broth, but I think I am going to try using ham hocks again. I still need to work on my noodles. I haven't worked with any flour for over a week. It appears that in order to get noodles to the right consistency you have to add a few chemicals to the mix. Namely potassium carbonate and maybe some sodium carbonate. These carbonates were most likely present in the well water the chinese used to first make their noodles all those thousands of years ago. So once I obtain some chemicals I will start working with my dough again. Interestingly though, the noodles I bought at Winco did not list carbonates as an ingredient. They did have eggs though, which I have tried using as well. I think it's going to take a bit of time before my noodles taste how I want them to.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Ramen Quest

Hi, Yesterday I took a short walk to Uwajiyama because they sell a bowl of Ramen, here is a map of my route and some pictures.

View My Walk in a larger map

I have more pictures on my Facebook site, One day my walks will be uploaded to Facebook in realtime complete with audiovisual narration but for now we do what we can. The last placemark is a picture of the Ramen, made with a prepackaged instant Ramen from the market's shelf. To be fair it was one of those three dollar packages and the Pork was cooked that day (I think). But I still wept a little on the inside as I watched my Ramen being prepared.

The market had an actual restaurant attached, which was closed at the time. But perhaps I should make another trip.