Autumn is delightful. I’m enjoying the cool, crisp air and the bright sunlight, filtering through the trees into my shady home office (aka lounge), and the food. Oh the FOOD. I’m not a summer salad kind of girl. I’m a steamy bowl of something something queen.
Steaming bowls of ramen is up there in my 10 ten things I love about cold weather and I recently tried the Tonkotsu ramen set compiled by WASHOKU Explorer. Tonkotsu is one of the most popular varieties of ramen. The creamy, rich, pork broth is made by boiling pork fat, collagen and well washed pork bones for hours (even days). Due to the labour intensive process, this dish is not often made at home, though you will find it at any ramen shop.
The Tonkotsu ramen set comes with comes with a cool ramen bowl, renge (spoon), dried noodles, soup, seaweed, dried green onion and dried kikurage (wood ear mushroom). If you like, you can add a boiled egg or slices of meat – neither of which ship or keep well so it makes sense that they’re not included in the set. If you don’t feel like the challenge of cha su (pork belly slices), it’s perfectly acceptable to use sliced ham.
WASHOKU Explorer is a company from Japan stocking a round up of popular Japanese foods. The noodles and soup mix in the Tonkotsu set come from Fukuoka, which is the birthplace of Tonkotsu ramen. This ramen set would make a great gift for someone into ramen or perhaps as an introduction to ramen to a foodie who has never tried it before. Especially if they don’t have access to a ramen shop. The instructions are easy to follow and the hardest part was holding back to take photos before tucking in. The $89 price tag includes shipping world wide.
As well as their Ramen set, WASHOKU Explorer also have a Japanese Curry set, and a Sake set with 3 beautifully painted sake bottles and cups. Items are carefully curated and selected from the best Japan has to offer and I love how they list all the info you might want to know on their website such as where in Japan their green onion comes from (Kyoto) or what ingredients are in their seaweed (just seaweed).
Find out more or buy a ramen set on the WASHOKU Explorer website here.
I absolutely love ramen eggs, those gently marinated oozy-yolked marvels, and when I go to Ramen Do on Symonds Street, I always add an extra egg to my order. So I made 6 minute eggs to go with this ramen. I adapted the recipe from Serious Eat’s Managing Culinary Director J Kenji Lopez-Alt’s recipe. Lopez-Alt was just awarded a James Beard award this week for his work on The Food Lab on Serious Eats.
The cheek I must have to adapt his recipe! Yeah, well, I made it once and found the sake flavour too much so I halved the sake. Maybe my sake was too strong? Still, his write up is very informative and I suggest you take a look if you’re interested in ramen eggs and the science behind it.
Marinated ramen eggs (Ajitsuke Tamago)
Adapted from SeriousEats.com
Makes 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sake
- 1/2 cup light soy sauce
- 1/2 mirin
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1.5 litres water
- Whisk the first 5 ingredients together and set aside.
- Bring 1.5 litres of water to boil in a saucepan. Using a pushpin, make a tiny hole in the fat end of each egg and using a spoon, carefully lower each egg into the water. Immediately turn down the heat to barely a simmer and cook for 6 minutes.
- Drain the hot water and place saucepan under cold water. Keep the cold water running for 2 minutes to cool the eggs completely and prevent further cooking.
- Very gently crack an egg all over using a spoon and then carefully peel the egg starting at the pierced end. The eggs will be very soft and you don’t want to break them so take your time! Repeat with all the eggs.
- Place the peeled eggs in a bowl that fits all the eggs snugly (best to measure the fit with whole eggs before you start). Pour over the marinade and top with a folded paper towel, gently pressing down to submerge the eggs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Drain the marinade and discard the paper towel. Store eggs in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To serve, cut an egg in half lengthwise with a sharp knife and place in hot ramen broth. The egg will heat up in the broth.