Ramen

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Bowl of ramen noodles at People's Noodle Bar in Columbia Heights, Washington, D.C.

Image used under Creative Commons from Flickr user Mr. T in DC

Ramen

Kojo talks with local restaurateurs about the craft of making ramen, the cuisine’s cultural significance and how best to enjoy the noodle soup.

Although it may be best known in the U.S. as a cheap microwavable meal wrapped in plastic, ramen is cultivating a new reputation. For the last several years, chefs have been reaching back to the soup’s roots in China and Japan to bring artisan ramen to tables locally and nationwide. We explore the cultural significance of the noodle soup, the craft of making it and the best way to enjoy it.

Guests

Daisuke Utagawa

part-owner, Daikaya; part-owner and creative director, Sushiko

Erik Bruner-Yang

chef and owner, Toki Underground

Toki Underground Recipes

Toki Underground chef Erik Bruner-Yang shares recipes from D.C.'s first Taiwanese ramen and dumpling house.

Toki Style Kara-Age

Ingredients
800g chicken chunks (breast)
14g Togarashi
1 egg
30g ginger
30g garlic
350g potato starch
5g salt
1/4 cup soy and 1/4 cup sake

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl or container. Fry in a sauce pot with about 2 inches of vegetable oil at 375°F or medium high heat for four minutes or until golden brown.

Toki Underground’s Red Miso Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
1/2 c butter (1 stick)
1/2 c red miso paste*
3/4 c granulated sugar
3/4 c lightly packed light brown sugar
2 extra large eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla
2 ¾ c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 c chocolate chips

yields 35 cookies

In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and red miso paste until well combined. Add sugars. Cream mixture for five minutes until fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking soda with whisk. Gradually add to butter-sugar-egg mixture until just combined. Add in chocolate chips.

Scoop using 1oz scoop and freeze until firm. Bake at 375°F for 10-11 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet. Serve warm with cold milk.

*Recipe note: This recipe was developed using the inaka style red miso paste. A coarse, "countryside" paste that combines soybeans with barley, it has a rich, saltiness that adds depth to the cookie. Sendai or aka are other types of red miso paste that work well.

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.