Bowl of Ramen

A few weeks ago, Cole and Kallie decided to go through the laborious task of making ramen broth from scratch for our family dinner.

The ingredients included:  4 lbs pork trotters, 4 chicken carcasses (3 cooked, 1 raw), bones from 3 racks of baby back ribs (barbecued), 1 onion, 2 leeks, 15 cloves of garlic, 4 in knob ginger, 2 dozen scallions (white parts only), kombu, 8 oz shitake mushrooms, 1.5 lbs pork cheeks, and 1 large carrot.

The broth was boiled for 12 hours, then simmered for 8 hours, and finally strained. Kallie said they followed the recipe for Tonkatsu Ramen Broth from Serious Eats, except that they didn’t wash the bones, didn’t add in the the one pound of fatback in the end, and added 1/4 c. of tare (1c. soy sauce + 1/2 c. mirin + 1/2c. sake) at the end.

Bowl of Ramen, close up

The noodles were frozen, fresh ramen noodles cooked according to package directions.

Toppings included an  Chashu Marinated Braised Pork Belly, 6 minute boiled eggs (peeled and marinated in the tare for an hour), canned corn, pickled shiitake mushrooms, and green onions. They were planning on having blanched spinach too, but they forgot it and were too tired to go out to get some after shopping for and cooking the broth for the past 24 hours.

Cole and Kallie were disappointed in the final outcome of the broth– it was just kind of flat and bland, even when we tried to season it up at the end with extra tare, chilis, soy sauce, sesame oil etc. Would melting in a pound of pork fatback in the end have made a big difference?

Gotta say though, that the Braised Pork Belly that they made was excellent! It was sooo delicious! The soft boiled egg was good too.

Cole and Kallie– I wish it turned out better for you after all your efforts, but thank you so much for making this for us. We appreciate how much work went into it!


Ippudo napkin and chopsticks 

All this ramen broth making was inspired by our visit to Ippudo during our trip to New York last month.

Ippudo is a chain of ramen restaurants very popular in Japan. New York has their sole American restaurant.

Bamboo tree

Eating here is quite an experience.

A huge bamboo tree sits in front of chef stations where you can see everything being prepared.

Customers under bamboo tree

If you don’t get there early, you can expect to wait hours in line to get in and be seated.

We arrived at 10:45 am for the 11:00 am opening, and there were already about ten people in line.

Wall decoration

We were seated right away.

The walls were decorated with a lot of plaques like this. The wall in our booth was covered with tiny white kanji, made out of some kind of  3D stone like material.

Hirata buns w/pork and spicy sauce

Hirata Buns: Steamed buns filled with your choice of pork or chicken, served with Ippudo’s original spicy buns sauce

We tried the pork and the chicken Hirata buns. Both were good, really good, but the pork was definitely more flavorful.

Akamaru Modern Ramen Bowl

Akamaru Modern: The original silky “Tonkotsu” (pork) soup noodles topped with Ippudo’s secret “Umami Dama” miso paste, pork chashu, cabbage, sesame kikurage mushrooms, scallions, and fragrant garlic oil

Sorry for the blurry pictures. I’m still working on my photography skills. After walking New York City for six days and nights, we were pretty tired here.

But this broth was so amazing, it perked me right up. The flavors– so clear, concentrated, and delicious– broth like I have never tasted before.


Kuro Kasane - Kasane Black Ramen Bowl

Kuro Kasane – Kasane Black  Authentic “Kasane” tonkotsu & chicken soup noodles.  Topped with pork loin chashu, cabbage, sesame kikurage mushrooms, red pickled ginger, naruto, scallions, and fragrant “Black” garlic oil.

The Blue D had this special edition ramen, and he really liked it.

Blood Orange Sorbet

Blood Orange Sorbet

Of course, when you’re in New York, you order dessert everywhere you eat, just to try it.

This was okay, refreshing as sorbets are.

Matcha Brulee

Matcha Brulee: Green tea flavored creme brulee topped with gelato

An okay dessert. The ramen bowls are the real stars here.

Mascarpone Cheese and Ice Cream

Mascarpone Cheese and Ice Cream:  Ice cream served with mascarpone cheese

Beautifully presented.

One other thing I wanted to mention was what appeared to be a secret ramen making room downstairs. You pass this room on the way to the restrooms at the end of the hall. The room, with it’s ramen making machine and workers, can only be viewed through a waist high level window, about 4 feet wide, and with an opening only 6-8″ high. So you have to kind of crouch down and peer into the opening to see1 or 2 people quietly operating a machine making ramen noodles. Very mysterious.

After leaving, I wished I had taken a picture of this, but luckily I’ve found some others who snapped pictures of it and posted them here, here, here, here,and here.

ippudo Ramen tshirt

Ippudo NY souvenir t-shirt

Ramen– as American as apple pie?

Er, not quite yet, but getting up there.