Tan Tan Men - Japanese Ramen, Rayu, & Torigara Broth
Layered sesame paste, ginger, and garlic in this ramen produce a surprising depth of flavor for a dish that is quite simple to prepare (we promise - don't be scared by the length of this recipe!)
It is elevated with a finish of SKORDO Togarashi, our version of a classic Japanese spice blend featuring flavors of toasted nori, sesame seeds, and cayenne pepper.
The base broth is traditional Japanese chicken broth which isn't made with any added aromatics, leaving a pure chicken essence on which to layer flavors. We also love the spicy Japanese chili oil, Rayu, that can be added at the end to reflect each person's personal heat level.
TORIGARA (JAPANESE CHICKEN BROTH)
- 1 pound chicken bones (or wings)
- 12 cups water, plus more for boiling
- Place chicken bones or wings in a large stock pot and fill with enough water to cover, then bring to a boil over high heat. Strain the bones, discard the water, and rinse the bones under cold, running water to remove any scum.
- Return the bones to the pot, add the 12 cups of water, and bring to a boil over high heat again. Decrease the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the stock reduces to about 8 cups, about 30 minutes.
- Remove any scum that appears on the surface as the stock is cooking. When it's ready, strain the liquid and discard the bones. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
RAYU (JAPANESE CHILI OIL)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallion, white parts only
- 1/2 cup toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon SKORDO Togarashi Blend
- 1 tablespoon coarse red pepper flakes
- Add the ginger, garlic, scallion, and 1/4 cup of the sesame oil to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat. Gently simmer for about 3 minutes over low heat or until the ingredients turn golden. Swirl the ingredients gently while cooking to prevent burning. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl.
- Add the Togarashi blend and red pepper flakes to the oil and mix to combine. Allow the mixture to come to room temperature and then add the remaining 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil. Transfer to a jar.
- The red rayu oil can be spooned from the surface while the chopped ingredients remain resting on the bottom. Or simply strain the rayu through a fine sieve to remove the chopped ingredients from the oil prior to storing.
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions, white parts only
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 8 ounces ground pork
- 1 tablespoon tobanjan (see Note)
- 6 cups torigara, (Japanese-style chicken stock -- recipe above), or 6 cups water plus 2 tablespoons torigara base, or 6 cups low-sodium all-natural chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 5 tablespoons Japanese sesame paste
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 packages (about 6 ounces each) fresh-frozen ramen noodles
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion, white and green parts
- Rayu, or Japanese flavored chili oil (recipe above)
- SKORDO Togarashi Blend, for sprinkling over finished dish
Note: Tobanjan is a spicy fermented red fava bean and chile paste. If you can't find it, substitute your favorite spicy chile paste such as Sriracha.
- Add the sesame oil, finely chopped scallion, ginger, and garlic to a large saucepan and heat over high heat and cook, stirring continuously, for about 1 minute.
- Add the pork and tobanjan and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, until the pork turns white. Break the pork apart as you stir. Add the torigara stock, soy sauce, sugar, sesame paste, and salt. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for about 3 minutes so the flavors can combine. Turn off the heat.
- To prepare ramen noodles, fill a large stock pot with water and place over high heat. Ready 4 large bowls on a work surface. When the water boils, add the noodles. Store the noodles for about 10 seconds so they separate and cook evenly. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the noodles are cooked through and are al dente. While the noodles are cooking, turn the broth heat to high.
- When the noodles are ready, drain them into a colander. Divide the noodles evenly among 4 bowls. Pour 1/4 of the tan tan broth over each bowl of noodles. Garnish with thinly sliced scallion and serve piping hot. Accent with rayu to taste.
Yields: 4 Servings of Ramen
Source: Japanese Soul Cooking by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat