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There are four main types of broth commonly used for ramen dishes in Japan: shoyu, shio, miso, and tonkotsu. In English, these ramens translate to: soy sauce, salt, soybean paste, and pork bone.
Japanese chefs take very seriously these broths because they are the key components for every bowl of authentic Japanese ramen. Recipes have been passed down through generations, though some revolutionary types of ramen have also emerged over the years, such as curry ramen and seafood ramen.
“Shoyu Ramen”, or soy sauce ramen, is easily distinguishable by a clear, slightly brown broth and salty taste.
Many regions of Japan have their own take on how the broth should be flavored. Generally speaking, if you’re at a ramen establishment and the menu simply says ‘ramen’, you’re either going to be served a bowl of “shoyu ramen” or the restaurant’s signature ramen by default.
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Recipe courtesy of Janine Breyer
- 20g ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 pip garlic, peeled and grated
- 50ml dark soy sauce
- 150ml sweet soy sauce
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 12 quail eggs
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 (Barbary) duck breast fillet
- 100g kale
- Some flour
- Cooking oil
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 6 brown mushrooms, finely sliced
- 200g udon noodles, cooked and drained
- 1L chicken broth
- Combine ginger, garlic, both soy sauces and mirin to make “tare”, a flavorful soy and rice wine dipping sauce.
- Cook quail eggs in boiling water for 3 minutes. Cool in cold water before peeling. Combine with soya sauce in a small bowl, and stir occasionally.
- Heat oven to 200°C. Score the fatty skin of the duck fillet and season with salt. In an ovenproof pan, cook slowly fat side down for 4-5 minutes till golden yellow. Flip over and fry for 2 minutes. Pop the pan into the oven and cook for 6 minutes. Flip and cook for another 6 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer to a plate and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Intermittently, flip over twice so that the juices have the chance to redistribute within the fillet.
- Pluck kale into bite-size pieces, rinse well and dry. Coat in flour. Heat cooking oil in a pot and deep-fry kale. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.
- Heat up “tare” and chicken broth separately. Slice duck fillet and cut quail eggs into half.
- Pour tare into preheated bowls. Place noodles and mushrooms into the bowls, and pour over hot, boiling broth. Top with slices of duck meat, eggs, spring onions and kale chips. Serve immediately.
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