In the fall of 2016, we teamed up with Tressa Yellig, the owner of Broth Bar and a bone broth making wizard, for a three-part ramen pop-up. Our concept was to embrace the building blocks of ramen (fat, meat, ocean, noodle) and play with seasonal ingredients. The results were three very different and very wild soups. This one was our favorite. It's foundation is a many-hour simmered beef bone broth that rumbles with depth and strength. We layered on top of that a carrot-ginger-fish sauce flavor base, our version of a Japanese "tare."
In Japan, ramen typically includes a strong seasoning liquid that takes broth and punches up the salt and umami. This is what's called the tare. A "shio" ramen means this liquid was made with salt. "Shoyu" connotes a soy sauce base. Every version may include ingredients like sake, green onion, or ginger.
Our carrot-ginger-fish sauce tare is very bright, very lively, and a nice contrast to the beef. Toppings for this soup can vary, but we love the corn-cherry tomato combo because the sweetness adds an amazing high note. And what brings it all together for us, of course, are springy, bouncy Umi noodles. We really think this bowl is a winner!
We're including Tressa's recipe for beef bone broth at the end, but you can buy it from Tressa at her Broth Bar or various groceries in the greater Portland-area, and you can substitute beef stock if that's easiest for you. But make sure it's unsalted or else you might really blow out your tastebuds! This one has a lot of flavor!
Makes 2 servings
1 tablespoons dried shrimp
1 carrot, peeled
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2" knob ginger, peeled
2 green onions
1 teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons sake
5 teaspoons fish sauce
20 ounces beef bone broth*
1 package (10 ounces) Umi Organic fresh ramen noodles
1 ear corn, shucked and kernels cut off the cob
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/3 pound wild shrimp, peeled, deveined, and poached
2 scallions, cut on a bias
Fish sauce to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
1. In a small skillet, toast dried shrimp over medium heat until they release a toasty smell and darker slightly in color. Set aside.
2. Pulse dried shrimp, carrot, garlic, ginger, green onion, and sea salt in a food processor until it becomes an almost uniform paste. If you don't have a food processor, mince the dried shrimp, carrot, garlic, ginger, and green onions .
3. In a sauce pan, add the carrot paste and sake and fish sauce and bring to a low simmer over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Set aside 1/2 cup tare for this dish. Put the rest in a container in your fridge or freezer for later.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.
5. In a sauté pan, heat a splash of olive oil and gently sauté the corn kernels until just light browned. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Remove from heat.
6. Gently heat bone broth on the stove to just under a boil.
7. Tease apart ramen noodles and add to boiling water. Stir and cook in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain well.
8. In two deep individual bowls, add to each: 1/4 cup carrot tare, 1 portion cooked noodles, half of corn, half of tomatoes, and optional shrimp. Cover with 10 ounces hot broth. Garnish with scallions and a swirl of olive oil. Taste and adjust saltiness with fish sauce. Enjoy!
Basic Beef Bone Broth
It's important that your broth simmers at a steady temperature, ideally 180 to 200 degrees. If it rises about 200, you will eliminate some of the most nutritious elements in the bones. Many crockpots cook at higher than 200 degrees. You can test yours by adding water, heating it, and then taking the temperature.
If there is a lot of meat on the bones, roast them first for flavor at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.
2 pound mixed beef bones (knuckle, marrow, blade, etc.)
2 quart purified water
Vegetables and herbs for flavor (optional)
Splash of vinegar (cider, red or white wine, rice or lemon juice)
1. Place the bones in a medium stock pot and add water to cover.
2. Mix in the splash of vinegar and allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
3. Bring the pot up to a gentle simmer (about 180˚F) and allow to continue for 8 to 72 hours. Periodically check to make sure the temperature does not raise about 200 degrees.
4. Add the vegetables in the last hour of your cooking time.
5. Strain out the bones, vegetables and herbs and allow to cool. Package in glass containers for fridge storage. Broth will be good for two weeks in the refrigerator. Package in plastic freezer bags or ice trays for freezer storage. Broth will last for 6 months in the freezer.