Ramen Heath-style

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Overview
This is SO. WORTH. THE. EFFORT. My youngest child announced that it was time to learn to make pulled noodles. As you do. Many hours of internet searches and YouTube videos later, we made the plunge. What we did was a hybrid of a few techniques and flavours, and it was delicious.

This page may well become a journal as we navigate how to do this. On the first attempt, Cameron pretty much mastered the kneading/stretching of the dough, but the pulling to make noodles defeated us all, so we used the pasta roller (only to setting 2, then we used the spaghetti cutter).

Time
Ages – but most of it is waiting. Probably best to stretch this out over a couple of days. Make the noodle dough the night before. The pork should also be started the night before, the stock, tomatoes and mushrooms can be made well ahead of time too.

SectionIngredients
Ramen – Japanese style (serves 4/6/8)240/360/480g plain flour
130/195/260ml warm water
2/3/4 ts baked bicarbinate of soda (bake at 120° C until weight is reduced by ⅓ – about 3-4 hours for a whole jar. Mix and weigh every 30 minutes)
Ramen – Chinese pulled noodle style425g high protein flour (15%+)
28g nutritional yeast
4g Kosher salt
15ml vegetable oil
285g cold tap water
Tomato2 tomatoes
Umami salt
Garlic powder
Pork500-600g pork belly, no bones
5-spice powder
Stock2kg chicken necks
2 large onions, halved
1 leek, roughly chopped
1 bulb garlic, halved across-ways
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced open
2 TB mixed peppercorns
3 cardamom pods
2 star anise, broken
2 ts fennel seeds
1 stick cinnamon
2 ts coriander seeds
2-3 carrots
½ cup dried mushrooms
2 sticks celery with leaves, roughly chopped
1 swede, thick slices
1 nori sheet
2 bouquet garni sachets
water
Nitamago
(marinated eggs)
eggs – fridge cold – at least 10 days old
Tare marinade¾ cup light soy
¾ cup mirin
¼ cup cooking sake (or Chinese rice wine)
2 TB sugar
1 TB brown sugar
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced open
2 garlic cloves, squashed
2 spring onions, sliced lengthways
Caramelised mushroom200g sliced mushroom (brown, Swiss, button)
1 onion, cut in inch-long strips
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 TB brown sugar
30g butter
Extras for assemblySpring onion, sliced diagonally
Bok choy
Grated carrot
Pickles
Cabbage strips
Sesame seeds
Broken nori sheet

Equipment
Food processor, sous vide, 9L stock pot, pasta roller and cutter if desired

Ramen – Japanese style

Method: Ramen noodles Japanese style – make dough 1½ – 2 hours before serving
1 – Place flour in a stand mixer bowl, make a well in the centre
2 – Combine water and baked bicarbonate of soda
3 – Add liquid to the middle of the flour. Mix with a spoon until it comes together – if making a larger quantity then the stand mixer may be of use.
3 – When it comes together leaving no crumbs behind, pull it together and wrap in Glad Wrap and leave for 30-60 minutes to rest. It will be a rough dough, not smooth like a pasta dough.
4 – Start a large pot of water boiling.
5 – After resting, knead the dough (flour the surface lightly if needed) for 5 minutes. It will have pieces falling off – that’s okay.
6 – When ready to start, cut the dough in 2/4 pieces and wrap the rest. Roll it a little, then start working through a pasta roller. Start at 0, then fold the dough in thirds and repeat until the dough passes through without tearing.
7 – Reduce the thickness with each subsequent rolling until it is thin enough (6 on the Kenwood chef). Hang on a pasta rack and prepare all pieces of dough the same way.
8 – Attach a thin pasta cutter and cut into spaghetti-like strands. Hang on the pasta rack until ready to cook.
9 – Start cooking noodles when all other ingredients are ready. Cook for 1 minute. Drain and rinse in cold water immediately to avoid overcooking in the soup.

Method: Ramen noodles Chinese pulled style – make dough the night before or first thing in the morning
1 – Add salt and yeast to food processor and blitz on high speed to form a powder.
2 – Add flour and blitz again.
3 – Add oil and drizzle in water while pulsing the dough until it comes together in one ball.
3 – Knead together and place in a bowl. Cover and leave for at least 10 hours to rest.
4 – Start a large pot of water boiling.
5 – After resting, knead the dough on a flourless surface, pushing away only. Take the ends and use a skipping rope motion to stretch the dough and encourage the gluten to stretch that way only. Better still, watch YouTube videos like we did!
6 – When ready to start pulling, pray like anything and learn from YouTube! The first time, we gave up and used a pasta roller instead.
7 – Start cooking noodles when all other ingredients are ready. Cook for 1-2 minutes and drain immediately.

Method: Pork – start 10-11pm the night before
1 – Rub 5-spice powder on pork belly
2 – Vacuum seal bag, cook sous vide at 65° C for 18-24 hours. Set this up the night before.
3 – Remove from bag 30 minutes before serving. Pat dry and brown in a hot pan.
4 – Place in 210° C oven to crisp crackling. Wrap in foil to rest when done.

Method: Stock – can be made 2-3 days earlier or the same morning
1 – Place aromatics (onion, ginger, garlic, leek) flesh-side down in the pot over a high heat to encourage charring.
2 – Add spices and continue to heat for 2-3 minutes.
3 – Add chicken and remaining ingredients and enough water to fill the pot. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3-4 hours.
4 – Strain through a sieve and place in a saucepan ready to reheat for serving.

Method: Tomatoes – can be made at any stage. This idea is from Ivan Ramen
1 – Preheat oven to 180° C.
2 – Slice tomatoes into 5mm thick slices or use halved mini tomatoes.
3 – Arrange on a baking tray, sprinkle with umami salt , pepper and garlic powder.
4 – Bake for 30 -60 minutes or until starting to brown. Turn if needed, or set aside until assembly time.

Method: Tare – can be made 1-2 days in advance
1 – Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until sugar is dissolved.
2 – Allow to cool before marinating the eggs.

Method: Nitamago eggs – must be made 5-8 hours in advance
1 – Refrigerate eggs the day before (don’t worry if you forget). Choose older or shop-bought eggs that are at least 10 days old for easier shelling (as opposed to freshly laid).
2 – Bring 6 cups of water to a rapid boil in a medium saucepan.
3 – Pierce the rounded end of each egg.
4 – Lower eggs carefully into the boiling water. Drop to a medium-low heat and cook for 6.10 minutes exactly. If you forgot to refrigerate, cook for 5.00.
5 – While the eggs are cooking, prepare an ice bath in a medium sized metal bowl – 2 trays of ice cubes and half fill with cold water.
6 – Place cooked eggs in the ice bath. Leave for 5 minutes.
7 – Gently crack and peel the eggs. Place back in the ice bath for 10 minutes.
8 – Place the cooled eggs into the Tare marinade. Cover with a wet piece of nori or a paper towel and weigh down. Leave for at least 4 hours, agitating every now and then to avoid white spots.
9 – To serve, cut eggs in half and float yolk-side-up in each individual bowl.

Method: Caramelised mushrooms – can be made 1-2 days in advance
1 – Melt butter in a small frying pan. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic.
2 – Cook until caramelised, adding sugar to help the process.
3 – Add a little of the tare sauce (or some splashes of mirin, sake, soy, hoisin) and cook until thick and lustrous.

Method: Assembly
1 – Have all ingredients ready to serve before the noodles begin cooking.
2 – Place ramen in a bowl.
3 – Add hot stock.
4 – Add garnishes: Nitamago eggs, pork belly, spring onions, mushrooms, tomato and whatever else you like – sesame seeds, pickled items…

ENJOY!

Cameron giving the dough stretching a go