Yeah I definitely need to get some nice deep white bowls for the photography thing. Plus these are too shallow and this inner fatboy never gets enough. Damnit.
I’m such a whore for ramen, tonight we finally got to taste the Tonkotsu broth I spent two days making. Before I put it on the heat it was nice and gelatinous from all the wonderful fat and collagen rendered from the long slow low boil I put those poor hog trotters through.
Tonkotsu ramen with crispy shredded Chashu pork, Ajitsuke Tamago (simmered egg), enoki mushroom, scallion, Mayu (black garlic oil), nori and a dollop of red miso paste.
Chashu pork, in this case the Japanese variant, is rolled and tied into a log shape and then braised in a very flavorful liquid. My preferred chashu braise is sake, mirin, soy, ginger, scallion, garlic and black (Chinkiang) vinegar. It’s typically cut into thick round slabs and served atop the ramen. Mine tonight turned out just a little too tender, not that I’m complaining, so I shredded it and fried it till nice and crisp on the edges but still juicy and succulent.
Ajitsuke Tamago essentially means “flavored egg”. These are wonderful little bites. Soft boiled eggs which are peeled then soaked for a few hours in a marinade typically of soy, mirin and sake. I also use ginger and a little Chinkiang vinegar in mine. Some people just let them soak in the braising liquid from the Chashu pork which are essentially the same ingredients with the inclusion of scallion and garlic. I do prefer this method.
Most enoki that you’ll see are little clusters of long white almost flower like delicate mushrooms. They’re pale white coloring comes from being cultivated in the dark. Wild enoki, which you won’t see as often, are much shorter and wider than the cultivated variety, they also possess a brown hue. Enoki has a pleasant almost sweet taste. On the bite they’re crisp and firm. When you choose enoki make sure they are firm and white, if they’re drooping or slimy avoid them. I use mine in ramen, soups and some stir fries. Even on salads from time to time. You can keep them in their packaging in the fridge for about a week. I think they’re a great ingredient and make for a nice presentation to people unfamiliar with them.
Mayu is oil made by essentially control burning garlic in neutral oil which is then processed with sesame oil. It has a roasted, sweet taste, a little bitter with an acrid smack at the end. On its own…not so great, but in a soup or a bowl of ramen it’s pure magic.
Tonight was my husband’s first bowl of Tonkotsu ramen as well as his first marinated egg. I knew he would, but he absolutely loved it all.