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Japanese Food

January 15 2010 Japanese Food Newsletter

Hello, hello! Despite my eating plenty of mizuna in ozoni soup, I started the year with a cold. So much for superstitions. But even if soup did not prove to be a good preventive, it is definitely a great curative.

Like most Japanese, I adore ramen noodle soup. I love to cozy up under a thick futon blanket on the sofa and eat a big bowl of ramen while watching a great cable TV show. That is winter comfort. Yes, I do keep a supply of dry packaged ramen in my pantry for convenience, but frozen and fresh noodles are best. I do treat my family to homemade broths and fresh noodles when possible.

Even most Japan ramen shop owners buy their fresh noodles from a noodle-maker instead of rolling their own, but I have included a recipe for noodles sent to me from one of my aunts. I have hand-cut my own noodles but found that a pasta roller provides uniform texture. As for broths, these are my renditions of the most popular ramen types.

Shoyu Ramen Recipe
Even if you don't make your ramen (chukamen) noodles from scratch, do try to make your own ramen broth. The difference between instant ramen soup packets and homemade is similar to that of instant bouillon cubes and rich, homemade stock.

Tonkotsu, Butter Corn and Miso Ramen Recipes
Ramen enjoys a cult-like following in Japan with these three popular noodle soup broths with very different flavors.

Chukamen Ramen Noodles from Scratch Recipe
Not many people make ramen noodles from scratch when fresh noodles are so readily available at stores and restaurants, but here is a good homemade recipe in case you feel ambitious.


Your Japanese food words of the week: karai (kah-rah-ee) means salty. Karasuigiru (kah-rah-soo-ee-ghee-roo *roll the grh) means too spicy. I have had ramen that is both karai and karasuigiru! Remember, as always, to adjust recipes and its seasonings to suit your own taste. Your food should be pleasing to your palate, regardless of what the recipe states. A recipe is a guideline, not a rule. Everyone has his own sense of taste. Trust yours.

May your every dish be Oishii!

Until next time,
Chidori Phillips
BellaOnline.com Japanese Food editor

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