We’re excited to bring you a new ramen recipe rooted in tradition in this article! This recipe is from Mr. Miyajima, the headmaster of Miyajima Ramen School. Established in 2001, it is the one of the most traditional ramen schools in Japan.
The Miyajima Ramen School blends theoretical and practical skills crucial to making ramen, running a ramen store, and providing hands-on experience in an actual store. More than 1,500 students have attended and graduated from the Miyajima Ramen School, both Japanese and overseas.
While the school teaches many recipes, Mr. Miyajima has graciously put together a special recipe for salted ramen that you can easily prepare at home. Please do try it and let us know how you liked it!
We’ll now look at each cooking step in detail, including tips from Mr. Miyajima.
First, let's talk about the water. According to Mr. Miyajima, the best flavor comes from softened water. The softer the water, the more Umami is extracted. Using hard water can remove odor from the meat and other ingredients, which is less than ideal. This process allows you to make a clean soup with no odor.
Also, it might be tempting to under mix the ground meat and water in the first step, but resist! Mixing it well ensures that it will cook evenly in the heat, and you’ll experience all the flavors.
Adding ginger and green onions is crucial to remove any odors. You can use the whole skin of the ginger to do so. You can also use the root or the tip of the green onions for this. Don’t have them? Don’t worry; you can swap out green onions with celery leaves.
As you might have gathered, Kombu and dried shiitake mushrooms are used to add Umami, as you know. Kombu contains glutamic acid, and dried shiitake contains guanylic acid. When these properties are combined with the inosinic acid in minced meat, it leads to a more strong flavor overall.
You can soak the mushrooms in water at a lower temperature to bring out their flavor and sweetness. To do this, soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in about 50 ml of water and leave it in the refrigerator for 6 to 12 hours and put this soaked water into the pan during Step2.
Once the heat is on, make sure to stir frequently! This prevents the minced meat from getting burnt. When the meat is cooked, you’ll see it start to float, which means you can rest your hands!
Reducing the heat to low before boiling is another step that makes a big difference to the finished product. If it boils, the soup will become cloudy, and the kelp will become soggy. You can remove the kelp at this point, as the flavor has permeated enough to get its Umami.
Another tip to remember is to strain the soup carefully and gently! Mr. Miyajima recommends straining twice. Start with a coarse mesh to catch the bigger particles, and then again through a finer mesh for perfectly clear soup.
Bear in mind that once the soup is strained, the minced meat loses some of its Umami. You can add some seasoning to make up for that so that it is extra tasty! If you want to use this recipe with salt ramen, you can simply season it with salt and pepper. If you like spicy seasoning,
you can refer to the Spicy Ground Pork recipe on Ramen Hero's Youtube page.
Usual ramen has a slightly higher salt content than this ramen. However, if you’re using Ramen Hero, the salt content is set at around 1.5%. That means if you boil 150 grams of noodles, the salt content increases by 1.5 times depending on the noodles. Since Ramen Hero has about 300 grams of soup, the overall salt content after adding the noodles will be about 0.8% to 0.9%.
On its own, the soup may be a bit salty. But when you put it all together, you’ll find that balance absolutely delicious!
Mr. Miyajima recommends adding a moderate amount of salt to this soup. In general, salt concentration of 0.8% to 1.1% is a good balance.This is the level of salt closest to the human body fluids, and it allows you to taste genuine Umami. Once you taste this soup, you’ll have a new understanding of what umami is.
For this kind of delicate and clear soup, you should use thin noodles with higher water content. The thinner the noodle, the larger the surface area of the noodle in relation to its volume, so more of the noodle will be immersed in the soup!
The other reason for using noodles with high water content is that it keeps the powder dissolving out of the noodles. If the noodles are undercooked, that powder can release and affect the soup’s flavors.
It’s why so-called "kaedama" (replacement noodles) are common in tonkotsu ramen restaurants but rare in restaurants that serve clear and delicate soup.
While this recipe is easy to make at home, it is most important that you make this ramen with the utmost care and attention to detail.
Typically, ramen is made up of five elements
In this part, let's focus on the soup, sauce, and oil. This is the trifecta that provides the
umami, flavor, richness, and salt. However, this recipe just barely includes these elements. If you’re used to eating ramen regularly, you might feel like something is missing when you try this recipe.
But that’s exactly what this recipe is designed to do! It makes you get creative and think about how to improve the taste. What elements can you add to make it even tastier? That trial and error part is one of the joys of making ramen, and this recipe is a great starting point!
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to flavor and richness, you have several options:
This kind of experimentation is how many ramen chefs have evolved ramen to its current status. Remember, there are no strict rules! It’s about experimenting with taste and flavor and bringing your ideas to the table. That’s why this recipe is one of our favorites! It’s great for those starting with making ramen and wanting to experiment, and for those that already enjoy making ramen and would like to return to their roots.