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Tasting Notes

The secret to this ramen broth recipe is patience.

We start by roasting duck bones to develop a rich base for the broth, and then we add the simple aromatics of carrots, onions, garlic and celery. Star anise, dried Thai chilies and fresh ginger bring spice that’s reminiscent of traditional Asian broths. Mushrooms add richness, mirin imparts a touch of sweetness and acidity, and kombu gives the broth umami, which creates a balanced flavor that stays interesting through an entire bowl of noodles. This broth needs to simmer for several hours, but as it fills your home with its delicious aroma, you’ll know that it’s worth the wait.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Perfectly pure broth. Skim your broth as it simmers, removing any impurities or bit of fat that float to the top. Skimming results in a cleaner finished product with a superior texture and presentation.
  2. Order of operations. We add the aromatics in stages, depending on how strong the ingredient is. This allows us to add just enough of the flavor of each one without any one ingredient becoming too overpowering.
  3. Scallion power. Charring the scallions before adding them to the broth imparts a rich and slightly smoky flavor that you wouldn’t get from raw scallions.

Toolbox

This tool is one we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Small mesh skimmer. A strainer that’s the size of a large spoon works very well for removing impurities from any broth as they rise to the top.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

  • Small mesh skimmer
  • Medium-sized baking sheet lined with Tin Foil
  • Medium Stock Pot
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Small bowl
  • Medium sauté pan
  • Tweezers (fingers) or tongs
  • Mesh strainer over large pot or something that will hold the broth
  • Paper towels

Ramen Broth Recipe


Ingredients
  • 4 pounds duck bones, cut into 2 inch pieces (chicken bones can be substituted)
  • Canola oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4-6 quarts cold water
  • 1 (4-by-3-inch) piece kombu
  • 3 large carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 large ribs celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 small onions, quartered
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 dried Thai chiles
  • 14 scallions
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger (about 1 ounce), peeled and finely sliced
  • 5 large king oyster mushrooms (about 6 ounces total), cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

Serves: Approximately 3 quarts

Total Time: 4 1/2 hours

Active Time: 1 1/2 hours

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Dry the bones well with paper towels. Place on baking sheet, lightly coat with canola oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast the bones in the oven until deep golden brown, about 15 minutes. Turn bones over and continue to roast until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes more. Remove from the oven and transfer to a 8-quart or larger stockpot. Add a little water to the baking sheet and use a rubber spatula to scrape all of the fat and browned bits from the tray into the pot.
  3. Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic to the stockpot with the bones and add enough water to cover by about 2 inches, between 4-6 quarts.
  4. Bring the water up to a boil over high heat and then lower and simmer slowly for 2 to 2½ hours.
  5. While the broth is simmering, rinse the kombu and place in a bowl covered with water. Let soak.
  6. Add to the pot of broth along with the soaked and strained kombu, ginger, star anise and chilies and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  7. Trim the dark green part off the scallions, leaving just the white and light green parts. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add the scallions. Sprinkle with a little salt to season. Char the scallions until dark brown and softened, about 1½ minutes. Flip and char the second side, 1½ minutes more. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb some of the oil.
  8. Pour a little more oil into pan to coat, set over medium-high heat and add chopped mushrooms. Season with a little salt and ground pepper and sauté until browned and softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  9. Add mushrooms to the pot of broth and simmer for 30 minutes more.
  10. Strain and discard solids. Degrease some of the fat off the top of the broth.
  11. Add the soy sauce, mirin, and fish sauce and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Shrimp & vegetable soup

For a light, simple dinner, steam some vegetables and poach shrimp directly in the broth. As soon as the shrimp turns pink, turn off the heat, add the vegetables to the broth and serve immediately.

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