A perfect bowl of ramen noodles! and gyoza, potstickers, at your home

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 in Hiroko's Blog

Mark a calender to join my “Ramen and Gyoza” cooking class at International Culinary Center (www.internationalculinarycenter.com) in French Culinary Institute that will be held on October 24th (Saturday).   Please check the site for further information.  A perfect bowl of ramen to me means that every component in the

in the soup bowl is prepared to perfection.  This includes richly tasting piping hot broth, tender simmered pork belly, firm straight or curly noodles, crunchy fermented bamboo shoot cooked in shoyu, ramen broth and mirin (sweet cooking wine), boiled egg with slightly runny yolk in the center, and thinly sliced scallion.  When you put all these fabulous elements together in a bowl they will create a wonderful harmony of flavor, texture and aroma.  All preparation is straight-forward and needs only your focused care and attention.  Home-made ramen is not only delicious, but is quite economical.  A bowl of ramen in a restaurant in US can go up to $16-$20 after sales tax and tips are added.  This is a bit insane for me, especially since I was brought up in Japan where a wonderful bowl of ramen still costs less than $10.  Let’s prepare this hearty ramen noodle soup for this year’s Thanksgiving gathering.  Ramen is one of those disehs, like spaghetti that can be easily prepared in large quantities to feed a house full of hungry people.  Have some for lunch before the turkey feast.  Everyone will love this delightful treat!

A dish that frequently accompanies ramen is a potsticker dumplings that we call gyoza.  Gyoza are of Chinese origin, but have been thoroughly adopted by and integrated into Japanese food culture.  They are an indispensable menu item at ramen restaurants in Japan, and they are not difficult to make in a home kitchen.  An advantage of home preparation is that you can vary the stuffing to suit your own taste and dietary needs.  Although it may be convenient to use already-made gyoza wrappers purchased at Japanese or Asian food stores, we will make OUR OWN wrappers.  It is a great fun to knead the dough, feel the texture and rolling it out into small disks for the dumplings.  The reward is a hundred times better flavor and texture in the finished gyoza.  But if you are really short on time, well, go ahead and use the frozen wrappers…..story continue to next blog.