04.27.14: ramen (with quail eggs!)

Ramen with quail eggs, scallions, quick pickles, and chicken thighs

Ramen with quail eggs, scallions, quick pickles, and chicken thighs

A few months ago when the weather was extremely cold and grey and we were in search of serious culinary projects, Michael and I finally broke down and made ramen completely from scratch, including the noodles. The stand mixer and pasta machine were brought out, dough was wrestled with, and we watched the “Noodle” and “Tokyo” episodes of Mind of a Chef at least twice that Sunday as I wrestled with the extremely elastic dough. Our copies of Momofuku and Ivan Ramen were splayed out on the counter as we needed to reference them, and the whole apartment was infused with the scent of roasted pork bones and poached chicken as the broth simmered all day.

I had to bake a few batches of sodium carbonate so I would have more than enough to add to the dough mixture, and Michael felt compelled to write out the equation on the kitchen chalkboard because of course he did.

Science!

Science!

That first batch of from-scratch ramen came out exceptionally well: light, hearty, and oh those noodles had just the right amount of chewiness. We didn’t use all of the six-ounce portions that night so the rest went into the freezer, and this weekend we both decided it was time to finally use them.

Wrapped noodles, the day they were made.

Wrapped noodles, the day they were made.

I mean, it’s still kind of chilly out: yes it’s only April, but it’s the end of April and frankly, it’s time for the weather  to be more consistently in the 60s. I know I’ll probably be regretting my words come July when it’s swelteringly hot outside, but right now I could use a nice jolt of slightly unseasonable warmth. In the absence of that, I suppose ramen will have to suffice, albeit with the addition of some fun new additions.

MOAR QUAIL EGGS PLEASE

MOAR QUAIL EGGS PLEASE

Since Fairway has recently started stocking quail eggs and duck eggs, I felt inspired to soft-boil a bunch to include as a sort of garnish to the soup this time around, and oh, that was the right decision. They’re a bit of a pain to peel, but they take so little time to make (just 2:20 in boiling water, then plunged into an ice bath) that it’s worth the delicate task of stripping off the shell. Soft-boiled quail eggs belong in everything, I’ve decided.

Well, if they can’t be in everything, a slew of them work perfectly in ramen—it’s easier to spread out the love and get runny yolk on more noodles, and they add just the right amount of heft to the soup. I wolfed my bowl down in part because it was so delicious and in part because I had dessert to get ready…but that deserves its own post, for reasons you will soon understand.*

Please forgive the lack of recipe, but ramen preparation instructions are not well-suited for a blog post. At least not yet.

*The dessert, to be honest, was pretty damn epic considering that we had just made ramen all day too.

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8 comments
  1. Brianne said:

    Oh my gosh, QUAIL EGGS. These things make me squee. Though perhaps RAMEN FROM SCRATCH is just as (possibly more!) squee-worthy. I love the Momofuku cookbook, and I’ve wanted Ivan Ramen since I learned it was going to be a thing. It sounds glorious. Mad props for going all out here!

    • Come to New York and we can go to the Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop together! The proper Ivan Ramen shop should be opening soon too, but in the meantime the West Gotham Market location is a good option. :)

      But I have to say that I’m pretty stoked about the quail eggs, because there’s this tapa I’ve been dying to make and I never had quail eggs at my disposal to make it, so hopefully I can finally right that wrong.

  2. biz319 said:

    That looks amazing! Here is a tip, put an inch of water in the bottom of a pot with a lid on it. Add the cooled quail eggs and with the lid on, shake the pot back and forth for a minute and the shells will fall off – works with any hard boiled egg!

    • I actually just saw a similar tip on Alton Brown’s new Cook Smart series with his oven-baked eggs, only with no water. I’ll have to give it a try, but I’m worried that it might take off too much of the white because the eggs are technically soft-boiled and not hard, you know?

      Hope big T is doing well!

  3. That looks great minus the noodles because I eat GF – Anyways I just started raising quail and I can hardly wait for them to start laying eggs. Carole at GardenUp green

    • Thanks! I’m going to guess that GF ramen noodles would be particularly difficult to make because you use bread dough instead of regular AP to get the extra protein content, but I’m sure that rice noodles or similar would still make for an excellent soup.

  4. seriously, quail and duck eggs? i WOULD love your Fairway! I almost never see those around here…i need to go on a hunt at some point to see who stocks them or who could get them in. and this ramen…YES. From scratch ramen is on my list of projects to tackle (and i’m probably using the word “tackle” very literally), and i’m scared, but i will do it someday. What you do in your kitchen is always so inspiring to me: not the opposite of what i do, but in the way that sometimes I think you and i together would be UNSTOPPABLE. :) You inspire me a great deal to branch out.

    • Shannon, if you ever wanted to team up, I would be SO for it!

      While it’s not consistent at all, I have been able to find both duck and quail eggs at local Whole Foods, and I bet if you asked they might be able to order some for you…

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