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.
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.
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.
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.