A Special Look Into One Chef’s Iconic Ramen Dish
Culinary arts programs online are the start of your food education. When you head out into the real world to work in a restaurant and build dishes and flavor profiles, you have to perfect the craft and gain experience through practice. Ivan Orkin, an American chef, perfected a Japanese dish that has garnered the seal of approval from Tokyo chefs: ramen. He recently made a video with Nowness to document the process with which he makes this beloved noodle dish.
In the video Orkin says there are eight main components to his recipe:
1. Noodles: In many dishes noodles or pasta have a subtle, almost nonexistent flavor, but Orkin maintains that his noodles have an aromatic quality and a “texture experience.” He has a mini factory whipping up the noodles to his specifications.
2. Soup: Broth is the next important component to Orkin’s ramen. He makes two different soups, one simply made from whole chickens and water. The other is created with smoky fish and is filled with umami flavor notes.
3. Pork chashu: If you’ve ever been to an authentic ramen house and been served the iconic dish, you’ll know what pork chashu is. But if not, it’s a piece of fatty pork that is served warm right in the soup. Orkin cuts a large chunk and tosses it into his ramen.
4. Shio Tare: All soups need a flavor base and ramen’s comes from shio tare. Orkin makes his by combining a variety of salts together with other ingredients. In the video he revealed it was like a sofrito, which is a mix of spices and vegetables used in Latin American cuisine.
5. Eggs: You’ll often see half-cooked eggs on top of a ramen dish. Orkin cooks his until the white part is firm, while trying to keep the yolk as liquid as possible.
6. Fat: Orkin says that fat is a major component of ramen and it wouldn’t be the same without it. However, he doesn’t add a lot – just enough to let the soup stick to the noodles.
7. Fish powder: If you’re wondering where ramen broth gets all its flavor, it might be the fish powder. It adds a kick to the dish for a wow factor.
8. Scallions: For a bit of freshness and to the enhance the soup, Orkin adds scallions on top. He also says this adds some sophistication to the ramen.