Talk Of The Town


Sarah Gavigan's Ramen Otaku: Making Ramen at Home

Posted at 12:20 PM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-22 13:20:47-04

Sarah Gavigan made Shoyu Ramen and gave tips on how to cook ramen at home. (see recipe below) Sarah's new cookbook, Ramen Otaku, is available November 13 wherever you buy your books. Otaku Ramen is located at 1104 Division St., Nashville, TN  37203.  For more information,

Shoyu Ramen // SERVES 4

Shoyu (soy) ramen is my go-to bowl. It’s bright and flavorful, and if it’s well balanced, the umami is outstanding. In other words, it’s a very satisfying ramen. Like the shio, the shoyu is also a double soup. The dashi, although it doesn’t seem like a key ingredient, adds amino acids, creating pure umami when it’s combined with the soy.


4 slices Rolled Pork Belly (Chashu)

2 cups greens, such as whole -leaf spinach, bok choy, mustard greens, or turnip greens

2 Soy Eggs

4 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions (green parts only)

4 (1 x 4-inch) sheets roasted nori


8 tablespoons Shoyu Tare

4 tablespoons chicken fat

4 tablespoons Niboshi Oil

4 pinches ground white pepper

4 pinches of ground katsuobushi

4 cups chintan broth

2 cups dashi broth

18 ounces fresh ramen noodles or 12 ounces, dried


1. Bring the chashu to room temperature.

2. Blanch the greens: In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.

3. The idea is to poach the whole leaf, stem included, for presentation and texture. When the water is

boiling, add the greens and cook for about 30 seconds. Immediately plunge the greens into the ice

water, pat them dry, and lay the leaves vertically next to one another on a cutting board. Cut the leaves

into 2-inch strips and set aside.


4. Fill your biggest pot three-quarters full with water over high heat to bring the water to a boil, ideally

with a strainer (or double boiler with holes) that fits into it. Meanwhile, make sure your serving bowls

and all toppings, tare, and fats are laid out for easy access. Mark each serving bowl with 2 tablespoons

of the tare, 1 tablespoon of the fat, 1 tablespoon of the niboshi oil, 1 pinch of the pepper, and 1 pinch of

the fish powder.

5. In a separate large pot affixed with a temperature gauge over medium heat, combine the chintan and

the dashi and heat the broth to 190°F (do not boil).

6. Slice the soy eggs in half and set aside.

7. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions, minus a few seconds of cooking time, as the noodles will continue to cook in the hot broth.

8. When the noodles have about 30 seconds of cooking time left, ladle 1½ cups of broth into each bowl. When the noodles are done, pull the strainer containing them out of the hot water, and using chopsticks, divide the noodles as evenly as possible among the serving bowls, working as quickly as you can.

9. Once the noodles are in, use chopsticks to lightly stir them around, so that the broth and fat evenly coat each noodle. Then grab as many noodles as possible, pull them upward out of the broth, and lay them flat across the top, creating a sort of raft on which to lay the toppings.

10. To each bowl, add 1 slice of the chashu, ¼ cup of the blanched greens, 1 tablespoon of the scallions, half an egg, and 1 sheet of the nori. Serve immediately.

Reprinted from Ramen Otaku: Mastering Ramen at Home by arrangement with Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright ©2018.