As the weather takes on a cool edge, we're turning away from the citrusy, light and bright flavours of summer and seeking out dishes that comfort. One meal that leaps to mind is Japan's beloved noodle soup: ramen. Brothy and body-warming, there's no greater consolation than that you find hunched over a steaming bowl of silky noodles and Chashu pork come wintertime.
Sure, you can trek to your favourite ramen spot (and that'll no doubt seem more attractive when you're five hours deep into David Chang's ramen recipe) but who wants to leave the nest when it's raining outside? Especially if there's a hearty smell emanating for your stock pot. So whether you prefer the gelatinous Tonkotsu style, a salty Shoyu broth or the clean and briney taste of Shio ramen, read on for our five favourite ramen recipes. Fair warning, if it's a traditional bowl you seek, embrace the long and laboured process—it's worth it!
Chaco Ramen's Fat Soy Ramen
Chaco Ramen serves up the best ramen in Sydney and no, I won't hear otherwise. Although its owner Keita Abe is from Fukuoka, where the pork broth known as tonkotsu originated, his own iteration is not strictly traditional, preferring to be guided by a nose-to-tail ethos instead. Luckily for us, Abe has generously shared his recipe for Chaco's famed Fat Soy Ramen. Alternatively, you can buy a frozen pack for two to cook at home.
Afuri-style Shio Yuzu Ramen
For those whose love of ramen runs deep, get your mouth around a spoonful of this one from Afuri. Australia's Adam Liaw takes us through his own interpretation of the Japanese institution's popular Shio Yuzu style. The addition of yuzu is a stroke of brilliance and makes for a vibrant, more aromatic broth, cutting through the onslaught of salt. Find the chef's guide to making a basic ramen broth here also.
David Chang's Momofuku Cookbook Ramen
Clear your schedules this one is a project. The recipe calls for an intimidating 20 hours of preparation and cooking time, so don't start it hungry. But we're yet to find a David Chang recipe we don't like. So while we're loath to apply this saying to any other aspect of life, it feels apt here. If it's worth it it won't come easy.
Danny Bowien's Mapo Ramen
Danny Bowien looks to the Chinese province of Sichuan to conjure up this non-traditional but undeniably delicious bowl of ramen. Moderately spicy and generating that tongue-numbing sensation we appreciate about sichuan pepper, this one is a journey. Slurp away!
Sophia Roe's Vegan Ramen
If you're obsessed with Japanese umami but are no match for the lardons of pork fat necessary to make it, then may I refer you to the work of Sophia Roe? Her take is earthy and anchored by kabocha squash and tufts of mushroom. Plus, it's almost as simple to cook as a bowl knocked up by a uni student approaching rent day.