Ramen Bowl Composition
I have been researching Ramen Culture for a few months now and am still looking for a source to tell me how to properly compose a ramen bowl. What goes in first? what are the proper ramen toppings? I'd prefer to learn the traditional methods so I know what to look for while ramen hunting...
Please share your wisdom with me.
If you're talking about Japanese ramen, see this discussion--> http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/354177 .
Broth or dashi goes in first, followed by base ingredient, sometimes followed by a finisher like extra oil/ fat, followed by noodles, followed by toppings.
Ramen is ultimately judged by the quality of the soup- though other components, especially noodles, are also important. Many shops, even very good famous ones, will outsource the noodles to specialist purveyors.
Try going to your local Asian grocery, In the refrigerated or frozen section. If the ramen-looking noodles have the ingredients "sodium carbonate" or "potassium carbonate". it will do well. Those mineral salts are what's in kansui, used for centuries for springy ramen noodles.
For "traditional composition" of the toppings: it varies from region to region, and then from shop to shop therein. The classic ramen scene in Tampopo is but one of many. What counts, as the old man said, is the Zen of the Ingestion.
Try searching in Google Images for ramen, and many many possibilities for composition will show up, from which you can choose.
No I do not know of any here. I would guess that most noodles are made rather industrially and contain preservatives, etc. Ippudo a ramen shop in NYC makes their own, though there are an exception. The specialists in Japan will make and deliver daily. Some of the specialists have been around for a long time.
You might want to check out GoRamen.com; he's an LA ramen chowhound who's currently in Japan, studying ramen-making. IIRC for one of his reviews, he said that Myojo makes noodles for a local ramen-ya.