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Ramen - Minneapolis-St. Paul Dish of the Month (Dec 2012)

Dave MP Dec 3, 2012 09:09 AM

The dish of the month for Minneapolis for Dec 2012 is ramen. Here's a link to the voting thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/879929

The goal is to collectively try as many versions of ramen as possible during the month of December! So let's start exploring and eating—report back with reviews and photos.

All types of ramen are fair game. Looking forward to seeing what people find.

  1. m
    mull0263 Dec 9, 2012 11:29 AM

    Had the spicy seafood ramen at Fuji Ya St. Paul on Friday for lunch (ramen is only on the lunch menu there). The broth is miso based with some decent kick to it. I am a glutton for spice and though the broth was great - very strong miso flavoring with a balanced amount of heat (not overpowering, but subtly spicy). The noodles aren't bad (egg noodles) and the rest of the dish contained shitake mushrooms, shallots, squid, scallops and shrimp. Overall, though I'm certainly not a ramen expert, I thought it was very good and certainly something I'll return for with the falling temps and snow.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mull0263
      eajohnso2000 Dec 27, 2012 11:07 AM

      I had the pork belly ramen at Masu last week. This was my first experience with ramen that wasn't of the 25 cents per package variety. So, I am not really sure what I should have been expecting.

      I really liked the noodles, nice and chewy but not gummy or soft. I also liked the greens.

      The pork belly and shoulder were both fine, nothing out of the ordinary.

      I was diappointed with the broth. It did not have as much flavor as I would have liked, in fact, I thought it was rather bland on its own. Maybe the broth is supposed to be as such but I would have preferred a deeper flavor, something more savory that you could consume on its own.

      While the ramen was fine, I would try other ramen before returning to this one.

      1. re: eajohnso2000
        JimGrinsfelder Jan 3, 2013 01:07 PM

        Unidel is my current favorite. I like to buy 1/4 lb of the BBQ Pork and have them slice it and I add it for extra meaty ramen.

        Zen Box Izakaya is pretty good.

        I'd like to try Tanpopo and Midori.

    2. c
      ChancesR Dec 3, 2012 01:02 PM

      While it would be a pricey bowl of broth if you weren't traveling somewhere, there is Taste of Shoyu in MSP airport near the entrance to Terminal G in the old Wolfgang Puck location. I haven't tried it yet but the glass cube housing a gal making fresh noodles looked mighty impressive.

      1. The Dairy Queen Dec 3, 2012 09:52 AM

        Woohoo! December = Ramen-O-Rama!

        Sadly, I am a ramen neophyte, but I like soup and I like noodles and I like delicious, so I should be in good to go, right?

        We had a list of Twin Cities places that serve ramen going on in the nominations discussion. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8795... I guess from that list I could easily try

        UniDeli (closed Mondays!)

        Any other places to add to the list in the nominations discussion which were:

        Tanpopo (only Mondays?)
        Zen Box Izakaya
        Fuji-ya (lunch only?)
        Nami (lunch only?)


        14 Replies
        1. re: The Dairy Queen
          justalex Dec 3, 2012 10:27 AM

          I did try the ramen at UniDeli, though it was several months ago. Like you, I am a ramen neophyte. The noodles were plentiful and had a nice bite to them, not soggy at all. A little bit of a turnoff to me was the milky like broth. I guess I am more in the pho camp.

          The additions to the ramen were very good and included a soft cooked egg, twice-cooked pork(?) and some aromatics and veggies. It was a huge amount and between the three of us we couldn't finish it, though we had other entrees to enjoy.

          1. re: justalex
            bkmnus Dec 3, 2012 11:40 AM

            Love the pork tankatsu ramen at Unideli and love the piggy white broth!

            While not as good as soodubu for fending off an impending cold the ramen at Unideli remains a frugal favorite!

            1. re: bkmnus
              justalex Dec 3, 2012 03:32 PM

              Can you tell me why the broth is white? It was very tasty but I don't get the whiteness. Pork fat? Egg white?

              Not trying to be snarky, just want to understand the flavors and appearance. As I said, the flavor was good. I look forward to other ramen reports.

              1. re: justalex
                bkmnus Dec 3, 2012 03:41 PM

                My understanding is that the whiteness comes from the long boiling time with pork bones. Essentially the bones are boiled so aggressively for so long that some of the calcium and other minerals of the bones end up in the broth.

                1. re: justalex
                  steamer Dec 3, 2012 04:47 PM

                  The tonkotsu stock is boiled and the pork fat and cartilage kind of emulsifies.
                  here is a japanese video
                  Tonkotsu Ramen 田中商店 (東京)


                  1. re: steamer
                    jeff55432 Dec 3, 2012 05:43 PM

                    Traditional pork ramen is made with pig trotters (feet), not just any type of pork bone. For some reason, the broth ends up white. I have tried to make it with rib bones before and it ends up dark. However, like bkmnus said, I prefer soodubu (which can be made with ramen noodles; Korean Raymun is the BOMB) over Japanese ramen any day. But then I like things spicy :)

                    1. re: jeff55432
                      steamer Dec 3, 2012 06:31 PM

                      Maybe your expertise lies in the realm of Korean soup, but for tonkotsu soup pig trotters are not traditional. You could probably use them, but the norm is the marrow rich genkotsu--the leg bones and hip and shoulder joints.

                      1. re: steamer
                        jeff55432 Dec 3, 2012 07:43 PM

                        OK, I stand corrected :)

                        1. re: steamer
                          jeff55432 Dec 3, 2012 07:55 PM

                          Speaking of Korean ramen, someone was going to open a Korean Ramen/Noodle house in St. Paul (He or she had advertised it on craigslist a few months ago and then the ad disappeared). We could really use something like that here in Mpls/St. Paul. Imagine Korean BBQ pork in some kind of broth with ramen noodles and kimchi and all that other good stuff they throw in. I would be the first in line!

                          1. re: jeff55432
                            daniellempls Dec 11, 2012 09:58 PM

                            Speaking of Korean Ramen, I just put a plug in a different post, but the Kim Chee Ramen at 3 Tiers is amazing. They make their own Kim Ce and that is the foundation of the broth, with noodles, choice of meat, sous vide egg, bean sprouts, cilantro. Oh yummy bowl of goodness. The Kim Chee is wonderful!! And spicy as heck, but worth it!

                        2. re: jeff55432
                          justalex Dec 3, 2012 06:35 PM

                          Thanks all for the explanation of the broth. I learn a lot here. Chow is great!

                  2. re: justalex
                    The Dairy Queen Dec 3, 2012 10:05 PM

                    It will be fun to see how you think UniDeli ramen compares to other renditions this month. I think UniDeli's ramen looks splendid with it's milky broth (I've only seen it on other diners' tables--never tried it).


                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                      docfood Dec 4, 2012 05:58 PM

                      I have had unideli's ramen and it is fabulous. Rich, deep, aromatic, with glistening noodles and bits. Heavenly.

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        bkmnus Jan 3, 2013 07:06 PM

                        Unideli's tonkatsu is a steal but you really should check out the kimchi ramen at 3 Tiers (formerly Scandia Bakery).

                        A good deal at the price for the ramen with perfectly cooked poached egg is even better with even more protein to order.

                        So damn good is all I can say.

                  3. j
                    justalex Dec 3, 2012 09:34 AM

                    Dave, You made me giggle with tamale ramen. If I find a rendition of that dish, I'll report back.

                    Seriously though, thanks for managing this thread. You strike me as an individual with a lot on his plate. I'm interested in the ramen reviews. Thanks for hosting!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: justalex
                      Dave MP Dec 3, 2012 09:56 AM

                      Haha, sorry about that. Copying and pasting from SF, where this month is tamales :)

                      And yes, lots on my plate these days....though one thing that I have not encountered on my plate so far is tamale-ramen. Although it wouldn't surprise me if that exists somewhere!

                      1. re: Dave MP
                        justalex Dec 3, 2012 10:17 AM

                        Hee! There's probably a level of deliciousness to be found there somewhere. Thanks again and I look forward to yummy ramen posts.

                        1. re: justalex
                          Dave MP Dec 3, 2012 10:23 AM

                          Thanks! Hope you will provide some ramen reviews as well!

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