I don't know if you've noticed but I've been a little bit obsessed with ramen lately. This obsession reached its apotheosis when I signed up to a ramen class at Yuki's Kitchen. Yuki doesn't usually run ramen classes, but a pair of fellow noodle fanatics asked her to run one, which I subsequently also signed up to.
The class was a demonstration on how to make shoyu ramen with Japanese cha siu (醤油チャーシューラーメン), a noodle classic if there ever was one! Over the course of three hours or so, Yuki rustled up some chicken stock, prepared some Japanese cha siu, and assembled a cracking bowl of ramen. Some of you may be thinking that this is a bit quick, but it's not impossible with the aid of a pressure cooker. Moreover, the course was more about Yuki sharing her knowledge about the techniques used rather than attaining noodle nirvana.
I'm not going to give away all of Yuki's tips and tricks, as otherwise there's a danger that you may not sign up to the course! However, I do want share with you some of the things that I learnt. For example, I discovered that Japanese cha siu is very different from the Cantonese original, as the pork is braised rather than roasted or BBQ'ed. For a twist, Yuki added green tea and sake to the shoyu (soy sauce) in the braising liquor – proper genius.
After the cha siu was cooked and sliced, Yuki started assembling the bowl of ramen. The soup was made by combining the chicken stock with a glug of the braising liquor. Added to this were perfectly cooked al dente ramen noodles (sadly, the noodles used are only available in Japan). The accoutrements of negi (spring onion), wakame (seaweed) and nori (dried seaweed) were added together with half a boiled egg, and finally, a few slices of cha siu pork.
The finished article was a belter, although without wishing to sound too churlish, the pork could've been tenderer. But as I mentioned earlier, time wasn't really on our side and it's more important to learn the techniques.
I certainly picked up a lot of knowledge from Yuki, and that's in no small part to her enthusiasm and passion for food. So if you have some spare time then I recommend popping along to one of her courses.
The ramen course cost £50, which includes the ingredients - for further details about the Japanese cooking courses that Yuki runs, please check out her website. I learnt about Yuki's class through Edible Experiences, an online resource that helps you discover food & drink experiences in London – for further details click on the logo below: