Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ramen Breakfast - Sumire's Packaged Shio And Shoyu

I brought back with me a bunch of packaged nama raw noodle type ramen samples from the Shinyokohama Raumen Museum and the short 2~3 week expiration dates they had, it was a small challenge trying to finish them all in time. So the end of last month I've been waking up a half hour earlier during the weekday mornings to have some tasty ramen breakfast. Pardon the bluish cast in the light, these were literally had the break of dawn while sparrows were chirping and newspapers being delivered..

The two I'm sharing tonight are from Sumire, the Sapporo based shop famed for their amazing Miso Ramen. Turns out they make a Shio (salt) and Shoyu (soy sauce) flavored as well and I was curious to try them.

The cooking instructions for the noodles were 2~3 mins so I averaged a 2.5 mins for the tad firmer noodles that I prefer. The suggested amount of hot water for the soup was 300~350cc which I again Pyrex'd to the middle at around 325cc.

These particular packs came with some very flavorful crunchy menma (marinated bamboo shoots) but without any protein so during both mornings I made some quick soft boiled eggs. The eggs were purchased from the farmers market the weekend before and were extremely fresh. Despite being un-marinated in flavor they turned out to be super toppings.

The soup concentrate was surprisingly dark and opaque visually almost as miso would be, and the separate packet of lard was telling it was also pre-flavored full of aromatics. Not surprising the resulting soup (made with a combination of pork, chicken, and dried fish) was bold in flavor and packed a punch easily trumping some rather bland shoyu's in town.

I may have experienced more nuanced clear Shio's but as with Sumire's famous Miso, their Shio flavor was almost as equally deep rich for this type of ramen. The experience of a proper bowl at their shop I could only guess but coming from a convenient package and all, pretty impressive. The curly bright yellow noodles were certainly wonderful considering as well.

If Sumire's Shio concentrate reminded me that of miso, their Shoyu concentrate reminded me that of black sesame paste! (The contents from the separate lard packet followed after.)

Came with the same great noodles as well as the crunchy flavorful menma. I followed the same steps of cooking, a half minute shy for firmer noodles and half way between the suggested amounts of water for the soup.

And whoa, check out how dark the soup was! The Shoyu had an almost Maillard reaction induced deep koku to its taste with a lightly sweet caramel fragrance. It also had a noticeable smokey Niboshi dried fish component compared to the Shio.

As much as I enjoyed it, it seemed to have a curiously faint bitter aftertaste, so I couldn't consider it an all time favorite Shoyu Ramen of mine but the bold character it did have I definitely wouldn't mind revisiting it once in a while. Hopefully then with more proper protein and veggie toppings.


K and S said...

hmm wonder why it would be bitter, still looks like a great bowl though.

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kat! I'm not sure, it could've been cause it was just the packaged version. It was still quite good, just had an ever so faintly bitter after taste..

K and S said...

I notice sometimes you need to pour hot water over the noodles to take off a film on them, though I don't know if that was on the directions for these :)

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kat, these noodles you'd cook in boiling water just like a ramen-ya would. In fact I had my fancy chinese strainer with me. :) The soup is often suggested to be heated in a separate pot as well but I opted to pour the measured hot water straight into the bowl with the concentrate.
They both could've benefited with better toppings. I used to make my own chasu with pork shoulder back in the day. Next time!

kirbie said...

Ramen for breakfast! Sounds like so much fun. ;-)

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kirbie! I'm not much of a morning person but the meal was a small incentive.. ;) And I've been eating salads for lunch to offset, haha.

meemalee said...

I love your dedication - getting up early to try them all :)

Dennis K. said...

Hi meemalee! I'm never much of a morning person but this I was able to do. ;)

edjusted said...

I guess the egg makes it breakfast, right? ;)