Pork Ramen

Ingredients

170 g fresh ramen
8 cups water
400 g of pork back bones
200 g of pork back fat
800 g of pork shoulder
2 cloves garlic
4 slices ginger
1 leek
1/8 onion
4 oz carrot, cut into 1 cm thick slices
3 oz bean sprouts
4 oz cabbage
2 tsp minced garlic

Seasoning

300 ml of sweet soy sauce
100 ml of mirin
1 tbsp salt

Method

  1. Cook back bones, back fat, garlic, ginger, leek, onion and carrot with water using a pressure cooker for two hours.
  2. Open the cover and add 400 g pork shoulder. Close cover and simmer for 1 hour at ambient pressure.
  3. Brush soy sauce on the remaining 400 g of pork shoulder and set aside for 30 minutes.
  4. Add pork to the soup and simmer for 2 hours with the lid partially covered. Season the soup with salt.
  5. Mix the seasoning ingredient in a saucepan.
  6. Remove the pork shoulder from the soup and put them in the seasoning. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and cut into thick slices. There are more pork than necessary for two bowls of ramen. Reserve for other meals.
  7. Continue to cook the soup under low heat before use to promote emulsification.
  8. Cook bean sprouts and cabbage in boiling water until done.
  9. Cook the ramen in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and put into two serving bowls.
  10. Add pork, vegetables and minced garlic on top of ramen. Pour hot soup over and serve.

Makes 2 bowls of ramen.

Source: Japanese magazine

Don’t Just Eat that Ramen: Go to A Museum and Learn About It

There are two kinds of ramen in this world. There’s the packaged staple of dorm-room cuisine, one of the most processed, industrialized foods ever invented. And then there’s the trendy, artisanal, handmade soup that fans line up for hours to try.

But in Japan, ramen isn’t just for eating: There are entire museums devoted to it. Yokohama, a short train ride from Tokyo, has one museum for instant ramen and another for handmade ramen, and both offer samples to taste or take home.

At the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum (the extra u gives the word a retro feel), you’ll find nine shops showcasing different styles of ramen. The English brochure helpfully describes the soup at each, noting whether the noodles are straight, curly or wrinkled, and how thick they are using a five-point scale. The richness of the broth is also rated on a five-point scale.

At each shop, you order and pay for your ramen in an old-fashioned way, via a ticket vending machine in front with photos on the buttons. Some varieties are offered in small portions so you can try more than one type, although for some visitors, one small portion will be enough. If you can’t tell, ask the staff which button is mini-ramen (the term is the same in both languages).

A bit overwhelmed, my friend and I chose the nearest shop that didn’t have a line, selling ramen from a replica of a shop in Kyushu (in the south of Japan) founded in 1954. The broth was delicious as were the crumbles of roasted garlic sprinkled on top. Straight noodles the exact thickness of spaghetti made a less exotic impression than I’d hoped for, so pay attention to that helpful brochure.

Other choices include what’s claimed to be the most famous miso ramen in the country, from Hokkaido, and a replication of soup from a shop in Tohoku that was swept away in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. I was just a few days too early to try a newly opening shop from the global chain Ippudo, which has 40 branches outside Japan and was advertising noodles made from baguette crumbs, plus broth combining French consomme and Japanese dashi stock.

The ramen shops are located in a two-story re-creation of a romantically shabby 1958 city shopping district, eternally bathed in twilight. (The year was chosen for the birthdate of instant ramen.) There are also movie posters and shop facades for a post office and pawn shop, along with a real store selling old-fashioned candy and toys. It’s a period that evokes nostalgia for the Japanese. Some things may also be familiar to Americans of a certain age, like a vintage Coke machine.

In the gift shop, you can assemble a customized package of ramen to take home, choosing from different kinds of vacuum-packed fresh noodles, soup flavor and flavored oil, with a personalized label. The shop also sells prepackaged ramen, bowls, spoons and other souvenirs. Nearby are exhibits about ramen in Europe, regional ramen around Japan and historic ramen-making implements.

Then, if you’re weary of foodie seriousness about what is, after all, simple noodle soup, the antidote is just a short train or subway ride away: Yokohama also has a branch of the Cup Noodle Museum.

Where Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum is a food theme park for adults, Cup Noodle Museum is designed for kids. The small print on its brochure notes that it’s formally named the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum after the inventor of instant ramen. Run by an educational foundation that Ando started, the fun here is designed to support some high-minded goals with exhibits about creativity and invention.

Non-Japanese speakers get to skip the lessons except for what’s printed in the English brochure. Exhibits include a reproduction of the modest shack where Ando invented Chicken Ramen, a display of the astonishing number of varieties of instant ramen that the Nissan Food Products company has produced since then, and a food court called Noodles Bazaar, said to reproduce an “Asian night market” and “eight varieties of noodles that Ando encountered during his travels in search of ramen’s origins.” The food stands include Italian pasta, Vietnamese pho, and dishes from Kazakhstan, China, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. And there’s a play area (an extra 300 yen) where kids can experience the Cup Noodle manufacturing process from the point of view of the noodle.

The main attraction here, though, is the make-your-own section. For a separate fee for a timed ticket, kids (or adults) can make their own personal Cup Noodle, decorating the cup, then putting in the noodles and choosing the soup and toppings. Watch the lid get sealed and the whole cup shrink-wrapped, then your creation is enclosed in a cool protective package that you pump air into to cushion it on the trip home. There’s also the much more involved Chicken Ramen Factory, a 90-minute session where participants make the noodles from scratch.

Source: The Associated Press

Video: Eight Steps to Perfect Ramen by Chef Ivan Orkin

Watch slideshow at You Tube (2:10 minutes) . . . . .

Vitamin D Supplements Might Slow Prostate Cancer, Study Suggests

But it’s too early to make blanket recommendation, expert says.

Vitamin D supplements may slow or prevent low-grade prostate cancer from progressing, a small new study suggests.

“Vitamin D decreases inflammation in tissues, and inflammation is a driver of cancer,” explained Bruce Hollis, the study’s lead researcher and a professor of pediatrics, biochemistry and molecular biology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

For the study, researchers randomly assigned 37 men who elected to have their prostate removed to receive either 4,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D or an inactive placebo daily for 60 days before their operation.

When the prostate gland was examined after their surgery, researchers found that many who received vitamin D had improvements in their prostate tumors, while the tumors in the placebo group remained the same or got worse.

“In greater than 60 percent of those taking it, vitamin D actually made the cancer better,” said Hollis.

Hollis reported that in some cases the tumor shrank and in others the cancer went away. However, the study was small, and results from a larger trial aren’t expected for several years, he added.

Doctors often recommend a “watch and wait” period for men with low-grade, or less aggressive, prostate tumors. But many patients and their families aren’t comfortable waiting and opt to have surgery before it’s deemed medically necessary. These findings suggest that taking vitamin D might help reduce the need for such radical treatment.

But Dr. Anthony D’Amico, chief of radiation oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said that this study was too small to reach any definitive conclusion about the value of vitamin D in fighting prostate cancer.

“It’s premature to make any conclusions,” he said. The findings also need to be replicated in a much larger number of patients, D’Amico said.

D’Amico stressed that men should not start taking vitamin D supplements in hopes of slowing or curing prostate cancer.

Vitamin D, known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is produced by the body when it’s exposed to sun. It’s also found in fortified dairy products and fatty fish.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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