SkyeCooks: Shoyu Ramen Soup

Learning how to cook is my latest hobby. Over the past years I experimented with variations of eggs (Julia Child omelettes etc), soba noodles, the occasional cake/pie/cookie, and lots of pancakes. This year, I wanted to start cooking my own broth and soups.

I'm a huge noodle lover, I love all sorts of noodles! I love banmian, kuaytiao, yangchun mian, mian xian, yellow noodles, ramen, udon, soba, instant noodles and etc. I love my noodles in the morning, for lunch, or for dinner. However, I usually have my noodles with soup. This means I really, really love my instant noodles. Hands up for all of you who love Shin, Jin, Maggi and Indomie!!! But I'm really trying to be healthier and consume less of this so I want to make my own soups instead. With ready-made broth at hand, it would be easy to whip up a quick meal at home.

So I YouTubed "how to make ramen soup" and came across this video:

Ramen soup looks doable, doesn't it? Of course, the end result will not be restaurant standard but that's not what I was aiming for anyway. I just wanted a hearty, flavoured soup that goes well with my noodle meals~

I've tried making simple vegetable soups before, but not a soup that had to be simmered over a small fire for 3 hours! I was really excited to try this. If it was a success, I would have a new notch on my belt! Small culinary successes for someone who is called "kitchen idiot" at home.

(Lol. I'm rated 4 at home now, OUT OF FOUR PEOPLE. The title of best cook will definitely go to my mum. Right now I would say my dad and my sister are a tie.)

Later in the week, I went on a grocery run with my dad and sister to gather ingredients.

Got a huge leek to my amusement. When I was in Japan, people were always cycling home with huge leeks peeking out from their grocery bags - that's how much leeks are used in Japanese cuisine. 

Pork bones are also one of the main ingredients. In her video, SeonkYoung uses pork neck, but I couldn't find them. We settled on some pork ribs from the frozen section (about $5). Since we had less pork bones to start with, I also did 1/3 of the recipe instead. (Dad thinks this is a good idea since there's less soup to waste if I screw up too XD)

Dad picked up some Prima Wholegrain LaMian too, just to try. (It's not bad, but can be a rather big portion for one person, so adjust accordingly. Chewy noodles.)

I also found a small can of sake ($6 or so) and mirin ($1.40) in the Japanese section (Fairprice Finest). We had other stuff like ginger and garlic at home too. 

Konbu (dried seaweed/kelp) was SO EXPENSIVE! In Fairprice it was about $12 for 70g (!!!!). My sister went to the Korean Mart which was having a sale and got me two 150g packets of konbu for $6 instead. LOL.

We didn't follow her recipes to the tee. Instead of blanching the pork, we slowly boiled them a bit to 'wash' them and let all the blood and etc come out.  

Cut the other ingredients and put them in! The three hour countdown begins!
This was me scooping soup scum out, to make a clear soup. By now there's a really nice smell already :)

Cooking really requires a lot of patience. As a noobie you would also benefit by being extra humble in the kitchen. The pay-off when you taste your end result is always worth it! And if at first you don't succeed, try again! That's the fun of it. I love how cooking has so many possibilities. 

It was 10+pm when the soup was done, so we left it to chill before refrigerating it.

The next day, I tried to prepare some ramen for lunch!

Reused the pork ribs, MMM they were so tender (as they should be, being simmered for 3 hours?!)

Tried to make a ramen egg and failed spectacularly (but I made a better one the next day).

Added spring onions, some garlic, and also the 'tare' sauce made of sake and mirin. Also added two handmade mushroom pork balls by my dad.


Was proud of my first attempt! It's nothing like the ramen outside but I do enjoy eating it. It's a good change from drinking chicken soup all the time. 

Nowadays I drink the pork broth alone, without the salty tare sauce. All I have to do is heat up the soup and add noodles or shanghai greens to spruce up my meal.

Would I make it again? Yes! Though the pork was kind of pricey, I used my soup throughout the week so it was well justified to me. I'll just skip the mirin and sake next time cuz I'm a simple girl. Mirin can be used in other types of Japanese cooking though! Of course, you can also factor the time and electricity used, but if you mind such things you really shouldn't bother to try cooking this and get a bowl of ramen outside instead...

This cooking adventure also led me to further appreciate the ramen I eat! All that work for a bowl of soup and noodles. Cooking really is an act of love. I would definitely think twice before I skip a meal that my momma prepared at home. The time and effort invested is really crazy.  If someone cooks for you, give them a big kiss. 

Next up, I want to tackle cream of mushroom soup, super fluffy Japanese style pancakes, and maybe some sort of sweet dessert. One day I also want to try to make soba noodles from scratch! Perhaps under the eye of a Japanese master in Japan though. Watch this soba noodle video and maybe you will understand my obsessions.

In the future I want to make laksa soup. Or even beer, and cultivate some mushrooms with a kit. Or maybe growing some vegetables from home. 

YouTube has been hilarious recently though. They recommended 'Owning a Ramen Shop' to me. XD

If you're interested to make the shoyu ramen soup, check out the YouTube link or follow instructions on her website.

I definitely encourage you to step into your kitchen and make something! Even if it's a silly sandwich or an oozy ramen egg, it's fun sometimes not to face a screen and do something with your hands instead. Washing, cutting vegetables, frying things... it's a fun experience. (Washing up, not so much but it's okay.)

As adults we have less things to play with and I think cooking is a great hobby to pick up especially because it's useful. I hope to throw a good dinner party someday! I don't know about you but I would like to acquire more skills, learn some recipes from my mum and stuff like that.

If you're a foodie it's also nice to know more about cooking techniques and ingredients, as well as learn how to make your favourite food. (You probably also finished this blog post because you're a foodie too. Cheers.)

Don't be afraid to try new things and remember to have fun! :)