Aojiru Ramen (Young Barley Grass Noodle)

I couldn’t resist…

After seeing a video about some fresh green veggie noodles, it stoked my curiosity. I was already planning on making a batch of “regular” ramen today, and I felt that I could kill two birds with one stone.

I chose to use Yakult Aojiru powder for these noodles (they were readily available and were lying around anyway..what better way to use them up!) After making the juice, I blended it with the kansui and sea salt using my general noodle recipe. Following the same procedure as normal, I noticed that the dough was a bit drier than usual. I doubt that it had anything to do with the surrounding room temperature; I keep the room temperature at about 70°F-72°F when I am making noodles.

I used one powder packet per 50 grams of water. Since this was purely done on a whim, I had no benchmark to go off of as far as how many to use for the best flavor representation. After sharing the noodles, it was said that they could taste the fresh veggie flavor. Although I sampled them, I prefer to reserve judgement until after 2 days, once they have completed the aging process.

Going forward, if I make them again, I would love to pair them with a veggie or a vegan ramen. In my opinion, I feel that the nuances of the aojiru would be taken for granted in most meat-based broth. At best, maybe a light, chicken-based shio ramen paired with an IPA beer would complement the noodles and it’s veggie flavor!

“Self-taught”, yes, but Not By Choice…

Rockin’ my new tenugui towel and dabo shirt! ^-^

Facts are facts.

Yes, I have spent thousands of dollars and hundred of hours (I’ll happily dedicate ten-fold more!) towards perfecting my craft. Another fact: I have received valuable feedback via email, etc from other ramen cooks, chefs, and enthusiasts. All of this information was vital is helping me begin to navigate my course and embark on what could be a life-long journey of perfecting my Japanese ramen.

When I began, I’ll be the first to admit that the ramen that I was producing was far from complex or even impressive, for that matter. The best I could hope for were a few “likes” on social media from pictures of my weekly ramen projects. Even with my admitted faults, I still hoped to apprentice, or even work at a ramen shop to gain a greater idea of how the ramen world worked. I was single and had been laid off work at one point and was in a position to pick up and move anywhere in the United States. I ready to take off anywhere if the opportunity presented itself.

It was after continuously reaching out for job opportunities to work as *anything* that would get me around ramen and how a shop’s general work flow was conducted, I was still flat-out ignored. After a little over 90 outreach attempts, I gave up on seeking out any apprenticeships, job opportunities, etc. Granted, I was being choosy about where I reached out. However, that was only because despite being even more of a novice then, compared to the relative one that I still am, I *did* know a good shop when I saw one. I took their customer and employee reviews into consideration. In the end, I reached out and without any replies, I came to the conclusion that I simply was not good enough. Looking back, I would even consider that a fair assessment. That said, I could choose to be bitter and give up because I could not impress them, or I could teach myself, improve my ramen, and become a better me in the process. No longer would I reach out for someone to teach me (I would still be honored to apprentice a seasoned and respected ramen chef!), but would take matters into my own hands to “rise up the ranks”. I’d let my results do the talking instead.

Moving forward, since everything is on my shoulders as of right now, I have not decided if a brick-and mortar is right for me. I like the idea of doing pop-ups, or even teaching ramen-crafting classes. These activities grant me the freedom to move about and network. In addition, if I do decide to open up a shop one day, I want it to be in a city that is a mutual fit. I am not in this for money; I could care less about quick cash-grabs. The ramen needs to be respected as a craft and I need to feel that it is a place where it and I can grow.

Flying Crane Ramen’s “Value Chain”

As with every spring season, new life begins, and more opportunities arise! Flying Crane Ramen is no exception to this and will begin new food-based initiatives. Continous improvement, upon the already thoughtfully-crafted ramen, will expand to new ramen flavors and side items.

Here is a brief summary of what’s to come for Flying Crane Ramen:

Fresh-made, crafted noodles will act as a better “vehicle” for flavor. These noodles will make eating the ramen a much more complete experience.
FCR will introduce more side dishes for variety and a more filling meal. Some side dishes will be available seasonally as well. Ideas for dishes include: prawn gyoza, sweet potato cakes, fried tofu, cucumber salad, etc

Please note, that all offerings are only available with respect to production capablities and scheduling with the commercial kitchen/venue site. If we can’t prepare it there, we can’t serve it.

“The Journey of Kimchi” a guest post by Y.H. Son

Eating authentic kim chi from my mother was one of those things I took it from granted as a youth, and when my mother passed away from cancer later part of my life, i’ve sincerely missed her home made Kim Chi.

Reflecting it now as a 40 year old man, I come to realize what i missed about kim chi was what I hated as a youth, which was time and effort to create a home made kim chi.

Now without mother’s cooking, or her vague knowledge of making kim chi in the past, it was like re-awaking memories of making home made kim chi process.

It was a sincere pleasure to make kim chi the last few weeks, and it does feel healthier making from scratch.

A good kim chi usually comes out refreshing, and it would have good crunch, but with proper fermentation it creates natural zest and tang with spice.

I would like to qexpress gratitude towards those who have already paid and made reservations for Ramen and Kim Chi.

This journey to make a competitive ramen was fun and delightful, and we hope to meet you all soon.

2019: Shoyu Snob × Flying Crane Ramen

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

There are plenty of exciting new goals set out this year for us.  To start, in early February will be the first ramen pop-up and will feature two ramen flavors, Kasane Miso & Shio.  At the moment, it has not been decided whether these will be monthly, quarterly, or even at the same venue going forward.  Regardless, there is the idea to have a seasonal rotation of flavor offerings.

In addition to a rotation of ramen flavors, and our homemade kimchi, I will be looking to expand the menu to appetizers like steamed prawn dumplings or perhaps cucumber salad.  Also, I do not have a “sweet tooth”, but I would love to serve dessert items like black sesame ice cream, sakura rain drop cakes, and dorayaki!

All-in-all, we have high hopes for this year, and hope that you will join us!