Here we go again…
With the second national lockdown finally upon us, you may be wondering where you can get some foodie happiness now that bars and restaurants are closed for at least a month. In the last lockdown, some restaurants were able to pivot to online through delivery apps such as Deliveroo or UberEats, others turned to DIY kits for you to recreate the restaurant experience in your own living room. I have tried both, and have to say that neither option can truly replace the feeling of ‘going out to eat’, but they do go some way in bringing some much-needed food excitement in our household!
Shoryu Ramen is one place that has launched a number of DIY ramen kits in conjunction with their sister company, Japan Centre. The point of DIY kits is not for you to literally have to cook everything from scratch but to provide most of the food semi-prepared for you to cook or finish in your kitchen. Then, part of the fun is (well, for us anyway!) to attempt to plate up so it actually looks like a beautiful restaurant plate, which is actually much harder than it looks!
Knowing that lockdown was upon us, my other half surprised me with the DIY Shoryu Ganso Tonkotsu ramen kit. We are huge fans of ramen and pre-lockdown, we would normally go out for ramen a couple of times a month but this year, we have mostly made do with pimping up packet ramen 🙂
The kit arrived by DPD in a boxed cold-bag with ice-packs keeping everything cold and fresh. There were zip lock bags of char siu pork belly, beni shoga red ginger, kikurage mushrooms, even spring onions!
Plus the most important things – the fresh ramen noodles and 500ml of Shoryu signature 12-hour tonkotsu soup stock jelly.
I was so excited to try the kit that I spent some time in the afternoon making nitamago (soy sauce eggs) that are recommended as an extra in the Shoryu kit. I followed the recipe from Momofuku on food52.com. The recipe itself is really simple – sugar, vinegar and soy sauce + soft boiled eggs left to marinade for a few hours. I had to sub sherry vinegar for apple cider vinegar and I used Kikkoman dark soy sauce rather than light soy sauce. If you try this recipe, remember to follow the cooking of the eggs exactly for perfect gooey yolks!
First up, we had to get the stock on. We added the bag of tonkotsu stock jelly to 400ml of water and mixed it well. Tip: roll the empty bag to squeeze out every drop of stock!
I cut the pork into slices – the recipe calls for 6 slices but I cut them a bit thinner and came out with 8 slices. We put the pork slices into a pan to brown – I got super nostalgic doing this as it reminded me of the crispy pork at Momufuku! If you’re interested in my ramen experience at Momufuku and Ivan Ramen in New York, then read my blog post here!
Next, the noodles. The recipe called for 45 seconds of cooking in boiling water but they still felt a bit not-done so we left them for a minute longer. At this point, the plating had to happen pretty quickly so I kinda forgot to keep up with taking pictures… We poured the stock over the noodles, placed the pork in the bowl with the red ginger, kikurage, the two halves of the soy sauce egg, sliced spring onions and some dried seaweed.
I was super happy with the way that my eggs turned out!
Ta-da! The finished bowls. Beautiful!
I really recommend the Shoryu DIY kit. Initially I thought that the uncooked portion sizes didn’t quite look big enough – but that was a case of my eyes being bigger than my stomach as always (yes, I am greedy!) The portion size was actually perfect and made for a filling dinner. I finished it all including the broth which I don’t usually drink.
The tonkotsu broth was rich and delicious; exactly like what you get in the restaurant and loaded with flavour. I was really impressed with the quality of the noodle and the pork too. I was a little worried that we had overcooked the noodle but it was good with the perfect amount of chew.
My eggs tasted great too, maybe a tad salty since I had used dark soy but not too noticeable. You could always stick a fried egg on top which is what I would normally do, but I put a little bit more effort into this bowl! I was also really glad for the red ginger and the crunchy kikurage as it’s the little extras that really make a ramen bowl pop!
If you want to become a ramen master, then the Shoryu DIY ramen kits are available online and in their stores in London. There are a number of flavours including the one we got, the Shoryu Ganso Tonkotsu ramen. For the coeliacs, there is even a gluten free noodle version! One for everyone 🙂
All in all, I would definitely buy this kit again. We have done other DIY from restaurants before which were quite complicated (and a bit stressful to plate up if I’m being honest!) but Shoryu’s DIY kit was super easy to make and plate. It tasted awesome too – try it for yourself!