Ramen shop newcomers Jobu Ramen (the restaurant has closed since we published this issue) and Meshikou prove there's more than one way to create a rich, flavorful bowl.
Ramen shop newcomers Jobu Ramen (the restaurant has closed since we published this issue) and Meshikou prove there's more than one way to create a rich, flavorful bowl.MESHIKOU: Shoyu Tonkotsu
Broth: It takes 12 to 15 hours to make the base pork broth that's cut with a little chicken stock and tare right before it's served. To ensure consistency, owner Mike Shek uses a refractometer to monitor the concentration of the broth every 30 to 60 minutes.
Pork: To give pork belly a meatier texture, Shek double-braises the meat for up to 20 hours.
Noodles: Traditional wavy noodles are sourced from Sun Noodle.
Egg: A creamy-centered egg is quickly cooked then chilled in an ice bath before taking a five-hour dip in a soy-based sauce.
Fishcake: Made from pureed white fish, fishcake is sliced thin to order from a premade roll.
Kikurage mushrooms: Chewy, woody mushrooms add another level of tradition, Shek says.JOBU RAMEN: Soy Ramen
Broth: Believe it or not, there's no pork in this broth. A chicken base gets deep-roasted flavor from added dashi (seaweed-based stock), shiitakes and kombu (a type of seaweed).
Pork: Belly is cured for 24 hours with a house blend, slow roasted for six to eight hours and then rested overnight. "It has a light sweetness, but is not overly salty," says co-owner John Franke.
Egg: After a 12-hour dip in a soy marinade, eggs are boiled for six minutes until the yolk is thick, but still runny.
Noodles: Wavy noodles are manufactured by popular Sun Noodle, but the recipe is Franke's; they are intentionally a touch thicker than traditional ramen noodles.
Bamboo Shoots: "Marinated bamboo also is typical for certain ramen dishes," Franke says.
Nori: A sheet of roasted seaweed was only recently subbed in for cabbage to add extra salty sea flavor to the bowl.