It’s All About The Broth…

Recently, “The Ramen Girl” featuring the late Brittany Murphy has become one of my favorite “food” movies of all time. It’s just a lovely, fun movie about love, life and Japanese ramen. For those who are not familiar, “ramen” is a Japanese noodle dish. It is served in a meat or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as sliced pork, dried seaweed, kamaboko, green onions, and occasionally corn. Almost every locality in Japan has its own variation of ramen, from the tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen of Kyūshū to the miso ramen of Hokkaidō.

Not that I’m about to tell you that I cooked ramen, lol. I was just inspired by this movie to cook a large pot of soup and create my own broth. I also tried my best to “cook from the heart” … and felt kinda silly at first doing it, but eventually when tasting the final result of my slow-cooked broth, I’m pretty sure I felt something deeply emotional inside. Most comforting feeling of satisfaction. It warmed me up. And I felt a surge of happiness inside. It’s all about the broth… 🙂

To start off, I poured 2L of chicken stock (or vegetable stock) over a whole chicken and a few pieces of pork spareribs, 2 large onions chopped in half, and a tablespoon of chopped garlic. Let this simmer for approx. 1 hour.

The next step is to season the broth after making sure the natural flavors of the chicken, pork, garlic and onion have completely been absorbed by the broth. For this, I added a tsp of ground ginger, salt, pepper and two tbsp of dark soy sauce.
I then added 4-5 chopped carrots and a whole lot of fresh cup mushrooms. Simmer for another hour.
Then, I added some chopped spring onions for the extra flavour to the broth. Simmer for yet another hour.
By the time the soup is ready, the meat would all be extremely tender… so tender you can separate them with chopsticks. The broth, at this point, tasted like heaven to me. So comforting and full of the slow-cooked flavors we’ve allowed to simmer for hours.
Serve with cooked noodles and garnish with fresh chinese coriander. I am salivating all over again just as I’m finishing up this blog entry. What a comforting dish! I almost don’t want summer to come around too soon just so I can have more “winter warmers” type of dishes before it gets too hot to really enjoy these dishes.

P/S: You may discard the NECK once it’s ready to be served. Hahahaaa left it in there while simmering for the extra flavour!!

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