ROMANCING RA­MEN: THE FLAVOURS OF THE SEA­SON

The com­fort food is not only tak­ing on city eater­ies, but is also sim­mer­ing fresh with ex­per­i­ments. Here’s more on the trend

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - Snigdha Ahuja snigdha.ahuja@hin­dus­tan­times.com

How many times have you dug into a bowl of hot noo­dles and just heaved a sigh of sat­is­fac­tion with the kind of warm com­fort the slurpy meal pro­vides? Well, if we sound too corny, it’s be­cause we’re crush­ing over ra­men, just like many restau­rants and eater­ies. Here’s de-cod­ing the trend, so the next time you put your chop­sticks to use, you can flaunt your knowl­edge too:

WHAT’S RA­MEN AND WHERE DID IT COME FROM?

While it’s be­lieved that ra­men has Chi­nese ori­gins, it first made an ap­pear­ance in the 1950s in Ja­pan. The noo­dle, which is made from wheat, is treated with kan­sui (sim­i­lar to lye water), a form of al­ka­line water and is tra­di­tion­ally served in a soup-y broth, mak­ing it a favourite com­fort food across the globe. The soup in­cludes a host of things, from toasted eggs and veg­eta­bles to a va­ri­ety of flavours that have been in­tro­duced over the years. The pop­u­lar­ity of the noo­dle lead to the cre­ation of pack­aged va­ri­eties, adding to its easy avail­abil­ity. “Ra­men is a quick cooking noo­dle which is served with meat and veg­eta­bles. Fa­mous ex­am­ples are rayu ra­men, which is chilli-in­fused. Healthy vari­a­tions like green tea ra­men are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar as well. Now, restau­rants in the city have also started mak­ing ra­men by them­selves, thus no packet prod­uct is used,” says Nis­hant Choubey, ex­ec­u­tive chef, Dusit De­varana. City eater­ies have taken a bit of time to cash into the ra­men craze, but they are try­ing to make the ex­pe­ri­ence a fun one. “For the ra­men we serve, the noo­dles are made in-house and the stock is sim­mered slowly for over 8 hours, giv­ing the broth a ro­bust flavour. We have seen a 25-30% rise in pop­u­lar­ity of ra­men with the ap­proach of the mon­soon,” says ex­ceu­tive chef Prashanth Put­taswamy of Fatty Bao that also serves many veg­e­tar­ian vari­a­tions. Another Cap­i­tal eatery, Jun­glee Billee has Pan seared chicken with sunny side up ra­men soup bowl on their menu. “Ba­sics never dis­ap­point. We serve a quick and easy recipe made of spinach, car­rot and a sunny side up egg, while fresh ginger and gar­lic mar­i­nated seared chicken makes for a per­fect vari­a­tion for the mon­soon,” says chef Pawan Bisht of the restau­rant.

RA­MEN BURGER? YOU READ IT RIGHT!

The ra­men burger was in­vented by Keizo Shi­mamoto in Brook­lyn, and its pop­u­lar­ity has seeped into the city. “The USP of ra­men burg­ers is the bun which is made with fresh ra­men noo­dle. All burg­ers are built with a layer of let­tuce, tomato, cu­cum­ber, takuan radish pickle, sake braised red onions, per­illa seeds and sig­na­ture sauces,” says Vikram Kha­tri, ex­ec­u­tive chef at Guppy, that serves vari­a­tions that in­clude Tsukune Minced Chicken, BBLT (belly, ba­con, let­tuce and tomato) and a 5 Mush­room vari­ant for veg­e­tar­i­ans. So well, if you don’t want to dig in with a fork, you can al­ways try to bite into the trend!

PHOTO: IS­TOCK

PHOTO: SAN­JAY RA­MACHAN­DRAN

Green Curry Katsu Veg­e­tar­ian Ra­men

The ra­men burger

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