TAIWAN RAMEN (Nagoya-Style Hot and Spicy Ramen)

Regional Specialties
This article can be read in about 6 minutes.

Taiwan Ramen is a creation of a local Taiwanese restaurant in Nagoya, Japan. It’s composed of chicken based broth, low hydration ramen noodles, garlic chive and most importantly, Taiwan Minchi(spicy pork mince), minced pork cooked with various seasonings and loads of chilies. At the first bite, as soon as the noodles hit the pallet, you feel almost overwhelming burn from the chilies, but then, all the fantastic flavours of the chicken based broth, deliciously cooked Taiwan Minchi and fresh garlic chive begin to chase and create such a harmony with the hotness of the chilies. No wander Nagoya people are so proud of and obsessed with this bowl of Unique and eat it regularly.

-INGREDIENTS- (Serves 4)
480g Fresh ramen noodles
2 stalks Garlic chive
4 handfuls Bean shoot
1 Spring onion
1800ml Chicken stock
Salt and MSG to taste

<Chicken Stock>
4 Chicken carcasses
2 stalks Spring onion
30g Ginger sliced
1/2 bulb Garlic
1/8 Cabbage (Optional)
Water (enough to cover the chicken carcasses)

<Taiwan Minchi(spicy pork mince)>
300g Minced pork
4 cloves Garlic
10 Dried red chilies
1 tbsp Dou ban jiang (Chinese fermented chili bean paste)
2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp Soy sauce
2 tsp Salt1 tsp MSG
Ground white pepper
500ml Chicken stock
3 tbsp Vegetable oil

1. To prepare the stock, add the chicken carcasses into a pot and pour enough water to cover them. Heat the pot on a high heat until the surface of the carcasses turns white.

2. Drain the carcasses and wash off blood and remaining guts inside them under running cold water. Then chop each carcass into three parts. This allows the bones to release full flavour and umami.

3. Wash the pot and put the carcasses back in. Add enough water to cover them and heat on a high heat. Once it comes to a boil, drop the heat to low and remove the scum. Add the sliced ginger, 1/2 bulb of garlic and cabbage. Then simmer for 2 hours, removing scum.

4. To prepare Taiwan Minchi, finely chop 4 cloves of garlic. Then grind the chilies into flakes using a grinder. Heat a pan and add the oil. Add the minced pork and sauté until it is cooked.

5. Add the finely chopped garlic chili flakes and Dou ban jiang, and cook until fragrant (be careful not to burn the chili). Put in the Shaoxing wine, sugar, soy sauce, salt, MSG and ground white pepper, then stir well. Pour in the chicken stock and simmer for about 15~20mins on a medium-low heat until the liquid is reduced to half.

6. Wash the bean shoot and cut the garlic chive into 3~4cm long. Finely chop 1 stalk of spring onion. (Start hearting water for cooking the noodles at this point)

7. Strain 450ml of chicken stock into a saucepan and heat up. Season with salt and MSG to taste and keep it hot on the lowest heat, covered with a lid.

8. To assemble the Taiwan Ramen (per serving), put a handful of been shoot in a noodle strainer and boil for 30 seconds. Then place it in a Ramen bowl. Add 120g of the noodles in the noodle strainer and boil them to your desired firmness. Once they are done, drain well and place them on the bean shoot.

9. Put on top of the noodles the garlic chive and 1/4 of the Taiwan Minchi along with the juice at the bottom of the pan. Pour over the seasoned chicken stock that has been kept hot. Sprinkle over the finely chopped spring onion.


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