Saturday, December 2, 2017

Ramen at Home by Brian MacDuckston

Genre: Cookbook
Publisher: Rockridge Press
Release Date: November 21, 2017

Are you craving a steaming bowl of ramen on a cold winter's day? Brian MacDuckston's guide into all things ramen can help you make the popular dish whenever you're craving it.

Ramen at Home contains many recipes. The cookbook is broken down into the following chapters:

  • Soups and Tares
  • Noodles
  • Toppings
  • Shio Ramen
  • Shoyu Ramen
  • Miso Ramen
  • Tonkotsu Ramen
  • Others
  • Side Dishes

As you read the book, you'll learn the differences between these ramen dishes and master how to make them. There are plenty of recipes to help you on your journey. As I'm waiting on some of the harder-to-find ingredients to arrive, right now the recipe for the broth I'm using is very simple and contains dried kombu (kelp), dried shiitake mushrooms, water, chicken, apple, ginger, and garlic. I have the Power Pressure Cooker XL, so I can set it up and let it slow cook all day with ease.

Making noodles from scratch is on my list of things to do as soon as I have the time. Once I can master that, I'll be on my way to creating some amazing ramen recipes. For now, I'm using dried noodles sold in the grocery store. Even using these, the ramen I've made is far superior to anything I've had locally. The recipes are easy to follow and taste fantastic.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Ramen at Home takes the reader on a culinary journey into one of Japan's beloved dishes - ramen. This cookbook is packed with recipes and information. My early childhood involved a few years living near San Francisco. My love for Japanese food started there. I'm very content with a bowl of ramen, some sushi, and a sampling of seaweed salad. It's also very hard to find authentic Japanese in my area.

Let's start with the author's background. Brian MacDuckston is the host of a YouTube channel dedicated to ramen. Ramen Adventures is worth a closer look if you haven't heard of it. He lives in Japan and shares his knowledge of all things ramen. His book showcases that beautifully. I've reviewed and read other Japanese cookbooks but few actually start with recipes for homemade noodles. To me, that's the most important part of a qualify ramen. You want those noodles made from scratch.

What amazes me is just how in-depth Ramen at Home really is given the book's smaller size. It's only 200 pages and that's counting the index and glossary. He covers everything in this book. He talks about the equipment you need. The ingredients. The stocks and toppings. the assembly, other uses for the noodles, and other recipes for things like gyoza and Karaage, one of my favorite dishes.

RTR's Bottom Line

Buy this book. Ramen at Home is a must-have for anyone who loves Japanese cuisine. The stories are worth reading, but the recipes are exceptional. We have a Japanese-born, British citizen staying with us for a month. He looked over the recipes and said they are pretty authentic to the foods he's grown up with.

If you need help finding ingredients and lack an Asian food store like me, I find that you can find them on Amazon.

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