Can we get a (r)amen?

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Can we get a (r)amen?

Faber’s Eric Bulpitt is more than a little obsessed with the Japanese noodle bowls, so it was only a question of time before he paid homage with a rendition of his own – which also happens to turn the original on its head.

THE RAMEN

In a surprise, erm, turn of events, Eric foregoes traditional ramen noodles for ones he makes by spiralising onions. “We use a Japanese vegetable turner to turn the onions into long strips, then vacuum pack the ‘noodles’ to firm up their texture,” he says. “We cook them in a butter emulsion before we add them to the broth.”

THE BROTH

“Ramen broth usually has a dashi base, which incorporates kombu flakes,” explains Eric. “To get the same fishy flavour in my broth, I lightly smoke yellowtail bones and make a stock from them. I then caramelise onions until slightly burnt, which gives a great umami flavour, and add that to the stock along with kelp and some pork fat for a full mouthfeel.”

THE EGG

Slow is the way to go with the egg topping off Eric’s onion ramen. The kitchen poaches the organic free-range egg – sourced from Avondale Farm where Faber is situated – at exactly 75°C for 12 minutes.

THE FINISHING TOUCHES

To contrast with the softness of the poached egg and onion noodles, Eric adds a handful of crunchy elements including fried onion flakes, toasted nori and crispy free-range pork fat. The garnishes depend on what’s seasonally available – anything from wood sorrel foraged in the forest, to carrot tops or mustard flowers from the organic vegetable garden.

Find out how to DIY your own ramen dishes at home here.

FABER, Avondale Estate, Lustigan Road, Klein Drakenstein, Paarl; tel: 021 202 1219; avondalewine.co.za/faber

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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