I've seen countless pictures of people making bone broth from their game harvests lately. It's great that people are using their animals to the fullest extent but I think there are a lot of missed opportunities to make some amazing ramen broth. All you need are some bones, a few classic Asian ingredients, some water, and a big pot. This recipe is by no means traditional, but it is 100% delicious. If you saved some stock bones, I highly suggest you give it a try!
Like any broth, ramen is best when the broth has been cooked low and slow for a long time. I start by roasting the bones at a high temperature to add a rich, caramelized flavor. Then, I sauté some aromatics in oil (ginger, garlic, green onions, bonito flakes, and mushroom stems). When their delicious smells are released I put the roasted bones in (plus the drippings on the roasting pan, can't forget those!) and add in some sake to deglaze the pan. Once that has reduced, I add in some soy sauce and rice vinegar and fill the pot with water. Bring it to a boil and let it do its thing for about 8 hours.
If the broth is getting too concentrated, you can add it some water to fill up the pot again. If it's not salty enough for your liking, add in a bit more soy sauce. Again, probably not the proper way to do things but it works for me. Once it's done, take out the bones and pour it through a mesh strainer. You can give the rest of my recipe a try or add your own favorite noodles and toppings. Any extra broth can be frozen flat in zippered bags.
I love how versatile ramen is and that you can really use any combination of proteins and toppings and it always turns out delicious. This time, I chose to sous vide an antelope top round roast in an Asian marinade. I used soy sauce, gochujang (not Japanese, I know), ginger, garlic, green onions, maple syrup, sesame seeds, and sesame oil. You can sous vide it at 130˚F for 2-3 hours to absorb the flavor and get nice and tender but still medium rare. Then heat up a cast iron skillet, add some oil, and sear it on all sides. Let it rest and then slice it thin. Tip: see my notes here about thawing meat on paper towels.
I'm always trying to find dishes to add pickled onions to because they're so delicious and easy! They work perfectly for ramen to add some acidity and crunch. I always use the same basic recipe (onion, vinegar, water, sugar, salt) and add some extras depending on what I'm using them for. This time I used ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes - yum! There's really not much to making them - boil your vinegar mixture, slice the onion, put it all in a jar, let it cool and pop it in the fridge.
In addition to noodles, broth, and protein, there are a few other key toppings I like to add to ramen. Soft boiled eggs are a necessity. A spoonful of hot broth with some runny yolk mixed in is perfection. Then I add 1 or 2 veggies and it's complete. This time, I chose some shiitakes sautéed in sake and soy sauce and baby bok choy.
Putting it All Together:
I tend to get a little crazy with toppings so I tried to keep it simple this time. Use whatever you enjoy and I'm sure it will be delicious! The key here is to get your base right. It's all about that dark, savory broth. Letting it cook all day is key. Plus it fills your home with some delicious aromas that will make you so excited for dinnertime.
If you're feeling ambitious, you can make your own noodles by using my pasta dough recipe and cutting the dough into spaghetti-size noodles. It's totally worth it if you have time. Or you can try to find a packaged ramen like this one (it's one of my favorites). Either way it will be delicious. Next time you keep your bones for bone broth, save a few to make some ramen and I promise you won't be disappointed!
Whitetail Ramen Recipe
- sous vide machine
- 3 lb leg bones (deer, elk, antelope, etc.)
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 garlic bulb, cloves peeled and smashed
- 5 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 6 green onions, cut into 3 sections
- ⅔ cup bonito flakes
- shiitake mushroom stems (removed from mushrooms below)
- 1 cup sake
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 1 lb top round roast (deer, elk, pronghorn, etc.)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp gochujang
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp garlic, grated
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- canola oil
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp garlic, grated
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3 tbsp sake
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 baby bok choy, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
Soft Boiled Eggs:
- 4 fresh eggs
- 4 packages ramen noodles
- your favorite Asian hot sauce (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a sheet pan with foil. Roast bones on sheet pan for 25-30 minutes.
- Heat oil in large stock pot (mine is 8 quarts). Add garlic, ginger, bonito flakes, mushroom stems, and green onions. Saute 5 minutes or until fragrant. Add in bones and drippings from the pan.
- Deglaze pan with sake. Simmer until liquid has reduced by half.
- Add soy sauce and rice vinegar. Fill stock pot with water. Simmer for at least 8 hours.
- Remove bones from broth. Strain broth with fine mesh strainer. Serve hot. Freeze leftovers in zippered bag.
- Thaw meat in refrigerator on paper towels.
- Combine all ingredients except meat and canola oil. Vacuum seal roast with marinade. Sous vide for 2-3 hours.
- Let meat rest 10 minutes. Heat oil in cast iron pan and sear meat on all sides. Let rest 10 minutes. Slice thinly.
- Combine all ingredients except onions in a small saucepan. Heat until boiling and sugar has dissolved.
- Put sliced onions in quart size glass jar. Pour vinegar mixture over onions. Let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 month.
- Boil water in medium saucepan. Add eggs to boiling water and cook for 7 minutes for soft boiled with runny yolks. Cook longer if you like firmer yolks.
- Immediately place eggs in ice water for 2-3 minutes. Peel, cut in half and serve warm. You can also cook them ahead of time and store them in the fridge, peeled but not cut in half yet.
- Heat oil in large skillet. Add mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown on both sides, stirring occasionally.
- Add sake to pan. Cook 1 minute or until mushrooms have absorbed the liquid.
- Add soy sauce to pan. Cook 1 minute or until mushrooms are caramelized.
- Heat oil in large skillet. Add bok choy to pan, cut side down. Cook 5 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and cook 5 minutes on the other side.
- Add soy sauce to pan. Cook 1 minute. Flip, then cook 1 minute more.
- Cook ramen noodles according to package directions.
- Place cooked noodles in each bowl. Arrange toppings around and on top of noodles.
- Carefully add desired amount of broth to each bowl. If you like it spicy, add some hot sauce to mix into the broth. Enjoy!