1899 Soul Warmer, Nagasaki Champon from Japanese Soul Cooking by Tadashi Ono - Harris Salat

"Move over sushi, it's time for gyoza, curry, tonkatsu and furai' are first words greeting us when we open Japanese Soul Cooking (Ten Speed Press, November 2013) by Tadashi Ono who recently opened Maison O in New York and  Harris Salat of comfort food restaurant Ganso in Brooklyn and The Japanese Food Report...

Today's recipe comes from the Ramen chapter.


Nagasaki, located on the southwestern main island of Kyushu, is an old trading port that attracted Chinese students in the nineteenth century. Naturally, restaurants popped up to serve their home-style chow. In 1899, at one of these places, a Fujianese chef named Hejun Chin invented a dish based on his native Fujian-style noodles—a dish that evolved into today’s Nagasaki champon, which soon became popular across the country. The word champon refers to something mixed, and indeed these noodles are a satisfying combination of seafood, pork, and vegetables, all served in a mouthwatering soup. In restaurants, slow-cooked pork bones (like with tonkotsu ramen, page 7) give this soup a milky appearance; we use actual milk to create this effect, plus to add body and flavor. Traditional champon noodles are thicker and wider than regular ramen noodles, but the ramen version is fine to use. If you like heat, add a dab of tobanjan (spicy fermented bean paste, see page 236) to spice things up.

Serves 4

2 tablespoons sesame oil

4 ounces thinly sliced pork (available at Asian markets), cut into bite-size pieces

3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

4 ounces squid, cleaned and sliced into rings

4 ounces scallops, cut into 1⁄2-inch-thick slices

4 ounces small shrimp (51/60 size), peeled

1 small carrot (about 3 ounces), peeled and sliced into 2-inch-long pieces

1⁄2 onion (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices

4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced

4 ounces cabbage, cut into bite-size pieces

1⁄2 cup sake

2 quarts ramen soup (page 9), hot

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons mirin

2 cups milk

4 scallions, trimmed and sliced on an angle into 1-inch pieces

4 packages (about 6 ounces each) fresh-frozen ramen noodles

1 tablespoon ground sesame


To prepare the champon soup, heat the sesame oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add the pork and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the squid, scallops, and shrimp, and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds more. Add the carrot and onion, and cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the shiitake mushrooms and napa cabbage, cooking and stirring for 1 minute. Add the sake and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ramen soup, salt, soy sauce, and mirin. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the milk and scallions. Cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat.

To prepare the ramen, fill a large stockpot with water and place over high heat. Ready 4 large bowls on a work surface. When the water boils, add the noodles. Stir the noodles for about 10 seconds, so they separate and cook evenly. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the noodles are cooked through and toothsome. Drain the noodles into a colander and divide them among the 4 bowls. Pour one-fourth of the champon soup into each bowl, over the ramen. Make sure the pork, seafood, and vegetables are divided evenly. Garnish with ground sesame and serve piping hot.

Authors are doing an on stage Demo of Japanese Home Curry, today November 14 at Japan Society in New York. Starts at 6:30 PM

Ramen with 1899 roots for Tokyo Thursdays # 272

Previously: Japan, Land of Immigrants? Through the Camera Lenses of Camille Millerand

(*Reprinted with permission from Japanese Soul Cooking by Tadashi Ono &  Harris Salat, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Food Photography: Todd Coleman © 2013")

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