Watching the development of the ramen craze in the US from Kansas makes me quite bitter. Seeing one of my most beloved food become more and more accessible to people in metropolitan areas does not help suppress my ever growing resentment to areas in the US outside the midwest.
One good thing is, the lack of ramen does not make me like Kansas any less. How can anybody dislike a place renowned for bbq? Large pieces of cooked meat has been, and always will be the receptacle of my perverted culinary desires.
Anyway, ramen is not impossible, but impractical to make at home. Its rather hard to get good quality ingredients that are already processed, such as menma and noodles. On top of that, the broth is a product of painstakingly long and involved process that results in ridiculous quantities for a man living alone. Of course, I can always make my faux-chinese noodles (boiling pasta with one to two tablespoons of baking soda) and throw it into a mixture of granulated fish broth, granulated chicken broth, grated garlic and sesame oil, but its not the same experience.
So there’s always the need for devising ways to fulfill my desire for Japanese noodles that have that junk food-ish delicious qualities. Hence my resorting to abura-soba.
So this thing is called abura-soba, which is the word oil (abura) and noodles (soba) combined. Sounds awfully unhealthy at first. I never knew that abura-soba was a dish that was served in numerous ramen places, because of the absurdity of the name. For many years I only knew the rendition from my college cafeteria.
The version from that cafeteria always came with blanched spinach, kimchi, and char-siu (braised pork) on top. I still follow this structure, making sure that there’s 1. vegetables 2. something hot, and 3. proteins on top of it.
In the photo above, these three categories were provided through the use of 1. lettuce, 2. onions, and 3. poached chicken thighs.
So the only thing you really have to make here is the sauce.
The sauce consists of oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and grated garlic.
The ratio of these varies every time I make it, but I make sure that I put in a generous amount of sesame oil.
As always, the noodles are Barilla pasta boiled in water with 1-2 tablespoon of baking soda.
You just pull the noodles out, rinse, mix with the sauce, and put the toppings on.