A Japanese food chef has revealed how the majority of Brits are cooking ramen noodles wrong, and explained the surprising way we should be making them.
A new survey by food brand Miso Tasty has shown that 84 per cent of the population have been cooking the Asian delicacy incorrectly all their lives.
And in celebration of National Ramen Day on Thursday, the brand’s founder Bonnie Chung, 32, from London, has revealed her top tips for achieving perfect ‘Shikoshiko’ noodles at home.
Speaking to FEMAIL, the author and chef revealed the trick is to cook the noodles in a separate pan and put them on ice while they are still ‘al dente’.
Bonnie said: ‘Noodles are a symbol of life in Japanese culture and eating them is considered a very special experience that should be savoured and enjoyed.
Japanese food expert Bonnie Chung,32, from London, pictured, has revealed how to make the perfect noodles by cooking them in a separate pan and putting them on ice while they are al dente
‘But a lot of Brits associate them with quick, cheap convenience food and the rise of instant noodles means many people have never learnt how to cook them well.
‘It’s also such a shame that nearly half the population say they never cook Japanese food from scratch.
‘It doesn’t have to be a complicated process – so long as you get your hacks nailed and your routine mastered, amazing Japanese food can be created in your kitchen.’
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Bonnie, who is the founder of Miso Tasty and has products stocked in over 1,000 stores nationwide, said when making ramen people should avoid ‘slimy’ noodles.
She explained: ‘Sticky, mushy, slimy noodles is exactly what we want to avoid when cooking a dish like ramen.
Bonnie, pictured, recommended using two pans for ramen preparation, resting noodles in iced water while cooking other ingredients and having 80 per cent noodles in the bowl
‘Like pasta, noodles should always have that al dente bite – or ‘shikoshiko’ as it’s known in Japan.
‘But unlike pasta, instead of going straight from pan to bowl, you should immediately rinse them in water to remove any starch, which is what creates that sticky texture.
‘From there, rest your noodles in ice cold water while you prep your other ingredients.
The art of noodling: How to achieve perfect ramen noodles
Down the pan: Always use two pans – one for noodles and one for everything else. Noodles need your full attention if you want to get them right.
Respect your noodles: They are a symbol of life in Japanese culture so you should never snap them before putting in the pan. Place into boiling water too rather than cold.
Silky not starched: If your noodles always end up stuck together, starch is usually always the culprit. Once boiled, rinse them in cold water to remove the starch and avoid the stick.
Ice and simple: Shikoshiko noodles have a nice bite – stop yours overcooking and help retain their texture by resting in iced water while you prep your other ingredients.
Rapid refresh: Once you’re ready to serve, quickly reheat your iced noodles by dropping them back into simmering water for 10 seconds.
Ramen ratio: Noodles are the main event. Remember the 80:10:10 rule and aim for 80 per cent noodles, 10 per cent vegetables and protein.
Build your bowl: Your final dish should come together in the bowl, not the pan. Start with the noodles, then layer your protein and veg and top off with a warming broth
‘While it might sound crazy to put your noodles on ice, it immediately stops them from continuing to cook and turning mushy.
‘Then just before you’re ready to serve, simply reheat for 10 seconds in simmering water.’
Bonnie’s noodle hacks come off the back of Miso Tasty research that reveals some of the major blunders Brits are making when cooking Japanese at home.
The survey of 2,000 people revealed just 13 per cent of people correctly use chopsticks and only 7 per cent slurp them – as is tradition in Japan.
Instead, most Brits – 59 per cent – made the classic mistake of attempting to shovel them down with western cutlery like a spoon, knife or fork.
Further confusion arises when it comes to toppings, with 56 per cent having no idea what ingredients to use when cooking Japanese food.
Almost a fifth of the population (15 per cent) added western toppings like cheese, ketchup or mayo to their bowls.
Bonnie thought of the idea for her business Miso Tasty when she was 24 and working as a chef.
Although the idea came to her seven years ago, it took three years for Bonnie to find the miso makers who would recreate the recipes of her design.
She said: ‘What I thought would take me a few months to complete… turned into three years!
‘It took over 65 manufacturing trials around the world before we found the right partners in Japan, making over 2 tonnes of miso before we finalised our recipes.’
Her partners were found in the Shinshu region of Japan at the foot of the Central Japanese Alps.
This area is renowned for having the best conditions for making miso and is home to the finest craftsmen for miso and Bonnie’s products are still made there.
Bonnie, pictured eating her ramen, said it is a shame nearly half the population never cook Japanese food from scratch at home
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