Posts in: shopping

Herbs, spices, sauces and other strange ingredients in the Momofuku Noodle Bar recipes

Continuing with my obsessive list-making, I complied a list of all the herbs, spices, sauces and other strange ingredients used in the Noodle Bar recipes. You can see which recipes they belong to in the brackets, which correspond to the master list of the Noodle Bar recipes. I also made lists of the produce, proteins and carbohydrates, but I don’t want to overwhelm you, so those will come later!

active dry yeast (18)
baking soda (18)
bamboo shoots (1, 31)
black pepper (3, 14, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32, 33)
bread flour (6, 18)
butter (22, 23, 24)
denjang [Korean fermented bean paste] (27)
dried red chili peppers (30)
dried shiitakes (2, 15)
fish sauce (15, 16)
grapeseed oil (10, 11, 13, 14, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33)
hoisin sauce (17)
jarred salted shrimp (16)
katsuo-bushi [dried fish flakes] (4)
kochukaru [Korean red pepper chili powder] (16)
konbu (2, 4, 5, 31)
kosher salt (7, 8, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 33)
mirin [sweet cooking seasoning] (3, 11, 14, 20, 31)
mustard seeds (15)
non-fat dry milk powder (18)
nori [seaweed] (1)
potassium carbonate (6)
rice wine vinegar (15, 31, 32)
sake (3, 20, 27, 31)
sesame oil (12, 25, 32)
sesame seeds (11, 21)
sherry vinegar (10, 12, 15, 22, 25, 27)
shiro [white miso] (22, 23)
sichuan peppercorns (30)
sodium carbonate (6)
sriracha (17)
ssämjang [fermented bean and chili sauce] (12)
star anise (15)
sugar (7, 8, 12, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 32)
usukuchi [light soy sauce] (3, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33)

“Rare” ingredient shopping at T&T Supermarket

T&T Supermarket is my go-to grocery store for all things Asian. It’s like Whole Foods, but started by Chinese Canadians, not Texans. They have most, if not all of your basic and not-so-basic Asian goods. Looking for tripe? They got it. Frozen Japanese fish cakes? They got that too! It was my second stop for my ramen ingredients, and they had everything I needed.

konbu, mirin, usukuchi, japanese fish cake, sake, fresh ramen, bamboo shoots

The thing about T&T, and well, Vancouver in general, is that if you look like you speak Chinese, they expect that you speak Chinese. I always feel that bit of disapproval when I open my mouth and non-accented English comes out. So there I was, as the meat counter, looking at the bellies, butts and shoulders. I needed pork belly and shoulder, but as always, I hesitated. I don’t know why though, because when I asked for 3 lbs of pork shoulder, the woman was super-friendly while she picked out a piece of meat that was exactly 3lb.

I know what you’re thinking, 3 pounds of meat? For two? Yes. I tend to be optimistic when cooking. I always think that the two of us will eat more than we really do and end up making too much. Its not always a good thing, but sometimes it comes in handy, really, it does!

Back to T&T. They have great variety. They even sell cooking sake! I picked up some draft sake for the taré at the liquor store, but Mike actually wanted to drink it, so finding cooking sake for $2 was a definite bonus.

economy pork bones!

Some other helpful items I found: economy pork bones at 79¢/lb and fresh “Japanese Ramen Noodles.” I’m going to make the alkaline noodles in the book one day, but for now I’m going with store bought. According to Chang, finding sodium and potassium carbonate can be a “pain in the ass,” so finding the fresh ramen was a pretty big plus for me.

With the shopping trips a success, I am now ready to make ramen!

Shopping for ramen ingredients at Granville Island Public Market

poultryland fresh chicken back & neck/carcass

I found most of the ingredients for the ramen from T&T Supermarket and Granville Island Public Market. If you’ve never been to Vancouver, you’ve probably never heard of Granville Island. It’s one of our “major” tourist attractions. The island is reclaimed land underneath one of Vancouver’s main bridges. It used to be an industrial area, but now its home to Vancouver’s only public market, and the place where most people go for gourmet or farm fresh ingredients.

Usually, I don’t go to Granville Island for groceries, but Mike and I went there to pick up some paté and cheese for a little charcuterie plate, so I decided to make the most of it. Good thing I had my grocery list with me because I have a notoriously bad memory.

The ramen broth recipe calls for taré, a Japanese sauce mainly used in yakitori cooking. Chang’s taré recipe needs 2-3 chicken backs. I didn’t know where I was going to find them and I was hoping that T&T would have something. Thankfully I didn’t have to pull out my ghetto Chinese at T&T, because the good news was that I found chicken bones for sale! Granville Island Poultryland sells chicken carcasses! They call them Back and Neck/Carcass and they go for 49¢/lb. I also found some in-house smoky slab bacon at Tenderland Meats. Score!

I actually really like Granville Island, even though most people, including Mike, think its a tourist trap. I worked in a bakery there for four years while I was going to school. Yes, the tourists are pretty annoying cause they take up space and don’t really buy anything, but I love the feel of the market. I spent lots of early mornings smelling my way through the bread, bagels, doughnuts and cinnamon buns to wake myself up. I feel a little bit nostalgic about the place, I guess.

I admit the ingredient list for just one dish is a bit much, but then again, I can’t hop on the subway and just go to Noodle Bar. But if I were in New York, I’d definitely fill up on the holiday soft-serve at Milk Bar.

Obsessive-compulsive list of Noodle Bar Recipes

I’m kinda the obsessive compulsive type. The list-making obsessive compulsive type. If you read on, I don’t think I need to say anything more about it.

Noodle Bar Recipes (The numbers beside the recipes correspond to the recipes that you need: ie. ramen broth needs recipe #3 – tare)

1. momofuku ramen (requires 2, 6, 7, 8, 9)
2. ramen broth (requires 3)
3. tare
4. traditional dashi
5. bacon dashi
6. alkaline noodles (aka ramen)
7. pork belly (for ramen, pork buns & just about anything else)
8. pork shoulder for ramen
9. slow-poached eggs
10. ginger scallion noodles/ginger scallion sauce
11. roasted rice cakes (requires 2, 12, 13)
12. korean red dragon sauce
13. roasted onions
14. kimchi stew – rice cakes & shredded pork (requires 2, 8, 13, 16)
15. pickles x 20
16. kimchi: fermented pickles
17. momofuku pork buns (requires 7, 15, 18)
18. steamed buns
19. chicken & egg (requires 9)
20. chicken wings
21. fried chicken (requires 32)
22. pan-roasted asparagus – poached egg & miso butter (requires 9)
23. roasted sweet summer corn – miso butter, bacon & roasted onions (requires 2, 13)
24. brussels sprouts – kimchi puree & bacon (requires 16)
25. cherry tomato salad – soft tofu & shiso
26. peas with horseradish (requires 2)
27. pan-roasted bouchot mussels with os
28. bacon dashi with potatoes & clams (requires 5)
29. scallion oil
30. sichuan crawfish
31. grilled octopus salad – konbu, bamboo shoots & pickled chiles (requires 32)
32. octo vinaigrette (requires 15)
33. shrimp & grits (requires 2, 9)