Menma, Seasoned Bamboo Shoots

This is a pretty standard topping for ramen but I think there is a world of difference between eating fresh bamboo and canned. If you can’t find fresh bamboo, then I would recommend forgo using this topping. For the dashi stock, you can find packets of dashi at Asian markets. Most come in packets where you would use one packet for every 2 cups of water  

Menma (Seasoned Bamboo Shoots) 


1 lb fresh bamboo shoots

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 cups dashi stock

1 tablespoon shoyu (soy sauce)

1 tablespoon sake

2 teapoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt


  1. Cut bamboo shoots in half lengthwise and julienne into thin strips.
  2. In a large sauté pan heat sesame oil, stock, shoyu, sake, sugar, and salt and combine. Set to medium high.
  3. Add bamboo shoots.
  4. Heat uncovered until bamboo soaks up most of the liquid, about 20 minutes.

Miso Ramen Soup Base - みそラーメン

I'm so excited to share my Miso Ramen recipe with you! Just so you know, there are four main types of ramen soup bases - Miso (Fermented Soybean Based), Shio (Salt Based), Shoyu (Soy Sauce Based) and Tonkotsu (Pork Bone Based). The first recipe I'd like to share is for my Miso Ramen - but I want us to do this gradually so that you don't get intimidated by the ramen process. The recipe itself is pretty easy but in order to make a complete bowl of ramen, you'll have to do it in stages instead of tackling this all in one day.  So, I'm having you start with a basic soup base, then I'll give you the recipe for fresh ramen noodles, then we can move on to some toppings.  At the end of our ramen introduction, it won't seem so difficult if we take it step by step.  You will be rewarded when we put it all together for a super-duper-delicious-awesome bowl of ramen! After that we can move on to the other soup bases and lots more variations of ramen to turn you into a ramen fanatic!

Before you do anything - your going to need bacon fat or grease - so fry up some bacon for breakfast and save that fat in a jar. You'll only need 4 tbsp so you should have plenty. Save the rest for later.

Here we go....

Miso Ramen Soup Base

Serves 1-10 portions

Prep time: 45 minutes only for making Miso Base, time to make noodles and toppings is additional

Miso Ramen originates from Hokkaido in Northern Japan. Winter’s are severe there, so it’s no wonder that the comfort and warmth of a good Miso Ramen is a daily staple.

I developed my variation of miso ramen with the idea of creating a super flavorful base that you can have anytime by just adding a cup of vegetable or chicken stock to. The result is the convenience of having a one-person portion or a meal for many – all according to the base to stock ratio. Whether you're taking it to work for yourself or preparing a family meal, it will be worth the labor because once you make it, it’s practically instant. The ramen base can be saved for up to a week in the refrigerator or frozen for a month.

Miso Base Ingredients:

1 medium carrot, peeled, large dice

½ onion, peeled, large dice

½ apple, stemmed, seeded, peeled and large dice

1 celery stalk, large dice

3 garlic cloves

½ cup bacon fat*

2  tablespoons sesame oil, split – use separately

1 ½ cups ground pork

2 teaspoons fresh ground ginger **

1 teaspoon Sriracha

2 tablespoon shoyu (soy sauce)

1 teaspoon kelp granules

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground sesame seed paste (if you do not have this, then omit) 

¾ cup Shiro miso (white miso which is lighter and sweeter)

¾ cup Akamiso miso (red miso is darker and saltier)

Chicken stock or Vegetable Stock – store bought or homemade *** 2 cups per serving based on the number of servings. 

* you can omit the bacon fat if you don’t have any but we wouldn’t recommend it. Next time you are cooking bacon in the morning, simply save your fat in a container and refrigerate it!  

** a trick to grating ginger: freeze your ginger in pieces with the skin on and take it out of the freezer right before you are ready to grate it.  No need to peel the skin off, it is edible. You can find a Japanese ginger grater online or in any Asian cooking store.

*** I recommend using a low-sodium chicken stock. If you are making your stock from scratch, do not add excessive salt as the miso base is very salty.

These components need to be made ahead of time:

Ramen Noodles – See Homemade Ramen Noodles recipe

Chashu and Marinated Half-Cooked Egg - See Chashu and Marinated-Half Cooked Egg recipe

Recommended Toppings:

Negi (green onions), sweet corn, chashu (pork belly), butter, half-cooked egg, garnish with nori (seaweed) square.


1. It is recommended to use a food processor but if you don’t have one, you can finely chop. Add carrot, onion, apple, and celery to a food processor. Pulse into a fine chop.

2. Add bacon fat and 1 tbsp of sesame oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the finely chopped mixture above and cook until onions are translucent and apple is tender, stirring occasionally, about 10-12 minutes.  When done, turn down to simmer until you are ready to add pork. 


3. Turn heat to medium-low. Next add your ground pork to the cooked vegetable mixture and cook the pork, about 5 minutes until no longer pink. Stir in the ginger, sriracha, soy sauce, kelp granules, apple-cider vinegar, and salt. Incorporate well.

4.  Return the entire mixture to the food processor and pulse until pork is finely ground.  Return to your skillet. 

5. Add your miso to the ground pork mixture and mix well.  It should have the consistency of a thick paste. Your base is done, remove from heat and set aside.


6. Place a pot of water to boil for your noodles. In a separate saucepan, bring Miso Base and broth to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer until it’s ready to serve. Note: It’s 3 tablespoons base to every 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth. Use about 2 cups soup per serving. Right before serving, crank it back up to boil. 

7. Boil the noodles—if fresh, boil for about 1 minute; if packaged, boil for about 2 minutes. As soon as they’re done, drain well and separate into serving bowls.

8. Pour 2 cups soup over each bowl of noodles. Top each bowl with desired toppings. 

"Experience the Marukan Difference" Giveaway

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Easy-peasy Japanesey video debut!

It was a labor of love but my video was recently completed and will hopefully help an interested publisher who sees my cookbook proposal to also put a face with the name. It will be worth watching, I promise!  Also, a big favor to ask of you - my recent assignment from my editor and agent are too beef up my social media - so please help me by also liking my Facebook page at - if you already have, then THANK YOU! The video is a visual on one of my most popular blog posts called "Just roll with it, it's a sushi party for everyone!"  It's a quick tutorial on how I put together a make your own sushi night at our house with some tricks from my mom on using a sharp knife and cooking rice.  If you look closely at the end, you'll see that my daughter's hand is completely covered in black paint.  It makes me laugh to know that we didn't even wash her hands before eating!  Oh well!  Hope you enjoy! [wpvideo tPgVbwfn]

Here's a link to the original post about how to make everything you need for your own sushi party! >>