Ivan Shio Ramen - First Attempt / by Darrell Chan

So it all started with a trip to San Francisco. One of my friends noticed my recent obsession with ramen while we were eating at Ramen Underground. Now, I'm not talking about the ramen you buy at the grocery store for 10 cents a pack. I'm talking about fresh, handmade ramen that's typical in Japan and spreading in popularity here in the States. If you've never tried it, you're missing out!

Source: Amazon.com

Source: Amazon.com

Anyway, she sent me a link to this autobiography/cookbook and I just had to try it. The book covers the adventures and beginning of Ivan Ramen, a now successful ramen shop located in Tokyo. What makes this place interesting is that it was founded by an American in an industry dominated by local Japanese Chefs.

The book includes the complete recipe to the shio ramen he makes in his restaurant with instructions on how to make everything from scratch. It's quite the challenge and takes a lot of work as it took me about 8 hours to prepare. BUT IT'S WORTH IT.

As it snowed 13 inches.. I figured I might as well spend my time at home making my first batch.

Making you hungry?

Let me just say that I'm hooked. I didn't even follow the recipe exactly since I didn't have all the ingredients to make everything from scratch, but it was one of the best bowls of ramen I've ever eaten. The flavors were so clean and distinct, just a touch too much salt.

Ivan Ramen now has a restaurant in NYC's Hell's Kitchen called Ivan Ramen's Slurp Shop and, while it's quite different than the Tokyo restaurant, it's definitely on my list of places to eat next time I'm in town!