Deconstructing ramen

ramen bowl spoon chopsticks

Asian noodle soups are a popular lunch option at YouTube’s San Bruno, Calif., campus, says Trent Page, the GM at Bon Appetit Management who runs the company’s three corporate dining venues. But Page noticed an increasing preference for customizable dishes and vegan preparations among the 1,000 customers he feeds daily. Inspired by a recent visit to Japan, he introduced tsukemen to the menu—a dish that features most of the traditional ramen ingredients (noodles, eggs and vegetable garnishes) served separately so diners can mix and match. “Separating the components makes it more customizable and adaptable to people with allergies or dietary preferences,” he says. Each diner then takes a bowl of noodles, adds a walnut-miso sauce instead of broth and spoons on the desired garnishes.

deconstructed ramen chart

  1. Ramen broth is typically made by simmering meat bones for many hours, says Page. The vegan broth he makes—a combination of water, kombu (dried kelp strips) and shiitake mushrooms—not only fits every diet, but it’s also ready in just 15 minutes.
  2. To create the sauce, Page purees toasted walnuts with red miso paste, soy sauce and enough of the broth until it emulsifies and turns creamy but doesn’t get too thick. “The miso provides umami flavor that the walnuts accentuate,” says Page. “Plus the nuts add body and richness, acting as a substitute for meat.”
  3. In building the tsukemen, customers start with soba, udon or egg noodles and add the sauce, which clings to the noodles more effectively than a ramen broth. Poached eggs, scallions, Japanese seaweed, pickled radishes, sesame seeds and other toppings are available to customize the dish—as well as cooked pork and chicken for the meat eaters. 

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
fish tacos

From High Liner Foods.

Younger consumers are driving an increased focus on sustainability, and more consumers overall are demanding a wider variety of seafood on menus. With shifting interest in seafood, operators need to be familiar with the seafood consumer—who they are, what they’re looking for and when they eat it—to more effectively boost interest in seafood dishes.

Understand consumer habits

Technomic’s 2017 Center of the Plate: Seafood & Vegetarian report finds that 65% of consumers eat seafood at least occasionally (once every 90 days or more), either as an...

Industry News & Opinion

The Missouri House of Representatives has initially approved a bill that would enable students with dietary issues to forgo mandatory meal plans at public colleges and universities, U.S. News reports.

Approved Tuesday, the bill would grant students with medical documentation of food sensitivities, food allergies or medical dietary issues the right to opt out of meal plans.

Supporters of the bill say it will allow students to not have to pay for food they can’t safely eat, while opponents say that the bill will negatively impact schools financially. According to legislative...

Industry News & Opinion

A study released by Sodexo indicates that gender-balanced management improves team performance.

The 2018 study is an expansion of a previous Sodexo study that launched in 2014. The expanded study analyzed 50,000 managers in all levels of management from 70 entities around the world over five years.

The study found that teams managed by 40% to 60% women had better employee and client retention, saw fewer workplace accidents and increased their operating margins and employee engagement.

Industry News & Opinion

Rick Farmer, executive chef for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and Stephanie Powers, executive chef of Spring Harbor, a retirement community in Columbus, Ga., were crowned the winners of MenuDirections’ 2018 Culinary Competition.

Split into teams of two, chefs had 60 minutes to prepare and plate their own entrees using a preselected basket of ingredients such as beans, mushrooms and orange sauce. Each dish was judged on its presentation, taste and creativity.

The winning dish was orange glazed pork with a black bean and wild mushroom cake topped...

FSD Resources