“Any food you make tastes better when you use good ingredients, right?”
—Gladiolus Amicitia, FFXV
For the broth:
- Bones from 1 roasted chickatrice
- 2½ pounds garula trotters, split lengthwise or cut crosswise into 1-inch disks (you can ask your butcher to do this for you)
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or another vegetable oil with neutral flavor
- 1 bulbous wild onion, skin on and quartered lengthwise
- 1 head of garlic, skin on and halved crosswise to expose the cloves
- 1 small knob of Kettier ginger, skin on and roughly chopped
- 2 leeks, roughly chopped and rinsed well
- 6 ounces scallions, white parts only (reserve light and dark green parts for garnish)
- 7 ounces whole alstrooms, or shiitake mushrooms
For the tare:
- 20 grams kombu (dried seaweed)
- 30 grams niboshi (dried sardines)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 27 grams katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
- ¼ cup sake
- ¼ cup mirin
- 1 cup soy sauce
Place chickatrice bones and garula trotters in a large soup pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, put a heavy frying pan over medium heat and heat grapeseed oil until lightly smoking. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and toast until lightly charred on most sides, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
As soon as it comes to a boil, remove pot from heat, transfer bones to a colander, and rinse well. Using a chopstick and cold running water, remove blood, dark marrow, and anything else that isn’t beige or white.
Return bones to the soup pot and add charred vegetables, leeks, scallion whites, and alstrooms. Cover with cold water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that appears and wiping off any black or grey scum from around the rim of the pot.
Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Check the pot after 15 minutes; it should be at a slow rolling boil. If not, slightly increase or decrease heat as needed. Continue boiling until stock is opaque and thickened to the texture of light cream, about 10–12 hours, checking periodically to ensure bones are submerged and adding more water if necessary.
Remove from heat and let cool until safe to handle, no more than 1 hour. Place a colander on top of a large pot.
Drape with cheesecloth folded into a large square. Strain stock into the colander. Discard bones and vegetables, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Next, make the tare. This is the salty base that you’ll combine with the garula stock when preparing your bowl of ramen. Without the tare, the garula stock is bland and flavorless.
Put the kombu in a bowl and cover with 1 cup water. Soak for at least 3 hours.
Heat the sesame oil in a medium saucepan. Add niboshi and saute for about 1 minute over medium heat until golden, being careful not to overcook. Add kombu and soaking liquid. Just before boiling, when you start to see bubbles forming around the edges of the pot, remove pan from heat and discard kombu.
Scatter katsuobushi over the surface of the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat.
Let the katsuobushi sink to the bottom, about 10 minutes. Strain the stock through a sieve lined with a paper towel or coffee filter. Gently squeeze to release extra liquid. Set stock aside and discard the fish.
Add the sake and mirin to the empty saucepan and boil for about 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce and bring to just under a boil. Remove from heat and let rest for a few minutes before stirring in the fish broth.
When you’re ready to prepare your bowl of ramen, bring the garula stock to a simmer over low heat. Place two tablespoons of the tare (fish stock and soy sauce mixture) in a bowl and top with 1 cup hot garula stock. Whisk well to combine and add noodles and toppings.