Who says you can’t play with your food? Tsukemen is not only delicious for adventurous diners, it’s a guaranteed kid pleaser and appropriate for serving to finicky friends. If you enjoy sampling dishes from around the world but are also cooking for reluctant diners, Tsukemen is a must-try.
Tsumemen is basically deconstructed ramen, where cold ramen or somen noodles are dipped in a flavorful hot broth which is seasoned and garnished to each individual diner’s taste. It’s a remarkably simple concept for a delightful meal. Let’s get started!
Ingredients (Serves 4)
4 servings of dry ramen or somen noodles
For the broth:
3 cups pork stock
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce, optional
For seasoning and garnish, offer diners 1 teaspoon portions of the following:
Chili paste, such as Nam Prik Pao
Finely diced green onion
Finely diced shiitake mushroom
Step 1) Begin with the seasoning and garnishes. For traditional presentation, place 1 teaspoon portions of each seasoning and garnish on individual plates for each diner. Do not mix the seasonings and garnishes together, so that your diners are able to pick and choose which items to add to their individual cup of broth.
Step 2) Combine broth ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. The broth will be quite salty, and that is OK. Tsukemen broth is not usually consumed by itself, but is used only for dipping noodles.
Step 3) Cook noodles according to package directions, removing noodles from boiling water when just al dente. Place noodles immediately in a large bowl of ice water to cool the noodles and stop the cooking process!
Step 4) Ladle hot broth into small bowls for each guest. Arrange small plates of seasonings and garnishes for each guest. Finally, when guests are seated, remove noodles from ice water and serve on small plates or in wide bowls. Invite guests to season and garnish their individual bowls of broth. Then, invite guests to enjoy their Tsukemen by lifting a few noodles with chopsticks, dipping the noodles in broth, and eating. Slurping is OK!
The world is small… have big fun!