Bone Daddies noodle bar is winning praise for its flavour-crammed bowlfuls of ramen served with optional pipettes of extra fat. We tied our hair back (elastics are provided) and joined chef-owner Ross Shonhan at the stock pot to find out what makes his ramen rock.

The first rule of ramen is: no rules. There are as many different versions as there are ramen chefs, but the foundations are wheat noodles and chicken or pork stock, with soy, seaweed, chilli, spring onion, egg… ‘There’s so much in a bowl of ramen,’ says Ross, well-versed Japanophile and former head chef at Zuma in Knightsbridge. ‘And, whatever anyone says, there’s no right or wrong – this is a dish that is very much still evolving. Ramen chefs are the punk chefs of Japan. The key is that a bowl of ramen must be delicious.’

Straight off the Bone Daddies menu, here we present Ross’s tantanmen ramen. The name is an interpretation of dandan noodles, a Chinese dish popular in Japan, and one of the more recent ramen flavours. Sesame-laced and indulgently mouth-filling, with plenty of vitamin P, this is ideal to do on a Monday/Tuesday following a big pork roast. Prepare the stock a day in advance. The ingredients list is long, but the method isn’t arduous or tricky – the key is to get well prepared with everything to hand.

Tantanmen ramen

Ingredients to serve four

  • 110g noodles
  • Four large pak choi leaves, blanched
  • 200g bean sprouts, blanched
  • 20g chives, thinly sliced
  • Chilli oil

For the stock

  • 1.25 litres chicken stock
  • Knob of fresh ginger
  • Piece of dried konbu seaweed
  • One leek, chopped
  • Handful of dried shiitake mushrooms

For the marinated eggs

  • Four eggs, soft-boiled and peeled
  • 100ml soy sauce
  • 100ml water
  • 10g sugar

For the sesame tare

  • 200g white sesame seeds, roasted
  • 150g soy sauce
  • 100g sugar
  • 100g chilli oil
  • 35g fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 20g spring onion
  • 250g sesame paste

For the ground pork

  • 200g minced pork
  • 20g tobanjan spicy bean sauce
  • 160g soy sauce
  • 5g chilli oil
  • 5g vegetable oil
  • 5g garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 5g ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 10g spring onion, finely chopped

For the bamboo shoots

  • 200g canned bamboo shoots, drained
  • 5g sesame oil
  • 100g soy sauce
  • 10g sugar
  • 2g chilli flakes

‘Start by purchasing the highest-quality ramen noodles you can find, and prepare your stock and marinated eggs a day in advance’

  • 1

    Make a strong chicken stock, and add fresh ginger, konbu, dried shitake mushrooms and chopped leek. Or buy a good quality stock and flavour as above.

  • 2

    Marinate the eggs overnight (or for at least four hours) in a mixture of soy, sugar and water.

  • 3

    Make your sesame tare by blending all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

  • 4

    Prepare the ground pork: stir fry the mince in hot vegetable oil until brown, then add all the other ingredients and cook until the mixture is dry.

  • 5

    Stir fry the bamboo shoots in the sesame oil until dry, then add the soy, sugar and chilli flakes and cook until dry.

  • 6

    You are now ready to go. Assemble all the components and lay them out ready to use. You need two pots on the heat: one to hold the hot stock, the other with boiling water for the noodles.

  • 7

    Divide the sesame tare between four large serving bowls, and add a quarter of the stock to each one…

  • 8

    …then whisk until it’s creamy.

  • 9

    Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, drain, and divide them between the four bowls.

  • 10

    Top with egg halves, ground pork, bamboo, bean sprouts and chives. Ross uses garlic chives, but any will do. Remember, no rules, so you can go off-recipe here.

  • 11

    If you’ve got some roast pork in the fridge, add a few slices to each bowl, which will do fine as a substitute for authentic char sui pork (Chinese-style braised pork belly).

  • 12

    Finally, finish with as much chilli as you dare…


Bone Daddies; 31 Peter Street, London W1F (020 7287 8581; www.bonedaddiesramen.com)

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