Welcome to The Takeout’s Asian Noodles Week, a tribute to the O.G. pasta bowl.
There is irony to the U.S. fascination with eggs in ramen. Don’t get me wrong. Few things in life are more delicious than a marinated, aromatic egg encapsulating a jiggly yolk.
One of the best parts about ramen is the variety of toppings a bowl can include—this is where many chefs flex their creativity. It can be something as simple and classic as thinly sliced green onion, or toppings that add complexity such as fish powder or fried burdock root. Some toppings are expected, some are not.
Last time we discussed ramen, we dove into the world of tare, the elusive secret sauce responsible for flavoring ramen broth. But there’s one other key component of ramen that rarely gets talked about. And that, my noodle loving friends, is aroma oil.
Let’s talk about tare. It’s one of the five essential elements of ramen, and I’d argue it’s more important than soup. And unless you’re a die-hard ramen geek, you’ve likely not heard of it.
For the last eight years, I’ve devoted my life to learning, appreciating, and respecting one of the world’s great culinary marvels. People have called me obsessive, over-the-top, bordering on mania.