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Fuji Apple Shoyu Ramen

Photo: US Apples
From: Chef Jason Dorweiler, UniDeli, Minneapolis. Yield: 50 servings.

Ramen Stock:
as needed, pork bones (split hocks, split femur, quartered trotters, 1 head, if available)
as needed, chicken bones (feet, backs, wing tips)

Pork Stock Additions:
3 lb. vegetable scraps (onion ends, carrot ends, celery ends, mushroom stems) or roughly chopped vegetables if scraps are unavailable
30 whole peppercorns
10 Fuji apples, sliced in sections
15 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
10 knobs of ginger, roughly chopped
2 qt. cooking sake

Chicken Stock Additions for Apple Shoyu Tare:
2 qt. high-quality soy sauce
1 qt. sugar
1 qt. dashi (recipe follows)
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup fish sauce
2 sheets konbu (dried edible kelp)

Dashi Seasoning:
1 cup salt
2 cups packed katsuobushi flakes (dried, shaved bonito, broken down by hand)
10 to 15 dried powdered shiitake mushroom caps (use a spice grinder)

For stock: Fill a 15-gallon stock pot one-third full with hocks, femur and trotters, along with head if using. In smaller 5-gallon pot, do the same with the chicken bones.  When filling stock pots with bones, aim to have the pot approximately half-full, as heat will break down bones and cause them to settle more. Fill stock pots with water and boil over high heat until pots reach a rolling boil, then continue to cook on low heat at a gentle boil, adding more water as mixture evaporates. Continue cooking for 12 hours or until both stocks become opaque, or a solid off-white color, almost milky in appearance. Chicken stock will appear more white than pork stock. When both stocks have reached optimal color, continue to let chicken stock reduce until only half the original volume is left. Turn heat off, and strain stock through a fine wire mesh into another pot. Transfer bones and bits into simmering pork stock.

Pork stock additions: Reduce heat to its lowest gentle simmer and add ingredients. Simmer for 1 hour.

Chicken stock additions: Return the stock to heat and add ingredients. Simmer for another 20 minutes, then remove konbu. The apple shoyu tare is now ready.

To assemble and serve: Add 1 part ramen stock to ¼ part tare for each bowl. Adjust as necessary with either more or less tare or salt, to preference. Add fresh ramen noodles, prepared according to instructions. (Udon or soba noodles may also be used.) Optional toppings for ramen include mirin-braised beech and oyster mushrooms, narutomaki (fish cake), wakame (seaweed), julienned leeks, menma (pickled bamboo shoots), bok choy, black garlic oil and sesame seeds.

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