weekend of ramen, part 1

Monday, June 20, 2011

Yes, it's Monday, but I'm still dreaming of the weekend.

That would be Todd's shoyu ramen from Ramen Halu in San Jose.

We drove south to Watsonville for the weekend, and since the Bay Area's best ramen is in the South Bay, we thought we'd stop for a bowl on the way down and another on the way up.

Halu tops quite a few ramen lists, so we chose it for our first stop.

It was hot out, so I went the tsuke-men route. Dipping noodles in broth seemed more appealing than slurping a big bowl of hot soup.

Confession: Before this, I had never had tsuke-men before. And I soon discovered it requires skill. In fact, I was downright confused when my order arrived, since Halu's tsuke-men comes with two broths: a rich, intense, red-hued broth and a clear, almost flavorless broth served in what looks like a tea mug. I had no idea what to do with the latter. (I realize now that I was supposed to cut the richer broth with the clear broth after I finished my noodles and toppings so I could then drink the rest of the broth. Next time, I'll have to try this!)

My next mistake: I ordered corn as an additional topping. With a regular bowl, this would've been no problem. With tsuke-men, it was next to impossible to eat. The corn kept falling off my chopsticks or drowning in the broth.

I ended up dumping all of these kernels into the dipping broth and then using Todd's spoon (the tsuke-men didn't come with one), to scoop the corn back out. (And yes, the broth on its own was extremely rich -- no wonder you're supposed to use the clear broth to cut it!)

Despite my fumbling, unsophisticated tsuke-men eating technique, I loved Ramen Halu. It reminded me a lot of Shoki -- subtle flavors, unpretentious food and just downright delicious. I definitely want to go back and try the tsuke-men again and a regular bowl as well!

1 comment:

D said...

Thank you for the amazing play-by-play! I would have never guessed that was what you were supposed to do with the 2nd bowl of broth! At Shoki there is only one bowl for the tsukemen and at that I was confused the first time. All in all - it looked fabulous! I think for your info, you need to add something about your love of ramen.

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