The traditional Japanese ramen topping menma (sealed bamboo shoots) is also a tasty snack. Quite delicious and somewhat crispy. This concludes the series on Traditional Shoyu Ramen from Ramen At Home.
A condiment known as menma is created from dried and fermented bamboo stalks. After being reconstituted, the dried bamboo shoots are seasoned with dashi. Although menma is most commonly used as a ramen topping, it may also be eaten as a snack or an amuse-bouche. They have a subtle crunch and are quite tasty!
This Menma dish is part three of a six-part series using Brian MacDuckston’s Traditional Shoyu Ramen recipe from his “Ramen at Home” cookbook, available at ramenadventures.com.
What is Menma in ramen?
Bamboo shoots that have been dried before being fermented are known as menma (or ), in Japanese. It also goes by the name Shinachiku and is originated from China. Menma is also known as preserved Japanese bamboo shoots, seasoned bamboo shoots, and pickled bamboo shoots.
Traditionally, soy sauce, sugar, salt, sesame oil, and other seasonings are used to season menma bamboo shoots. Before the fermentation process can begin, it is then dried in the sun. Although the traditional menma is highly tasty, making it requires too much time and effort. With my recipe, I forgo the laborious drying and fermentation steps and instead create a flavorful handmade menma in a flash.
How to Make Menma (Seasoned Bamboo Shoots)
INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTES
Bamboo Shoots: Most neighborhood Asian grocers carry canned bamboo shoots. Beware of pre-cut bamboo stalks; I find them to frequently be excessively soft. This is the brand I used in this recipe, and you can also get it from Amazon online.
Sesame Oil: It gives the food a genuine nutty taste. Vegetable oil can be used in a pinch.
Garlic: For the finest flavor, use fresh garlic.
The bamboo shoots are given a ton of flavor by the chicken bouillon powder. It is available at most supermarket shops. Online access is also provided.
Soy sauce: To cut back on salt consumption, I advise choosing low sodium soy sauce. You can use ordinary soy sauce if you don’t have one. If you want the color to be darker, use dark soy sauce instead.
Mirin is a crucial ingredient in Japanese cooking. Mirin gives the food a sweet and tart taste. If you’d like, use dry sherry instead.
For this recipe, I used ordinary granulated sugar.
Water: To produce the stock, combine chicken bouillon powder with water.
Menma bamboo shoots can be purchased dry or liquid-preserved in bags, jars, or cans. Sliced bamboo shoots from a regular may also work. You must first soak dried menma in water to rehydrate them if you plan to use them. No matter what kind of menma you use, make sure to thoroughly rinse it after removing it from the packaging or can.
In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 a cup of bamboo shoots, 2 cups of water, 1/2 a cup of the Chicken Chashu seasoned liquid, and 1/4 cup mirin.
You may substitute teriyaki sauce for the seasoning liquid from the Chicken Chashu if you’re creating this dish on your own.
Heat to a rolling boil over medium-high.
After adding some bonito flakes, turn down the heat and let the dish simmer for 25 minutes.
Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Before usage, place the menma and soaking liquid in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for the night.
For up to a week, the menma with liquid can be kept in the fridge.
Menma can be eaten as a snack or as a topping for ramen.
3 Tips for Making Menma
Menma has a soft, chewy texture with a hint of sweetness. How to create menma at home is as follows:
Rinse new bamboo shoots and rehydrate dry ones. At Asian grocery stores, you may purchase cooked menma as well as dried and tinned bamboo shoots. Remember to properly rehydrate the dried shoots in hot water before making your own menma.
The dashi can be flavored with various ingredients. Experiment with varying amounts of sweetness, whether from mirin, brown or white sugar, or teriyaki and oyster sauce, and add briny umami flavor with katsuobushi.
Menma should be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Let your homemade menma a full night to marinade before using. Use it within a week and keep it in the soaking liquid.
WAYS TO USE MENMA
- As a Ramen Topping: This is the most popular method to eat menma bamboo shoots, which give ramen noodles an incredible taste and crisp texture.
- You may also serve it alongside rice as a side dish.
- As a Snack: It may be taken as a snack all by itself.
WHAT DOES MENMA TASTE LIKE?
The menma from the store is crisp, flavorful, and full of taste. This customized recipe yields a menma that is less crispy but yet quite tasty.
WHERE TO BUY MENMA FOR TOPPING?
Most neighborhood Japanese grocery stores carry menma. Typically, it is in a jar in the condiment aisle or a vacuum pack in the chilled aisle. As an alternative, you may get them from Amazon online.
In conclusion, if you see “menma” on the menu at a ramen shop, it’s referring to a type of Japanese pickled bamboo shoots. This crunchy and savory topping is treasured by many for its umami flavor punch! But, whether you decide to add it or not, one thing is certain: ramen will always be an exciting and flavorful experience to share with your friends and family. And luckily for us in Japan, there are plenty of opportunities to discover different types of ramen and this beloved topping! So take the time to explore all the delicious possibilities that Japan has to offer – who knows what surprises await!
Menma is an ingredient that can take ramen to the next level, adding a hint of umami and a crunchier texture. Not only that but it’s also packed with vitamins and minerals, making it a healthier choice than some of the other more common toppings. Ultimately, whether you’re a die-hard ramen fan or just trying out your first bowl, menma is definitely worth giving a go. Plus, it can be served in both hot and cold dishes or combined with almost any type of soup or sauce – so you won’t go wrong experimenting here! If you want to discover more about menma and how best to add this delicious topping to your favorite ramen dish, then why not contact us at Angelo’s Burgers for some expert advice? We’d love to hear from you!