Let’s Make Ramen! A Comic Book Cookbook

Ten Speed: Crown. Jul. 2019. 192p. photos. illus. by Sarah Becan. index. ISBN 9780399581991. pap. $19.99ebk. ISBN 9780399582004. COOKING
Chef and writer Amano (The Adventures of Fat Rice) and comics artist Becan have teamed up to write this surprisingly thorough guide to creating ramen at home. In just under 200 pages, they cover the history, ingredients, and development of ramen along with recipes for stocks, broths, the seasoning mixtures called tares, and toppings (meats, vegetables, and eggs), as well as instructions for making ramen noodles by hand. While it could seem like a gimmick to pair a ramen cookbook with a manga-like format, it works well in this case. The design is attractive, clean, and easy to use; the recipes are complex and well written. Ramen is not a fast meal from scratch, but the authors give strategies for how to stage and store the components in order to have ramen at any time. The focus is on authentic Japanese flavors; the standards, including tonkotsu broth, shoyu tare, and yasai broth, are here. But there are also variations such as adobo chicken ramen and ramen-adjacent dishes such as yakisoba and mazemen.
VERDICT While there are several ramen cookbooks available, few are as fun, and serious, as this one.
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