A Spoonful of Ramen
Full of complex flavors, ramen is a Japanese dish making a splash on menus across town. Here we deconstruct a local favorite.
Joe and Lora Still’s fascination with Asian cuisine helped inspire the menu for their business, Skully’s Food Truck (505 W. Commercial St., Springfield, 417-298-2021). “One of my first jobs was working at Master Wongs in Bolivar,” Joe says. “On my days off, I’d experiment cooking ramen and cooking pho at home.” Today he has developed solid recipes for pork- and mushroom-based ramen broths, and he serves them to hungry diners on the reg. There are always a couple batches brewing at Skully’s, with the pork broth made from a base of pork bones, chicken bones and other pork pieces from Hörrmann Meat Company. Here's what else goes into Skully’s dreamy pork ramen bowl.
1. Pickled Daikon
One of the most intriguing things about ramen is the dish’s many textures. The pros at Skully’s pickle matchstick slices of daikon radish themselves, then add a pile to each bowl for crunch and complexity.
2. Green Onion
Green onion is used as a garnish for the ramen and adds a hint of freshness. Rather than being sliced into traditional ring-style shapes, the onion is sliced into slivers so it’s easier to pick up.
3. Pork Belly Tare
The pork ramen at Skully’s is topped with house-made tare. To create the drizzable garnish, chefs cook off pork belly and reserve the drippings. This rich sauce is drizzled on top of the creation before it is served.
4. Pickled Carrot
Although carrots are sweet in their natural state, they take on a bit of brininess and a vinegary flavor after being pickled by the pros at Skully's. These flavors help cut through the dish’s rich broth.
Although cilantro is not traditionally used in most ramen dishes, the foodies at Skully’s like adding it as a fresh garnish to their version of the dish. Along with the pickled vegetables, the fresh cilantro shines among the rich, deep broth.