expert advice

Morimoto’s Ramen Primer

Morimoto braces himself for a third bowl of ramen at Setagaya.

Morimoto braces himself for a third bowl of ramen at Setagaya.Photo: Melissa Hom

Having lured Iron Chef Morimoto for a ramen judgment day in the East Village, Grub Street had the chance to score a valuable noodle primer for the uninitiated. The athletic chef admits he hasn’t been eating much ramen recently because of its high calories and sodium (he once considered a career in pro baseball and exhibited hyper-quick reflexes during the tour by catching Grub Street by the arm mid-fall when we slipped on rain-slicked cement). But he’s quite familiar with Japan’s BQ Gurume, or B-class gourmet, which includes ramen, curry, tonkatsu, and soba. Below, Morimoto's iron ramen tips.

1. Because noodles get soggy in hot soup, it’s better to eat them right away.

2.You can specify how you would like your noodle cooked. You should choose your favorite texture, but traditionally, you might say “katamen,” for al dente.

3. If you’re very hungry, you can order “kaedama” to get an extra bunch of noodles. You’ll add them to your broth, so make sure you save some soup in the bowl.

What East Village ramen did Iron Chef Morimoto like best? Click to see his Number 1 pick.

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