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Food Stylist vs. Ramen Bowl | How to Style DIY Ramen for Photo | Well Done

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– Yes, I went to culinary school I also could have bought a Mercedes-Benz, but instead I learned to cut scallions

Never compare your education to buying a car, edumacation I'm a food stylist Consider me a makeup artist for food I take boring, everyday average food and make it look amazing I'm gonna show you guys how I style my version of a traditional bowl of ramen

(upbeat music) We all grew up eating the packaged ramen with the little packet of powdered chicken flavor, which probably led to the reason why true, traditional ramen is so popular these days, because we had this little sentimental place in our heart for it, and then we grew up and realized it was actually, like, pretty legit So we're gonna start prepping our veggies for our ramen bowl First thing we're gonna do is just prep this really cute baby bok choys So we're just actually gonna cut these in half lengthwise These are beautiful, they call 'em Fresno chilies, or a red jalapeno, and we're just gonna do thin slices on that

The next thing I wanna work on are my carrots I just really love the addition of a matchstick carrot or a julienne carrot It's gonna add length and texture, but it's also a really beautiful, precise cut I'm gonna trim the tops off, and then cut them in about two to two and a half inch pieces, which is basically in half Then I'm gonna take a mandolin

We're slicing the carrot into a plank without slicing my fingerprint off, and then we're going to julienne the carrot, and that just basically means at an angle I'm slicing it lengthwise into thin strips I'm just going to take a paper towel or a cloth, dampen it, and just rest it over the carrots to keep them looking fresh The next thing I'm gonna do is work with my shiitake mushrooms I'm actually, the only thing I'm gonna do with these guys right now is take the stem off Yeah, so most of the time it just pops right off, just like that, and you're left with this really nice little mushroom cap

Okay, so I think the last veggie we have to prep is the green onions, or the scallions Something that you might be familiar with, something you possibly have seen before is, it's like a Japanese cut on a scallion, which is a very, very strong bias or diagonal slice onto a scallion I feel like every time I've seen a bowl of ramen with scallions on it, it's just like a pile or a mountain of scallions, so I definitely want to make sure I have enough Sometime on a green onion you'll find this really cute little sprig that hasn't quite matured as much as the other, larger pieces Actually, that is a really fun addition sometimes to have

I think that most herbs, like the petite, the better You don't want them to overwhelm whatever it is that you're making So we have prepped our veggies We're gonna get set up to blanch veggies and cook our noodles for our ramen bowls So, the first thing we're gonna do is blanch the bok choy

If you watched my episode on making a holiday dinner, I did talk a lot about blanching green vegetables It keeps them crispy, but makes them tender It retains their color without overcooking It's just a really great thing, you should try it Okay, so we're putting our bok choy in the pot, and then putting them directly into the ice bath

So, a bright green vegetable really lets you know that it's fresh, it's well-cooked, it's gonna be tender, but it's still gonna be crispy It's almost like seeing the color allows you to feel the texture in your mouth Now I'm gonna take my bok choy and lay it out on a paper towel, just kinda let it dry Laying it out like this also helps me see which pieces I probably want to use, like which ones are the prettiest Like the inside of it has a really nice shape and it looks full, whereas this one, it's not as full

It doesn't have the same look to it So this is the winner, and this is dinner And now we're basically gonna do the same thing with the shiitake mushrooms The mushrooms look a little cooked but not really overcooked So now I'm just gonna put them in my little bowl and set them to the side

They are still hot They will continue cooking 'cause I am not blanching them, because I want them to continue to cook down just a little bit, get a little bit softer The one thing that I really want to be able to see in my ramen bowl when I make it, are this beautiful inside of the mushroom where the scales are That is really iconic to a shiitake mushroom, and so that's what I wanna see Scales, gills? I retract what I've said about scales, the gills inside of the mushroom is what I want to see

Whatever Now we're gonna cook our ramen noodles So, I just have a couple versions of noodles to show you These ramen noodles are a little bit more like the ones that you just get at the grocery store in a three for a dollar kinda thing And then I also have these, which are the product that I'm gonna use today

I've worked with this product before, and I think they're very beautiful and they're very elegant It's also a fresh noodle product Okay, so I'm going to par-cook the noodles, pretty much like you would regular pasta noodles I would like them to be a little al dente, so they are not too soft They're a little easier to work with in this case

They come in these really nice little bunches A bunch, would you call that a bunch? Bundle, bundle, that's the word It's a bundle! (laughs) Just give that a little stir so they break apart All right, so the noodles cooked for about a minute They're very starchy

Oh, like I literally got every single noodle out at one time That's awesome I'm gonna turn my water off, 'cause I'm done with that, and I'm gonna give the noodles a quick rinse in cold water, so that they stop cooking, and then we'll get ready to finish our ramen bowls So now we have everything we need to build our ramen bowls So the first thing's first, is adding our noodles

So we're going to wrap and twist our noodles We're layering them, and wrapping them, and twirling them, and supporting them with love and kindness The ramen noodles are creating a base for everything else that's going to be put on the top of the bowl I'm wetting my noodles These ramen noodles, in particular, are very, very, starchy, so they get more sticky the drier they get, and in order to create this really lovely twirled nest of noodle, they have to be damp

But it's really lovely It's a tight little nest It's very appealing to the eye It doesn't seem chaotic I mean, you can see the shape is so well-defined, the noodles just kinda like flow throughout the bowl, different movements catch your eye in different ways

So even once I do have toppings on them, you're still gonna be able to see those noodles and the way they move through the broth, and it's just gonna be really lovely Now I'm gonna work with just slicing this pork belly This is a precooked pork belly from Trader Joe's What we did for this, for our ramen bowl, is I marinated the pork belly in a soy sauce mixture, and then we just seared it off so it has a really nice browning on it So now we're just gonna get some really nice slices out of it

And I'm doing thin slices They're probably 1/4 of an inch thick So now I'm gonna start adding our toppings There are gonna be like natural divots where the noodles are placed in the bowl, so I'm just kinda using that as a place to put my bok choy So these mushrooms are actually a little large

I don't want them to take up too much space in the bowl, so I'm gonna slice them in half You can still see those beautiful gills inside the mushroom A nice little pile of carrots So I also have store-bought ramen broth, which is a thing now, thank goodness, and I am going with a matsutake ramen broth, which is a mushroom broth Since we're playing with our shiitake mushrooms today, I thought it would be really nice, and this just is a really clear, beautiful broth

So now we're gonna add our pork One last really wonderful traditional thing to put in a bowl of ramen is a soft-boiled egg And so what we have done is soft-boiled eggs for six to seven minutes Once the eggs are finished cooking, then you go immediately into an ice bath Once the eggs are cool, you peel them, and then we marinated our eggs in soy sauce, and sugar, and a couple other ingredients

They have a little spot on them from where they float in the liquid, of course, because eggs float, but you're not gonna see that So when we cut into it, this'll be the side of the egg that's in the broth, in the soup bowl, so you actually won't be able to see it All right, guys, we have done as much as we can here in the kitchen, so now we are going to take our beautiful photo-ready prop bowls of ramen over to our photo set, do a couple finishing garnishes, and show you what a beautiful setup we have going on You guys, this ramen set is so beautiful All of the colors, both from the props and the food play off of each other so well, and it's bright, and fresh, and it just looks great

I have our photographer back here who has done an amazing job of capturing this beautiful set, this ramen dinner for two I'm gonna do just a couple of additional food changes now that I have the food on set I'm increasing the level of the broth in the ramen bowls so that it really looks like it's full and brothy like ramen is supposed to be Even tucking a couple of the food items into the broth, so that it really looks like they're truly incorporated Now I'm gonna add my scallions

I'm gonna do just a little pile kinda right in the middle A couple of our sliced red chilies, and then a couple of sesame seeds on each bowl for garnish, and I have both white and black sesame seeds And so now I'll do a little chili oil finish on each bowl Guys, this ramen set turned out so beautiful It's delicious, it smells great, and everything we did today is completely edible and real

Why don't you let us know what you thought about this in the comments below While you're at it, make sure to subscribe to "Well Done" on YouTube, and follow me on Instagram Share with me everything that you're doing, if you pick up any tips from watching the show, and please let me know what you want to see me food style next (gentle instrumental music)

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