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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Miso Ramen Inspired By Chaplin's

When my daughter, Lisa heard we were going to take a weekend vacation to Washington, DC recently she told us we had to go to eat at Chaplin's.  Now hearing that name, I would not think that she would go on to say that they had some of the best ramen and gyoza she had ever had.  I was a little skeptical but I trusted her taste buds and penciled Chaplin's in for one of our dinners.  We were not disappointed.  In fact, we would take another trip into that area just to eat there again!

I had the miso ramen and Soko had the Chaplin.  I've had some delicious miso ramen before.  One of my favorite things to do when I up north was to go Japanese grocery shopping at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater, NJ and then have dinner or lunch at Santouka.  They offered a shio, shoyu or miso ramen.  I always got the miso which was absolutely worth the wait on their long line of customers.   And at Ippudo, located in Osaka, Japan.  Ippudo also has restaurants in New York City if you don't want to travel as far as Japan to try them but I heard that their ramen is better in Japan. They served amazing ramen in Japan.   I have to say that Chaplin's soup compares very favorably with the other two restaurants.

When I eat ramen at home, though, I open up the package of noodles which comes with a small packet that contains the soup flavoring mix.   I will either add celery stems with the leaves on them to the soup at the same time I put in the noodles or an egg that I break up into the soup after the egg has cooked for a couple of seconds.    It's yummy and perfect for a quick lunch but Chaplin's inspired me to try to create a soup from scratch.

Chaplin's miso ramen, as described on their menu, lists ground pork, pork butt chashu (a slice of marinated and braised pork), bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, onion, scallions and nori (seaweed) so that gave me an idea of the ingredients I would have to round up but I needed some help in getting started to create a broth.  I found a recipe for miso ramen at one of my favorite blogs, Japanese Cooking 101 and pretty much followed their recipe.  It matched Chaplin's ground pork base so I thought it would compare nicely to their soup.  I also followed, and slightly changed,  Noriko and Yuko's  (the hosts of Japanese Cooking 101) recipe for making the pork that Chaplin's used as a topping.  I skipped the bamboo shoots and onion toppings.





sliced pork*
bean sprouts

For Soup Base

9 cups water
3 garlic cloves crushed
2 Tbsp. ginger sliced
3/4 lb. ground pork
5 scallions
4" x 2" piece of dried kombu (dried seaweed)

For Soup Flavoring

8 Tbsp. miso paste
3 Tbsp. sake
1 1/2  Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. chili paste

3 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 garlic clove minced


1 lb. ramen noodles cooked as directed

(If you can't find ramen noodles you can use thin spaghetti and follow these directions:  In a large pot, boil 12 cups of water and add 3 Tbsp. of baking soda - watch carefully as it may boil over.  Then add your spaghetti and cook as directed.  The baking soda will help to give the spaghetti the same texture and taste of ramen noodles.)


Prepare toppings and set aside.

Put soup base ingredients together in a large pot and boil for 15 minutes.  Strain the broth into another pot keeping all the broth and discarding the other ingredients.

Add the first five soup flavoring ingredients and let simmer in broth on low heat.

Cook noodles as directed.

Add the sesame oil and minced garlic to your soup at the same time you are adding your pasta to the boiling water.

Place cooked pasta in bowls.  Add soup and toppings.

*Yakibuta Recipe

2 lb. pork shoulder butt
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
1/2 cup sugar
3 thick slices ginger root
1 clove garlic

Marinate the meat with the rest of ingredients in a plastic bag for 4-5 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350F and bake for 1 1/2 hours.  Keep the marinade to baste the meat a couple of times.  Let stand 30 minutes before slicing.


I cooked the yakibuta the night before I made the soup and had it with brown rice, stringbeans cooked in the marinade and Japanese pickles.  You can use the marinade also for a dipping sauce - strain to remove the ginger, garlic and fat from the marinade then cook and simmer the sauce before using.  

I thought this recipe was oishii (Japanese for delicious) and came pretty close to being exactly as I remembered it at Chaplin's!  

Before we eat anything in Japan we say "Itadakimasu" which means you are thankful for the food and also means "Let's Eat!!!"


  1. Lovely recipe, something I have not attempted to make. Thank you for sharing the recipe at DI&DI. Have a great week.

    1. It was really delicious. I will definitely make it again. I might not include the pork next time though.

  2. Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing at Sew It Cook It Craft It!

  3. Thanks for having the party every week!

  4. I love Japanese food, and I will definitely be trying your recipe! Thank you for sharing at Celebrate It!

  5. My husband is a huge ramen fan. I'll have to make this for him. I'm bringing back my Monday link party @ DIY Home Sweet Home (first one will be Oct. 16th) and I would love for you to stop by and link up your recipe! http://diyhshp.blogspot.com

    1. I hope your ramen is a big hit with your husband! Will definitely come to your site to link up.

  6. This sounds interesting for sure.....must try this recipe.

  7. I recognize this, you allowed me to feature it in a roundup post I did for soups last year!! Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 7. Shared.

    1. So happy that you recognized this recipe. That means it was memorable!!