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Dubai-based instachef creates ramen dish with a French twist

Haddad started down this culinary path only three years ago. (Supplied)
Haddad started down this culinary path only three years ago. (Supplied)
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03 Aug 2020 02:08:47 GMT9
03 Aug 2020 02:08:47 GMT9

Shams El- Mutwalli Dubai

Dubai-based instachef, Solemann Haddad, recently tapped into the world of ramen making and put his own spin on the age-old Japanese dish.

He created a ramen recipe that employs Japanese techniques and combines them with French flavours—more specifically that of his childhood.

“I knew that I wanted to make a broth with a story that I related to. Food with a story always tastes better. And for some reason, nothing resonated with me more than making a broth that tasted like the rotisserie chicken that my mom used to make me as a kid,” said Haddad.

As a result of the coronavirus lockdown, Haddad had a lot of time on his hands that he used to take up the challenge of mastering a new culinary technique.

“I was initially just interested in learning how to make ramen,” he explained. “It always seemed like a world that was hard to get into and understand, but I knew that learning how to make ramen would help me develop many skills that would be an asset to me in the kitchen.” 

Although Haddad taught himself the process using books he could find on Japanese cuisine, as well as videos on Youtube, he still concocted a recipe that is rich with flavour and methodically complex.

“The recipe is a little complicated. If you don’t have a full restaurant facility, it’s actually going to take you between 400 – 600 hours to make” said Haddad, as “the dish is made up of about 30 components which, when looked at more closely, can be broken down into a good 100 or so individual ingredients.”

The inspiration behind this fusion is rooted in Haddad’s interest in “making connections between different techniques from different cultures and seeing how they can be used to create a better end product.”

It isn’t only the practical side of cooking that Haddad is drawn to, he is also interested in observing foods from a historical and biological frame to fully understand their taste.

The recipe employs a French jus making technique, some elements of classic Japanese tori paitan (collagenous chicken) broth, short rib Charsiu (ramen braised meat) that is cured in Koji (a Japanese mold-inoculated rice).

“These methods inform what and how I cook. And that’s much the same with this ramen recipe. I used so many different techniques from both Western European and Japanese cuisine to work my way into making the most honest and unpretentious bowl of ramen,” said Haddad.

Haddad began his culinary path only three years ago, when he began working in a kitchen at 21 and has dedicated his attention and effort to food since.

Solemann Haddad is better known by his Instagram handle: @cutebreadboy.

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