Tag Archives: Momofuku

Christina Tosi is a Genius!!!

An endorsement for the Milk Bar Cookbook

MilkBarI was introduced to Milk Bar cookies a couple of years ago when a box arrived at our door as a gift. Individually wrapped in cellophane were cookies named Compost, Corn, Blueberries & Cream and Cornflake. These were familiar names for things such as muffins and breakfast cereal, but these were very exotic flavors for cookies.

Perplexed, Billy and I inspected each cookie carefully before tasting. “Hum, feels soft and chewy… What’s this on the ingredient list? POTATO CHIPS??? Huh? …” Well, we were sold after the first bite. All the flavors were strangely familiar and comforting. The Compost cookie was a perfect combination of sweet and savory. The love child of the classic chocolate chip and of any and all (it seems) the snack foods you could think of. Chips, pretzels, butterscotch, even coffee! The Corn cookie tasted like what cornbread would be if it were reincarnated as a dessert. We finished half the box in short order and froze the rest for special occasions.

When we ran out of cookies, I looked for the Compost Cookie recipe online and made a batch. I  portioned and froze half the dough so that I could bake a few at a time in my Breville oven when the craving struck. After piece-mealing Milk Bar recipes from here and there, and finding that they produced cookies as good as the ones from the bakery, I decided it was time to buy the book…

Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook is a revelation. Christina Tosi, author of this book as well as chef, owner, and founder of Momofuku Milkbar is a mad, mad genius. The cookbook is full of wonderful desserts that could’ve come from the imagination of a child wearing a unicorn t-shirt on a Lucky Charms sugar high.  Her monologues are friendly and whimsical and recipes exactdown to the gram—with thorough directions. There’s a whole section of what specific ingredients to buy, and where, as well as an equipment guide. A technique section: “the ten minute creaming process, or why milk bar cookies are so damn good.”  Ms. Tosi is a woman after my OCD heart!

I’ve had a great time learning and baking from this book. It’s really inspired me to use unusual ingredients, to be more inventive and has improved my baking. Outside of a minor conversion typogelatin sheet to powder—which caused a runny banana cream pie and a loose batch of panna cotta (in book 1 1/2 sheet silver gelatin= 3/4 tsp. powder. Should be 1 1/2 tsp.), the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook is a joy. I’d recommend to new and experienced bakers alike.

Slow-Poached Eggs

DSC_0090This is a pretty straightforward process that I learned from the Momofuku cookbook. The result is an egg that is evenly soft poached all the way through. From whites to yolk. The texture is creamy, almost gelatinous.

They are great in a bowl of ramen, but, also wonderful for breakfast on top of grits, ham and sautéed kale. Or eat them soft boiled style.

The idea is to cook the eggs in their shell for 45 minutes in water that is at a consistent 140-145 degrees. So, keep a bowl of ice nearby in case you need to cool the water. And the eggs should never touch the bottom of the pot, where the temperature is high, so, I use a steamer basket. For more details or just for fun check out the Momofuku cookbook.

Tools and ingredients

6 eggs
steamer basket
4 quart pot
cooking thermometer

  1. Place open steamer basket in pot.
  2. Bring water to 140-145 degrees.
  3. Add eggs.
  4. Cook for 45 minutes. Checking the temperature frequently, lowering with ice as needed.
  5. Serve immediately or store up to 24 hours
  6. To serve, just crack egg into a small saucer and tip over to discard the loosest parts of the whites.

A Bowl of Tonkotsu Miso Ramen


David Chang is out to torture us! We were glued to the screen as Chef Chang heartily slurped away through bowl after bowl of ramen on Mind of a Chef (season 1). His unabashed enthusiasm and his bliss inspired envy in our bellies and watered our mouths. With each episode featuring this hot, delicious Japanese noodle soup, our craving grew stronger. Having no ramen joint in Tucson, I was left with no choice but to concoct my own bowl. I drove myself to the local Asian market to buy ingredients to make a pot of my own.

My intention was to make the Momofuku broth, but, on this particular grocery run, they had run out of chicken backs. So, I improvised the recipe below based on what was available: pig feet and pork necks. Miso was added for umami and bacon at the very end for a distinct smokiness. I used kombu and dried shiitake to layer the flavors and a combination vegetables to deepen the broth. I waited until the end to taste, season, add to and refine the broth with what I had on hand. Goodness ensued. This is our favorite homemade broth thus far.

Fresh ramen noodles are non-existent at Asian grocers in Tucson, so made my own (see link for recipe). I’ve tried substituting Chinese wonton style noodles before. They’re too thin and soft and don’t quite have that bite. If you can find it, a suitable substitute for homemade are the noodles from refrigerated ramen packages. They usually come with their own broth seasoning. Just toss the seasoning and boil the noodles according to package directions and use with your broth.

Making ramen is a time consuming process, but, a satisfying one. So, if you haven’t watched Mind of a Chef, I recommend watching it on Netflix while your broth is stewing away. It’s inspiring, funny and entertaining.

Tonkotsu Miso Ramen
Makes 4 large bowls

1 recipe of Serious Eats’ Chashu Pork, reserve all liquid
1 recipe Ramen Noodles from norecipes.com
Slow-poached eggs

Suggestions for Ramen garnishes
Thinly sliced greens of green onions
Julienned ginger, very thin
Thin slices of fresh shitake
Enokitake mushrooms
Thin slices of Japanese fish cake
Sweet corn, cooked
Slices of bok choy or other Asian greens
Thinly sized Charshu Pork
Slow cooked eggs

Tonkatsu Miso Broth
2.5 lb pork feet
2.5 lbs. pork neck bones
1-4”x5” sheet of kombu seaweed
1 ½ cup of dried shiitake mushrooms
2 carrots, peeled, trimmed and halved
2 small onion, halved
1 leek, trimmed of greens split length-wise and washed
1 dozen whites of green onions (save greens for garnish)
2 slices of bacon (I use Nueske’s Applewood smoked)
2-5 Tbsp. white miso
¼ to 1 cup of braising liquid from Chashu

Before starting broth, do steps 1 in ramen noodle recipe, so your dough has time to rest. Let it rest at least 4 hours, preferably overnight before rolling out and cutting. I also start cooking the Charshu pork while the broth is simmering (step 10 below).

Cooking the broth

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a rimmed cookie sheet, place pork bones in one layer. Roast for 30 minutes.
  3. While bones are roasting, fill 10 quart pot ¾ of the way full with water. Add kombu and bring to a boil.
  4. Turn off heat and let flavor steep for 10 minutes. Remove and discard kombu.
  5. Add dried shiitake mushrooms to pot, bring back to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Strain and discard mushrooms.
  7. Add bones and fond from cookie sheet to pot and bring to a simmer. I deglaze fond with a couple ladles of the hot cooking liquid.
  8. Add carrots and cover.
  9. Roast onions, leek and scallion in pan or over stove until lightly charred and add to broth.
  10. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
  11. Remove vegetables and strain liquids into a bowl by pressing pieces through a strainer. Pour liquid back into pot. Discard vegetables.
  12. Cover and simmer for additional 4-6 hours.
  13. Add bacon, boil for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  14. Season with ¼ to 1 cup of liquid from Chashu Pork and 2-5 Tbsp. of miso according to taste. Add a little of each at a time, let the flavors blend for a minute or 2, then taste.

Assembling a bowl of ramen

  1. Boil ramen noodles for 1-2 minutes until al-dente, strain and add to bowl.
  2. Layer your choice of garnishes.
  3. Pour boiling broth over and serve.