Bitter as hell and basically unpalatable alone, a little drizzle of mayu adds a lot of depth of flavor to ramen. This recipe is particularly acrid, but really suits broths on the sweeter side.
For this recipe, you will need a lot of garlic–especially if you double the recipe as I did. I went ahead and bought some pre-peeled garlic to save time. 20 garlic cloves??? Not today.
Step 1: peel (or unpackage) and mince.
Put the minced garlic in a pan with oil. Per the recipe, cook on medium-low until you see signs of browning (as in the third picture). I cranked up my burner closer to medium until it got to this point.
During the browning stages, I turned the heat down a bit. Stir at least every minute or so. You may notice as the garlic starts to crisp up the pieces will float to the top of the oil. If it feels like you’re stirring a bowl of cocoa pebbles, you’re on the right track. As it gets closer to black, the pieces will start sticking and clumping together more. Once black, remove from heat entirely and transfer to a bowl.
Next add your roasted/toasted sesame oil. Make sure it is roasted or toasted. It is much different than plain sesame oil. Plain sesame oil looks like any other vegetable oil. Toasted or roasted sesame oil is a deep, golden brown. I took some pictures to compare.
I missed a few pictures for the next step. Imagine that I added sesame oil (toasted) to the bowl, added the mixture to a blender, and then blended ‘er up. The result would be the third picture below.
All blended up and looking good! Notice how small the specks are. Love it. There is a bit of foam at the top, but it will settle.
Here’s a shot of the mayu the next day, foam all settled. If you need to use the mayu immediately, the foam won’t hurt anything and you’ll hardly see it when serving.
Overall, this mayu was extremely bitter–even for mayu. I think the toasted sesame oil played a huge part in that. That being said, it brought wonderful flavor and balance to the particular bowl of ramen I used it on which was a bit on the sweet side. The bitterness really helped to cut the sweetness.
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 20 garlic cloves
- 12/ cup roasted sesame oil