I've tried Foo-Foo Tei's Mabo Ramen on several occasions in the past and it's always been one of my favorites. It's basically a Mabo Tofu sauce poured on top of your choice of soup base (shoyu, shio, or miso). I typically enjoy it with shoyu, like I did today, but I have yet to try it with miso or shio.
Unfortunately, Murakami-san was unable to join me today as he was busy taking care of the administrative side of his restaraunt. No worries, he was still generous enough to explain his version of Mabo Ramen to me directly over the phone. If you've had this before, you'd realize that this is more than just a simple prepackaged mabo sauce that you can buy from the market. It's definitely closer to being authentic Chinese-style than most others. The main ingredient is Murakami-san's homemade chili sauce that will remain a secret. But other ingredients include ten men jyan, tobanjyan, ground pork, firm tofu, bamboo shoots, onion, shiitake mushrooms, and peanuts. It's taste is remarkable and everything just seems to match, including the noodles. It's not too spicy either, but just right.
I also ordered some Kurobuta (Berkshire) Sausage because I was too full to try it last night when Murakami-san spent a good half hour teaching us the difference between a sausage and a weiner. Apparently, sausage casings are made with pig and wiener casings are made with sheep...interesting! And although this sausage is not homemade, he's done several brand comparisons to choose only the best tasting Japanese sausage.
Murakami-san also revealed last night how he is currently testing his own Berkshire pork recipe in hopes of adding it to the menu soon. From the sound of it, it's a very complicated process that involves a cold smoking technique using tea leaves. Awesome! I can't wait to try it!!
Tomorrow's ramen: Hot & Sour