If Paula Deen and noodle giant Maruchan ever conspired in a joint venture, they’d no doubt be trafficking in shio butter ramen: Japanese ramen noodles in a salty—and more importantly, buttery—broth.
Just down the street from the ramen-slurping stronghold of Cal State Northridge, a humble little Japanese house called Futaba serves some top-notch shio butter ramen. Here they drop a dainty square of creamy butter atop a pile of fresh, springy wheat noodles. Watch as it liquefies and becomes one with the full-flavored broth made with pork and chicken bones.
The butter and noodles join forces with chasu, or tender roast pork slices, boiled egg, fish cake, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, green onion, and kikurage, or wood ear fungus, which has a pleasing crunch even when sopping wet. Scoop in some freshly pureed garlic from the jars on the table to give the ramen extra depth.
Unifying everything, then, is the butter. Once melted, it penetrates liquid and solids alike, infusing sweetness and silkiness like a Luther Vandross tune. Always and forever. Like buttah.
18429 Nordhoff St
Northridge, CA 91325