What do you need to get back to zero after a season of feasting? Simple: drink plenty of water, grab some detox sheets from your friendly local Japanese store (they’re always in stock at either Daiso or Japan Home Center), and opt for salad – or, better yet, soup - at mealtime.
Since I’m more of a soup than a salad person, a bowl of ramen is certainly called for at this point. In these parts, barring a trip to Little Tokyo in Makati, one’s best option is Ajisen over at Robinson’s Place – Manila.
The kon ramen - corn ramen – is essentially the classic Ajisen soup made with a special blend of sesame oil, Okinawan sea salt, and a proprietary blend of spices that goes down in a most soothing manner. The chewy house-made noodles are dunked into the incredibly umami broth and topped with char siu slices, julienned wood-ear fungi, cabbage, and spring onions. The addition of whole sweetcorn kernels adds a welcome crunch and a balancing sweetness that goes well with the savory roast pork and the mushrooms.
The soup is magnificent enough as is, but if you managed to catch a cold over the Holidays, I suggest you sprinkle on something incendiary. The shichimi togarashi, a fiery blend of dried red pepper, shiso, and crumbled dried orange peel is the best bet as it adds a flowery nuance that goes well with the veg in your bowl. Otherwise, if you’re brave enough, a drop of chili oil ought to do you good.
If this does not settle your stomach and gets you back in sync, nothing will. ;)