My final bowl of ramen in 2015 was at Chuko Ramen in Prospect Heights. Oh man, and what a great bowl of ramen it was! I’ve been trying to get out more to Brooklyn to explore its ramen scene, and this turned out to be a great catchup session with Kevin, an old friend from high school, over piping hot noodles on a chilly day.
At 1:20pm, Chuko was packed and I was told it would be a 20-25 minute wait for a table for two. Our table was ready at 1:45pm. I was not expecting to be hit by humidity when we stepped inside Chuko.
Kevin got the pork bone ramen ($14). At Chuko, meat eaters can choose between roasted pork, steamed chicken, or ground pork. You also have the choice of a hard or soft egg. This looked lighter than a typical tonkotsu, and I was surprised that they used thinner noodles. Nevertheless, Kevin looked very happy as he was slurping down those noodles.
I got the veggie miso ramen ($14) with a soft egg. The noodles were the thick, curly kind. The veggie toppings are seasonal, and in this case, included spinach, cabbage, squash, bamboo, and scallions. There was also a light sprinkling of sesame seeds.
The noodles were very nicely done, the kind bouncy al dente that always wins me over. Toppings were very good, but there was one mouthful of cabbage that was icy cold. They weren’t kidding when they said this was a soft egg. When I tried to pick it up, the egg broke so I mixed it into the miso broth.
The veggie miso broth was really tasty. It has a lightness and brightness, but it’s also quite rich for a meatless broth. I remember reading somewhere that Chuko’s miso broth is emulsified, then topped with ginger-scallion oil. You can see the shine of the oil in the broth, and that oiliness is a very delightful thing.
When I posted a photo of my ramen on Instagram, someone I know from college commented that the veggie ramen is their favorite at Chuko. I can totally see why! This bowl is very high on my veggie ramen list and worth coming back for!