This bowl of seafood ramen takes Halloween food to a whole new level, capturing the spirit of the holiday while being legitimately good enough to eat any other day of the year. Darkened with squid ink—not food coloring—and loaded with seared squid, plump mussels, and salmon roe, even Dracula would lay off the blood for a day just to get some of this.
Why this recipe works:
- Squid ink—not food coloring—is the secret to the dramatic black color of the broth and noodles.
- Cooking mussels in gelatin-rich chicken broth creates a quick and flavorful broth with plenty of body.
Note: Only use the gelatin if using strobe-bought stock, or if your homamade stock remains watery even when chilled; homemade stock with naturally high gelatin, which sets when it's chilled, does not need additional gelatin. Squid ink is available at good fishmongers and specialty food stores. For Halloween, feel free to have fun with the nori by cutting it with scissors into a bat shape; or skip the special shapes and just garnish each bowl with a small sheet of nori.
- Yield:serves 4 to 6
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:45 minutes
- 4 1/2 quarts homemade chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium broth
- 4 packets unflavored gelatin (see note above)
- 2 teaspoons squid ink (see note above)
- 6 tablespoons vegetable, canola, or other neutral oil
- 1/2 pound squid bodies, split open lengthwise and sliced lengthwise into thin strips
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced
- 2 pounds mussels, washed and beards removed
- 2 tablespoons miso
- 4 tablespoons baking soda
- 4 quarts boiling water
- 1 pound (about 500 grams) dried squid ink spaghetti
- 2 ounces salmon roe
- Micro-greens, arugula, or other tender leafy green
- Sheets of nori, for serving (see note above)
- 1 recipe black garlic oil
If using store-bough chicken broth or homemade broth that doesn't gel when chilled, add broth to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle gelatin all over; let stand 10 minutes. Transfer broth to a large pot or Dutch oven, and bring to a simmer over high heat,then lower heat to low. Stir in squid ink until fully dissolved. Cover and keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat until lightly smoking. Season squid with salt, add to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through and browned in spots, 3 to4 minutes. Transfer squid to a plate and keep warm. Add the 4 remaining tablespoons of oil to skillet, heat until shimmering over medium-high heat, and add mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned. Season with salt and transfer to a plate; keep warm.
Return broth to a simmer, add mussels, and cook until opened, about 5 minutes. Stir in miso and season broth with salt.
While mussels are cooking, dissolve baking soda in the 4 quarts boiling water and season with salt. Boil spaghetti until just al dente. Drain.
Transfer spaghetti to bowls. Ladle broth on top. Garnish with mussels, squid, mushrooms, salmon roe (spoon roe into an empty mussel-shell half for best presentation), micro-greens, and nori. Drizzle black garlic oil on top and serve.