Why It 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.
Darkened with squid ink—not food coloring—and loaded with seared squid, plump mussels, and salmon roe, this 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. Even Dracula would lay off the blood for a day just to get some of this.
- 4 1/2 quarts (4.3L) homemade chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium broth
- 4 packets unflavored gelatin (1 ounce; 28g), optional (see note)
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) squid ink (see note)
- 6 tablespoons (90ml) vegetable, canola, or other neutral oil, divided
- 1/2 pound (225g) squid bodies, split open lengthwise and sliced lengthwise into thin strips
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound (450g) cremini mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced
- 2 pounds (900g) mussels, washed, beards removed
- 2 tablespoons (30g) miso
- 4 tablespoons (72g) baking soda
- 4 quarts (3.8L) boiling water
- 1 pound (about 450g) dried squid-ink spaghetti
- 2 ounces (55g) salmon roe
- Micro greens, arugula, or other tender leafy green
- Sheets of nori, for serving (see note)
- 1 recipe black garlic oil
If using store-bought 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 reduce heat to low. Stir in squid ink until fully dissolved. Cover and keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons (30ml) 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 to 4 minutes. Transfer squid to a plate and keep warm. Add remaining 4 tablespoons (60ml) 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 (3.8L) 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.
Use the gelatin only if using store-bought stock or if your homemade stock remains watery even when chilled; homemade stock that's naturally high in gelatin, which sets when it's chilled, does not need additional gelatin. Squid ink is available from 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.