Korean food; alternative to kraft singles?
By - NoDG_
Theoretically egg yolk can be used as a creamy emulsifier. The idea is that American cheese product is an emulsion of cheaply made cheese and milk fats and whey. When it melts into a broth it remains a pretty stable mixture and emulsifier not separating like many real cheeses would.
It’s the real deal in Korean cuisine though, American ration food got mixed with Korean food during the Korean War and they came up with some pretty good flavors
This. Fry or poach and egg, leaving the yolk very runny. Slap it on top of your box ramen, pierce the yolk so it glorps out, mix it in, hey presto.
This this... Egg yolk is the shit. Honestly, just crack a whole dang egg into it and mix it up right after it comes outta the microwave or pot and let it sit about 4 minutes.
Just don't microwave it with the egg added, unless you like chunky ramen
There was a viral tiktok ramen hack a few months ago where you beat an egg with a tablespoon of Kewpie, a clove of crushed garlic, and the seasoning packet. Dump in cooked noodles and some of the cooking water. I tried it and it is truly amazing. The silkiest richest broth.
You can microwave with the egg already in, but you might not want to. The egg does cook all the way through, but the way the white parts sets mixed in with everything else causes a textural change that any given person may or may not be down for.
love when my eggs glorp
The slapping of the egg is key
Kraft singles is the easiest and most convenient way to add a bit of fat, cheesy taste, and an emulsifier to a hot liquid. It's how you get that velvety texture.
The emulsifier is the magic ingredient, and no fancier alternative will have that. Roy Choi uses kraft singles in his ramen recipe, and if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me (and you!)
Ooo or try Velveeta! Super melty and although the least fancy cheese…., but it works!
Could OP perhaps get a deli sliced American cheese of slightly better quality? I don't like American cheese very much but always buy just as many slices as I need for when I'm making smashed burgers because nothing else will do for those. I find Boar's Head AC to be more palatable than Kraft Singles, while still being just as melty. I wonder if BH has the same type of emulsifiers in it?
This is a good answer.
Ah, I didnt realise it was being used as an emulsifier. That makes sense now.
You can melt down another cheese that is a better flavor to you and add sodium citrate then hit it with an immersion blender. Pour it into some kind of mold. When it solidifies you can make slices similar to american cheese. Note, you may need to add some liquid during the melting process, but too much and it won't firm up as well.
American cheese also uses sodium phosphate and calcium phosphate as emulsifiers, but sodium citrate is good enough for most applications.
I think you can also just melt in some (singles or block) American cheese with whatever other cheese you're using.
Yeah, I do that with Mac and Cheese and queso dip, but for like Manchego, smoked Gouda, or Roquefort slices I like to keep the flavor a little cleaner.
There is actually a Korean dish called budae jjigae (Army Stew) that was developed by using whatever they could get their hands on from the US military bases. So it has things like Spam or hot dogs, cheese, and baked beans. They probably first used American cheese as well.
Ironically, even though this started out as poor people food if you order it at a restaurant (if you can find it) it's often one of the most expensive things on the menu.
Well, yeah. Following the US military around and scavenging their leftovers is expensive. Especially because Privates will eat *anything*.
Yum. Add some kimchi
Kimchi and all the other little starters like pickled cucumbers is such a lovely part of korean cuisine!
I lived in Korea for 2 years. American cheese is often used in this way.
I’ve also seen “American nachos” in which they douse a pile of plain chips with a pile cheez whiz
I know some Americans who do it that way so it's a legitimate name.
Same here and learned it in Korea myself.
I just had a big bowl of Korean shin ramen with American cheese melted into it. I learned to eat it that way in the Army in Korea 30 years ago, in restaurants where no one even spoke English. So it's pretty authentic!
Same and about 35 years ago. Agima would do it for us when we ordered the dish.
When I lived in Korea and got chicken cheese ramen from "mama" it was American style cheese that went into it. With long green onion please and a side of yaki .
Ooh, just realized I also have a real answer to your question. Deli American cheese is a huge bump up in quality while retaining the melting ability.
My wife adds Philly cream cheese to her noodles.
Make your own version of Kraft singles out of whatever cheese you want and sodium citrate. That way you'll get the proper melting action in the ramen.
mozzarella, gruyere, oaxaca for the meltiness. i think ive seen curry ramen with mozzarella in street food carts
I had a friend who did budae jjigae, and told me the cheese really made it. i was sus about it at first.
>Btw this is tongue in cheek, I dont care if you put Kraft singles on ramen. You do you!
You just had to go and be polite about it in the end, I was cracking my knuckles and gearing up for a good argument on this one.
American cheese in ramen was a common military staple in the 80's in the united states, according to a military friend who taught that to me as a kid.
I've been super anti-american cheese for like 15 years until I learned that even a small fraction of it mixed in with other cheeses will cause them to better emulsify into other liquids. Try a half a piece of american cheese and half a piece of cheddar to get more flavor, but still get it to actually integrate into the soup.
Honestly, I think mythical chef josh has really been getting me over my food snobbiness. He celebrates the mundane and fast food in a way I dont think I ever could and it honestly has made cooking more fun for me to get over my own personal hang-ups and worry about making "respectful food". https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a36148527/mythical-kitchen-best-grilled-cheese-recipe/
OP specified they were being cheeky and not judging. If OP doesn't like Kraft cheese, that's their prerogative as it is their friend's to put cheese in ramen. Also there isn't really a better place to research cooking than a forum called Ask Culinary. It's the entire point of the sub. Chill.
> research cuisine
that’s what this post is
> so you can ask respectful questions
that’s what this post is
Yes, definitely don't ask politely worded questions on a forum made for such things...
Reading comprehension ftmfl.
There is a cheese - Kraft Deli Deluxe- that has all the nice meltyness of the Kraft singles but is actually cheese instead of “cheese product” or whatever they have to label the singles as. Now it’s not going to put any high end cheese makers out of business but it’s def an upgrade.
Kraft singles are still cheese, in the way that all American cheese is cheese. The "problem" with Kraft singles is that the [milk protein concentrate](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_protein_concentrate) percentage is too high to be called unprocessed cheese.
Kraft is not oil-based like people claim. It's not plastic like people claim. It's milk (milk fat, whey, milk protein concentrates) and sodium citrate. Deli Deluxe doesn't have the milk protein concentrates.
Can I use provel?
At one of my old favorite Korean restaurants, they'd use mozzarella cheese in the soon doobu.
What about the later doobu?
(My mom thinks I'm funny.)
I do regular mild cheddar cheese and it works fine.
if the goal is to add a bit of creaminess and balance out the spiciness, a knob of butter could work great. For example whenever I make samyang buldak instant ramen I always add a knob of butter when I’m mixing the sauce in, which rounds out the spiciness and makes the sauce creamier and nicer.
If the goal is to add cheesiness and fattiness, shredded mozzarella is a popular addition
If I added both would it essentially solve both "problems"?
I hear mayo is good too but I haven't tried it myself
Post removed, brainstorming is not permitted
Actually I do and picked it up in Korea as it was popular to do so there so maybe he was stationed there also. The Kraft singles would melt fast and swirling it in it would give the noodles a real cheesy taste and also I picked up there to drop an egg into like they do with egg drop soup but the Kraft singles is a real thing and from Korea and was popular to do so. Oh and my wife don't like it also and thinks I am not right in the head for doing it but she can do what she wants with hers and I do what I want in mine.
I went and read the comments and it seems to have been many stationed in Korea to have learned to do this. I used to pick up a huge box of Kraft singles from the commissary and bring it to "Ma" and she would pay me what I paid and then cook for me her awesome fried chicken and also when I wanted she would make my bowl of Ramen and put in a Kraft slice and stir it up and serve me. I still do it often and nothing better on a cold day or night then a bowl of cheesy Ramen and kimchi which I keep a bottle of Kimchi I get at the Asian market.