Chef David Chang smiling
Here's Why David Chang Wants You To Cook Instant Ramen In
Cheese Water
By Alli Neal
David Chang is known for blending Asian cuisine with the nostalgic comforts of other gastronomic traditions, such as instant ramen in cheese water. It's the kind of departure from tradition born of mashed-together cooking techniques that his creative brain is known for, and it will upgrade your next ramen meal.
Instant ramen is made by turning fully-cooked noodles into a shelf-stable brick by flash frying, which dehydrates the noodles from 30% to 40% hydration to as low as 2% hydration. This means that the noodles will soak up a lot of flavor from whatever they're cooked in, and using cheese water infuses a salty, savory, nutty flavor through the noodles.
Chang’s "cheese broth" is made by melting finely grated cheese into water with butter, and he calls his recipe instant ramen cacio e pepe after the classic, hearty cacio e pepe dish made of cheese, pasta, and pepper. On his YouTube channel, Chang maintains that the recipe is "not in any way, shape, or form Italian approved."