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A cookbook devoted to Japanese noodles makes delectable sense.

Ramen is an obsession. Is that an exaggeration? Not one bit. Consider the lines that form outside Farwell Avenue’s Red Light Ramen on Friday and Saturday nights. When you’ve had a bowl of noodles in an incomparably rich bone broth, you become a believer.

But making it from scratch at home? You may be thinking, “Hell, no.” Local chef (and owner of The National restaurant) Nell Benton says, “Hell, yes.” In Ramen Fusion Cookbook (Penguin Random House, October 2015), she pairs 40 traditional ramen recipes with modern takes on this brothy bombshell.

It sounds a little intimidating (if not impractical, considering the cost-effectiveness of buying prepared restaurant ramen). But before you pull out a bag of Maruchan and fire up the microwave, the straightforward recipes are quite doable (try the easy dashi broth). And the first two sections covering ramen’s background, as well as stocks and broths, are intriguing and handsomely organized.

This is a fun, useful addition to your cookbook shelves. Available at Boswell Book Co. and The National.

‘Ramen Madness’ appears in the January 2016 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find the January issue on newsstands beginning Jan. 4. 

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