First came Pho, then came Ramen. If they had a child, I may never eat anything else again in my life. Ramen has quickly become a new favorite dish for me, even though I've only had it a handful of times. I can't say I know what the best ever tastes like, but I definitely have acquired a taste for my own version. Let's just say the key ingredient is PORK BELLY. Have you had it? Um, it's melt in your mouth amazingness. Pork belly (also called side pork) is basically a big hunk of bacon that hasn't been smoked or sliced yet. It's slow roasted, ever so gently, to render down the fat and the just before serving the top layer is crisped up for a buttery, salty, crunchy crust. Anyhow, ramen is basically a chicken or pork broth served with ramen noodles, protein, and a number of varied topping options. My favorites are egg, mushrooms, green onion, seaweed, and bamboo shoots.
1.5 lbs. pork belly
8 C. chicken broth
1 chicken bullion cube (optional)
1 pkg. white miso soup mix (recommend Sushi Chef brand)
8 oz. ramen noodles
4 soft boiled eggs*, peeled and soaked in soy sauce
shiitake mushrooms or wood ear mushrooms (fresh or reconstituted)
bamboo shoots (recommend soaking in soy sauce and mirin)
First, make the pork belly. In a roasting pan with a lid, place the pork belly fat side up. With a sharp knife, make hash marks just through the top layer of fat. Sprinkle generously with salt and add just a little bit of water (2-3 tablespoons) to the bottom of the pan. Cover, bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, then drop the heat to 300 degrees and roast another hour and a half to two hours. When the pork is done, let it rest at room temperature until easily handled. Wrap up in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Next, start the broth. Combine the broth and soup mix in a large stock pot and bring to a simmer. If desired, add the bullion cube for extra flavor. Cover and let sit while you start the noodles. In a medium saucepan, bring roughly 4 cups of water to a boil. Add in the ramen noodles and cooke 2-4 minutes. Drain.
To serve, divvy up the noodles among four bowls. Carefully slice the pork belly with a sharp knife into 1/4 in slices. Lie on top of the noodles, then top with the egg (sliced in half), green onions, seaweed, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots. The last step is to ladle in the broth. Take a good whiff of your handiwork and dig in! I eat mine with chopsticks and a large soup spoon.
Hi, I'm Michelle and based in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. I love all things cooking and baking and would love to inspire you to create something of your own!