The ramen craze has successfully taken hold in America, and it’s no surprise why. This traditional Japanese noodle dish, heralded for its hearty, intense and umami-rich broth, is one of the most satisfying and comforting dishes you can eat.
Ramen and ramen-inspired dishes have entered the kitchens of some of the country’s most prominent restaurants, with chefs showcasing their own versions of the dish in unique, inspiring and tasty ways.
While making traditional ramen is a long and often intricate cooking process, I urge you to take advantage of the long, boring days of winter and try your hand at this simplified Shoyu ramen dish, made with pork butt and a deep chicken-based broth.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day and 1 hour
Dashi and Tare Ingredients:
2 pieces dried seaweed
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon chili oil
Bone-in pork butt (1-2 pounds is plenty)
2 pounds chicken bones
2 bunches scallions
1 garlic head, cut in half
1 piece of ginger, sliced
1/4 cup bonito flakes
1 package fresh ramen noodles
Baby bok choy, halved and blanched
Snow peas, mushrooms, any vegetable you’d like, blanched
First prep the dashi and tare. This is where the majority of the broth flavor comes from. For the dashi, soak the dried seaweed in four cups of water for as long as possible (at least 8 hours is desirable). For the tare, combine the mirin, sake, soy sauce and chili oil, cover and set aside.
Next prep the pork and broth:
1. Season the pork with salt and pepper, and sear in a large stock pot until a nice crust has developed on each side of the pork (about 15 minutes total).
2. Add the dashi, chicken bones, carrots, ginger, scallions, garlic and bonito flakes, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer.
3. Cook until the pork is tender, about 2-3 hours.
4. Strain the broth, and reserve the pork to garnish the ramen.
Note: You can also simply buy prepared chicken stock. Sear the pork as instructed above, then add prepared chicken stock, the dashi, ginger, garlic and bonito flakes, and simmer until the pork is tender (1-2 hours).
Preparing the ramen:
1. Cook eggs. For this ramen, we used an ANOVA precision cooker, slow cooking the eggs for 45 minutes at 63 degrees Celsius. You can also simply soft boil an egg for 6 minutes.
2. Reheat the stock, it should be very hot.
3. At the same time, boil the noodles for as long as the package recommends.
4. Add the tare mixture to two bowls.
5. Divide the cooked noodles between two bowls.
6. Pour the hot broth over the noodles.
7. Garnish with your egg, vegetables and pork. For this dish, we garnished with blanched baby bok choy, snow peas, shiitake mushrooms, scallions, nori, a 63 degree egg and the sliced pork.