Recipe: miso ramen with braised pork belly or tofu

 Miso ramen with pork belly

Miso ramen with pork belly

I love ramen and New York is a perfect city to try different ones, having so many places proposing that delicious Japanese dish. And my favorite moment to eat that soup is now, as I like it hot and was never really impressed by cold versions of it. This recipe requires a bit of work, but it is worth it!

Time to prepare and cook: 5 hours (4 hours for the broth)

Ingredients:

 Ingredients

Ingredients

 Seaweed and white miso

Seaweed and white miso

For the braised pork belly (see below for the preparation of the tofu is you prefer vegetarian):

  • 2.5 lb of pork belly
  • 1 table spoon of gochugaru that is red pepper flakes
  • 1 table spoon of coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup spring roll sauce (sweetness to counterbalance the vinegar)
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger

For the broth:

  • 1.5 lb chicken wings
  • 2 lb pok bones
  • 5 carrots
  • 3 onions
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • scallions 
  • salt

For the eggs:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 table spoon soy sauce
  • 1 table spoon mirin wine

For the soup itself:

  • Egg noodles (I bought them in Chinatown)
  • A green cabbage
  • some seaweed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Mirin wine
  • scallions

Step 1: start with the broth as it takes 4 hours to cook

Note: you can also use pork or chicken broth bought at the supermarket, but it will not be as good.

First, put the pork bones and wings in the oven for 40 minutes, at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

 Pork bones and chicken wings

Pork bones and chicken wings

At the same time the meat is cooking, cut the potatoes, carrots, onions and the green tip as well as the very white part of the scallions. As these vegetables will not be eaten, simply wash them: besides the onions, there is no need to peel them and they can be cut in large pieces. Put the bones and the veggies in a large pot, cover with water, add 1/2 tablespoon of salt and cook on medium heat for 4 hours.

Note: you will have enough broth for 8 servings and can freeze whatever you do not use.

 Scallions

Scallions

 Onions

Onions

 Carrots

Carrots

 Scallions

Scallions

 Russet potatoes

Russet potatoes

 Chicken and pork broth

Chicken and pork broth


Step 2: braise the pork belly

When I received the pork belly I ordered, it was cut into three slabs. So I put each slab 1/2 inch from each other and rubbed them with a mix of salt (1 table spoon), gochugaru (red pepper flakes - 1 table spoon - can be found at H Mart or Amazon) and 1/3 cup of olive oil. Then, I put them into some aluminum foil that I closed, not too tight, but put enough to avoid the juice to leak as the pork, while cooking will release a bit of it.

 Pork belly

Pork belly

 Applying the rub on the pork belly

Applying the rub on the pork belly

 Gochugaru

Gochugaru

 Pork belly with rub

Pork belly with rub

I then roasted the pork belly for two hours in the oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. This slow cooking process will make the meat tender and juicy. If you have a bigger slab of pork belly, cook it longer at a slightly lower temperature. After two hours, you have perfectly cooked pork that you will slice evenly:

 Pork belly

Pork belly

 Sliced pork belly

Sliced pork belly

Note: do not throw the red juice that has been rendered by the pork belly (fat in fact), we will use it later.


Step 3: prepare the eggs marinated in soy

If there is one component I sure want to make is the egg as I always order an egg when eating ramen. It has to not be fully cooked, with a runny yolk. To obtain such result, I cooked the eggs for 6 minutes exactly, putting them as soon as the water was boiling and then dipping them in a bowl with ice and water so they stop cooking immediately. I then removed the shell.

 Boiling the eggs

Boiling the eggs

 Putting the eggs in ice and cold water

Putting the eggs in ice and cold water

 Remove the shell from the egg

Remove the shell from the egg

Then, I used one of the measuring cups I have and dropped 1 tablespoon of mirin wine as well as 4 packets of soy sauce (equivalent to 1 tablespoon). I then put the eggs in the cup and added water to cover them. To keep the eggs immersed in the marinade, I used a spoon as showed below. I then refrigerated the eggs for 2 hours.

 Egg marinated

Egg marinated

 Egg marinated

Egg marinated

Et Voila! A perfectly runny yolk and a nice color on the whites thanks to the marinade (the longer it sits in the refrigerator, the more the whites will change color.

 Egg with runny yolk

Egg with runny yolk

 Egg with runny yolk

Egg with runny yolk


Step 4: prepare the tofu

As Jodi does not like pork belly, I prepared some tofu for her. I used some silky tofu as the firm one is not that great in term of taste, but on the other hand, this is way more fragile and breaks easily. I put some oil in a pan with some garlic and gochugaru (red pepper flakes - 1 tablespoon). As soon as the garlic started to get brown, I added the tofu that I cooked at high heat for approximetely 6 minutes, using a spoon to drench the top with the hot oil, as there was no way I could flip the tofu without creating a mess.

 Silken tofu

Silken tofu

 Silken tofu with gochugaru

Silken tofu with gochugaru


Step 5: finish the pork belly

The last step with the pork belly will be to first fry it in a pan at high heat for 2 minutes on each side. Then, in another pan, put the equivalent of 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 table spoon of ginger and 1/3 cup of vegetable oil. Once the garlic starts to brown, put the pork belly juice set aside previously, 1/8 cup of rice vinegar and 1/8 cup of spring roll sauce. Cook for 25 minutes on medium heat, until the sauce caramelizes and the pork belly gets a bit of a char.

 Garlic and ginger

Garlic and ginger

 Cooking pork belly

Cooking pork belly

 Cooked pork belly

Cooked pork belly


Step 6: strain the broth

After 4 hours, strain the broth; I use a cheese cloth that will make sure I will have a totally clear broth.

 Straining the broth with a cheese cloth

Straining the broth with a cheese cloth

 Pork and chicken broth

Pork and chicken broth

 Pork and chicken broth

Pork and chicken broth


Step 8: cook the egg noodles for 2 minutes

I decided not to make the egg noodles but to buy them at a supermarket in Chinatown (cheap: 99 cents!). I used 3 of the noodle stacks, that I put in boiling water for 2 minutes.

 Egg noodles

Egg noodles


Step 9: assemble the ramen

Put 1/2 cup of cabbage, some scallions, corn, noodles and tofu or pork belly in a bowl.

 Ramen with tofu

Ramen with tofu

 Ramen with pork belly

Ramen with pork belly

Then, put 2 table spoons of white miso paste in 2 cups of broth and mix thoroughly. Split the mix between the two serving bowls and then add as much broth as necessary in each of them. Cut the eggs in half and put them on top, as well as some seaweed. Et voila: it is ready!

 Ramen with pork belly

Ramen with pork belly

 Ramen with tofu

Ramen with tofu

 Ramen with pork belly 

Ramen with pork belly 

 Ramen with tofu

Ramen with tofu

Bon appétit!

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