Traditional Japanese Ramen

This is not the ramen you had in college

Okay, the bad news first, but don’t skip: This takes two days to make.

The good news is that it’s probably only a couple hours on Day 1, and a couple hours on Day 2. Mostly, you just have to plan ahead and commit – but it’s actually not that much work, and leaves a fair bit of room for creative interpretation.

It does have quite a few steps, but again, it’s not difficult; it just requires a little planning ahead. And the results speak for themselves.

Ingredients

For the Shoyu Pork Broth

  1. 2 tablespoons high smoke point oil, such as avocado
  2. 1 – 2 lbs Rando, cheap-ass pork products with bones (think hamhocks, pork knuckles, that kind of stuff – whatever you can get your hands on)
  3. 2 carrots, unpeeled, cut in half or thirds
  4. 2 dried chili peppers, found in the Mexican or Asian section of your grocery store
  5. 1 bunch scallions or green onions
  6. 2 large shallots, halved
  7. 1 head of garlic, halved
  8. 8 cups low-sodium chicken stock (32oz boxes x 2)
  9. 2-3 inch piece fresh ginger root
  10. Pinch bonito flakes (optional, can substitute 1 tablespoon fish sauce)

Dashi

  1. 3 or 4 pieces kombu (that’s seaweed)
  2. 5-6 dried shiitake mushrooms

Tare

  1. 2 tablespoons tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
  2. 1 tablespoon mirin
  3. 1 tablespoon sake (optional)
  4. 2 teaspoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar

Toppings

  1. Marinated eggs (1 egg per serving, so in this case, 6)
    • 6 eggs
    • 2 cups tea, room temperature
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • Pinch sugar
  2. Bamboo Shoots (canned is fine)
  3. Grilled Bok Choy
  4. Ramen Noodles (duh, about 8oz per person)
  5. Scallions or green onions, chopped
  6. Fresh shiitake mushrooms, sautéed
  7. Sesame oil (not the chili kind)

Protein

Can be your choice, but I like grilled chicken thighs or grilled pork shoulder

Instructions

Day 1: Prep

  1. Make the Shoyu Pork Broth:
    • Preheat the oven to 400°
    • Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with cooking spray
    • Toss ingredients 1 – 6 (pork products, carrots, chili peppers, scallions, garlic and shallots) in 2 tablespoons oil, and arrange in a single layer on baking sheet
    • Roast 20 – 30 minutes (or longer) until nicely browned.
    • Combine roasted ingredients with chicken stock, ginger and bonito flakes and
      • in a large stock pot and simmer over low heat for 8 hours, skimming any scum off the top occasionally… or
      • Use the Instant Pot Stock Method (which, once you figure this out, why anyone would do the other thing, I have no idea).
  2. Make the marinated eggs
    • Bring 2 quarts water to a rolling boil in a medium saucepan
    • While water is coming to a boil, prepare an ice bath (basically, just a large bowl filled with ice water, and lots of ice)
    • Carefully lower 4 – 6 eggs into the boiling water
    • Boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and cover tightly.
    • Allow to sit for 15 minutes
    • After 15 minutes, remove eggs and immediately transfer to the ice bath
    • Allow to sit in the ice bath for around an hour
    • Peel eggs under cold running water
    • Transfer peeled eggs to a tupperware or other lidded container, and combine with tea, sugar and soy sauce.
    • Refrigerate over night
  3. Make the tare
    • Combine all ingredients in a lidded container (a small tuperware container or mason jar is perfect here)
    • Shake to combine
    • Refrigerate over night
  4. Make the dashi
    • Combine dried kombu and shiitake mushrooms with 4 cups water
    • Refrigerate over night
  5. Marinate protein
    • Combine protein of choice with marinade of choice (say, 4-6 chicken thighs with 3 tablespoons mayo, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon mirin, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and a pinch of chili flakes for a teriyaki marinade)
    • Allow to marinate refrigerated over night

Day 2: Cook (begin about 90 minutes – 2 hours before you want to eat)

  1. For the Pork Broth
    • Remove the pork broth from the fridge and skim off any remaining fat or scum off the top
    • Reheat on the stove top and bring to a simmer, maintain a bare simmer until ready to serve (literally, it can just sit there)
  2. Remove dashi from the fridge
    • Allow to come to room temperature
    • Warm slightly on stovetop or in microwave
  3. Remove tare from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature
  4. Cook marinated protein, either on the grill, in a grill pan, or on the stovetop
    • I’m going to figure that you know how to do this. If you don’t, God help you. Just kidding. If you don’t, read this.
    • Slice into bite-sized strips
  5. Sauté bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and scallion
  6. Cook ramen noodles according to package directions

Final Assembly (Congratulations, you made it)

  1. Build the ramen base. In a large soup bowl:
    • Begin by pouring about 2 tablespoons of tare in the bottom
    • Add about 1.5 cups pork broth to tare
    • Add about 1/2 cup warm dashi
    • Stir in about 4-6 oz cooked ramen noodles
  2. Top your ramen:
    • Add protein to the bowl first
    • Next, add bok choy, mushrooms and bamboo shoots
    • Garnish with eggs, scallions and sesame oil

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