To me a well balanced Ramen is the comfort food of the 21st century, like a modern day chicken soup! I’m slightly addicted. The problem with cooking a ramen at home is that recipes often call for ‘overnighters’ and a lot of pre-preparation. I make this recipe on a weeknight and as long as the broth is simmering by 6pm you’ll be enjoying your efforts at 8.30pm.
4 thick slices of Belly Pork, rind removed
2 litres of cold water
5 black peppercorns
1 Tsp dried chillies
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 star anise
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Tsp salt
1 Tbsp miso paste
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp fish sauce
2 nests of egg noodles
150g finely sliced chinese cabbage (or any green cabbage is fine)
2 large free range eggs
2 tbsp sesame oil mixed with 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
Finely sliced fresh red chilli, spring onions and coriander
Pour the water into a large saucepan and add the belly pork slices, onion, peppercorns, dried chilli, ginger, garlic, star anise and salt. Bring the water to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer, place on the lid and allow to simmer gently for 2.5 hours. Gently remove the pork slices from the broth and place them in the freezer to rapidly chill and set slightly, about 15-20 minutes, but be careful no to let them freeze. Strain the broth into a clean pan discarding the solids, place the broth over a high heat and bring to the boil, skim any excess fat that rises to the top. Boil the broth rapidly and reduce to 2 thirds of it’s original volume then stir in the miso paste, fish sauce and soy sauce. Turn down the heat and keep warm until needed.
Blanch the cabbage and refresh in iced water then drain and set aside. Bring a small saucepan to the boil and add the eggs, boil for 7 minutes then drop them in iced water to stop them cooking further and carefully peel.
Heat a small frying pan over a medium heat and add the sesame oil and dark soy, lay the belly pork slices in the pan and allow cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden, sticky and slightly charred.
To serve, reheat the broth and add the noodles. Cook according to the packet instructions then remove the noodles and divide between 2 deep ramen bowls. Add a handful of cabbage to each bowl, 2 pork belly slices and a sliced egg. Ladel over the hot broth and finish with sliced chilli, spring onions and coriander.