A simple bowl of unctuous roasted pork belly ramen with noodles in a deeply flavourful broth.
Ok, so I was very nervous about calling this recipe “Ramen” because it’s a very loose interpretation of ramen. It’s more like a porky-noodly-brothy-bowl-thingamajig. But in my defense, it’s not all that easy to find kombu or dashi where I live (although the lady at the oriental supermarket I go to promised to order some with their next shipment) because people just don’t know about it. She said even her Japanese clients don’t ask for it and rather just use miso paste to make their broths. And so, I did the same thing. She also told me that ponzu adds excellent tang to pork broth and so I picked up a bottle of that as well. Ponzu, by the way, is a citrussy sauce often used in Japanese cuisine and I have to say, it made such a difference to my broth.
My obsession with ramen started quite some time ago when I learned through my younger brother (who is the ultimate food experimenter) what it is and that obsession intensified when I learned about the genius that is David Chang. Chang is probably the ultimate ramen-obsessive and his series, Mind of a Chef, follows him travelling through Japan during many of the episodes, looking for the best ramen the country has to offer. I have been re-watching this awesome show this past week and just could not go another day without making ramen. And I mean proper ramen, not just instant noodles in artificially flavoured broth.
I decided to use pork belly because I just can’t get over how unctuous and decadent it feels to eat generous slices of it. I first roasted the belly to create some depth and flavour and then removed the bones and cooked them in chicken stock (another cheat) with garlic, ginger, spring onions, soy sauce, fish sauce and a few carrots for sweetness to create a seriously good pork-infused stock. This was then turned into the most delicious broth which I seasoned with more soy sauce, miso paste and ponzu. Around 5 minutes before serving I sliced the pork belly and allowed it to heat through in the broth before serving the meat with noodles, a soft egg and a few extra slices of spring onion. Such a glorious meal and yes, it takes a bit of time but man, it’s so worth it!
- 1 x 1.6kg bone-in pork belly
- salt & pepper to taste
- pork bones from roasted belly
- 2 carrots roughly chopped
- handful spring onions roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 x 4cm piece fresh ginger sliced
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2-3 tablespoons ponzu or to taste
- 2 tablespoons miso paste
- soy sauce to taste
- roasted and cooled pork belly sliced
- noodles cooked
- 1 boiled egg per person, cooked to preference
- fresh spring onions sliced
Pre-heat the oven to 160°c.
Rub the pork belly with salt and pepper then place in the oven and allow to roast for 90 minutes-2 hours or until the belly is cooked through.
Remove the belly from the oven and allow to cool then carefully slice off the bones and place the belly in the fridge to chill completely.
Place the roasted pork bones in a large pot then add all the remaining broth ingredients. Bring the broth the a boil then turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 2-3 hours or until the broth is golden brown in colour and deeply aromatic.
Strain the broth then set aside.
When you are ready to serve, slice the cold pork belly then warm in the broth for 5 minutes.
Serve the pork belly with the noodles, boiled egg and spring onions and top with the broth.