A simple bowl of unctuous roasted pork belly ramen with noodles in a deeply flavorful broth is the perfect warming, comfort food.
Ok, so I was very nervous about calling this recipe “Ramen” because it’s a very loose interpretation of ramen. Kombu and Dashi aren’t easily accessible where I live but the owner of the Asian supermarket gave me some excellent advice. She said her Japanese clients mostly use miso paste and Ponzu to make their broths. This makes up for the lack of depth and flavor that kombu and dashi add. And so, I did the same thing. Ponzu is a citrussy sauce often used in Japanese cuisine and I have to say, it made such a difference to my broth.
Obsession with Ramen
My obsession with ramen started quite some time ago but intensified when I started following 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.
Pork belly ramen
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 flavor 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!
How do you make really good ramen?
The key to any good ramen is the broth. Pack as much flavor into your broth as you can by using dried kelp (kombu), Bonito flakes or Miso. Dashi, a Japenese stock, is ideal as it is made with Kombu, Bonito or Niboshi (anchovies/sardines) and adds a serious punch to the broth. Cooking the broth with bones (in the Tonkotsu-style) enriches the broth and adds meaty umami.
Finish your ramen with noodles of your choice (cooked in the broth to absorb those luscious flavors), slices of meat, a soft egg and fresh spring/green onions.
More pork belly recipes you will love:
- Crisp salt and pepper pork belly with perfect crackling
- Stuffed Pork Belly roast with Apples & Sage
- Caramel Pork Belly
Pork belly Ramen
- 1 kg bone-in pork belly
- salt & pepper to taste
for the broth
- 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
for the ramen
- 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.
- Serve immediately.