Ramen

Ramen

I had been resisting posting a ramen recipe – it seems anywhere you turn in the food blog world at the moment you’ll be faced with a ramen of some sort. But then I thought – sod it – ramen is good.. ramen is very good – I HAD to do ramen. I had to EAT ramen.

My ramen is unashamedly taken from the Momofuku  cookbook (if you like ramen, go and buy that book – it does a much better job of explaining ramen than I can) but I’ve tried to simplify things, very slightly, to a point that it becomes accessible to you to make with ingredients you can find at your local supermarket and you can cook it in one day with time to spare.

Let’s break it down into its components parts – you’ve got – Noodles, pulled pork, pork belly, broth/stock, vegetables, spring onions, slow cooked egg.

Plan ahead and start earlier than you think you need to. If you don’t have a sous vide water bath you can achieve similar results for the egg using a large pot of water kept at a steady temperature (you’ll need a thermometer).

Pulled Pork

  • 1 joint of pork shoulder
  • salt
  • sugar.

Rub the pork shoulder in salt and sugar, cover and allow to rest for half a day. Once rested, heat your oven to 130c and cook the shoulder, covered with foil, for 6 hours. Baste the meat with its juices every hour or so. Remove from the oven and allow to rest before shredding. Shred with a couple of forks – you can spoon over some of the cooking fat that was produced when cooking the shoulder to keep it moist.

Pork Belly

  • 1 slab of pork belly, skin removed
  • salt
  • sugar.

As above – rub the salt and sugar into the meat and allow to rest. Heat your oven to 230c, cook for 1 hour and then reduce to 130c and cook for an hour or so longer. Allow to cool, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate.  When you’re ready to serve, cut into neat slices and warm through in the stock.

The Stock

  • Pork bones – I actually used 2 pigs trotter as I like the stickiness they give to a stock
  • Chicken parts – you could use a carcass, I used a few thighs, meat on.
  • 3 sheets kombu – you should be able to pick this up at the supermarket
  • Shiitake mushrooms – 4 or 5
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • Mirin
  • Soy sauce
  • Water.

Heat a large pan of water and add the trotters and the chicken. Bring to a very slight simmer (never boil a stock) and add the kombu, the mushrooms the carrot and the onions. After 15 minutes or so, remove the kombu. Simmer for 6 hours or longer. Add the spring onion for the last 30 minutes of simmering. You’ll need to skim any scum/froth that forms on the surface and possibly top up the water if it looks like it’s getting low. Strain the stock of the veg and meat and reheat in a pan. Add a splash of soy and mirin. Test your seasoning and adjust accordingly.

You could take this stock further and make it finer or more robust – you could roast your bones or you could boil them for 10 minutes or so before adding to the stock to make a clearer stock but my method will produce a tasty, albeit cloudy, stock.

Sous Vide Egg

Preheat a waterbath to 63c. Add 1 egg per person and allow to cook for 45 minutes.

When you’re ready – remove from the waterbath and crack onto a saucer to allow any of the non-set white to drain away.

Vegetables

You can use whatever you fancy – maybe some runner beans, sugar snap.. baby corn. I used bamboo shoots and Hon Shimeji and Shiro Shimeji mushrooms. Add them to the stock 5 minutes before serving.

Noodles

If you really wanted you can make your own but you don’t want to do that – you’re just as well off with the shop bought type – I use the Clearspring Udon noodles.. Not totally authentic I’m sure but are more than acceptable. Cook them in boiling water for 5 minutes or so.

Bringing it all together

Warm your serving bowls. Add a good couple of ladles of stock (make sure you’re happy with the seasoning) to each bowl. Add a handful of noodles, a handful of shredded pork and a couple of slices of the pork belly. Slide the egg on top and finish with sliced spring onion.

First thing you should do when eating this is break the egg yolk into the stock – it’s incredible.

You can refine this dish to your liking or make it a little more robust. Fat content is important here so maybe you could take a little of the fat from the shoulder (if there’s any left that hasn’t rendered out), chop it up as finely as you can and add to the stock. With a dish like this, the stock isn’t light and refined – it’s strong, heavy and tasty.

Ramen may well be one of the most perfect bowls of food you could ever be served.

 

8 Comments

  • [...] Me Ramen Shredded Pork Salad By John Loydall On April 22, 2013 · Add [...]

  • Reply April 22, 2013

    Extra Virgin Chef

    I’ve enjoyed SV-ing eggs in my SV Supreme since I bought it a few months ago. However, recently, I’ve had problems getting the whites to set. Much of it drains away leaving me with only the yolk and bits of white. I’ve tried 62, 63, 64, 64.5 at 45 min and 60 min and varied them to no success. I’ve checked the temperature and they’re accurate. I tried icing them immediately at the end of the cooking process and I’ve done without too. Would you be able to help troubleshoot?

    Desperate SV egg lover

    • Reply April 23, 2013

      John Loydall

      Hi – the whites won’t completely set cooked at 63c for 45 minutes but you should be left with a reasonable “skin” of white around the yolk and the yolk should be ultra creamy.

      You’ve done the main thing I was going to suggest which is make sure your waterbath is calibrated properly.

      All I can suggest is this – make sure your eggs are as fresh as possible – this really is critical. Read Harold McGee On Food and Cooking for the science behind what happens as an egg ages but the older the egg, the thinner the white.

      Also – buy the best quality eggs you can – I use Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs. Eggs really are one of those ingredients where you can immediately see, and taste, quality.

      And – my eggs were well up to room temperature when I put them in the waterbath. They’d been out for a good few hours.

      I served them straight from the Sous Vide Supreme, cracked onto a saucer and then plopped into my ramen.

      I think 63c for 45 minutes with fresh, good quality eggs at room temperature and you should be good.

      Hope that helps.

      • Reply May 8, 2013

        Stef

        This is an issue inherent with the 63C egg, it’s not a high enough temperature for some of the proteins in the albumin to coagulate.

        Douglas Baldwin has created some tables that allow you too have a fully set white with the centre of the egg at whatever temperature you want. You start with a bath set to 75C, measure the circumference of the egg and then use the table to figure out how long it needs to stay in the bath.

        http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_id=10425

        • Reply May 12, 2013

          John Loydall

          Cheers Stef – that looks very useful. I wonder if those eggs would be of a strong enough structure to use in scotch eggs.. They do come out a little sloppy – that’s the point of them but maybe if you handled them with care you could create an amazing scotch egg from them. It’s certainly an experiment worth trying anyway.

          • May 13, 2013

            Stef

            Interesting, I would think that a couple of minutes in a 180C deep fat fryer might solidify the white a bit, although the sausage meat should absorb a lot of that heat.

  • Reply May 29, 2013

    Janine

    I just had to comment on this post of yours as I love Ramen in all flavours and am dying to do one massive pot of my own on my site one day. But again your photography looks great but the thought and time that went into that ramen…WOW! amazing work again John. ;-)

    Janine (ChezJ9 ©)

    • Reply May 30, 2013

      John Loydall

      Thanks Janine – it’s one of those dishes you can take your time over certainly but there’s no hectic, last minute cooking which is nice – just get it all ready and stick it in a bowl. I’ll be sure to check your site out as well.

      Cheers,

      John

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