Bones, and bonito and bunches and bunches of green onions. Rich slices of pork, jammy soft-boiled eggs, tare, nori and more green onions. This is not your college ramen.
Start the process with an overnight soaking of a couple pieces of kombu (dried kelp, a type of seaweed— sold in the Asian section of the grocery, look for hanging packages by Eden or Emerald Cove). The next day, simmer your broth and get organized for the noodles and toppings. I recommend making the stock in the morning or even a day or two before you want to enjoy the ramen—this way you aren’t trying to strain the stock at the same time you’re cooking the noodles, eggs, slicing green onions, etc. It’s just more calm this way.
This recipe, originally published in Bon Appétit Magazine, September 2013, hit the pages again this past January (2018) in a special issue with a modern art squiggle of ramen noodles on the cover. It’s a shoyu/Tokyo-style ramen, seasoned with a soy sauce and mirin “tare” (which is pretty handy to keep on hand for rice, stir fry veggies, grilled fish, etc.).
adapted from Bon Appétit Magazine, January 2018
- 2 pieces kombu rinsed
- 4 quarts cold water
Pork and Broth
- 2 - 3 lb pork roast boneless pork shoulder
- 2 tbsp cooking oil (I use either cold-pressed canola, olive or avocado)
- 2 lbs chicken wings, backs, and/or drumsticks
- 1 lb pork spareribs cut into single ribs
- 2 bunches green onions, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
- 2 inches ginger, sliced
- 1/4 cup bonito flakes
- 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sake
- 2 tbsp mirin
Ramen and Toppings
- 6 eggs
- 1 lb ramen noodles, any kind you like vacuum sealed fresh or dried
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- bamboo shoots, sliced canned, pickled or fermented
- toasted nori
- chile oil, sesame oil, sriracha, or other condiment you like
Night before: Pour the water into a big bowl and add the kombu. Leave out at room temperature overnight.
Pork and Broth
Season pork roast with salt and pepper. Tie with kitchen twine at 2" intervals (this helps keep the meat intact while cooking and makes for round, compact slices). Heat oil in large, heavy pot (at least 8 quart capacity). Brown the pork roast on all sides. Add the chicken pieces, spareribs, scallions, carrots, garlic, ginger, and bonito flakes.
Remove the kombu from the dashi and discard. Add the kombu dashi to the meat pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer and cook for 2 1/2 - 3 hours, uncovered. The liquid will reduce to about 2 quarts, leaving a concentrated and flavorful broth.
Remove pork roast from the broth and let cool. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.
Strain broth into another large bowl and discard solids. (I usually pull the remaining meat off the bones of the ribs and chicken to feed to my dog, which makes her very happy.) Cover and chill until ready to use.
Combine the soy sauce, sake and mirin in a small jar or bowl.
Ramen and Toppings
Soft cook the eggs. Bring a pan of water to boil, using a slotted spoon, lower in the eggs and boil gently for 6 1/2 minutes. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water for a couple minutes to stop the cooking. Peel and set aside. (Eggs can be cooked up to 3 days in advance, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)
Reheat broth. Bring broth to a simmer. Add the tare and keep warm without boiling.
Remove twine from roast and slice the pork into thin rounds. Set out on cutting board or plate along with other toppings (green onions, bamboo shoots, nori). Cut the eggs in half so they're ready to go.
Boil a big pot of water for the ramen noodles and cook to al dente; drain.
Divide ramen among 6 deep bowls. Top with sliced pork. Ladle broth over the ramen and pork. Add egg halves, green onions, bamboo shoots, and tuck the nori along the side of the bowl. Serve ramen with chile oil, sesame oil, srirachi, and/or other condiments you like. (Shichimi togarashi is recommended, but I haven't found any yet.)