Sunday, January 10, 2016

Ramen...for Realz.

BEHOLD my special Golden Globes night dinner: Ramen in a Rich Pork Broth with Braised Pork Belly and a Teriyaki Soft-Boiled Egg. (The bone broth and the eggs were cooked in my magic pot...of course!) Now, I know this recipe looks daunting, and I ain't gonna lie--you have to start the day (or at least the night before). But none of it is hard, and if you have an Instant Pot, it makes it even easier. It's mostly a lot of passive time, and the result of your "slow food" efforts will be richly rewarded! Of course, those of you who live in more metropolitan areas with many excellent ethnic eateries that you frequent, you may choose to just hit up your local noodle shop and call it a day. But as I live in the sticks, I have to make my own ramen--the real stuff, not that crap on which impoverished college students live. Besides, it's winter time. If you're stuck inside anyway, might as well make some awesome soup to warm your bones!

Ramen in Rich Pork Broth with Braised Pork Belly and Teriyaki Eggs
(Source: adapted from Steamy Kitchen)

Kotteri Pork Broth:
2 tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil)
2 large or 3 medium onions, sliced
2 lbs. pork spareribs (have the butcher cross cut in thirds horizontally, then cut each long piece in quarters between the bones--this will help render more collagen for a broth with great body)
3 pork trotters (have the butcher slice these, too)
4 large cloves garlic
water to cover
1/2 to 3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
1 tablespoon miso
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon sriracha, or to taste
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 cloves garlic, pressed or smashed into a paste
1 package refrigerated angel hair pasta (better yet, fresh noodles from a local Asian market if you have one, or quality airdried Ramen noodles if your grocery store carries them)

In the IP on saute, cook the onions low and slow for up to 45 minutes until a deep golden brown and caramelized, stirring frequently.

In a large stock pot on the stove, cover the spareribs and trotters with cold water and bring to a hard boil for at least five minutes to remove all the gunk that will float to the top. Rinse the bones and when the onions are done, place the clean bones in the IP. Add four garlic cloves and cold water to the max fill line, then cook at high pressure (Manual) for 90 minutes and let it release naturally.

Strain the bones and other solids from the stock and chill overnight. When cool enough to handle, pick meat from the cooked bones and reserve (in the fridge). The next day, remove the solidified fat from the top of the chilled broth. Reheat on saute and add soy sauce, mirin, miso, ginger, sriracha, white pepper, and crushed garlic. (Photos and bonus video to follow.)

Using the right ingredients and following the proper methodology should result in a broth that is well-flavored, gels beautifully, has wonderful body and texture, and is so good for you! Check it out in this video:

When ready to make the ramen, bring the broth to a roiling boil and add the noodles. Cook just until "al dente." Add cooked noodles and broth to big bowls with any toppings you desire. Start with the reserved meat, then below are some other ideas.

Teriyaki Eggs (aka A
jitsuke Tamago):
6 soft-boiled eggs (cooked on high in the IP for 3 minutes with QR into an ice bath, then peeled)
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (or soy sauce plus 2T brown sugar)
1/2 cup water

Mix the teriyaki sauce and water, and then let the eggs marinate in the mixture for two hours or in the fridge overnight. Do this the night before as with the broth that needs to be chilled and defatted the next day.

Braised Pork Belly:
3/4 lb. pork belly
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce (or soy sauce plus a a tablespoon of honey or brown sugar)
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
squeeze of sriracha

Place the pork belly in a Pyrex loaf pan, cover with the chicken stock, teriyaki sauce, garlic, pepper, and sriracha, and cook at 300 degrees for three hours, flipping the pork belly every half hour or so. Remove from the liquid, slice, and then crisp the pieces on both sides in a saute pan over medium heat.

Other possible toppings:
julienned carrots
sliced scallions
bean sprouts
oyster mushrooms
cilantro leaves
squeeze of fresh lime

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