Chashu, or pork belly, Ramen is probably the most popular version served in any ramen house you walk into. Now, I realize not everyone is going to have pork belly in their freezer. I frequent Korean and Japanese markets, so I usually come home with some pork belly. Think of it as a cousin of bacon without so much sodium or a smokey flavor. If you can’t get your hands on pork belly, use a thick-sliced bacon with reduced sodium (and minimal added flavor). I used a thinly sliced kiriotoshi pork from my local Mitsuwa Marketplace .

It was frozen, so I placed the chunk of meat in a pan of low simmering water until I could pull apart the pieces of meat (remember: low and slow). Retaining maybe half of that water, I added a few dashes of soy sauce and about 1/2 tsp of roasted garlic. Then I covered the pork and let it simmer on the back burner while I focused on the broth and noodles.

I didn’t follow the directions on the package… exactly. I whisked the dry broth mix with the required amount of water (3 packages = 6 cups of water) and let it come to a rolling boil before adding the noodles. Those only had to cook for about 3 minutes before I took it off the burner.

Soft-boiled eggs are no easy feat, but they’re perfectly delicious in a bowl of ramen. I read that the soft-boiled eggs served in traditional ramen houses are marinated for hours in broth. For a quicker alternative, boil 4 C of water in a small saucepan with 2 Tb soy sauce. Once your water mixture is brought to a rolling boil, place two eggs into the water and time for 5-7 minutes. Immediately remove your eggs from the boiling water and place into an ice bath to cool before peeling and slicing.

Scallions seem to be a staple for ramen, but you can add other things like bean sprouts, julienned carrots and red bell peppers, or jalapeño slices (for the more adventurous). Get adventurous!

Itadakimasu 頂きます

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pkg Maruchan Ramen noodles, pork flavor
  • 1/2 lb pork belly (or low-sodium ham/bacon)
  • 1/2 tsp minced roasted garlic
  • 2-4 soft-boiled eggs
  • 1/4 C soy sauce (2 Tb + 2 Tb)
  • 1/4 C chopped scallions
  • 6 C water

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