Shoyu Ramen

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I’m an Indian food blogger. I love Indian food. It’s part of who I am. But sometimes I like to try (make) new things. It’s a huge world, and to stick with one kind of food is doing a disservice to yourself. Fortunately, I have an amazing boyfriend who lets me experiment with new things. I am even luckier that I have an amazing boyfriend who eats new things. He’s not food shy. Ugh. Could you imagine having a partner who was closed to trying anything new? That would be a deal breaker for me.  BUT for those of you who just have to add a little bit of Indian flavor to it, feel free to go right ahead and add some Madras curry powder. I promise, you won’t be breaking any laws. It’s actually fairly common.

I have a soft spot for Japanese and Chinese food. I mean, hello, deliciousness in my belly. As much as I love going out and dining at different establishments, it tickles my fancy to actually be able to make the dishes at home. One, it’s a lot cheaper. Two, it’s a lot healthier. Three, it’s much tastier. And last but not least, it gives me a sense of accomplishment. ESPECIALLY when I have spent 3 days preparing a meal. Yep. You heard [read] that correctly. 3. Days. Why? Continue reading.

I made ramen. Authentic, homemade ramen. I couldn’t be more proud. Winter is coming. Well, it comes and it goes it seems. But for the most part, it seems to be steadily settling in. What’s the perfect meal for the cold nights? Well, I can think of a lot of things, actually. But for all intents and purposes, I am going to say “Ramen”.

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I mean look at that perfectly cooked soft boiled egg. You can look at the other things, too. Go ahead. It’s a really sexy dish. Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?

Some of you are wondering when I am going to get to the “3 days to make this dish” part. Here, actually. Two days before you plan to eat, you prepare the dashi kombu. The day before you prepare the broth. The third day you prepare the eggs, and put everything together. You could actually probably do it in two days. But, who’s counting? All in all, it sounds a little extreme, but it’s not bad. You can find all of these ingredients at your local Asian grocer, or online. I had to go to two stores.

And yes, this version of ramen does indeed have pork. A lot of you reading probably don’t eat pork. That’s ok! You can absolutely stick with chicken. For those of you who are vegetarian. Go ahead and experiment with vegetable broth and base. Just remember to leave out the bonito flakes.

I think I have written enough for today. Let’s get to the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 package of kombu
  • 2 lbs chicken wings, or necks, or backs
  • 2 lbs pork spare ribs, or whatever you can find
  • 1-2 lb pork shoulder
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut
  • 2 pieces of celery
  • 1 leek, washed and separated
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 1 head of garlic, top cut off
  • 1 inch piece of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup bonito flakes
  • 1 tbsp chicken base
  • 3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp dry sake
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • a couple chugs of toasted sesame oil
  • ramen noodles

For Toppings:

  • chopped scallions
  • menma
  • soft boiled eggs
  • any of your favorite green vegetables
  • shichimi togarashi
  • whatever you want

To Make: 

3 Days Ahead

In a large bowl, add two pieces of dashi kombu and 4 quarts cold water. Cover and let it sit at room temp overnight, up to 12 hours.

2 Days Ahead

Salt and pepper the pork shoulder. If it’s not already tied with kitchen twine, tie it in several spots. This will help it hold its shape. In a large pot, preferably a large stock pot, heat the oil and brown the pork shoulder on medium high on all sides. Remove the kombu from the water. This part is icky. It’ll be slimy. Add it to the stock pot with the pork. Now add the chicken, the ribs, carrots, celery, leeks, onion, ginger, garlic, bonito, chicken base. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for around 3 hours. Remove the shoulder from the pot and wrap it up. Let it cool down before putting in the fridge. Keep in fridge until the 3rd day.

Get another large pot. Strain the stock, keeping only the liquid. Discard everything else. I actually kept the ribs, but you don’t have to. Cover and put in the fridge until the next day.

The Day You Eat

Finally. The day is here. Take out the pork from the fridge. Put your oven to broil. Slice the pork against the grain, thinly. Lay the pieces on a cookie sheet and brush with soy sauce. Broil until toasted. Keep aside.

Make the soft boiled eggs. Bring a pot of water to boil. Gently add the eggs and boil for 7 minutes. Immediately take out and add eggs to an ice bath. This will stop the cooking. Once cooled, peel.

Meanwhile, take the stock out of the fridge. Scoop off the layer of fat that has settled. Bring to a boil. Add the mirin, sake, and sesame oil. Simmer until you are ready to plate.

Cook noodles per the directions.

Gather all of your plates. Divide the noodles among the bowls. Add the pork. Add the stock. If you’re going Indian, this is where you will add about a tbsp of curry powder to each bowl. Add the toppings, spreading them out. Finish it off with a dash of chili oil and a couple sprinkles of togarashi.

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