Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Maven's First Attempt at Ramen: Part 1: Prepping the Porkstuffs

The month of August saw fit to make me crave ramen as if the world were going to end TOMORROW and all I could eat was ramen. Seriously. I started to watch Mind of a Chef on Netflix, streaming one episode after another, like a smack addict taking hit after glorious hit, and craving more. 

The first season of Mind of a Chef centered around David Chang and ALL THINGS RAMEN (pretty much!). So much so, for my birthday dinner last month, the Maharajah took me to Ippudo. And while THAT was quite a glorious experience, the salt and or MSG in it gave me a powerful headache the following a.m., the likes of which (and also, sadly other ramen emporiums in NYC have rendered the same result), has left me convinced the only way I can eat ramen now is if I painstakingly make it myself.

I have many many thanks to cascade upon Justin over at C. Buddha's Hasty Musings for his immeasurable assistance in helping me to flesh out how to approach making my first batch of soup stock for ramen. Our discussion first hit upon the five seasonings in Japanese food, and kind of took off from there. We discussed roasting the bones, to how to prep the noodles I bought, as well as which kind of seaweed was best for this application. 

As we spoke (or in this case, chatted online), I set up my smoke box, to smoke the pork belly which had been brining in a few tablespoons of tamari, maple syrup and a few dashes of garlic powder (2 days of resting in the fridge), which I then dried off, patted a crust of sesame seeds on the outside and smoked for about 20 minutes, though, I did turn off the heat and left the belly in there to rest, in the closed smoke box, so perhaps the smokey flavor is more intense than I originally desired, but I don't much care at this point. I am sure it will be delicious.

I then put my pork back bones (which I had marinating in a miso-marinade for about an hour) into a 300 degree oven (I rested the bones on a slight bed of cut scallions, and roasted them in a dry roasting pan for 2 hours. Upon taking the roasting pan out of the oven, I poured a 22 oz can of Sapporo beer over the top, then promptly covered with tin foil. Once this cools down sufficiently, the whole shebang will go into the fridge, to be dealt with tomorrow.

Here are a few pictures of the porkstuffs, as well as a photo of the particular brand/type of miso-marinade I used, which I got at Whole Paycheck a few weeks back. Note: I've used this miso marinade in the construction of another foodsperiment I have yet to blog: miso-hoisin crunch chicken. But today, we're talking pork and ramen. 

Without further ado: The pork.