Friday, September 19, 2014

Maven's First Attempt at Ramen, Part 3: The Recipe

I'll break my recipe up into three portions:

1. What I did with the pork belly;
2. The composition of the broth itself;
3. The plating.


Approx. 1 lb fatty pork belly
Maple syrup
Garlic powder

Essentially I took a 2T. of the maple syrup and the tamari and about 1 tsp of garlic powder and brined the belly in this for two days before smoking.

On day three, I dried off the pork belly, pressed some sesame seeds onto it, and smoked it in my Cameron's smoke box for about 20 minutes, and let it cool down in the closed box, which I believe only intensified the smokiness. This was then stuck in the fridge until I set up the ramen broth the following day. What did I use to smoke the belly? That secret I am keeping to myself.

On the same day I put the belly in the brine, I also stuck the pork bones for the broth in a zip lock bag, marinating with some Sky Valley Miso Marinade overnight.  These bones were then slow roasted in a 275 oven for about 2 hours, on a bed of cut up scallions. When I took the roasting pan out of the oven and while everything was still piping hot, I poured an entire can of Sapporo beer on it, and then let it set out for almost two hours to cool down enough where I could put it in the fridge.


The following morning, the following components went into the slow cooker to cook for nearly 6 hours while I was at work:

2# roasted pork bones (with the beer, pan juices, and scallions)
3 long stems of garlic scapes, rough diced
6 scallions, rough dice
1 T. Tamari
1 T. Rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dashi powder 
6 Big, dried shitakes
1 T sushi ginger, shred
1 star anise
Dashes white pepper
1 T Sky Valley Miso Marinade
1/4 lb slab pork belly 
(Then added enough water to fill the slow cooker to capacity.)

I gave one stir to distribute everything, and set my slow cooker for six hours.

When I came home, I did not have the time (nor the cheesecloth) to properly strain everything out for a "consomme" type experience. I did a rough skim and got all the solids out of the water, however, my broth was not crystal clear.

I gave it a taste. It needed more oomph. So at this juncture, I added a few splashes more of tamari, rice wine vinegar, and miso.


I used fresh, store bought ramen noodle by Sun Noodle Co. I followed instructions. And after draining, I drizzled a wee bit of sesame oil on the noodles to keep them from sticking while I got everything else ready for plating.


I put a nice mound of noodle in the middle of each bowl, and on top of that, was arranged nicely:

1 hard boiled egg, cut in half
More sliced mushrooms
Pork belly, sliced
Some pork from the roasted bones
Minced scallions
And over the top of everything, I gave a good dash of  Simply Asia ginger-sesame spice blend.

On my own bowl, I had some pork & leek shumai already steamed up and ready to go.

The husband gave me 3 stars out of 5; however, I suspect it's closer to 4 stars, for me personally. And I dare say it rendered out a passable, authentic product.

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