This ramen is inspired by the flavours in David Chang's Momofuku cookbook and by GT favourite Ichiban Boshi, a ramen shop in Sydney's CBD. Typically, ramen noodles are served in a dashi-based stock flavoured with mirin, sake and soy. Chang makes his using a pork stock base (he also adds smoked bacon for extra flavour). Here we've combined the two bases to get the best of both worlds, but you could easily use just one.
- 500 gm pork belly, skin scored
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 750 gm ramen noodles
- 1 nori sheet, cut into four
- 4 spring onions, cut into julienne, placed in iced water for 5 minutes
- To serve: roasted sesame seeds and shichimi togarashi (optional; see note)
- 1.5 kg pork rib bones
- 10 cm piece kombu (see note)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp each mirin and sake
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 25 gm dried bonito flakes
- 10 cm piece kombu
- 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 30 ml soy sauce, or to taste
- 1 tbsp each mirin and sake
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 1Preheat oven to 200C. Place pork belly in a roasting pan, season well with sea salt and rub with oil, then roast until cooked through (1 hour 20 minutes). Transfer to a tray, place a piece of baking paper on top, then weight with another tray and a food can, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until firm (4-6 hours). Thinly slice and set aside.
- 2Meanwhile, place pork bones in a roasting pan and roast until golden (1 hour), then transfer to a stockpot. Drain fat from roasting pan, then deglaze pan with a little water and pour over pork bones. Cover completely with water and bring to the simmer over medium heat, skimming scum from surface, until stock is well-flavoured (2-3 hours). Strain through a fine sieve and transfer 2 litres to a clean saucepan, add kombu, soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar. Bring to the simmer and keep warm. Extra pork stock can be cooled completely, then frozen for 2 months.
- 3Meanwhile, for dashi stock, combine bonito flakes, kombu, shiitake and 1 litre cold water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then simmer over low heat until well-flavoured (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and strain through a fine sieve back into saucepan. Add remaining ingredients and bring to the boil.
- 4Combine dashi stock with pork stock, check seasonings and season to taste, keep warm.
- 5Meanwhile, cook ramen in boiling water until al dente (3-5 minutes). Drain and transfer to bowls and set aside. Pour over combined stocks, then top with nori, sliced pork belly, spring onion, roasted sesame seeds and shichimi togarashi and serve.
Note Shichimi togarashi, a Japanese condiment, and kombu, a dried kelp, are available from Japanese grocers.