"The fat soy is a staple of Chaco Ramen," says Keita Abe of Sydney's Chaco Ramen. "We love infusing a lot of our base ingredients, which gives our dishes that next-level taste." The kaeshi makes about 500ml, but quantities can be halved; or use the remainder as a seasoning for other dishes. Start this ramen recipe a day ahead to make the soup base.
- 500 gn piece boned, skinless pork belly, rolled and tied
- 500 gm thin fresh ramen noodles
- Halved soft-boiled eggs, nori, sliced spring onion and roasted sesame seeds, to serve
- 1 chicken (about 2kg)
- 500 gm chicken wings
- 300 gm chicken feet (see note)
- 300 gm pig's trotter (½ large pig's trotter; see note)
- 10 garlic cloves
- ¼ onion
- 100 ml sake
- 15 gm dried squid (see note)
- 15 gm katsuobushi (see note)
- 15 gm dried anchovy (see note)
- 500 ml (2 cups) soy sauce
- 1For soup base, combine ingredients and 7 litres water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer, stirring and smashing solids with a wooden spoon until stock is reduced by half and well flavoured (4 hours). Strain through a fine strainer into a bowl (discard solids). Cool stock in a bowl over a bowl of iced water, then refrigerate overnight. Heat before serving.
- 2Meanwhile, while soup is cooking, add pork belly and simmer until tender and easily pierced with a knife (2-3 hours; you'll need to remove the pork with tongs each time you smash the solids, so it doesn't break up). Cool, then refrigerate until required.
- 3For kaeshi, combine ingredients (except soy sauce) and 200ml water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Skim surface and add soy sauce, bring back to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until well flavoured (15 minutes). Remove from heat, cool, then strain through a fine sieve. Bring to the boil again before serving.
- 4Cook noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water until cooked but still firm (2-3 minutes). Drain well.
- 5To serve, slice pork into 5mm-thick slices and flame with a blowtorch or under a hot grill, if desired. Add 1½ tbsp kaeshi and a pinch of white pepper to each bowl. Add hot soup and adjust seasoning to taste. Add noodles, and top with a slice of pork, half a soft-boiled egg, nori, spring onion and seeds.
Chicken feet and pig's trotters may need to be ordered ahead from your butcher. Dried squid, katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) and dried anchovy are available from select Asian supermarkets. Drink suggestion A cold beer.