What better recipe to start my blog than my favorite one ever: pork ramen with udon? The love story started in Japan, in the first restaurant I visited when I arrived in Ishinomaki. The place was small, quite warm for a day of November and it smelled – oh – so good. I had never tasted ramen before and the only thing I expected was a hot meal after a cold morning spent working outside.
What to choose? Did it really matter? I didn’t know the kanjis and the meat looked all the same. My friend told me which was which and I picked pork.
In Japan, they serve ramen in a huge bowl. You actually think you won’t be able to finish it. But you will. There is no other way. The pork was so soft it was melting in my mouth. It was the first time I tried udon as well (the big “pastas” you can see on the picture) and I can’t eat anything else in ramen now: I love the way it “slurps”. And my personal favorite: the soft egg marinated in soy sauce. So. Good. Even though it’s been 5 years now, I still remember swallowing the whole thing, enjoying every piece while panicking knowing the bowl was almost finished. We got back to that restaurant once. Same experience. But ever since I came back to France, I never found a restaurant able to serve ramen to my taste. So I learnt to cook them myself. And I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I did 🙂
Ramen with pork and udon (by My Little Cuisine)
For 2 persons
You will need :
- One large and high pot, if it’s anti-adhesive, it’s better
- 2 bowls
- 2 pairs of chopsticks
- At least three hours of preparation/cooking
- One big piece of pork with fat. Pork belly is the best, try to have the bones removed. The amount is not important, take as much you think you can eat 🙂
- 1 big shallot
- 200 ml salty soy sauce
- 100 ml sweet soy sauce
- 2 eggs
- ginger (either fresh or powdered)
- udon (the best is to buy them fresh rather than dry)
- 2 spring onions
- Salt, pepper
- In the anti-adhesive pot, sear the pork belly on every side until the fat starts to melt. If it’s not or if your pot is not anti-adhesive, use a little bit of butter.
- Remove the pork and place it on a paper towel to absorb the extra fat. Chop the shallot and fry it in the leftover fat in the pot. Remove as much fat as you can from the pot while keeping the shallot. Place the pork in the pot again. Add salt and pepper.
- Add water into the pot until the meat is covered. Add two spoons of powdered ginger or add a fresh root chopped in small pieces. If you’re a big fan, you can add more.
- Place the lid so the pot is not entirely closed. Keep the preparation to a nice small boil.
- Let it cook for two hours. Add water from time to time so the meat always stays immersed in water.
- While the meat is cooking, get to the eggs. Boil them for 5 minutes and keep them in cold water for 2 minutes. Remove the shell. I then place them in a freezer bag but you can use other kind of bags or bowl. Cover the eggs with salty soy sauce and place them in the fridge until the meat is ready (or for at least one hour).
- Once the meat is done cooking for two hours, place the pork on a plate and start cutting slices. Dip those slices in the sweet soy sauce until they are nicely soaked.
- Get the eggs out of the fridge and pour the leftover soy sauce in the pot. If you didn’t use the whole 200ml, pour the rest as well. Mix it until well blended.
- Add the fresh udon in the pot and let them cook for two minutes.
- In a large bowl, place the pork slices, the udon, the egg cut in two and add the broth.
- Chop the spring onions and sprinkle it on top.
Bon appétit 🙂
Tip n°1: you can add vegetables to the broth (I used turnip balls here) and, if you want a more authentic experience, add fish cakes… If you can find any ^^” (and give me the address while you’re at it).
Tip n°2: the pork can be even better…If you have the whole day to cook! Roll the belly and attach it with strings. Roast it in the oven for a while, drenching it in its own fat.
Tip n°3: when eating, make as much noise as you can. In Japan, it is totally acceptable to slurp the udon while eating 😉