Pork Belly Ramen
Amazing ramen recipe featuring slow-roasted, pan-fried pork belly, tofu, soft-boiled egg, mushrooms, spinach, corn, and scallions in a deliciously flavorful homemade broth
- 1.5 lb pork belly
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp neutral oil
- 8 cups ramen broth may substitute bacon dashi or pork or chicken broth
- 1/3 cup soy sauce preferably usukushi (light) - more to taste
- 3 Tbsp mirin or sake with 1 tsp sugar added - more to taste
- salt to taste
- 16 oz ramen noodles fresh or dried
- 4 eggs soft/hard-boiled, or poached
- 14 oz tofu extra firm preferably, water pressed out
- 6 oz spinach or other greens
- 6 oz enoki mushrooms may substitute shiitake or oyster, fresh or rehydrated
- 1 ear corn kernels only, may use 1 cup frozen or canned
- 1/2 cup scallions diced, may substitute chives, garlic scapes, or cleaned leeks
- 1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil divided
- 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil divided
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce more to taste
- pinch salt
- chili garlic sauce optional, to taste
Prepare Pork Belly
Mix together salt and sugar. Rub pork belly on all sides. Cover and refrigerate for 6-24 hours (overnight is perfect). Wipe off excess cure.
Preheat oven to 450F. Roast pork belly, fat side up, for 45 minutes (60 min if using 3 lb belly - see note). Baste with own juices halfway through. Reduce heat to 250F. Roast an additional 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from oven. These steps may be done up to three days in advance - wrap belly tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate untli ready to use.
If using belly the day of roasting, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30-60 min to make slicing easier. Remove from refrigerator/freezer and unwrap. Slice to 1/4" thickness. Fry for about 2 minutes per side in lightly oiled cast iron pan, until brown and slightly crispy. Remove to paper towel-lined plate until ready to assemble ramen.
Prepare Ramen Toppings
Cut tofu into 3/4" cubes. Sprinkle with salt. Heat half each of vegetable and sesame oil over medium heat. Stir fry 6-8 minutes, or until slightly golden brown. Remove until ready to assemble ramen.
Heat remainder of oil over medium heat. Add spinach and mushrooms (whole if using enoki, sliced if shiitake or oyster). Saute 2-3 minutes. Add soy sauce. Saute an additional 1-2 minutes or until spinach wilted and mushrooms soft. Increase cooking time if substituting sturdier green such as kale.
Prepare ramen noodles according to package directions. Drain.
Heat broth to a simmer. Season with soy sauce and mirin. Taste and adjust to preferred level of saltiness.
Divide hot noodles between 4 bowls. Ladle in piping hot stock. Portion out toppings in each bowl: pork belly, tofu, greens. mushrooms, corn, and scallions. Serve ramen with chopsticks and large spoon. Let diners add additional soy sauce and chili garlic sauce if desired. Enjoy!
**Salt and sugar cure is enough for a 3-4 lb pork belly. If roasting larger belly, cook at 450 for full 60 minutes. If roasting 1.5-2 lb belly, reduce temperature after 45 minutes at 450. Roasted pork belly not used for ramen may be saved for another use. **Ramen toppings are personal. We like the recipe as written, but feel free to tweak to fit your tastes. Options for greens include spinach, mustard, kale, chard, or collards. Or substitute nori or wakame (seaweed). Mushrooms and corn are optional. Leeks or chives may be used in place of scallions. Bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, shredded Napa cabbage, or sliced Kamaboko fish cake may be added.