I’ve been wanting to try to make Shoyu Ramen for some time now – ever since I first tried it at the amazingly good Japanese restaurant, Yama, in Morgantown. I’ve been gathering the specialty ingredients and planning how I wanted to make it for probably 3 months.
I finally went for it today. I had the pork in the fridge. I had the spinach, the noodles, the kombu and nori (seaweed), the shoyu, and some homemade chicken stock. I was planning to be home all day, so that I could babysit the broth and take my time with all preparations.
I figured if I was going to go to all this trouble, might as well share it with friends. So I invited a fellow ramen aficionado, Kel, and his friend Hayli over. Kel actually introduced my husband and I to Yama in the first place, so this was only appropriate!
This recipe makes eight servings, but you can save the broth for later (in the fridge for a week, or freezer for 3 months) and only heat up as many noodles as you want at a time if you wish.
I also want to point out that I’m including product links from Asian Food Grocer where possible. I know that a lot of these ingredients are hard (or impossible) to find unless you live near a well-stocked Asian market. I’m not affiliated with Asian Food Grocer in any way; it just happens to be where I shop for hard-to-find Asian ingredients , and I am trying to make your life easier.
I used this recipe from Grace Parisi as a rough guide for cooking times, etc.
To serve 8, you will need:
For the broth:
- 2 quarts homemade chicken stock + 2 quarts water (OR 4 quarts of water + 3 lbs of chicken parts to make the chicken stock on the spot)
- 3 lbs pork loin, I used a filet (photo below) for maneuverability – also got it on sale
- 1 leek, trimmed and sliced into 1″ discs
- 1/3c ginger, peeled and roughly chopped or sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/3c shoyu or other high-quality soy sauce
- 1 tbs vegetable oil
- 1 sheet of kombu (dried kelp)
For the ramen:
- 1/4c shoyu or soy sauce, plus more for seasoning
- 24 ounces curly chuka soba noodles OR 6 3.5-ounce packs of fast ramen noodles (noodles only, no flavoring)
- 2c fresh baby spinach
- 3 thinly-sliced scallions
- 16 small sheets of nori (dried seaweed)
- Togarashi seasoning (a spicy red pepper seasoning blend) to taste
Make the broth first. Begin with prep work, as usual. Slice the leek.
In a very large stock pot, add the chicken stock (or water + chicken), garlic, ginger, leek, and shoyu. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer while you prepare the pork.
Note: You could use a large slow cooker instead of the stock pot + stove burner.
This is the pork I used (yay manager’s special price!); try to find something in this shape that will be easy to slice later.
Heat the vegetable oil over medium- high in a saute pan large enough to accommodate the pork.
Salt the pork on all sides, and add to the pan.
Brown on all sides. About 12 minutes total. Transfer the browned pork to the stock pot.
Simmer the broth mixture and pork over low for 2 hours, or until the pork is very tender.
This is the Shoyu soy sauce I used, by the way. Made in Japan with real soy beans… none of this fake American crap. 😛
Once the pork is tender, remove it to a plate and refrigerate. Strain the remaining solids out and discard them.
Return the broth to the pot.
Add the kombu, and continue to simmer for an hour and a half.
Remove from heat and let the broth cool for a while, and rest. Skim the fat and/or “scum” (shown above) that appears on top.
At this point, you can either use the broth to make ramen right away, or you can refrigerate or freeze it and save it for later. Up to you!
Either way, now I will give you instructions on how to finish the ramen soup.
Preheat the broiler. Slice the pork loin into 1/3″ slices.
Brush the slices with shoyu. Heat under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
Prepare the ramen or chuka soba noodles according to the package instructions, and heat up the broth (approximately 1 1/2 cups of broth per serving).
To prepare each bowl:
Add the noodles, and pour 1 1/2 cups of hot broth over them. Add 3-4 slices of pork, 1/4c spinach, 2 sheets of nori, and sliced scallion to garnish. The spinach will wilt in the hot broth, and the nori will hydrate and become soft.
Serve with Togarashi seasoning, and enjoy! 😀