That was the soup I was craving on that cold November day. And since we are a long way from any Chinatown out here in Wyoming, I had to figure out how to make it at home. (Although you can purchase a decent bowl of ramen at the Jackson sushi restaurant Sudaché.)
I have simplified the very involved Momofuku method of making Ramen, so that we can make it at home, with ingredients from the grocery store, and without spending the whole day in the kitchen. It doesn’t have to be completely authentic, it just has to be good.
Ramen is broth + noodles + toppings. “It’s that simple and it’s that complex”, says David Chang, co-author of the Momofuku cookbook.
For a printable version of the recipe, click on the file below it.
Momofuku Ramen Noodle Soup
The broth will simmer for 7-8 hours total. After the chicken is removed and the pork bones have been added, I see no reason why you couldn't transfer the contents of the pot to a slow-cooker set on low, and leave it to cook on its own.
Do yourself a favor and make a double batch of the broth. With Momofuku ramen broth stashed in the freezer, and a good supply of nori and noodles in the pantry, you are just moments away from a superfast meal. The shredded pork shoulder also freezes well in half-pint plastic bags.
For each serving of Momofuku Ramen Noodle Soup:
- Ramen broth (2 cups)
- shredded pork shoulder (1/3 cup)
- slow-poached eggs (1 per serving)
- fresh or dried udon or somen noodles, (4 ounces)
- Sriracha hot sauce, to taste
For the Ramen Broth:
makes 5-6 quarts, enough for about 10-12 bowls of ramen, with leftovers
- 2 pieces (3 x 6 inch) of kombu (konbu)
- 6 quarts water, or more to replenish the pot
- 5 pounds chicken, either a whole bird, or backs and necks (or substitute 4 cups of chicken broth)
- 2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms, rinsed
- 5 pounds meaty pork bones
- 1/2 pound smoky bacon (such as an end piece of Benton's bacon)
- 1 bunch scallions, coarsely chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium onion, cut in half
- soy sauce, mirin, and Kosher salt, for seasoning
- Rinse the kombu under running water, and then add it to the water in an 8-quart stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and steep for 10 minutes.
- Heat oven to 400ºF, and place the pork bones in a single layer on a baking sheet into the oven. Roast for 1 hour, turning over after 30 minutes so that they brown on both sides.
- Remove the kombu from the pot and discard. Add the dried mushrooms and bring back to a boil, then turn down the heat to gently simmer the mushrooms for about 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- If using the chicken, add it to the pot now, and keep the liquid at a very low simmer for at least an hour. Skim and discard any foam, fat or froth that rises to the surface of the pot.
- After about an hour, test the chicken to see if you can easily pull the meat from the bones, and then remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon. Reserve the chicken meat for another use.
- Add the pork bones to the pot, along with the bacon and the chicken broth (if you are using that instead of chicken). Bring to a gentle boil, and then simmer on very low heat, again skimming any scum that surfaces. Replenish with water or more broth if needed throughout the process, to keep the amount of liquid the same. After 45 minutes, remove the bacon from the pot and discard it.
- Simmer the pork bones in the broth for 6 to 7 hours, or as much time as your schedule allows, or transfer to a slow-cooker to simmer on low.
- To finish the broth, add the scallions, onion and carrots, and simmer for an additional 45 minutes.
- Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve, or a strainer lined with cheesecloth. Taste, and season with kosher salt, soy sauce and mirin (I used 2 tablespoons of each). The broth should be very salty and very well-seasoned, but adjust to your liking.
makes about 3 cups, or enough for about 10 bowls of ramen
This recipe can be increased to make as much pork as you like. The cooking time will be the same.
Leftover shredded pork is great in tacos, quesadillas, or tossed with barbecue sauce for pulled pork sandwiches.
- 3 pounds pork shoulder, boneless and skin off
- 1/4 cup Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Mix the salt and sugar in a small bowl.
- Put the pork shoulder in a deep roasting pan, and rub the sugar/salt all over the meat, making sure to cover all the nooks and crannies.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 6 and no more than 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 250ºF.
- Unwrap the pork and discard any juices that have accumulated. Put the meat in the oven, and roast for 6 hours. Baste the meat with the pan juices several times in the last few hours of cooking.
- When the pork is done cooking, let it rest on the counter for about 30 minutes. Shred the meat with two forks, drizzle some of the pan juices over to keep it moist, and store in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container until ready to use.
Slow-poached eggs are a really cool trick. The eggs are poached in a hot water bath, where they “cook” for 45 minutes. You can eat them right away, or make them ahead of time by plunging the eggs into ice water when they are done, and holding them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to eat, just warm up the egg in a glass of hot water, and crack it into a small saucer. Tip the dish into your ramen soup, or any other dish that requires a perfectly poached egg.
- eggs, as many as you like
- Fill a large, heavy pot with water, and warm to 140º-145ºF. You can measure the water temperature with an instant read thermometer, or just use your finger. It should be as warm as a very hot bath.
- Place a steamer basket, a cake rack, or a doughnut made of aluminum foil in the bottom of the pan. You don't want the eggs to be sitting on the bottom.
- When the water is just right, add the eggs, and slow-poach for 45 minutes. Keep checking the water temperature periodically, either with a thermometer or your finger, to keep it in the 140º-145º range.
- Use the eggs immediately by cracking them into a saucer, and then sliding them into your ramen noodle soup. Or, plunge them into an ice bath to cool, then remove and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- First, get everything ready before you cook the noodles. The broth should be very hot, just shy of boiling. Taste it one more time and adjust seasonings as needed. The shredded pork shoulder should be hot.
- Warm your bowls in the oven.
- Cook the noodles in salted water until done, and then drain and rinse with hot water. Immediately transfer a few forkfuls to each bowl.
- Pour the hot broth over. Arrange the toppings along the sides of the bowl.
- Crack a slow-poached egg into a saucer, and then slide it into the middle of the bowl.
- Serve with Sriracha, or some other hot sauce.