Make Ahead

Momofuku ramen

February 19, 2015
Author Notes

perfection in a bowl--noodles in a rich broth and topped with tender meat and creamy soft-boiled egg. —Vy Tran

  • Prep time 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 12 hours 45 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
  • Ramen Broth and Pork Belly
  • 2 3x6 in pieces of konbu
  • 6 quarts water
  • 2 cups dried shiitakes mushroom, soaked for 30 min and rinsed
  • 1 four-pound chicken, either a whole bird or legs/thighs
  • 5 pounds meaty pork neck bones
  • 1 pound smoky bacon
  • 1 bunch of scallions
  • 1 medium onion, halved
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1 three-pound slab pork belly
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Assembly
  • 2 cups of ramen broth
  • 5 ounces ramen noodles, cooked according to package instruction
  • 3 slices of pork belly
  • 2 pieces of nori
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, both greens and whites
  • 2 slices of store-bought fish cake
  • 4 pieces of canned bamboo shoots
  • 2 Shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup seasonal vegetables (you can use whatever you like)
  • 1 soft-boiled egg
In This Recipe
  1. Rinse the konbu and combine it with water in an large stockpot. Bring water to a simmer over high heat and turn off the heat. Let steep for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the konbu from the pot and add the shiitakes. Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil. Then turn the heat down and allow the liquid to simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Put the pork bones on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven for an hour, turning them over at the 30 minute mark to ensure even browning.
  4. Remove the mushrooms from the pot and add the chicken. Save the mushrooms for later. Let the liquid simmer gently, removing any froth, foam, or fat that rises to the surface. Replenish water as needed to keep the chicken covered.
  5. After an hour, test the chicken: the meat should pull away from the bones easily. If it doesn’t, simmer until you can do that. Then remove the chicken from the pot.
  6. Add the roasted pork bones to the broth along with the bacon. Adjust the heat to keep the broth at a steady simmer.
  7. Remove the bacon after an hour and continue simmering the broth for 6-7 hours. Stop adding water to replenish the pot after 5 hours.
  8. Add the scallions, onion, and carrots to the pot and simmer for the final 60 minutes.
  9. Remove and discard the spent bones and vegetables. Pass the broth through a strainer lined with a cheesecloth.
  10. Finish the broth by seasoning it to taste with the sake, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar.
  11. For the pork belly, mix together the salt and sugar in a small bowl and rub the mix all over the meat. Put the meat in container and cover the container with plastic wrap and put it into the fridge for at least 6 hours but no longer than 24 hours.
  12. Preheat the over to 400˚F.
  13. Discard any liquid that accumulates in the container. Put the belly in the oven, skin side up, and cook for 1 hour, basting it with the rendered fat.
  14. Turn the temperature down to 250˚F and cook for another hour until the belly is tender. It shouldn’t be falling apart.
  15. Remove the pork belly and transfer it to a plate and allow it to cool to just about room temperature.
  16. When ready, cut the pork belly into ½ inch thick slices that are about 2 inches long.
  17. For assembly, place the ramen into the bowl. Arrange the meat, egg, and garnishes (bamboo shoots, fish cake, vegetables, and nori) around the edges of each bowl. Add the scallions.
  18. When ready, ladle 2 cups of soup into the bowl and serve hot. Enjoy!

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