Ramen with Chasu and Egg
There is perhaps nothing more satisfying than making your own Japanese Ramen at home in under 2 hours. Yes. No kidding. It’s not for the weak-willed. But if you are not weak-willed you may try. If you read this statement and say you have decided not to try to cook this and you are thinking of cooking instant noodles instead? Well, nuff said, that’s being weak-willed.
So I decided that I would do this recipe slightly different from my usual style of writing. I will make this a narrative and hopefully, you can see this as a refreshing change to my usual style.
I started by boiling a huge ass pot of broth using pork ribs, dried shitake mushrooms and dried Japanese kelp (aka seaweed). I didn’t really measure, but it was about 2 litres of water in that pot. And basically, that soup stock will form the base for my Japanese Ramen.
In another pot, with the heat turned up, sear the pork belly on all sides until almost charred. No oil needed. Just the fats from the pork belly will be sufficed. Once the pork belly starts to brown, add stock from the big ass pot and add 3 tablespoons of Kikkoman soya sauce, 3 tablespoons of Japanese rice vinegar and a tablespoon of raw sugar, 1 inch of ginger smashed, 4-5 pieces of garlic, leeks or scallions. Boil and boil and boil over a constant fire and make sure it keeps on bubbling.
Traditional Japanese cooking usually takes great amounts of time. They usually slow cook the pork bones for at least 20 hours before the pork bone soup base is ready. And here I am trying to squeeze the process in under 2 hours so that I could feed my family. Actually, you can, but all that effort is spent watching the precious stock evaporate right in front of your eyes.
You got to watch the broth disappear and the heat must be furious. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to extract the essence of the pork bones. So the balance and the in-between consistency is important.
So while that was happening, I was cooking the Chasu. The heat has to be constant and furious and you got to keep on ladling the pork bone broth into your pot of soya sauce Chasu. This is to ensure that the Chasu doesn’t burn and that you will have a Japanese Chasu that is both tender and delicious.
In a third pot, cook the eggs. 6 minutes, high heat and then drop them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop them from cooking further. Use a countdown timer. Which I did, but my phone was in silent mode. LOL. And I overshot the cooking time, and the egg yolk basically got cooked. So stuff like that actually happen in the home kitchen, so instead of throwing it away, I dipped the eggs in Kikkoman marinate for about 15 minutes. Just 2 tablespoons of Kikkoman soya sauce would be good enough marinate for 3 eggs.
For the ramen, I use angel hair pasta. There was no way I could use buckwheat flour and eggs to make my own Japanese Ramen. It was impossible to be able to do it in under 2 hours. So I cooked the angel hair pasta for about 5 minutes or until they are soft enough to eat and I serve immediately with the leftover pork bone broth, the leftover Chasu sauce. Placed the cooked Japanese Chasu and the eggs and placed the bean sprouts, thinly sliced scallions and the marinated egg.
All that effort to just prepare 2 bowls of Japanese Ramen for my Wife and me. Was it worth it? Of course, it was. But you got to know exactly what it is that you need to achieve in that 2 hours in order to be successful. I wish you all the best.