Recently, my sister decided to try out a recipe for homemade chicken ramen — I was totally on board.
The dish was delicious, albeit rather inauthentic due to the swapping out of a couple of ingredients (we used Stop & Shop rotisserie chicken for the meat). But it was really good, and tasted wholesome, so I wanted to give it a try myself.
My attempt at this traditional dish was rather fraught — it was a busy Sunday, and I wanted to spend most of it outside. Luckily, my favorite element of the meal was also the easiest to prepare. First off, boil some fresh eggs in water and rice vinegar (how many eggs to make will depend on how many hungry mouths there are). The vinegar allows the eggs to be easily peeled, a fact I learned the hard way after reducing many soft-boiled eggs to half their size just through peeling. Now, I know it may sound strange for people who have never eaten ramen in a restaurant before, but you’ll want to marinate (yes, I said marinate) your eggs for about 12 hours, or up to a day. Mix soy sauce, mirin, and a titch of sesame oil in a plastic freezer bag. I added cayenne pepper for a little extra kick. The amount of each ingredient for the egg marinade will, again, depend on how many people are eating. The only thing I would suggest is going easy on the sesame oil, as it will very easily overpower the flavor of the other sauces. Marinate the soft-boiled eggs in that bag until the sauce ideally soaks all the way through the white to the yolk, and there you have it — ramen eggs. These eggs are super-versatile. They’re a nice snack, and go great sliced up with a salad, or as a side for some meals, and the saltiness of the sauce mix makes the eggs keep well in the fridge.
The first step in preparing the soup itself is to get the broth ready. For the broth I used three cups of water, one carton of reduced salt beef stock, one carton of reduced salt chicken stock, ⅛ cup of soy sauce (to taste), one tablespoon of miso, two tablespoons of rice vinegar, and one teaspoon of sesame oil. Mix all that deliciousness together and get it simmering on the stove while you prepare the next step.
Slice two cups of carrots into strips, and sauté on medium-high heat in a frying pan. Add one chopped onion, two chopped shallots, along with one box of oyster mushrooms, and one box of shiitake mushrooms into the mix. Now, as the vegetables are sautéing, it’s time to prepare the meat. I bought some beautiful Heritage pork loin from Stop & Shop and tied it up with cooking twine. Then I added garlic powder, coarse truffle salt, and a little black pepper to the pork. Chuck that bad boy onto a rimmed baking sheet (I used ceramic), coated in olive oil or butter. For cooking, I normally use Wagyu beef tallow instead of olive oil or butter, but it’s all preference.
Cook the pork in the oven at 375° (make sure to preheat if you’re using anything but a metal baking sheet), then pull it out after 25 minutes and let sit in tin foil for 10 minutes before cutting. At this point, you should have your eggs marinated, your broth simmering, your vegetables cooking, and your pork all set. Now it’s time to combine. Add the vegetables to the broth, along with some garlic and ginger (to taste). Next, slice the pork into medium-thick pieces and plop them in the broth with the veggies. Let that cook for another 10 or 20 minutes in order for the pork juices to add flavor. The final step is to cook up some noodles for the dish. I used rice vermicelli because I couldn’t find ramen noodles in the stores, and it seemed to work well. Pour the soup over the noodles, then scoop out a piece of pork, add a halved marinated egg, and garnish with green onions (I used jalapeños instead). The meal is a far stretch from authentic Japanese ramen, but it’s not your 2 am college dorm snack, either. Enjoy!
Here’s the (loose) recipe:
1.5 pounds pork loin (although the traditional recipe is made with tied pork belly)
titch of sesame oil
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
3 cups water
1 carton beef stock
1 carton chicken stock
⅛ cup of soy sauce (to taste)
1 Tbsp. miso
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
diced ginger (to taste)
2 cups carrots (cut into sticks)
1 chopped onion
2 chopped shallots
1 box oyster mushrooms
1 box shiitake mushrooms