Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup : Pork Belly

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

Making ramen stock from scratch is a labor intensive process. A traditional pork stock for ramen can take up to 12 hours. I don’t have 12 hours during the day to watch after a stock pot (I have a day job), but nobody said I needed 12 continuous hours. In the course of 2 evenings and the help of my pressure cooker , I was able to render my first batch of homemade pork stock for ramen.  I also dreamed of making the noodles at home but without a pasta machine I anticipated disaster so I decided to stop that madness right there. The following recipe was inspired by Kenji Lopez’s: The Food Lab Redux: How to Make the Perfect Bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen.  He has an in-depth post with links to more in-depth posts on ramen. It’s a must-read for anyone who loves all things ramen and wants to learn more about it. This is my take. Wish me luck!

oh, one more thing. I’m back on INSTAGRAM! The link on my sidebar has been down for a while, but that’s no longer the case. I will be publishing all the blog photography there from now on (And will also try to get previous photography in there as well). So if you want to get updates, follow me on instagram! And…. back to cooking!

 

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

Ingredients (enough ramen soup for 8-10 servings):

Stock:

2 chicken carcasses/backs (I had homemade chicken stock so I used that, about 3 cups)
2 white onions
16 green onions (white parts only)
2 leeks
4lb pig trotters
1 pound of brown mushrooms
12 garlic cloves
1 small knob of ginger (grated)
3 Tbsp miso paste (the darker kind)

Flavored Eggs :

1 cup water
1 cup sake
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 cup sugar
6 eggs

Pickled Bamboo Shoots (I couldn’t find menma!):

1 can Canned bamboo shoots
1 tsp Chilli oil
1 tsp Oyster sauce
1 tsp Soy sauce
1 tsp Sesame oil

 Pork Belly (Sliced)

2 pounds of pork belly, preferably a meaty section of it.
No extra ingredients here. It’s pork belly, what else do you need.

Other garnishes (to your taste):

Sweet corns
Nori
bean sprouts (I had kimchi ones, worked just fine)
chopped green onions (green parts only)

Making the stock!:

1. Getting those trotters ready. To prevent the stock  from becoming too dark blanch the trotters in boiling water for about 10 min. Rinse in cold water. Remove any traces of dark matter, mainly blood (which will turn dark brown when cooked). Use a paring knife to get the job done. During this process a lot of skim is released. Cool, one less thing to worry about later.

2. Char a couple onions in vegetable oil over high heat. Pretty french thing to do if you ask me. Delivers intense flavor and color into the stock.

3. Caramelize the veggies (leeks, mushrooms, green onions) in some vegetable oil in the stock pot.

4. If you have raw chicken carcasses/backs, roast them in the oven. Don’t let anything burn. Just deep golden brown. You can brush the bones with vegetable oil during the roasting to speed things up.

5. I used chicken stock I had made previously. Use that, or store bought stock is good too.

5. Add the chicken carcasses/backs (or the chicken stock), the caramelized veggies, the onions, the trotters, the garlic and the ginger to a simmering pot. Cover with water and simmer for 12 hours. Or 2 6h sessions, or 3 4h sessions.. i wouldn’t stretch it any further. You could speed things up using a pressure cooker which I did. The stock will become darker due to the higher temperature, but it will be rich and delicious.  I added 2/3 Tbsp of sea salt here. I don’t like cooking without salt. Specially in lengthy cooking like this.

7. Strain and discard solids, they’ve served their purpose and contain no flavor anymore. It’s all part of the stock.

8. Flavor the stock with miso and soy sauce to your taste.

9. This stock can be kept in the fridge for a week or so. Frozen… a few months for sure.

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

Flavoring those eggs!:

1. First of all, we need soft boil eggs. Soft boiling an egg is not an easy thing. There’s way too many variables to control. In my case, I used eggs at room temperature  (About 70F). Bring a pot with water to a roiling boil. Gently submerge the eggs in the water. 6 minutes later. Remove the eggs from the water. Place in a bowl under cold running water for a moment. Peel.

2. Add all the ingredients to a jar or a ziplock bag, and place the eggs in. 4 hours later. Eggs should be flavored. Don’t over-marinate.

3. Done. They can stay in the fridge for a few days. Reheat in the ramen broth before eating. Although I don’t care, I’ll eat cold eggs with my ramen, on their own, for a midnight snack…etc.

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

Pickling the bamboo shoots!:

1. Mixed the ingredients except for the bamboo shoots in a small pot and simmer the mix for a min or so. Add the shoots. Take off the heat. Let them steep for a couple of min. Remove from the pickling liquid. Store in container. They can stay in the fridge for a few days. No rush. Done.

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

Cooking the pork belly!:

1. I decided I wanted to keep my pork belly away from more ingredients and simmer it in the ramen stock. Simmer the slices of pork belly in the stock for 1 hour if cooking in a regular pot. 30 minutes if cooking in a pressure cooker. Just long enough to break it down and have some of the fat rendered into the ramen stock… it was hard for me to type that last sentence… I just want pork so bad right now.

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

The noodles!:

1. Like I said, I bought them at the store. I got fresh ones at my favorite chinese market (T&T near Olympic Villa in Vancouver), not the dry ones.

2. Boil some water, add some salt. Add the noodles. They will cook really quickly. About a minute or 2. Just keep an eye on them and strain them when they’re ready. It isn’t rocket science.

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

Putting this whole thing together!:

1. Get your dinner ware ready. Get those bowls out.

2. Place the noodles in those bowls. That’s right.

3. Add a cup of ramen stock to each bowl.

4. Top with a few slices of pork belly.

5. Add the rest of the garnishes.

6. Save the egg for last and with an extremely sharp knife, slice it over the bowl.

8. Distribute bowls of heaven and a some chop sticks.

9. done!

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

tangerine + tarragon infused pork belly : sous vide 36h 140ºF

Leaving even a crockpot alone in my apartment freaks me out. The idea of something generating heat and being unattended at the same time is a bit unsettling and has never happened under my watch. I don’t even own a crockpot, but I have an immersion circulator which I’ve used quite a bit but never left running overnight not to mention, running while I was away at work during the day.

After some reading, and checking with some of my blogger friends about the safety of doing this, specially after getting some advice from Stefan from stefangourmet.com, (wonderful chef and sous vide expert), I decided to prepare something different this time. It was very exciting to learn more about slow cooking using the sous vide technique, the flavor development is as you can imagine, crazy good, and the tenderness of this meat was out of this world. Ready for some extreme slow but delicious cooking action?  I am! 

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Oranges and tarragon, great pairing, never tried it with pork, but it worked deliciously! Pork goes really well with sweet and sour ingredients. I used tangerines because they seemed riper and sweeter than their orange friends that day. This is one of the bests things I’ve eaten.

Gear:

cutting board + Knife
immersion circulator
vacuum sealer
plastic bag
strainer
garlic press
butchers twine
sauce pan
long tongs
medium size ramekin

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Ingredients:

500g pork belly

for marinade:
1 shallot coarsely chopped
2 tangerines: reserve juice and skin
2 garlic cloves pressed
tarragon leaves (30g)
pinch of maldon salt
pinch black pepper
vegetable oil to fill a 1.5 quart sauce pan 3/4 of the way for deep frying.

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Method: 
Marinade:
01: blanche tannerie skin for about 2 minutes to tame bitterness
02: simmer juice, salt, garlic, tarragon and skins together for about 2 minutes
03: let cool down in the fridge for about an hour

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Pork Belly:

01: cut a slab of pork belly about 500g, tie it with twine
02: blanch in boiling water for a minute to sterilize  no need!
03: place into a plastic bag for vacuum sealing
04: pour tangerine/tarragon marinade inside bag
05: vacuum seal
06: cook sous vide for 36 hours at 140f
07: remove from water bath and refrigerate overnight
08: cut bag open, place pork belly and its gelatinized marinade on a deep plate
09: microwave for about 2 minutes to liquify marinade
10: remove tangerine skins, reserve marinade
11: reduce marinade in a microwave, about 2 minutes or napper consistency
12: cut pork belly into cubes
13: flash fry each cube at 450 until golden, 30 secs to a min.
14: dry on paper towels
15: plate glazing with tangerine reduction
16: add maldon salt to taste

pork belly goodness getting its deep frying bath!

hope you enjoy this dish and comments, ideas, suggestions are always welcome!

Braised Pork Belly (Kakuni) : Mirin : Ginger : Dashi : Leeks : Soy sauce

I had some extra pork belly in my freezer, and it was time to try something new. There is one recipe I’ve always loved eating a restaurants but never tried to cook at home, I actually thought this would be impossible to reproduce, mostly due to my own ignorance about japanese cooking, it is very foreign to me but at the same time it isn’t, living in LA, I’ve been exposed to Japanese food for over a decade, but one thing is eating it, another completely different thing is cooking it but I had to give it a shot. I have to say that tonight’s experience making Kakuni, was’t disappointing, and the familiar taste of this delicious dish was pretty much there, the sweetness, the umami, the ginger, all there, I had to adjust things a bit as I was going, but in the end I had a pretty awesome dinner and leftovers. Here’s what I did to get this melt-in-your-mouth pork belly dish: 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb. pork belly
1/4 cup mirin
2 cups dashi
1 leek
3 Tbsp soys sauce (more to taste)
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp ground dry ginger
2 Tbsp peanut oil
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Gear:

knife and cutting board
pressure cooker
small sauce pan
medium sauce pan
roasting pan
aluminum foil
oven
measuring spoons and cups
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Method:

01: line roasting pan with aluminum foil
02: place pork belly in it, coat with some peanut oil
03: roast at 500f for about an hour or until golden *
04: remove from oven and let rest
05: cut leek in half, reserve white part
06: green part, cut in half lengthwise
07: place pork belly in pressure cooker
08: add green leek part to pressure cooker
09: add ginger to pressure cooker
10: add water to just cover pork
11: pressure cook at 15psi for 45 minutes
12: remove pork belly from vessel
13: reserve stock for something else (this is a great stock btw)
14: discard leeks in pressure cooker
15: reserve pork, set aside
16: add 2 cups of dashi to a medium sauce pan  (kombu, bonito flakes broth)
17: add sugar, soy sauce, mirin
18: in separate small pot, hard boil a couple of eggs
19: after 5 minutes, remove from boiling water
20: chuck in cold water and peel
21: place eggs along with pork in the medium sauce pan
22: simmer for about 5 minutes ( eggs should turn a nice brown color on the outside)
23: serve some of the broth on a bowl, along with eggs and pork chunks
24: garnish with juliened leeks (white part) and finely chopped green onion

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I believe this is my first Japanese recipe on my blog, hope to get better at this, also hope you enjoy if you try making this!

and if you needed information on how to make dashi, I would check this great link on how to make homemade dashi!

braised pork belly over onions : orange : garlic

braised pork belly over onions : orange : garlic @ thatothercookingblog.com by Paul Palop

Still on the Big Island. A few nights ago I almost lost my fingertips, nope, not due to a kitchen disaster, something much cooler, night diving with manta rays on the west coast, the surge was so strong that holding on to rocks at the bottom was pretty pointless, must be how little veggie bits feel when you stir your soup bowl. wow.. powerful cooking metaphor. Diving with manta rays is listed as one of the 10 things to do before you die apparently… I don’t believe you can do much after that anyway. I have to say, it was AMAZING. I wanna do this every night.

I’ve decided to slow down a bit after that experience and spend some time cooking something. I’m not gonna cook a manta ray, just in case you got all excited about possibly reading the weirdest blog post ever. I’m going to prepare pork belly, I bought it in a nearby market, and it looked so great and it was cheap too, I couldn’t resist. Pork braises wonderfully, takes time to break down its meat and have that melt-in-your-mouth texture, 3 hours in the oven can get you there. Pork belly is extremely fatty and it welcomes vinegar, in this case, I used white wine vinegar, is what I had at hand. I would replace that with champagne vinegar in the future. Pickles also helped to balance the richness. The caramelized onion and the roasted garlic were SO GOOD. Anyways, here’s what I did:

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DIY bacon

DIY bacon

Pork belly, not an easy thing to find around this neighbourhood. you can either go to a real butcher, and there aren’t that many out there that would sell this, so do your research before wasting your time. you can also get it online, but that isnt as exciting. You wanna know what’s even more exciting? Starting your DIY bacon project right now. 

DIY Bacon

DIY Bacon

Making bacon is a 2 step process, first you have to “wet” cure it, and then you have to slow cook it (smoke it) to dry it even further and develop more flavor. I didn’t smoke mine. I will try that later, I dont have a smoker and smoking in my oven… not ready for that yet!

1 lb of pork belly (You can easily scale up this recipe)

Dry Cure:

12g sea salt
9g brown sugar
3g pink curing salt
0.5g black pepper corns.
0.5g coriander seeds, toasted, ground.
2 cloves crushed.
3 juniper berries, crushed.

Herbs I like:

8 marjoram springs

or

2 tbsp minced rosemary
2 tbsp minced parsley

So how much pink salt is good enough… which isn’t a bad question since pink salt needs to be handled with caution. Well, I’ve based my percentages on a recipe that appears on the Modernist Cuisine Kitchen Manual, page 107.

For every 100g of meat: use 0.6g of pink salt.
For every 100g of meat: use 2.5g of salt.

One more note: Insta Cure #1 and D.Q. Curing pink salt are the same thing, same concentration.
Insta Cure #2 contains nitrates and is ONLY used for dry curing over long periods of time.

DIY Bacon

Ok, pink curing salt is a blend of about 94% table salt and 6% sodium nitrite which although not a healthy thing to eat at high concentrations, the concentration in this brine is so low that is virtually harmless and what it does is inhibiting the growth of bacteria (botulism) which is the purpose of curing to begin with.
DIY Bacon

now mix all the ingredients and rub away. I used a food processor to mix everything up. then I threw the pork belly in a ziplock bag and with my hand rub the paste all over it. minimal mess.

DIY Bacon

this pork belly piece is ready to be sealed. I partially submerged the bag in a pot filled with cold water to get most of the air out of the bag and I zipped the bag. it will be 7 days before this is cured. every day, turn the bag over, to ensure even curing.

DIY Bacon

7 days and after many turns this is what I ended up with. By the way, I didn’t use the ziplock bag, instead I wrapped the belly in cheesecloth with seem to have worked amazingly well. This thing smells so good. Now we have to clean it up and get it ready for the oven.

DIY Bacon

Here it is after cleanup, really good color and scent. I should have removed the rind… or not…
DIY Bacon

Here it is after 3 hours at 200f in the oven, a bit toasty on the outside, very nice and pink in the inside, ready.

DIY Bacon

after vacuum sealing:

DIY Bacon

done.

DIY Bacon