Updated March 8, 2017
dried bird chiles (optional)
tablespoon rice wine vinegar
ounces udon noodles, cooked
ounces shiitake mushrooms
For pork belly, preheat oven to 425°F. Cut narrow slits in pork belly, cutting through fat, but not into meat. Make a grid of about 1/2 inch cuts.
Rub pork belly with sesame oil, salt, and pepper.
Bake pork belly piece for about an hour until skin is very crispy and belly is cooked through.
For soup base, add kombu, dried mushrooms, chile peppers, garlic, and ginger, to a large pot. Cover with chicken stock and water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
Add in bonito flakes and simmer for another few minutes. Then kill the heat, keep covered, and let sit for 10 minutes.
Drain stock through a wire mesh sieve to remove ingredients. Return clean broth to a large pot and bring to a rapid boil. Season with soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Let the stock simmer until it reduces by about a quarter, about 15-20 minutes.
In a large skillet, add a drizzle of neutral oil over medium heat. Then add shiitake mushrooms and cook until they soften, about five minutes. Add spinach and continue to cook until spinach is wilted. Then turn heat down to low and keep warm until needed.
When ready to make a bowl, remove pork belly from oven. As an added bonus, you can add a few tablespoons of the rendered pork belly fat to the soup base. A little bit of fat will help round out the flavors.
Slice pork belly very thin.
Cook udon noodles according to package. Then divide noodles evenly between four bowls. Split spinach and mushrooms between the bowls. Add a few slices of pork belly to each bowl (it's very rich), then ladle in your stock to cover the noodles. Garnish with fresh scallions and sesame seeds.
More About This Recipe
- Enjoy that ramen taste right at home with this homemade Pork Belly Ramen.As a home cook, there are some things that you just have to come to terms with. For me, one of those things is that I probably won’t ever be able to make the perfect bowl of ramen.A perfect bowl of ramen might not even exist. But if it does, it takes decades to get right and definitely doesn’t come in the tiny plastic packet that most Americans think of when they think of ramen.After coming to terms with that though, it becomes very doable to make a really good bowl of ramen. If you’re new to Asian cooking, there might be some unfamiliar ingredients in this preparation, but you should be able to find all of them at any Asian market or even most Asian sections of supermarkets these days. In other words, there’s no excuse!
- For my pork belly ramen, I make a rich soup base that only takes about 90 minutes – as opposed to the days and days it can take for restaurants to make their ramen bases. In the base is a bunch of fun add-ins, but most importantly I tossed in a few thin slices of rich roasted pork belly.Let’s start with the pork belly. For this version, I roasted mine. Slicing some thin cuts into the fat portion of the pork belly will help some of the fat render out of the belly as it roasts. Try not to cut too deep down into the belly.This pork belly will need to roast for at least 60 minutes, but to be honest you can’t really over cook it. The longer you cook it, the crispier and more delicious it will get. I roasted mine for 60 minutes, but you could roast it for 90 minutes without a problem.Now for maybe the more intimidating part: the soup base. As you can see, there are some ingredients that are not common in American kitchens.The big sticks that you see are kombu, basically seaweed. They add a nice deep savory flavor to the stock. The dried black things are black fungus. You can use any dried mushroom though. Bonito flakes are a Japanese staple. They are basically dried fish that they smoke and slice into very thin flakes. Again, they add a rich savory flavor to the stock.
- I made a few other add-ins that are great in the ramen bowls like sauteed shiitake mushrooms and spinach. You also want to include noodles. There are a million different noodle options and use can use almost all of them. For my money, I prefer udon noodles. Just cook them according to the package right before you’re ready to serve.Now you’re ready to make a bowl! Divide the noodles between a few bowls, top with the spinach and mushrooms, add in a few thin slices of pork belly, and ladle in the ramen base. Then top with scallions and sesame seeds and you’re ready to roll!Is this the best bowl of ramen in the entire world? Absolutely not. But it’s tasty, beats a plane ticket to New York or Japan, and you can realistically make it in a few hours!
- Need more ramen in your life? We've got you covered with plenty of delicious ramen recipes just waiting to be made.