How To Make a Basic Japanese Ramen Noodle Soup
Ramen is one of my family’s favourite Japanese dishes. In a city like Edinburgh where it’s almost always wet and/or cold, ramen (along with hot pots) are the perfect dishes for warming yourself up.
A good ramen is one of the most rewarding dishes you can eat, full of noodles, meat, eggs and with a really thick delicious broth but it does take a long time to prepare and there are a lot of procedures. So be aware, this recipe is kind of long but don’t be afraid, as long as you prepare all the ingredients, such as the ramen eggs, char siu pork and stock a day before then on the day it’s pretty quick to prepare.
I personally spent around two hours making the stock for this dish. I didn’t want to simmer it for too long simply because of time constraints but in really good ramen restaurants it’s not unheard of stock be cooked for half a day to a day or even more. As with most stocks, the longer you cook, the better they taste and ramen is true of this.
A good example of preparing the ingredients in advance as I mentioned above is the stock. Quite often I’ll cook a LOT of stock then I’ll separate it into small portions and store in a freezer. You can do the same thing with char siu pork as well.
Some cooking tips:
- If you like the egg quite runny then set your timer to 3 minutes. I like to cook them for 3 ½ minutes but some recipes online say 4 minutes but personally I think this is a little too long.
- I always cook a couple extra eggs for two reasons. The main reason is just in case the egg shell breaks during cooking, if this happens you may end up with only 3-4 beautiful boiled eggs and the others will look alien. The other reason is the eggs taste so good and my husband has sticky fingers so inevitably a couple/few eggs go missing during cooking.
- Please consume these within 2-3 days and always use fresh eggs!
- I used red onion in this recipe for making the char siu pork but you can also use white onion. I just use the ingredients I had at home.
- I used a banana shallot in this recipe which is really quiet big in size so I only used 1. If you use a normal sized shallot, use 3 cloves.
- As mentioned before, if you have any extra stock you can separate into small portions and store in a freezer for another dish or meal. Stock can be stored for up to 1 month in a freezer.
I will also keep the char siu pork sauce and ramen egg sauce in the freezer so I can use for another time. You can keep them in the freezer for a month and re-use them for 2-3 times.
Ingredients for ramen eggs
- 6 large fresh eggs
Seasonings for ramen eggs
- 120 ml light soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp sugar caster or demerara
- 120 ml mirin
- 200 ml water
- 100 ml sake
- 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
- 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
Ingredients for ramen stock
- 800 g pork ribs
- 20 g katsuobushi also known as bonito flakes
- 15 g kombu
- 1 onion cut into half
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 ltr water
Ingredients for char siu pork
- 2 kg pork belly skinless and boneless
- 1 red onion diced
- 1 banana shallot sliced thick
- 1 spring onion slice into half
- 1/2 tbsp chopped ginger
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
Seasonings for char siu pork
- 200 ml light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 100 ml mirin
- 200 ml sake
- 1 ltr water
- 3 tbsp honey
Ramen Eggs Procedure
- Add all the seasonings into a saucepan and bring it to a boil and let it boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the fire and leave to cool down.
- Place 8 eggs into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring it to a boil and once it’s boiling set a timer to 3-3.5 minutes. Gently stir the eggs while cooking so the egg yolk will be in the middle.
- When the timer has stopped, immediately cool down the eggs under running cold water.
- Gently peel the eggs and marinade the eggs with the sauce from step 1. You can store the eggs with sauce in a freezer bag or container and leave them to marinade for 1-2 days.
Ramen Stock Procedure
- Cut kombu into small pieces (3cm long) and place into a stock pot with 3 litres of water for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, place step 1 on a stove and use medium-low heat to cook for 10 minutes then turn the fire to highest temperature and bring it to a boil.
- Blanch the ribs and wash with cold water. Leave it aside.
- Add Katsuobushi into step 2 and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off fire and leave it to cool down.
- Pass through the stock with a sieve and keep the katsubushi and kombu on the side.
- Put the stock back into the stock pot and add ribs, onion and garlic. Bring it to a boil first then simmer for 1 ½ hours.
- Pass through the stock with a sieve and leave it aside.
Char Siu Pork Procedure
- Roll the pork belly and use cling film to wrap it very tight. The pork belly should resemble a cylinder shape. Freeze it for few hours.
- Take the pork belly out of the freezer once it has turned hard. Remove the cling film and use string to tie it up.
- Heat up some oil in a frying pan or skillet and pan-fry every side of the pork until it’s golden brown in colour. Leave it aside.
- Use the same frying pan and the oil left over to fry red the onion, shallot, spring onion, ginger and garlic until it’s aromatic.
- Put all the seasonings apart from the honey into a big stock pot. Place step 4 and the pork belly into this stock pot.
- Bring it to a boil first then add honey and simmer for 1 ½ hour or until the pork belly is tender. Leave it to cool down.
- Place pork belly and remaining sauce into a container and store it in the refrigerator over night. Slice it before serving.
- Cook the ramen noodles by following the cooking instructions on the packaging.
- Heat up the stock in a saucepan and put the miso in a small bowl then mix with a little bit of warm stock evenly. Make sure there are no lumps and pour this mixture into the stock and bring it to a boil. Season the stock with salt and pepper. Turn off the fire.
- Place the ramen noodles in a big bowl and pour the hot ramen stock from step 2 into the bowl.
- Garnish with char siu pork, spring onion, seaweed and eggs. Ready to serve!
Notes about serving ramen: 250ml ramen stock per person ½ tablespoon miso per 250ml stock 3-4 slices of char siu pork 2 slices of seaweed Some julienned spring onion 1 ramen egg, cut into half Some salt and pepper to taste