Roast Pork Belly Ramen, new season garlic, shaved asparagus, meat juices, dancing bonito flakes

by Mark Broadbent

May 16th 2020

This recipe is a labour of love. You have to commit to her, otherwise the relationship will fall apart.  Equally, once you understand how to master the Piggy Bone Broth – you’ll never cheat again.

Stock is key. In fact, FOUR stocks are key. Still up for it? Don’t panic, just follow the instructions exactly and you will go from cook to chef, effortlessly.

*Sneak Preview*

  • Stock 1 = Soy Master Stock
  • Stock 2 = Piggy Bone Stock
  • Stock 3 = Dashi Stock
  • Stock 4 = Miso Stock

Combined they create a super intense ramen broth.

INGREDIENTS

Soy Master Stock:

  • 275ml soy sauce
  • 150ml sake or rice wine vinegar
  • 150ml mirin
  • 3 star anise
  • Half a tsp of coriander seeds
  • 30g ginger root
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 small pieces of dried tangerine peel
  • Small handful of coriander stalks
  • Outer leaf of lemongrass, bruised
  • 600ml water

Piggy Bone Stock:

  • 4-5 pork bones (ask your butchers)
  • Pata negra bones (if you can, definitely do!)
  • 2 onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 lemon grass stalk
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger
  • 1 new season garlic head or normal garlic head
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • Half tsp coriander seeds
  • 3 star anise
  • Half a tsp of fennel seeds
  • Handful of coriander stalks
  • Plenty of water to cover / 2L

Dashi Stock:

  • 1 large sheet of dried kombu kelp seaweed
  • Generous pinch of bonito flakes / smoked Skipjack tuna flakes
  • 500ml / plenty of cold water to cover (or boiling water for immediate effect)

Miso Stock:

  • Tbsp of miso paste
  • Mug of boiling water

Soup Ingredients:

  • Generous piece of pork belly, skin slashed by butchers
  • Serious amounts of pink or rock salt
  • Bunch of asparagus
  • Udon or soba noodles (75-100g pp)
  • Handful of shiitake mushrooms
  • Generous handfuls of baby spinach leaves
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger
  • 1 new season garlic clove
  • 1 medium red chilli
  • 1-2 spring onions
  • Generous handful of coriander leaves
  • Eggs (1 pp)
  • Decent glug of vegetable / sunflower oil
  • Splash of toasted sesame oil

Tare:

  • Large pinch of red chilli flakes
  • Generous glug of dark soy sauce
  • Glug of mirin
  • Splash of toasted sesame oil

MISE EN PLACE

  • Generously salt the pork belly (go for it!). Wrap in a bag and then cling film the bag – leave overnight in the fridge or at least a few hours. Get rid of that moisture.
  • Place the kombu in a bowl of water and add the bonito flakes, leave for 2-3 hours to infuse.
  • Place the eggs in a pan of boiling water for 6 minutes, then plunge into icy cold water and reserve.
  • Rinse the belly to get rid of all the salt. Pat thoroughly dry.
  • Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.
  • Roughly chop the Master Stock vegetables.
  • Measure the soy, sake, mirin and water out into a large saucepan.
  • Roughly chop the Piggy Bone Stock veg and bruise the lemon grass with a rolling pin.
  • Lightly smash the aromatics and place in a pan, ready to dry toast.
  • Pick the coriander leaves and reserve the stalks.
  • Shave the new season garlic cloves.
  • Finely slice the red chilli.
  • Finely chop the ginger into strips.
  • Take the asparagus and cut the woody ends off. Shave the spears with a peeler, starting from an inch below the tip to the end of the spear – retaining the darker green of the tip. Slice length ways and then again, for 4 long strands. Blanche in a pan of heavily salted boiling water for 2 minutes, remove and plunge into iced water. Reserve.
  • Similarly, slice your spring onions length ways and juiliene finely to create thin long strips. Place in iced water for 10-15 minutes and swirl now and again – they should curl up and look pretty for the soup garnish.
  • Cut the softened kombu (removed from the Dashi stock) into long thin strips and reserve.
  • Whisk all the Tare ingredients together, reserve.

 

METHOD

Master stock:

  • Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Sieve and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Dashi Stock:

  • Remove the kombu and reserve for the soup.
  • Add the Dashi to the Piggy Bone Stock before it boils.

Miso Stock:

  • Add the miso paste to boiling water and stir.
  • Add to the Piggy Bone Stock before it boils.

Piggy Bone Stock:

  • Add a good glug of vegetable oil to a large saucepan and roast off the pork bones and vegetables.
  • Lightly dry toast the broken aromatics in a pan, add to the large stock pan with the bones and veg.
  • Add the coriander stalks to the stock pan.
  • Cover with water and crumble the chicken bouillon in.
  • Add the Dashi Stock and Miso Stock.
  • Bring to the boil and skim any impurities off.
  • Simmer for 2 hours or until it tastes outrageous.
  • Sieve and reserve.

Master Stock Marinated Eggs:

  • Peel the pre-boiled eggs.
  • Marinate in a small bowl of Soy Master Stock for 1-24 hours – in the fridge!
  • Cut in half when ready to serve the ramen.

Pork Belly:

  • Semi-submerge the pork belly in a large, shallow pan of the Soy Master Stock.
  • Cover with a lid and gently poach for 1 hour.
  • Take it out and pat dry. Dry the skin thoroughly with a hair dryer on cold for 5 minutes. Get rid of ALL moisture if you want that skin to crackle!
  • Place on a wire rack above a tray of boiling water.
  • Brush the skin with a mixture of sunflower oil and master stock (3:1) and a small splash of toasted sesame oil. Lightly season.
  • Place quickly in the hot oven uninterrupted for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, take it out quickly and lightly brush with the oil / master stock mixture. Leave in the oven for 10 minutes and repeat.
  • Turn the oven down to 200 degrees. Keep basting the skin with the oil / master stock mixture every 10 minutes for another hour and 20 minutes. (This is the labour of love, but worth it!)
  • Add more boiling water to the pan if it dries up throughout the process.
  • TIP – IF THE SKIN HASN’T FULLY CRACKLED OR HARDENED:  Drain off the liquid in the tray (reserve this!), then remove the rack and add oil. Turn up the oven to 220 degrees. Place the pork skin side down. Leave for 10- 20 minutes depending on how much crackle is needed.
  • Take the belly out of the oven and gently turn over on to a wire rack to rest for 15 minutes. When it’s cool enough, slice into thin-ish chunks with a cerated knife. Only do this when you are ready to serve the ramen.

Soup Assembly:

  • Over a low heat, add a large ladle (or two, depending on your taste) of the Soy Master Stock to the Piggy Bone Stock.
  • Pour in the reserved meat juices.
  • Cook your noodles and remove 2 minutes before cooked, reserve with a bit of sesame oil to stop them sticking.
  • Slice or tear your shiitake mushrooms and drop them into the hot stock for a minute.
  • Build your bowl of noodles, pork, veg and garnish:
  • Add the noodles to one side, building upwards.
  • Twist the strands of asparagus and kombu together, building up and place next to the noodles.
  • Add 3-4 slices of pork belly against the noodles, standing up on but leaning on an angle.
  • Add a handful of spinach to the stock and then pour slowly into the bowl – don’t drown everything or the main ingredients will float.
  • Add the poached shiitake mushrooms and the egg halves so that they do actually float.
  • Garnish with curled spring onion strands, red chilli, new season garlic shavings, picked coriander and a small drizzle of toasted sesame oil.
  • Add the chilli soy mirin Tare, over the egg and pork.
  • Finish with a pinch of bonito flakes, watch how they dance on the broth!

 

BATTERIE DE CUISINE:

  • Cooking pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Liquidiser
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Ladle
  • Serving vessel
  • Bowls
  • Pepper mill
  • Tea towel

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