Good ramen is one of the greatest pleasures on earth! It is simple, delicious and extremely satisfying. In its purest form, it also requires effort – boiling bones for hours to create a rich dashi (stock) and tracking down ingredients like kombu (good luck in Australia) and bonito flakes, which aren’t exactly widely available in major Australian supermarkets.
This easy slow-cooker pork belly ramen version certainly isn’t authentic, but it is good enough to put a smile on my face and bring back fond memories of our favourite Japanese diner in Roppongi Hills. Best of all it is extremely easy, and it only equipment required is a sharp knife, a sieve and a slow cooker. All of the ingredients listed should be readily available at most supermarkets around Australia.
Slow cooker – I used the excellent Philips All-In-One Cooker for this recipe. It is a fantastic slow cooker that can also pressure cook and sauté/sear.
Sharp knife – Most of the cutting in this recipe is all about presentation, so it pays to use a quality knife. I use the MUSASHI Chinese Cleaver Pure-Molybdenum 220mm daily in my kitchen because it is so sharp and versatile! In this recipe, the MUSASHI cleaver allowed me to finely chop the spring onion, create even strips of nori and slice the delicate meat and egg.
Easy Slow-cooker Pork Belly Ramen – The Australian Way
- Slow cooker
- Sharp knife
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 750 ml water
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 2 tbsp sake
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 tsp sugar
- 100 g white miso paste
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 carrots roughly chopped
- 1 kg pork belly skin on
- 2 packets Hakubaku organic ramen
- 6 eggs
- 2 Spring onion finely sliced
- 2 sheets nori finely sliced
Optional extras – If you have access to a good Japanese or Asian grocer, try adding some of these ingredients for an even better taste:
- small handful bonito flakes add to dashi (stock)
- small piece kombu (if you can somehow find it) add to dashi (stock)
- 12-18 Shitake mushrooms add to dashi and then reserve for serving before straining
- generous splash quality chili oil or sesame oil Add some extra spice or flavour when serving
- Place the stock ingredients in the bowl of the slow cooker and mix until combined, then gently add the pork belly.
- Cook on high for one hour, then low for 6-7 hours (until pork is tender).
- Remove the pork and set aside to rest.
- Bring a small pot of water to a rapid boil. Use a spoon to gently add the eggs (one at a time). Boil for 6 and a half minutes (for gooey soft-boiled). Remove and place in cold water, then peel.
- Cook Hakubaku organic ramen according to instructions on packet.
- Strain the dashi through a fine sieve to remove impurities and chunks. I discard the carrots at this point but eat them if you really want.
- Use a sharp knife to gently remove the pork skin. It should pull away very easily. I like to leave most of the fat layer intact because that is part of the pure joy of ramen! You do what you like. Use a sharp knife to cut the meat into slices of your desired width. I like to aim for half a centimetre thick. A sharp knife is crucial here, as the meat should be extremely tender and likely to fall apart if mistreated. The MUSASHI Chinese Cleaver is perfect for this task!
- Divide the noodles into six bowls. Gently spoon in generous amounts of the strained liquid. Place sliced pork belly on top. Slice the eggs in half a place 2 halves in each bowl. Add plenty of sliced spring onions and nori.
- Use timing as an estimate only. My equipment and experience may be different to yours
- Adjust quantities to suit your tastes. You may, for example, prefer more stock or less meat.
- Didn’t work for you, or have any suggestions how to make it better? Let me know!
- Calorie counting isn’t my thing, so I have no idea of the nutritional value of this food. I suspect it has a few calories, because it tastes so good…