There comes a point in life when we outgrow our pre-packaged top ramen food crutch and move onto something much better – real ramen with fresh ingredients in home-made broth. This shift typically comes when A: We have more money, and B: We have more time. However, with the explosion of Ramen restaurants popping up right and left, you can still fulfill your quick-fix ramen cravings. My favorite place is Kinton Ramen in Toronto.
Original photo by Emma McIntyre.
Ingredients: Sea salt, 15oz. pork ribs, fresh ginger, a handful of dried sardines, 1 2x4 inch dried kombu, 4 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp sake, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 2 scallions, bean sprouts, fresh ramen noodles (found in refrigerated section of grocery stores), 2 tsp or 1/4th of a chicken bullion cube, korean chili powder (optional)
- Rub sea salt on the pork ribs and let sit overnight.
- Cut ribs in half, so they fit in a medium saucepan.
- Fry the pork ribs on all sides until golden brown. Squeeze the fat and then carefully soak up the fat with a paper towel, and add enough water to cover the pork.
- Crush a small piece of fresh ginger with the side of your knife and chop off the green stalk of a scallion, and add to the saucepan. Skim the scum off the surface, and cook at very low heat for three hours.
- Place the pork in a bowl and cover with saran wrap, and let the stock cool so that fat floats on the surface.
- Make dashi stock by adding 5 cups of water to a pot and add the konbu and dried anchovies. Soak for 2 hours.
- Heat the dashi stock on medium heat, and remove konbu just before boiling. Skim the scum and after boiling for 5 minutes, remove anchovies.
- Skim the fat off the pork broth and add 4 tbsp soy sauce and 2 tbsp sake. Heat up and add 1 tbsp brown sugar, mix well and boil down until it is about 1 and 1/4 cup.
- Add the pork ribs back in the pork broth until it is warm and then turn off. Slice the pork ribs thinly and then fry or grill to make more crispy.
- Bring a medium pot of water to boil and then add the fresh ramen noodles, and cook based on directions of package.
- Wash the bean sprouts and finely slice 1 scallion.
- In a serving bowl, add chicken stock or bullion to a bowl and add 1/2 cup of pork broth to dissolve. Add 1 cup or more of dashi stock and mix. Add the ramen noodles, pork, bean sprouts and chopped scallions. Add a little korean chili powder to spice it up.