The ultimate comfort food for me is noodle with soup (湯麵). I definitely inherited this from my mother. Both of us can eat noodle with soup anytime (in any weather!). There are so many ways you can make noodle with soup, not to mention the variety of noodles out there. Ramen was something I had not experimented with before.
Ramen is 拉麵 (literally means “pull noodle”). The origin of the name is unclear; however, after making ramen from scratch, I am beginning to think that it has something to do with how the noodles can be “hand stretched/pulled”.
After consulting various websites, I decided to embark on my ramen adventure.
Component #1 – Pork Belly
My version is loosely based on The Food Lab, Ramen Edition: How to Make Chashu Pork Belly. I braised the pork belly in the oven, in a mixture containing garlic, ginger, kombu, onion, soy sauce, mirin, rice wine (I didn’t have sake), and sugar. I didn’t have enough soy sauce, so the pork belly is a bit lighter in colour.
Component #2 – Soup Base
I had some chicken broth made from last week. I know that many of the websites have recipes for pork stock (maybe I will try that some day). I added one package of dashi to my chicken stock. I also cooked the Japanese fish cake (from a hotpot ingredient package) in this liquid.
Component #3 – Ramen
The ramen was based on How to make REAL Japanese ramen from scratch. The noodles turned out pretty well considering it was my first time making ramen from scratch. With practice, I am sure I can make the noodles thinner and more even. Although, my husband indicated that the (slightly) varying size of the noodles made it seem more “home-y” and looked “more real”.
I apologize for the blurry picture. We were too hungry.
This definitely hit the spot. There are some aspects of this ramen I want to improve, but it was not bad for the first time.