This was very simple and great for family dinner because everyone can customize their bowls however they'd like. Add-ins can be whatever you want.
The broth is somewhat of a blank canvas, and really came alive when we built the bowls. Togarashi, Furikake and soy added to the bowl made the whole thing sing. The kid added grated ginger to her bowl and that made her happy.
You can add in whatever. We did soft boiled eggs, raw spinach, sliced mushrooms and green onions. And of course nice pieces of the pork plus the noodles. Then poured the broth over the top to wilt the spinach in the bowls. Next time I’ll pick up some dried wakame.
I don’t usually like Williams-Sonoma recipes but someone recommended this to me so it's been on my to-try list for a while. Pleasantly surprised, and thought it worth sharing. FWIW, I seared the meat & onions in the slow-cooker insert as the first step below (they list it as optional). I'm certain it made the broth richer.
We plan to use the leftover pork for taco night, and crisp the meat under the broiler.
Image credit: Williams-Sonoma
The finest Japanese pork ramen takes considerable culinary skill and many hours to create. Here is a simplified, yet still delicious, version that boasts plenty of succulent braised pork. If you can’t find high-quality fresh ramen noodles, use fresh thin Chinese egg noodles or fresh linguine. Serve the soup with your favorite ramen embellishments. I like to top my bowl with a soft-boiled egg and some baby spinach.
3 lb (1.5 kg) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3 equal pieces
2 tablespoons canola oil, if including the optional browning step
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2-inch (5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
8 cups (64 fl oz/2 l) low-sodium chicken broth
1 leek, white and green parts, halved lengthwise and coarsely chopped
1⁄4 lb (125 g) cremini or button mushrooms, brushed clean and coarsely chopped
Low-sodium soy sauce for seasoning
Sesame and/or chile oil for seasoning
1 1⁄2 lb (750 g) fresh ramen noodles
8 large eggs (optional)
About 4 green onions, white and pale green parts, finely chopped
PREP: Season the pork with salt.
BUILD FLAVOR (OPTIONAL): Put a flameproof slow-cooker insert (or frying pan) on the stove top over medium-high heat, then add the oil and warm until hot. Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, add the pork pieces and sear them on the first side without moving them until well browned, 3—4 minutes. Turn the pieces and sear on the second side until well browned, 3—4 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the insert or frying pan and return the insert or pan to medium-high heat. Add the yellow onion and sear, without stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) of the broth and deglaze, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom, then let simmer for 1 minute.
SLOW COOK: If you have included the browning step, transfer the insert (or the contents of the frying pan) to the slow cooker, add the leek, mushrooms, and the remaining 7 cups (56 fl oz/1.75 l) broth, and stir to combine. If you are starting here, combine the pork, yellow onion, garlic, ginger, leek, mushrooms, and broth in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on the low-heat setting for 8 hours. The pork should be very tender and the broth should be fragrant.
ASSEMBLE: Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Using 2 forks, break the pork into bite-size chunks, removing and discarding any large pieces of fat. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard the solids. Using a large spoon, skim off and discard any fat from the surface of the broth. Return the pork and broth to the slow cooker and season to taste with soy sauce and sesame and/or chile oil. Cover and cook on the low heat setting for about 30 minutes to warm through.
Cook the ramen noodles according to the package directions. If you want to top each bowl of ramen with an egg, put the eggs into boiling water and simmer for 5—6 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water, let cool until they can be handled, and peel them.
SERVE: Divide the noodles evenly among individual bowls. Ladle the broth and pork over the noodles, dividing them evenly, then sprinkle with the green onions. If desired, top each bowl with a halved soft-boiled egg and serve right away. Serves 8.