POHcooks: Japanese Chashu Ramen

I love cooking. I really do.
More so, I love seeing people enjoy the food I made, especially when it took hours of preparation.
It’s just so.. satisfying you know. :)

IMG_0336

A few weekends ago, I decided to make japanese cha shu ramen for the family. After some googling and much drooling over yummy looking photos, the components of my ramen were formed.

Tonkotsu Ramen Broth/Stock: recipe from mummyicancook

Ingredients
To make about 2 litres of broth base
1.5 kg pork leg bones (get the butcher to smash it up for you!)
7 litres of water
Method
1) In a deep large pot, blanch the bones in boiling hot water to remove the blood and impurities.
Drain the water and scrub the pot before filling with fresh water and bringing to the boil. (Before putting the bones back into the pot, ensure all visible icky stuff are washed off under tap water)
2) Add the bones again and keep skimming off any foam or scum, about 20 min.
3) Cover and let simmer on a low fire for 15 hours (I transferred it to a slow cooker and set it on high overnight)
4) Filter to get the yummy creamy rich broth
Pork Broth

Pork Broth

Japanese cha shu: recipe from chubbypanda

Ingredients
450g of pork top loin
1 clove of garlic
1-3 long green onions (just the white part)
1 1-inch piece of ginger
1/3 cup of Chinese rice wine
5 tbsp of soy sauce
5 tbsp of mirin
1 tbsp of sugar
1 tbsp of salt
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
Water

Method
1) Make the marinade – In a blender or food processor, blend together the garlic, ginger, green onion, rice wine, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and salt.
2) Marinade the pork – Rinse the pork loin and pat dry with paper towels. With some twine, tie the loin up to keep the meat from falling apart while braising. Place the pork loin and marinade in a Ziploc bag. Seal the bag, making sure as little air remains inside as possible. Let the pork marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours (overnight if possible).
3) Braise the pork – Remove the pork loin from the marinade and pat dry. Reserve the marinade.  Heat the vegetable oil in a pan till smoking point and sear the pork on each of its four sides for at least three minutes. This step helps to add colour, flavor, and to toughen the surface so that the meat holds together better while braising. De-glaze the pan with a little water, then add enough boiling water to come a third up the side of the pork loin. Add the reserved marinade, cover, and let the braising liquid come to a boil. Reduce the heat down to medium-low and let the pork simmer for two hours, turning once during mid point. Remove the cha shu from the pan and let it cool at room temperature for no more than an hour. Place the cha shu in a Ziploc bag and let cool completely in the refrigerator. This will allow the meat to harden for easy slicing.

Note: I used the braising liquid to make Ajitsuke Tamago (Japanese marinated soft-boiled egg).

Japanese cha shu

Japanese cha shu

Ajitsuke Tamago (Japanese marinated soft-boiled egg)

Ingredients
Good quality eggs (at room temperature)
Braising liquid from Japanese Cha Shu*

Method
1) Fill a saucepan with water (enough to cover the eggs later) and bring it to a boil
2) Reduce the water to a gentle simmer and carefully lower the eggs into the saucepan
3) Boil the eggs for 5 mins and 45 seconds
4) Put the eggs into a bowl of cold water and peel them carefully (crack the eggshells gently with a spoon)
5) Put the eggs into a ziplog bag with the braising liquid and ensure that as much air is squeezed out of the bag as possible. Alternatively, put the eggs into a small bowl and cover them with the braising liquid. Press a paper towel (soaked with braising liquid) over the eggs to prevent them from floating and to ensure even marination. Let the eggs marinade in the refrigerator for two hours. To halve the eggs cleanly, wet the knife before slicing.

* Alternatively, a good substitute for the marinade can be found from bossacafez

For the noodles, I used freshly made thin egg noodles purchased at the wet market.

To assemble
1) Blanch the noodles in boiling water till al dente
2) Arrange the egg, sliced japanese cha shu and blanched beansprouts/ bamboo shoots on top of the noodles
3) Ladle in the pork broth
4) Top with green onions and garlic oil
5) Serve!

Final Product

Final Product

Verdict:
The cha shu was nicely marinated, and even though it doesn’t melt in your mouth like those found in established ramen places, it was a nice complement to the noodles. The broth was rich and creamy, but too porky for my taste (would use a mixture of chicken and pork bones next time!). Overall, yummy comfort food!:)

Comments from my dear boy – the guinea pig:
Pork – Belly goods! Super Yums!
Broth – Initially not enough salt, but after that, watch out Ippudo and all those ramen-pretenders, the new challenger is here
Noodles – Hmmmmmm didn’t focus so much on it, but shldn’t that how noodles shld be? Quietly complementary :)
Overall – Made with love, ate with love

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One thought on “POHcooks: Japanese Chashu Ramen

  1. Pingback: Mastering boiled eggs | Life of POH

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