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.
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
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)
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
Japanese cha shu: recipe from chubbypanda
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
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).
Ajitsuke Tamago (Japanese marinated soft-boiled egg)
Good quality eggs (at room temperature)
Braising liquid from Japanese Cha Shu*
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.
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
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