If you have not watched THE MIND OF A CHEF, please do yourselves a favour and go check it out! it’s very inspiring and educational (culinarily speaking)
Chef David Chang is an absolute junkie for ramen like me (not much choice, we got the Asian in us!)! I was inspired to make my own Japanese ramen noodles from scratch.
For the Ramen Noodles:
- 200g all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of baked soda
- 50ml warm tap water
- 50ml cold tap water
To make the baked soda, spread a a good amount of baking soda on a foil-lined sheet pan. Put it in the oven for about 1hour on 150C. You will only need 2 teaspoons for this recipe but you can store the extra in a jar for as long as you need. I read on a few websites and thought the baking soda would change colours, but that is not correct.
We need the baked soda to change the pH levels in the water, this is what gives the ramen its texture.
In a big mixing bowl put the warm water and the 2 teaspoons of baked soda to dissolved, then add the cold water. Lastly add the flour and mix until it forms into a dough. The mixture is quite dry and crumbly. Knead it for a full 5 minutes and wrap it in some cling film and let it rest for 20 minutes. Then knead again for another 5 minutes (very good work out). Reward the dough in cling film and let it chill in the fridge for about 1 hour.
For this recipe I would highly recommend for you to have a pasta machine, the dough is not easy to hand roll and cut if you don’t have the experience. Once the dough has chilled devide it into 4 equal portions. The thickness setting on the pasta machine is to your descretion, I like mine not so thin.
Like Italian pasta, cook the noodles in a deep pot with plenty of water. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the pasta, mine took about 3 minutes. Check the noodles regularly while they’re cooking; if they stick together, rinse them under cold water immediately after straining them from the pot to stop the cooking and rinse off any excess starch. Make sure you only cook the noodles when you’re ready to plate, you don’t want the noodles sitting around while you get the rest ready.
Ingredients for Braised Pig’s Ears
- 2 pig’s ears
- 1/4 cup Shaoxing Rice Wine, or sake
- 3 Tablespoons dark Chinese soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 star anise
f your pig’s ears come with a few strand of unwanted hair and you don’t have a blow torch to hand, like me you can burn the hair using your gas stove – it is in no means as efficient as a blow torch, but it helps.
Par-boil the ears in a pot of water for a few minutes, this will help remove any dirty from the skin.
Remove the ears from the pot and put it in another clean smaller pot and fill it with enough water that will cover the ears, then add all the ingredients. Bring it to a boil and reduce it to simmer for 2hours30min. You will want to keep an eye on it for about every 30 minutes to turn the ears and add more water if necessary.
When they are done, the ears should be very soft and dark. Let it chill completely before you sliced the ears into thin strips.This dish is supposed to be served cold but is just as good hot.
Please do not discard of the liquid used to cooked the ears, this will be used for our ramen broth base!
For the Pork Belly:
- 1 Strip of pork belly cut in half
- Salt and Pepper
- Chili oil
Use a knife to poke the rind as many holes as possible. Brush the rind with chilli oil and season it with salt and pepper. You should marinate if you have time, but if you don’t, it isn’t a problem. place it in the roasting pan lined with foil and roast it in hot oven for an hour in 200C. The skin should puff up into crackling. Remove pork from oven and allow to rest uncovered. When ready to serve, cut into 1cm slices.
For the Broth (1 serving)
- 1/2 ladle of the pig’s ears cooking liquid
- 1 ladle of water
- 1 teaspoon of miso paste
If you are not making it the pig’s ear and don’t have the liquid, you can make your broth/stock from scratch with any pork, smoked meat or chicken bones/fat – I will post a recipe for an easy broth in the next couple of days for you.
Add all the ingredients to a pot and bring it to boil. The thing I like about the ramen broths is that is very open to taste, so you can add absolutely anything you want as it is to your taste. I like it fat and flavoursome.
To assemble your lovely bowl of awesomeness, put your noodles in a bowl, add a few strips of the pig’s ears and a few slices of the pork belly (or whatever meats or vegetables you want to have with your ramen!) and add the broth. I have served this with a soft boiled egg and some spring onions. To create those lovely curls, cut the spring onions into thin strips and put it in a bowl with cold water, this will make the strips curl up.
I hope you enjoy making this as much as I did, I am definitely happy with the results, nothing tastes better than your own success!