I love shoyu ramen because it has tons of flavor without being quite as heavy as tonkotsu ramen. I also like this style, which splits up the soup base and dashi stock, so that everyone can adjust the soup flavor to their taste.
Start with the marinated eggs, which are made by soaking soft boiled, peeled eggs in a mixture of sake, soy sauce, and mirin. For the best flavor, I recommend making the day before so they can sit overnight, but you can also make them as you start the broth and leave them to marinate at room temperature for a few hours.
This soup base requires two types of bones: pork spare ribs, and chicken bones. I asked my butcher to cut the spare ribs into individual bones, and then cut them across the bone in half. The halving step is optional, but I think it helps get more of the boney goodness into the soup. I freeze leftover chicken bones from whenever I cook chicken, so I had plenty of bones to use for the soup, but fresh wings would also work.
The bones also need to be pre-boiled and washed to remove scum, blood, and weird freezer flavors. After the boiling and cleaning, they look like this:
The clean bones can then be combined with onion, garlic, ginger, and water, and simmered for several hours.
How many hours really depends on your ingredients, but you want the finished soup to measure about 1 quart. For me, that meant 2 quarts total before straining, and about 4 hours of simmering. After straining, it looked like this:
After adding the seasonings and boiling briefly to incorporate, the finished soup base looked like this:
If you’re not a fan of the fat, at this point you can chill the broth until the fat solidifies and remove it before serving. I am a fan of the fat so it stayed.
It’s a good idea to start the braised pork belly at the same time as you start the broth, since it also needs pre-boiling and a few hours to simmer. Start with the pork belly pieces, one smashed half of ginger, and scallions.
Add water to cover, bring to a boil, and simmer about 3 hours or until very tender. Make sure to have warm water on hand to re-cover the pieces if the water gets too low. Once the pork is tender, it needs to simmer in a seasoned broth of sake, water, kombu, brown sugar, soy sauce, and mirin.
And reduce until it looks like this:
The dashi stock can be made at any time, but is fairly quick and easy. Soak the kombu in water for 30 minutes, bring the water to a boil and remove the kombu, add bonito, strain. When you’re ready to serve, mix stock and dashi to taste, and add ramen noodles.
Top with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
Shoyu Ramen with Braised Pork Belly Recipe
Time: 5 hours
1 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
2 pounds chicken bones or wings
2 pounds pork spareribs, preferably cut across the bone
2 bunches scallions, cleaned and trimmed
1 head garlic, halved horizontally
1 1-inch piece ginger, rinsed, halved, and lightly smashed
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sake
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Braised Pork Belly:
1 pound pork belly, cut into 8 equal pieces
1 2-inch piece ginger, rinsed, halved, and lightly smashed
4 scallions, washed and trimmed
1/2 cup sake
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 2×2 inch piece dried kombu
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
2 6×5-inch pieces dried kombu
1 1/2 ounces bonito flakes (about 3 packed cups)
8 cups water
Toppings such as thinly sliced scallion, sliced fish cake, toasted nori, and boiled spinach
Seasonings such as chili oil and shichimi togarashi
1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add eggs, and boil gently for 7 minutes. Remove and place in a bowl of ice water. Carefully peel eggs and place in a small plastic bag.
2. Heat sake, soy sauce, and mirin in a small pot or microwave until hot, about 30 seconds in the microwave or 1-2 minutes in a pot. Allow to cool about 5 minutes, then add to the bag with the eggs.
3. Tightly seal the bag, making sure the eggs have good contact with the marinade. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator or 4-5 hours at room temperature.
4. When ready to use, remove eggs from the marinade and slice in half lengthwise.
1. Combine pork and chicken bones in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
2. As soon as the water boils, strain through a colander or mesh strainer. Discard water. Rinse the bones thoroughly with fresh water.
3. Return the bones to a clean large pot along with the scallions, garlic, and ginger. Cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
4. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 4 hours, or until the stock has reduced to about 1 quart.
5. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a clean pot. Discard solids. Add soy sauce, sake, and brown sugar to the broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, then remove from heat. Reserve until ready to use. The broth can also be refrigerated.
Braised Pork Belly
1. Combine pork belly pieces, one of the smashed garlic halves, and scallions in a pot. Add water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 3 hours, or until pork is very tender. Add warm water to the pot whenever the water level is too low to cover the pork.
3. Move the pork pieces to a clean pot, and add sake, water, kombu, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until most of the liquid has reduced, turning the pieces occasionally.
4. Add mirin, and cook another minute until absorbed. Remove pork from heat and reserve until ready to use.
1. Soak kombu in water 30 minutes. Bring to a boil over high heat, and immediately remove kombu.
2. Add bonito flakes and remove from the heat. Let steep for 15 minutes, then strain the stock. Discard solids. Reserve stock until ready to use.
1. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Combine reserved soup stock and dashi to taste in a bowl, and add noodles.
2. Top with desired toppings and serve.