Pork ramen bowls slow simmered in a rich, flavorful broth with shiitake mushrooms and all the fixings. This homemade ramen is simple to make and has incredible depth of flavor. It will undoubtedly become one of your favorite ways to prepare this classic Asian specialty.
Spoiler alert: this is nothing like the instant ramen you may have cooked in your college dorm room. I think the only enjoyment I personally got out of instant ramen was when they compared it to Justin Timberlake’s hair in the 90’s. The real question here is, who wore it better? 😉If you’re slightly intimidated by the idea of homemade ramen, I totally get it – SO WAS I. But in traditional slow cooker fashion, it is EASY peasy. And this recipe does not require you to run around to 10 different stores looking for the ingredients. I chose to buy a few at an Asian market simply out of convenience (we have one literally right behind our apartment), but all of the ingredients can be found at either Whole Foods, Fresh Market or possibly even your local grocery chain.
Or if you’re an Amazon Primer, here are the products I recommend:
- Hoisin – holy flavor bomb. Hoisin is also known as Chinese BBQ sauce for its deep, rich flavor. It’s made with soybean paste, garlic, chilies, vinegar, and sugar.
- Black sesame seeds – for a rich, nut-like flavorful topping
- If you can’t find fresh ramen at your local grocer, these dried organic ramen noodles are the next best thing.
As with any ramen soup, the magic is the broth. This is why I find it best suited for the slow cooker. Once you allow the flavors to really marry and develop, you can turn ordinary chicken broth into a robust, full-bodied soup with layers upon LAYERS of flavor. The amount of aromatics in this soup will truly invigorate every one of your senses and leave nothing to be desired except another bowl.
Ok, next order of business to discuss: TOPPINGS! Like most things in life, the more the better. The essentials are cilantro and sliced green onion, but almost as necessary is spicy kimchi (some like it hot), black sesame seeds, lime juice and a soft boiled egg. All of these toppings add so much flavor, texture and an authentic flare to the ramen.Now your only mission is to grab a fork or chopsticks, or really, just a straight up shovel, and get this in your mouth stat.
- 1 tbsp olive or canola oil
- 1 (2 lb) pork loin boneless roast
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced in half
- 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 2 tbsp lower sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp Hoisin
- 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 tbsp freshly grated lemongrass (or 2 tsp lemongrass paste)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 12 ounces uncooked fresh ramen (or Chinese noodles)
- 6-8 eggs (at room temperature)
- 2 tsp black sesame seeds
- 1 large bunch cilantro
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 lime, sliced into wedges
- Optional: sliced red chili pepper, spicy kimchi
- Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil to the pan. Add pork and cook 2-3 minutes per side to slightly brown. Transfer pork to (6 quart) slow cooker. Decrease heat to medium and add onion, cut side down. Cook ~5 minutes, until charred. Transfer to slow cooker.
- Add chicken stock, water, soy sauce and Hoisin to slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours.
- Remove pork from slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Let rest for 5 minutes before using 2 forks to shred. Discard excess fat.
- Strain liquid from slow cooker through a fine sieve into a bowl. Discard all solids (including onions). Return liquid to slow cooker.
- Increase heat to HIGH. Add mushrooms, ginger, garlic and lemongrass to slow cooker and cook for 30 minutes.
- Add fresh noodles and pork back to slow cooker and cook for 5 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully place eggs in pot and boil for 6 minutes. Remove eggs from pot and place in an ice bath for 1 minute. Carefully peel and slice eggs in half, lengthwise.
- To assemble: ladle ramen into bowls and top with 2 egg halves, a generous bunch of cilantro, sliced green onion, a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve!
*You can use chicken breasts or thighs in place of the pork, or leave out the meat entirely to make vegetarian
Have you ever made homemade ramen?
What’s your favorite ramen toppings?