I’ve been on a quest this last year to find a home ramen recipe that’s easy, fast, and tastes somewhat authentic. So far my conclusion is such a thing doesn’t exist! Really good chashu takes 12+ hours (and requires a cut of pork belly–not always easy to find) and a rich broth takes 12-24+ hours. You can speed the process with a pressure cooker but it needs to be carefully monitored and thus loses on the easy criteria.
But I continue to keep trying. Here’s a technique that I think is worth sharing: This hardly tastes authentic at all but it’s relatively fast and very simple. I’ve made ramen this way a few times and it’s always been a big hit with the family. The trick is using a regular pork loin or pork chops (which we usually have in the freezer) in a slow cooker. Cooking time is 8-10 hours with about 15 minutes of prep time in the morning and another 30 minutes of activity towards the end before you serve it.
- 1.5-2 lb pork loin (cut into 1″ sections) or pork chops
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1″ fresh ginger, sliced
- 5-10 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms
- 1 lb baby bok choy
- 2 things of dry ramen noodles
Place the pork, ginger and garlic in a small slow cooker and cover with 1 cup soy sauce and ~1 cup water, set on low. Cook for 8+ hours.
Pull the pork out of the slow cooker and cut into thin slices (or just separate it like pulled pork if you don’t care about the texture).
Take the broth from the slow cooker and pour into a large pot. Dilute the broth with 1-2 cups water (to taste), add the mushrooms and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add the baby bok choy and simmer for 30+ minutes.
15 minutes before service, bring another pot of water to a boil and cook the ramen noodles. Drain and rinse.
Serve the pork, noodles and broth together in a bowl. Enjoy!
** What about the soft-boiled egg?? You can prepare eggs anytime and have them ready to go in the fridge. Bring eggs to a boil then set a timer for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off quickly rinse them in cold water. Peel, then cover with a mixture of 50/50 soy sauce and water with a splash of rice vinegar, then marinade in the fridge.