One of my favorite foods is Ramen, but I have never attempted to make it at home. It’s always seemed a bit daunting to me. My favorite Ramen dishes have included pork belly. Since I bought my immersion cooker, I’ve been thinking about trying this out.
I didn’t have pork belly, but I did have a lot of really good bacon. So, I attempted to cook the bacon as if it were pork belly. I set it up in the plastic bag with the slices stacked up next to each other, so that it was between an inch to an inch and a half wide. Then, I set the temperature to 158ºF for 16 hours and waited.
That was on Monday, and by Tuesday morning, I had about a pound of bacon that had been slow cooked, and was ready to go. Yesterday morning, I went to a local Japanese grocery store to pick up the some ingredients for the dish. I found a couple of packages of fresh whole wheat ramen noodles with miso soup packets. I also grabbed some seaweed for garnish.
I ground up one pork chop that I had slow-cooked over the weekend, and split that between two servings, heating it up in the skillet and setting aside. I heated up a skillet and seared all sides of the pork-belly/bacon. I used the immersion cooker to make poached eggs, slightly more well done, at 75ºC for 15 minutes. I followed the package instructions for the noodles and broth. I also roasted some garlic in the skillet.
The dish came out tasting pretty good, but not quite what I wanted. There were a few things a bit off about it. Primarily, bacon is not pork belly. The bacon that I had was smoked, and that flavor was apparent and obvious in the final dish, overpowering much else. Beyond the bacon, the garlic was a bit too strong, and I should have taken more care with its preparation. Finally, the broth was a bit weaker than I had wanted, since I had intentionally made it a bit weaker than the package suggested.
What I got right was the ground pork, and other ingredients. The egg especially turned out well, I liked that much better than the hard boiled egg that usually comes in Ramen.
I’m planning on trying again this weekend. While I’ll still be using the bacon, I hope to at least fix the other issues.