Thursday, November 9, 2017

Easy Pork Ramen


One of my favorite things about visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Portland, Oregon, (besides seeing them and my adorable new nephew!!) is the food scene. I have had some of my best meals in this great town - seriously, even the airport has such a great restaurant  - The Country Cat - that I go back to the airport early JUST so I can eat there. Plus, I am lucky to have foodies in my family who enjoy taking me to great places! 


The first time I went out there I got to experience something for the first time - ramen. Confession... I didn't have my first real bowl of ramen until I was 40.  It's not because I didn't want to try it, we just don't have any ramen places around here! 

The next summer when I visited we went to the Pine Street Market, a very cool food hall. Walking around this place is like a trip to heaven for a foodie. Nine of the city's best chefs and restaurants all in one place! How do you decide what to eat? 

I went with ramen, as well as some pork buns from another spot, and once again, my meal in the great PDX did not disappoint. Rich, salty broth with curly noodles, scallions, spinach and thinly sliced pork. This soup IS a meal. 


When I returned home I was craving ramen so badly that I had to try to recreate it. I thought back to the few times I had ramen and just went based on my memory of the flavors and ingredients.

I made a chicken stock based broth with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a few other ingredients. We filled our bowls with mushrooms, scallions, thinly sliced grilled pork, noodles, and an egg. Craving satisfied!

Note: you can sub any protein for the pork. The last time I made it I used crispy, pan seared tofu. You could also use chicken, beef, shrimp, mussels, clams, etc - really anything you like! Experiment with different flavors and ingredients, too - add a dash of fish sauce, dried kelp, bonito flakes, grated carrots, miso paste, sprouts, or oyster sauce.



Easy Pork Ramen
Original Recipe by Mary Ellen of Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations

Ingredients 

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed 
  • 1 tsp ginger (I used the jarred ginger - prefer the consistency)
  • 32 oz low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1 bunch green onions - stems cut at 2 inches, the rest chopped 
  • 1 c slice shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 soft or hard boiled eggs (your preference)
  • 1 grilled pork chop, thinly sliced *
  • 8 oz cooked noodles of your choice (soba, ramen, Chinese noodles)
  • Optional: kale or spinach
  • Optional for serving: Sambal Oelek 
* I season the pork chop with salt and pepper and grill it to 140 degrees; let rest 5 minutes before slicing. 

Directions

  • Heat olive oil in a pot
  • Add the garlic and ginger; saute 1 minute
  • Add the broth, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, mirin and green onion stems. Bring to a steady simmer and then reduce to a low simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the green onion stems and add the mushrooms. Let simmer 3 minutes and remove. 
  • If using greens, add them to the pot for one minute before you are ready to serve and remove. 
  • To plate: Put noodles, chopped green onions, greens, mushrooms and sliced pork in a bowl. Pour broth on top and garnish with Sambal and an egg. 




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