The BEST Sichuan Ramen
For Ramen Broth (Makes 10 servings)
- 5 lb pork bones – mixture of shank, neck and rib bones or just one kind of pork bones
- 2 large leeks, cut in halves lengthwise, wash through each layers really well then drain
- 4 oz ginger slices (approximately 3 large thick slices)
- 3 bulbs garlic
- 5 Chinese whole cardamom
- 5 slices licorice root
- 1 medium/large piece of rock sugar or 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 cups shaoxing wine
- 5 cups chickens stock
- 22 cups cold water
- 2 1/2 lb pork belly or country style ribs, 2 inch wide and thick
- Pinch of salt and pepper
For Tare (Sacue)
- 3 tbsp chili oil
- 5 tbsp oyster sauce
- 4 tbsp gohcugaru, Korean red pepper flakes or paprika
- 2 to 4 tbsp sichuan peppercorn powder
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3/4 cup shaoxing wine or sake
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup water
For Noodles & Toppings
- Fresh, frozen or dried ramen noodles
- Blanched beansprouts
- Chopped green onions
- Baby corn, optional
- Ramen egg
- Black garlic oil
- Sesame seeds
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, enough water that can cover the pork bones. Carefully drop pork bones into the boiling water and blanching the pork for 10 minutes. This will get rid of bone bits and residues in the pork bones.
- Meanwhile, let’s broil the aromatic vegetables. Preheat broiler to high (550F°)
Place leek, ginger and garlic on a large baking sheet and place on the highest rack of the oven/broiler. Broil for 5 minutes. It will burn some spots, no worries, we actually want the vegetables to be charred a little, so it will give beautiful smokey flavor to the broth.
- Now, drain the pork bones and discard the water. Rinse the pork bones under running cold water one by one and also quickly rinse the pot too. Place the pork bones back to the now-clean-pot.
Add charred vegetables and rest of the ingredients for the ramen broth. Cover, bring it to boil and when it starts boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 3 hours. Try your best not to open the lid, let them do their magic!
- To prepare the chashu, season the pork belly with salt and pepper and sear them on a dry pan all 4 sides to golden brown.
After 3 hours of boiling the broth, it’s time to add the seared pork belly into the broth. Cook the pork until it’s tender and fully cooked in the broth, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, let’s make tare (sauce)!
Combine all ingredients for tare in a sauce pan, bring it to soft boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Stir the sauce frequently so it won’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Remove from heat and let it cool.
- When the pork belly is done cooking, turn off the heat and remove the pork belly from the broth. Let the pork belly to be cool slightly so you can cut them into 1” piece. Brush the pork belly with some chili oil if you want to, just for the color or sear them once again to your taste. I didn’t re-sear them because I wanted my pork belly to be silky tender as I had in Taiwan.
- Drain the broth into a large mixing bowl or a container though a large strainer. Discard all the fragrance vegetables and spices but don’t waste the pork bones and the meat! You can enjoy them separately.
Unless you are making 10 bowls of ramen at this moment, go ahead and store the soup, the pork belly chashu, and the tare and keep them in a refrigerator. It will last 7 days. You can freeze the soup if you prefer, just store the soup in a air tight freezer safe container and it will last 30 days in a freezer.
- Let’s assemble a bowl of ramen!
Bring enough water to boil in a large pot, we are going to blanch beansprouts and cook ramen noodles in the same water. Also bring 1 portion of broth (or more if you are making more than one bowl of ramen) to boil. Blanch beansprouts for 2 minuets, remove from the pot and drain. Set aside. Into the same boiling water, cook ramen noodles by following the directions of the package you’re using.
- While the noodles are cooking, place 2 to 3 tbsp tare into a serving bowl. Pour the hot ramen broth and mix them well. Drain the cooked ramen noodles completely (extra water will dilute the broth and flavors) and carefully add into the bowl. Stir the noodles so it will coated evenly with the broth and arrange them in the middle. Top the ramen with beansprouts, green onions, baby corn, pork belly chashu, black garlic oil, sprinkle of Sichuan peppercorn powder and sesame seeds. Enjoy!