Few things are more warming and satisfying than a hot bowl of ramen noodles. Even if you’re a college student on a tight budget, ramen is both delicious and satisfying.
But if we’re being totally honest, a ramen packet or cup is just noodles and broth. It makes a tasty snack, and it can serve as a light meal in a pinch. But if you want a more filling meal, you’ll want to dress up your ramen with toppings and other ingredients.
Today, we’re going to talk about one of the richest and most filling ramen recipes around: pork belly ramen. It’s savory, ridiculously crave-worthy and is something you can cook in just a few minutes. Here’s how to prepare it, along with some tips for making better ramen!
Pork Belly Ramen Recipe
Before you start cooking, you’ll need to have your ingredients handy. This is what you’ll need:
1 soft boiled egg – you can prepare this in advance or boil it at the same time as your noodles
Nori – this is a dried seaweed that you can purchase in your local ethnic grocery store
Begin by searing the fat side of the pork belly, then put it in an oven-safe dish with the garlic, soy sauce, and miso paste. You can marinate it overnight in a plastic baggie if you want, and the meat will absorb much more of the flavor. But if you’re hungry right now, just preheat your oven to 400 degrees and cook the pork belly for 30 minutes.
If you haven’t made your soft boiled egg already, now would be a good time. It’s also wise to start your ramen water boiling. Once the pork belly has cooked, take it out of the oven and put it in a skillet on high heat. Sear it along with the marinade for 2 to 3 minutes per side, then set it aside.
Add butter and olive oil to the pan, then add your chopped mushrooms and fry them until they’re crispy brown.
Finish cooking your ramen and put it in a bowl, including the flavor pack. Top it with your pork belly, sliced shiitake mushrooms, chopped green onions, sesame seeds, green onions, soft boiled egg, and the nori.
How to Make Delicious Noodles Every Time
Regardless of what recipe you’re preparing, the noodle is the heart of the meal. It doesn’t matter if you’re making pork belly ramen or just a plain ramen bowl – you need to cook your noodles properly. Otherwise, you’re going to be disappointed, no matter how well you prepared your other ingredients. Here’s how to make Mike’s Mighty Good noodles the right way every time.
Bring Your Water to a Full Boil
One of the most common mistakes people make when preparing ramen noodles is adding their noodles too soon. It’s understandable. Who wouldn’t get impatient while getting ready to eat the most delicious food on earth?
It seems intuitive to add your noodles the second your water starts bubbling. The water is clearly hot, so you’ll at least get a head start on your meal.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Depending on how far you are above sea level, hot water will start bubbling at around 176 degrees. That’s 36 degrees below the boiling point of 212 degrees. Imagine stepping outside on a pleasant 70-degree day. Now imagine going out on a scorching 106-degree day. That’s how much of a difference 36 degrees makes!
When you add your noodles too early, they won’t cook as quickly as they’re supposed to. The outer layers will get soft relatively quickly, and will be warm and squishy. But when the outer layers are perfectly-cooked, the inside will still be tough and chewy. Wait long enough for the inside to cook completely, and the outsides of the noodles will be soft and almost slimy. Yuck!
When you bring your water to a full boil, the noodles will cook faster. The extra heat will cook the insides fast enough that the outer layers won’t become overcooked. The whole noodle finishes at the same time, and you get the perfect texture.
Some people purposefully add their noodles early because they like a stiffer noodle. The problem is that this will still create variations in texture. If you want less springy noodles, just cook them for a shorter time period. You’ll have a more consistent texture, and your noodles will still be relatively stiff.
Noodle cups are a little bit different, because you’re not cooking them on the stove. The moment you add water to the cup, it’s going to start cooling off. Here, it’s even more important to boil your water completely. It also helps to cover your noodle cup with a saucer to retain heat.
Just bringing your water to a boil isn’t enough. You also need to cook your ramen for the appropriate amount of time. We can’t speak for all brands, but here’s how to whip up the perfect batch of Mike’s Mighty Good.
How to Cook a Ramen Pillow Pack
Begin by pouring 1 ¾ cups of water into your pot. If this seems like too much, keep in mind that much of it is about to boil off. A lot will also soak into your noodles!
Set the burner to high, and wait until your water comes to a nice rolling boil. At that point, you’re ready to add your noodles. Let them sit for three minutes, stirring periodically. When you’re done, take them off the pot.
At this point, what you do next will depend on the recipe. If you’re using the broth, just stir the flavor packet in with the noodles and hot water. For other recipes, you may only be using the noodles. In that case, you’ll have to strain out the water, then add the noodles to your recipe as specified.
If you don’t have a stove or a hot pot, you can still prepare ramen in the microwave. In that case, add 1 ½ cups of water to a microwave bowl, break your noodle block in half, and add it to the water. Try to arrange the noodles so they’re entirely covered by water.
Now run your microwave until the water comes to a rolling boil. How long this takes will depend on the model. At that point, all you have to do is remove the bowl and stir in the flavor packet.
How to Prepare a Delicious Noodle Cup
A cup of noodles only requires 1 ¼-cup of boiling water. You can boil the water using any method. Open the noodle cup lid halfway, and pour your water into the cup. Close the lid, cover the cup with a saucer if you want to, and wait for six minutes. Bravo! Your noodles are now ready.
Like most noodles, ramen noodles tend to cluster in the pot. This can lead to uneven cooking, and noodles can even become entirely stuck together. Needless to say, that’s not good.
To avoid this, stir your noodles every minute or so while they’re boiling. You don’t have to worry about stirring noodle cups, since the noodles are just sitting there.
Use the Best Quality Noodles
At the end of the day, you’ll get better results if you start with a better instant ramen. Most big commercial brands flash-fry their noodles, leaving them with an oily taste. Worse, they use a ton of salt in their flavor packets, which can overwhelm your taste buds.
Mike’s Mighty Good noodles are made with simple ingredients. They’re organic and steamed, not fried. Plus, the flavor packets contain a complex blend of herbs and spices – not just salt.
Get your hands on this mouth watering bowl of our Spicy Pork Tonkotsu Ramen. The delicious pork belly with crispy garlic will have you craving seconds before you're even done with your bowl. Follow our easy recipe to make this at home!