Ramen, Recipes

Braised Pork – Center Loin

August 21, 2014

img_7784

A good sliced pork recipe can elevate your homemade ramen to a savory meal in ways just adding hard-boiled eggs can’t. Pork slices add to the flavor of the broth, give a more robust visual aesthetic, and taste damned delicious. You can even use it for packaged ramen. This is my personal recipe for a braised pork using a center loin. It may not be the most ideal or traditional cut or recipe for a ramen, but it works for me, and it can double as an anytime-recipe outside of ramen prep, which is ideal when coming up with meals for your family.

IMG_7715Time to cook: about 2 hours
Prep: 5 min
Sear: 15 min
Cook: 1 hour 30 min.
Rest.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs. Fatty Pork
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil or Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 1/2 Cup Saké
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar or 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 tsp Black Peppercorn
  • 1 tsp Ginger Powder or 1 inch Crushed Ginger
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

The Pork

There are a lot of people who choose pork belly over other cuts for their ramen prep. I prefer the loin, as pork belly can sometimes be overpowering for some. At my local grocery store they stock a nice center loin cut that works well for us. The important thing is that you get yourself a big chunk of pork with a layer of fat – fatty pork is what makes ramen pork so delicious.

The Cook

IMG_7758 Begin by smashing your ginger root, if you’re not using powder. The cook will move pretty fast, so as long as you do this step any time between now and deglazing the pot, you shouldn’t lose any flavor and the ginger shouldn’t dry out.
IMG_7733 Season your pork with salt and pepper to taste – I’m pretty conservative with mine, as ramen can get pretty salty as-is.
IMG_7730 Then, add your 2 tbsp oil to a pot large enough to braise in. I’m using a 3 qt pot from Ikea, you really don’t want anything smaller than that. Larger is fine, so long as the meat is almost entirely covered (ideally, it is entirely covered, though this isn’t always realistic – adjust the recipe as needed).
IMG_7740 Once you get the oil hot enough that it’s smoking a tiny bit, you can begin searing the pork. Place the pork in the pot fat-side down first and sear it for 1-2 minutes, until it reaches a golden-brown. Continue to sear each additional side.

Pro-tip: Use a splatter screen or splatter guard. That oil is going to kick up something fierce, it’s best to be careful.

After the sear is complete, pour in your 1/2 cup saké to deglaze the pot. It’s going to smoke pretty righteously, so be careful. Once the pot is deglazed, add everything else in:

2 Cups Water 2 Cups Water
1 Cup Shoyu (soy sauce) 1 Cup Shoyu (soy sauce)
1/3 cup sugar (or 1/4 cup brown sugar) 1/3 cup sugar (or 1/4 cup brown sugar)
1 tsp peppercorn, 1 cinnamon stick, and 1-2 inch crushed ginger root or 1 tsp ginger powder. 1 tsp peppercorn, 1 cinnamon stick, and 1-2 inch crushed ginger root or 1 tsp ginger powder.

Stir up all the liquid and ingredients then bring everything to a boil. Once it’s boiling, set your burner to between medium low and low to simmer, timed at 1 hour 30 minutes. Cover the pot and let it do its thing.

After 45 minutes have past, use some tongs to flip the pork, then cover it back up until time is up.

img_7772 Last, take the pork out and set it on a wooden cutting board to rest for 10 minutes.
It's always good to make sure the center of your pork has hit the right temperature to kill any bacteria! It’s always good to make sure the center of your pork has hit the right temperature to kill any bacteria!

After the Cook

At this point, you have two options: either save it for ramen, or eat it. If you’re planning on saving it for ramen, after it cools, wrap it up and put it in the fridge for a few hours – the pork will be easier to cut for those nice, thin slices that work so well in ramen. Heating up the pork is easy enough – in my personal ramen recipe, I like to re-heat the pork in the broth, which elevates the flavor and gives the pork slices a nice texture.

However, you can just go ahead and eat it as an entree. It’s delicious either way! Usually, we’ll cook up a whole loin or shoulder this way and use half for one dinner, saving the other half for ramen. If you want to eat it immediately, go ahead and slice that sucker up. Enjoy!

IMG_7783

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply