From being a sinful late-night quick fix to a Japanese bar and restaurant staple, ramen noodles have become an iconic part of Japanese cuisine that one can recreate with ease back at home. In our rendition, we star the Chinese barbecued pork (also known as char siu) as the highlight of the dish, adding the delicious tinge of roast to springy noodles and crunchy kelp, bok choy and bamboo shoot.
- 8 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 500 g dried shiitake mushrooms
- 500 g baby bok choy, leaves separated
- ½ cup (125 ml) Japanese soy sauce
- ½ cup (125ml) sake
- 125 g bamboo shoots, sliced finely
- 185 g Chinese barbecued pork, sliced thinly
- 1½ cup (120 g) bean sprouts, trimmed
- 6 green onions, chopped coarsely
- 1 kg pork bones
- 1 kg chicken bones
- 10 cm piece kelp (konbu)
- 10 green onions, chopped coarsely
- 125 g fresh ginger, peeled, sliced
- 1 head garlic, halved crossways
- 3 medium carrots (360 g), chopped coarsely
- 3 litre (12 cups) water
To make the soup stock, place the bones in a large saucepan; add enough water to pan to cover bones. Bring to the boil; drain.
Rinse bones; return to pan. Snip kelp in several places using scissors; add to pan with onion, ginger, garlic, carrot and the water. Bring to the boil; discard kelp.
Place mushrooms in a small heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water, stand for 20 mins; drain. Discard stems.
Cook noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender. Add bok choy leaves to noodles at end of noodle cooking time; blanch for 20 secs. Drain noodles and bok choy. Rinse under cold water; drain.
Bring soup, sauce and sake to the boil in a large saucepan.
Divide noodles and soup into bowls; top with mushrooms and remaining ingredients.
TIP These Japanese wheat noodles are sold in dried, fresh, steamed and instant forms. Kelp (konbu) can be purchased from Asian grocers.