At some point, I was going to have to make a ramen post.
Ramen is… tricky. Ramen can be very simple, but it can also be very complex. It’s a dish with a lot of variation and yet also a lot of specification. Whether it’s a simple bowl of cheap ingredients and instant freeze-dried noodles or a bowl of specifically ratio-ed quantities of painstakingly crafted components, everyone has an opinion on what ramen is.
This ramen recipe… attempts to provide a guide to the latter, which is what I think many of us think of when we think about Japanese ramen. Not the quick-boil instant noodle packet, potentially dressed up with scallions or an egg, but that specific experience of savory lip-smacking broth carried by noodles with thin slices of melt-in-your-mouth chashu pork.
Needless to say… there’s some prep work required for this. However, once the prep pieces are ready, putting together the actual bowl of ramen is really simple.
Probably the biggest challenge for someone who is gluten-free is sourcing good noodles. Personally, the noodle part of a bowl of ramen was never really the appealing part for me. It was, in a way, just the carrier for the “good stuff” (the ramen broth). This of course is not a universal opinion. I was just never really that in to noodles to begin with. So… I can’t really recommend one noodle brand or another. Go with what you can have and what you can find.
That said… for this day’s ramen meal, I managed to find some 100% gluten free soba noodles at a nearby Japanese grocery store. Very pricy (especially for dried noodles), but exciting since I hadn’t eaten this in a long time.
The nutty denser texture of these noodles also worked well for the chashu-based broth being used in this recipe.
SPeaking of… would it be worthwhile to provide affiliate links on where you can order these ingredients (if available online)? If so, is Amazon a good choice? Something else?
Before you begin, make sure you follow these recipes to get those initial ingredients together. These together are the key to making a good chashu ramen.
This one I don’t have an official recipe for since I just used a mix of chicken broth and dashi stock this time around (so much for “doing this right”. Home cooking is about using what you have in the end). Chashu ramen is a pork-based dish, so the best solution is to make a pork bone-based broth! I didn’t have pork bones, so I used my foolproof method of making overnight chicken broth in my 6-qt instant pot. The broth takes advantage of the 6-qt instant pot’s slow cooker settings being hotter than a normal slow cooker to do a continuous simmer over a long period of time. You end up with milky and collagen-filled bone broth that is way better than anything store bought. Recipe TBD.
Chashu pork (and marinated eggs and tare base)
If the ramen broth is the base, the chashu pork is the dish’s heart. Pure bone broth is pretty bland. You usually need to add salt and other aromatics (onions, celery, etc) to make a tasty broth from bones. That’s not to say bones don’t impart their own flavor or other qualities… they just need help to make a complete meal.
Most of the flavor of chashu ramen comes from the chashu pork, but not necessarily the actual pork itself. It’s the marinating sauce used to make the chashu pork that is the flavor bomb ingredient.
This chashu pork recipe is very easy to make, but does require a lot of time due to overnight marinating. But once you have the pork made, the tare from it will be used to flavor the ramen broth. It will also be used to marinate the soft boiled eggs too. With this recipe, you essentially have every core ingredient you need for this ramen dish.
Chashu pork recipe
Putting It Together
The ramen broth and chashu pork (and tare and eggs) can be made the night before, which means the day you make the actual ramen bowls, the process will be very easy. It’s basically reheating the components and assembling.
Enjoy the recipe!
Gluten Free Chashu Ramen
- 4 cups pork bone broth can sub chicken bone broth or dashi stock
- 6 TBSP chashu tare simmering liquid from the chashu pork
- 4 slices chashu pork see notes
- 2 marinated soft boiled eggs see notes
- 2 servings noodles of choice
- 1 cup chopped napa cabbage (optional)
- 1/4 cup enoki mushrooms (optional)
- 1 tbsp chashu fat see notes
- dried chili threads (optional)
- diced scallions (optional)
- Boil 1 pot of water for the noodles. Cook per package instructions.2 servings noodles of choice
- In a separate pot, boil the pork bone broth and add the napa cabbage and enoki mushrooms if using to cook). Lower to simmer and allow to cook.4 cups pork bone broth, 1 cup chopped napa cabbage (optional), 1/4 cup enoki mushrooms (optional)
- In 2 ramen bowls, add the chashu tare, 3 tbsps per bowl6 TBSP chashu tare
- Remove the vegetables from the simmering pork bone broth and put some at the base of the bowl. This is an optional step, but I like doing this to help bulk up the ramen serving with more nutritious vegetables instead of more noodles.If wanting a more indulgent ramen-eating experience, add back some chashu fat to the simmering broth now to allow it to melt into the broth.1 tbsp chashu fat
- Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water to remove excess starch. Add to the ramen bowls.
- Add rest of vegetable to top and place the sliced chashu pork and cut soft boiled egg to the top of the noodles.4 slices chashu pork, 2 marinated soft boiled eggs
- Pour the hot broth overtop the dish until filled.
- sprinkle the chili threads and/or scallions on top for garnish.dried chili threads (optional), diced scallions (optional)