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Momofuku Style Udon

Friday, 2 July 2010

I'm a lazy-ass cook. Just the thought of making stock from scratch daunts me. The only stock I've made so far was this awesome vegetable stock with roasted vegetable and that's because I had to as it's for the Daring Cooks challenge. Finally brought myself to make another batch of home-made stock and this time, it was Momofuku's bacon ramen broth! What intrigued me was the use of bacon instead of katsuobushi or bonito flakes. Instead of smoky fishy, you get a smoky meaty broth - which was awesome.

Momofuku's ramen broth requires the use of "meaty pork bones" (pork bones with some meat on them). Neck bones are the best, bones from shoulder or leg are good too. Ribs can be used to supplement a supply of other more desirable bones, but used alone, they will yield anemic broth. errr...I couldn't find the "meaty pork bones" mentioned, so I used only pork ribs for my broth and it turned out really flavourful. Would love to try some of that "non-anemic" broth one day. And instead of simmering the pork bones for 6-7 hours, I cooked it with a pressure cooker. The broth was supposed to be seasoned with tare (sauce made with more chicken, sake, mirin, light soy sauce and black pepper) but I seasoned it with just light soy sauce and mirin. Despite all the substitutions and short-cuts I made, it turned out really good. The broth was so rich and flavourful, very smoky and meaty.

Serve this with noodles and whatever topping you fancy!

Momofuku style udon 5

Ramen Broth

Adapted from Momofuku cookbook by David Chang & Peter Meehan
  • 3L water
  • 3x6 inch konbu - rinsed
  • 2 cups (about 12) dried Chinese mushrooms
  • 1 whole (about 2.3kg) chicken
  • 650g pork ribs
  • 1 packet (275g) smoked bacon
  • 6 stalks spring onions
  • 1 onion - halved
  • 2 large carrots - cut into large chunks
  • Light soy sauce
  • Mirin
  • Place water and konbu into a pot. Bring to boil then turn off heat. Let steep for 10 mins.
  • Remove konbu from pot, add mushrooms and whole chicken. Cook under pressure for 1 hr.
  • While chicken is cooking, roast pork ribs at 200°C until browned. Turn then over every now and then to ensure even browning.
Momofuku style udon 1
  • After cooking the chicken for 1 hr under pressure, remove chicken and mushrooms from the pot. Keep the mushrooms and chicken meat for later use.
  • Add roasted pork ribs, bacon, spring onions, onion and carrots into the pot. I removed the chicken meat and returned the chicken bones into the pot. Cook under pressure for 2 1/2 hrs.
Momofuku style udon 2
  • Remove and discard the spent bones and vegetables. Keep the ribs to serve with the noodles later.
Momofuku style udon 4
  • Pass broth through a strainer lined with cheesecloth.
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  • Leave this to cool, you will see a layer of oil after it's cooled. Scoop this away.
  • I topped the broth up to 2 1/2L with water and seasoned with soy sauce and mirin.
  • You can use this straightaway, but I kept it in the fridge overnight and used it the next day, which tasted even better. You might see another layer of solid oil after chilling, scoop this layer away too.

For my Momofuku style udon, just reheat about 3 1/2 -4 cups of ramen broth (enough for 2 large bowls) and pour this over cooked noodles (I used dried udon). Serve with pork ribs/ shredded chicken and mushrooms from cooking the stock, some Chinese cabbage, fishcakes and a soft-boiled egg. Garnish with some chopped spring onions and Japanese rice seasoning.

Momofuku style udon 6

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