Shio translates to salt in Japanese, the Shio in this recipe comes from a dried seafood umami infused salt based Tare that is balanced out with a pork and chicken broth. As to making any decent ramen the main component I find that is needed most is time. The beauty of making ramen is that although a lot of labour is involved the recipe can be carried out over a number of days as components also need the chance to develop and mature over time. The broth in this recipe was made up of pork, and chicken which worked out nice and light for this bowl. The tare was infused with dried seafood, dashi and salt giving a nice balance of land and sea components in the final bowl. What worked out great for this ramen was that nothing overpowered another with all the components working together in harmony. With all that said let's make ramen.
Cook Time 5 hrs / Prep Time 2 hrs / Over 2 days
To serve 4-5
15g dried shittake mushrooms
15g bonito flakes
10g dried small shrimp (optional)
25g rock salt
30g sea salt
6 chicken wings
400g pork bones
6 chicken feet
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
750g pork belly slab
3 spring onions
5 garlic cloves
200ml light soy
50ml dark soy
40g brown sugar
3 tbsp corn syrup or honey
200ml rapeseed oil
2 spring onions
5 garlic cloves
Toppings and additional Ingredients:
Ramen noodles for 4-5 (recipe link here)
4-5 whole free range eggs
Japanese fish cake (optional)
100g bamboo shoots
nori sheets to serve
Before we begin making up the 5 key ramen components the first thing I always start with is making the ramen noodles. I'd always recommend making these fresh if possible and I will leave a link here for a guide on how to make them. We now want to begin by making the shio tare, start by making a dashi stock, add 500ml of water to a small saucepan then add 15g dried shitake, 10g kombu, 10g dried shrimp and 15g of bonito flakes. Allow the dried ingredients to sit for at least half an hour at room temperature.
2. When the dashi is ready, in a separate saucepan place onto a high heat then when hot add 150ml of mirin and 150ml of sake. Cook out the alcohol for 2-3 minutes then add all of the dashi stock along with its dried ingredients then also add 25g of rock salt and 30g of sea salt. Bring the tare up to a temperature of no more than 80°c and slowly simmer away the tare for 30 minutes.
3. After 30 minutes the tare should have extracted enough umami from all of the various dried ingredients, therefore, we can now pull the tare from the heat and pass through a fine sieve into a fresh container. Allow the tare to cool then cover and store at room temperature overnight to mature. The tare should be slightly salty with an umami/seafood aroma.
4. Now that we have our tare the last component to make on day 1 is the chashu. Before cooking the chashu begin by tightly rolling a 750g piece of pork belly to form a cylinder skin side up. Using some kitchen string tie up the pork belly to help maintain its shape whilst cooking.
5. Now in a pan add 3 roughly chopped spring onions, 5 peeled garlic cloves, 15g of sliced ginger, 200ml light soy, 50ml dark soy, 50ml of mirin, 40g of corn syrup or honey and 40g of brown sugar. Bring up to a boil and cook for 1-2 minutes to dissolve the sugar. When ready add the rolled pork belly and top up with enough water to just about cover the pork. Turn the heat down to a low simmer, place a lid over the top and braise the pork belly for 1 hr 30 mins on a medium to low heat.
6. After braising, the best way to check that the chashu is ready is by removing it from the braise and checking to see if it has a nice gelatinous jiggle. Place the chashu onto a tray and allow to cool to room temperature then when ready store in the refrigerator over night. As for the braising liquid pass through a sieve into a fresh container and also store in the refrigerator as we can use this for some of the toppings later in this recipe.
Now onto 2nd day of making this ramen, this stock is a fairly standard soup for ramen and works perfectly with a shio based tare. Start by placing a large saucepan half full with water onto a high heat. When boiling, add 6 chicken wings, 6 chicken feet and approx 400g of pork preferably femur bones. Pre boil the bones and chicken for 10 minutes to release any unwanted scum on the bones. When ready drain off the bones and clean under cold running water. For the chicken feet, remove the toe nails by removing with kitchen scissors then place all of the bones and chicken pieces into a fresh pot and top with approx 3litres of water. Bring the stock up to a low simmer and cook for 2hr 30mins taking care not to allow the broth to come to a boil.