This soup packs a good amount of heat, that will be sure to make you sweat a little and cool you off on a hot summers day. Sometimes I can’t get the thought of a good ramen* out of my head, and chewy noodles in a hot salty broth haunt me for days. Every once in a while, noodles get the best of me and this is the recipe I use to put my mind at ease.
Slowly cooked (braised) in an asian inspired sweet and salty marinade, the pork belly becomes lusciously tender. Although I do love pork belly, the fattiness melting away with each bite, this recipe could easily be made vegan by using tofu (or even smoked tofu) in place of the pork belly, and vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. I would marinate the tofu for a few hours or overnight, then chop in slices and sear in canola oil over medium heat.
This soup is overflowing with a vibrant array of summer vegetables. I like them thinly sliced so that I can simply add them to the hot broth, preserving their flavour and freshness. You could use nearly any vegetable in this soup, depending on season and availability. All of the vegetables used ind this recipe came fresh from the fields of Laughing Crow Organic Farm in Pemberton, BC.
The noodles were made following the Cooking with Dog instructions for udon noodles. When I was first introduced to the Cooking with Dog videos, I thought they were more entertaining than anything else. I have since used many of their recipes and find them easy and straightforward. I usually double the udon noodle recipe and freeze the extra uncooked noodles in small portions, making for quick noodles on hand whenever I need them. When ready to use, place frozen noodles directly into boiling water, test for doneness after about 4 minutes.
Keep in mind that the noodles will nearly double in size when cooking. Rolling the dough to less than 1/8 inch thickness and cutting them as wide as they are thin is a good rule of thumb for getting a nicely shaped noodle. I like to play around with the size of the noodles. Sometimes cutting by hand and sometimes using a pasta maker to get more evenly cut noodles. (In these photos I used the pasta maker and rolled the dough to the 3rd largest width then put them through the small noodle cutter setting.)
*I usually don’t consider restaurant ramen an option, as they lack ethically raised meats, serving up abundant amounts of generally sketchy, likely industrial meat, that I find largely appalling.
- 1-2 lbs. pork belly, skin removed (use to make chicharons)
- 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup, or brown sugar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 3 cups water
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. sambal oelek
- 1 inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
Pre heat oven to 300 °F.
Stir all ingredients, except for pork belly, together in a small bowl.
Brown pork belly on all sides over medium high heat. Place in a baking dish or dutch oven and cover with marinade. Using aluminum foil or a lid cover and bake for 3 hours.
Remove pork from liquid and place in fridge until ready to use.
Pork Belly Udon Noodle Soup
Makes 6 large bowlfuls
- slow roasted pork belly (recipe above)
- udon noodles, (one batch homemade or 2 pkgs store bought)
- 6 soft-boiled egg (recipe below)
- liquid from roasted pork belly (recipe above)
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups water
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 handful green beans
- 4 stalks kale
- 2 scallions
- 1/2 cup cilantro
Soft boiled egg: Place eggs in a medium-sized pot, cover with water until submerged by 1/2 inch and place on stove over high heat. When water begins to boil, cover with lid and let sit on hot burner for 4 minutes. Rinse under cold water and carefully peel.
Soup stock: Combine pork belly cooking liquid with chicken stock and water in a large pot. Bring to a simmer and season with salt to taste. Adjust any other flavourings if you feel like it, add more sambal oelek for spice, ginger, garlic, water etc.
Prepare vegetables: Thinly slice vegetables.
Pork belly: Thickly slice pork belly, optional: brown slices over medium heat.
To assemble soup place noodles in a large bowl, top with vegetables, pork belly, a soft-boiled egg sliced in half garnished with scallions and cilantro. Ladle hot broth into bowl.
Serve with sambal oelek or other hot sauce to make it even spicier.