For all of you that love Ramen, this is a good way to make an inexpensive pack of Ramen taste like a professional $9 Ramen you would get at a Japanese restaurant. All you need are the following ingredients:
- 1 – Pack of pork belly ($3 at most markets)
- 2 – Packs of your favorite instant Ramen
- 1 – Head of Broccoli
- 2 Tbs – Hoisin Sauce
- 1 Tsp – Oyster Sauce
- 4 Tbs – Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette (from Trade Joe’s)
- 1 Tbs – Cooking Oil
Your total meal will cost you less than $5 and that is a meal for two people. This meal is super easy too, it only takes about 40 minutes total (20 minutes is just letting the meat marinade so there is really just 20 minutes of cooking).
Step 1 is to mix your sauces with the cooking oil to create a marinade.
Marinade the pork belly for 20 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature. This will help marinade the meat while also bringing the meat from cold back to room temperature. Whenever you cook meat you want it at room temperature so it cooks evenly. If the meat is cold than by the time the inside of the meat cooks the outside will be overcooked. Also, the colder the meat is when you start to cook the longer it takes to cook, which makes it dry out more while cooking. Let the meat sit for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes you can cook your broccoli by adding about 1 inch of water to a covered pot and bringing it to a boil. Once boiling add the dry vegetable packs from both instant Ramens and add in about 1/8th of the spice. You just want enough to bring flavor to your broccoli but not too much to make your Ramen broth less flavorful. Once boiling add in your broccoli and only cook for about 2-3 minutes. Once the broccoli is cooked remove the broccoli and place it into an ice bath (aka shock it). Shocking the Broccoli will keep it bright green and crisp, when you are ready to serve just add the broccoli back into the bowl and the hot broth will warm it back up.
You can start to cook your pork belly in a pre-heated cast iron pan (over high heat). If you don’t have cast iron than use your heaviest stainless steal pan. Pork belly is easy to cook because as soon as the outside looks done (nice and golden brown) then it is done on the inside. As your pork belly cooks and you switch to a new batch, place the cooked pork belly into a plate covered with foil. The most important part of cooking any type of meat (other than fish) is to let the meat rest after you cook it while it sits under foil. The foil is just to keep the meat from getting too cold but you need to rest the meat to let the heated internal juice settle back into the meat.
Once your meat is cooked and resting under foil cook your Ramen. Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil then add the spice packet from your instant Ramen pack. Add in the Ramen and cover, let it cook for about 1 – 2 minutes. You want the noodles to soften up so they slide apart but you want it to still be chewy. Remember, your Ramen will still cook for a bit when you remove it from the heat and poor it into the bowl to serve, so under cook it a bit and by the time you eat it you will have a nice al dente Ramen (I leave mine extra chewy on purpose).
Now just place the broth and Ramen into a bowl. Add your Broccoli back in (it will heat up by the time you eat it while also cooling down the broth so it isn’t burning your tongue) and finally add the cooked pork belly on top. Server and enjoy!