$4 Ramen Vs. $800 Ramen

Instant ramen is great, but what about one of the most expensive homemade ramens in the world?


INGREDIENTS:

4 Dollar Ramen:

  • 1 packet Shin black ramen noodle

  • 1 egg soft boiled

  • 1/2 cup (70g) mushrooms, quartered seared

  • 1 sheet nori, chiffonade

  • Green onions, thinly sliced into rounds

400 Dollar Tonkotsu:

  • 2 lbs (907g) pork neck bones

  • 2.5 lbs (1.1kg) sliced pork hocks

  • 1/2 lb (227g) pork fatback

  • 2 lobster heads

  • 1 bunch green onion

  • 5 cloves garlic

  • 1-inch knob ginger

Chashu:

  • 3-4 lbs (1.5kg-2kg) pork belly, skin removed

  • 2 tbsp (30ml) neutral-tasting oil

  • 1 cup (250ml) sake

  • 1 cup (250ml) filtered water

  • 3/4 cup (175ml) Shoyu

  • 1 cup (250ml) mirin

  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar

  • 2-inch (5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 bunch green onions, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) segments

  • 1 shallot, peeled & halved

Tare:

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) sake

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) shirodashi

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) mirin

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) aged soy sauce

  • 1 cup (7g) bonito flakes

Smoked Aroma Oil:

  • 1/2 cup (82g) lard

  • 1/2 bunch green onions

  • 8 cloves garlic crushed

  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) toasted sesame oil

Toppers:

  • 2 lobster tails poached

  • 1 lb (454g) Lions Mane Mushroom

  • 1/2 lb (227g) Brown Beech Mushroom

  • Tare

  • 19oz (538g) Straight Ramen noodles

  • Smoked aroma oil

  • Chashu Pork Belly

  • 4 eggs, soft boiled

  • 1 tin Royal Osetra Caviar

  • Salt to taste

  • Green onion, sliced for garnish

  • Nori, chiffonade

INSTRUCTIONS:

4 Dollar Ramen:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil over medium-high heat for the soft-boiled egg and gently lay in whole eggs. Let simmer and place a timer for 6.5 minutes. Pull out and immediately drop them into an ice bath, and peel submerged in water.

  2. In a 10” skillet over medium-high, add enough oil to coat the bottom, add in your mushrooms, sear for 3 to 4 minutes, tossing occasionally, and season to taste with salt. Reserve.

  3. Cook your Shin ramen as per package instructions.

  4. Assembling - Place your cooked ramen in a bowl, add some green onion, your mushrooms, a half or whole soft-boiled egg, and some nori.

400 Dollar Tonkotsu:

  1. Place pork neck and hocks in a pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes, skimming any scum that rises to the top; immediately drain bones out through a colander and rinse with cold water (getting any impurities off) and place back into the pot.

  2. Add enough water to cover, plus one or two cups, and place the lid on. Set the pressure cooker on high and for one and a half hours.

  3. Release the pressure (careful of any spritzing), add pork fat, close the lid, set up back to high, and cook for another one and a half hours.

  4. Release the pressure once again, open the lid and scoop off the fatback using a spider; place it in a blender, cover with a quart of broth and blend on high until completely smooth.

  5. Strain your pork stock out of the pressure cooker into a pot, and combine it with your fatback emulsion. Place it on the stove over medium-high, and optionally add your lobster tails, shells, and heads, followed by green onion, garlic, and ginger.

  6. Bring it to a boil over medium-high, and boil for 25-30 minutes or until reduced and slightly thickened.

Chashu:

  1. Take your pork belly and roll it up lengthwise into a log. Then, use kitchen twine and tie it into three separate sections to hold it together.

  2. Heat a 7 quarts dutch oven over medium-high, add enough oil to coat the bottom; once hot, sear your pork on two sides to get some golden brown color; then, leaving the fat side up, add the remaining ingredients.

  3. Bring that to a boil over medium-high, drop the temperature to low, and simmer; cover with a lid for three hours, occasionally turning until the meat is done and tender.

  4. Reserve if used for later or let it cool down, wrap in plastic wrap, place in the fridge overnight and slice while cold.

Tare:

  1. In a medium-size pot, add sake, set over medium-high, and as soon as it boils, optionally using a kitchen torch, carefully ignite the steam and let it flame bait until the flames die out.

  2. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring it up to heat, and at soon as it starts to get steamy hot, turn the heat off and steep for 5 minutes.

  3. Strain that through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve.

Smoked Aroma Oil:

  1. Heat lard in a small-size pot, then add green onions and garlic; lower the heat to medium-low, and let it cook for 7 minutes, swirling occasionally or until the vegetables are golden brown and toasted.

  2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, and stir in sesame oil.

Toppers:

  1. Split the tails in half lengthwise, remove the vein, extract the meat and clean any imperfections.

  2. Cut your mushrooms into bite-size pieces, toss together and sear them in a pan; once cooked, add butter and let that cook until the butter browns; tossing occasionally—season to taste with salt.

  3. Assembling - Torch your sliced Chashu, as many sliced as you want till hot and lightly charred on both sides. In a bowl, place one or two tablespoons of tare, salt to taste, and ladle in about two and a half cups of your tonkotsu broth.

  4. Add six ounces of cooked ramen noodles (cook according to package) a drizzle (one or two teaspoons) of your aromatic oil. Followed by your egg, mushrooms mix, green onion, Chashu pork slices, half a lobster tail, nori, and a generous dollop of caviar.