We all know that too much instant ramen will supply you with nothing more than a one-way ticket to boot hill.
That’s why we’re encouraging you, devoted noodle soup-slurper, to forego the sodium-laden flavor packet in exchange for the magical one-pot meal genie that is the slow cooker.
Remember your slow cooker? That ceramic goddess who can effortlessly turn 12 disparate ingredients into a tasty, one-pot weeknight meal reality? Today, she’s tenderizing succulent bites of pork shoulder in broth filled with fresh ramen noodles and an array of umami-infused accoutrement.
Not only is this slow cooker variation authentic and shockingly easy, it’ll save you from splurging on unnecessarily expensive restaurant ramen.
So step aside Roy Choi, there’s a new bowl of (easy) ramen in town. And this one won’t cause cardiac arrest.
GIF courtesy Brian Ratigan
1 pound of pork shoulder or pork butt
4 cups chicken broth
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon red chili in oil
1 tablespoon red chili paste
2-4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon black and white pepper blend
1-2 cups fresh ramen noodles (dried Chinese noodles or linguine will also work)
2-4 handfuls fresh baby spinach
1 cup sliced cremini or shiitake mushrooms
½ cup matchstick carrots
¼ of a jalapeño, sliced
¼ cup diced scallions
1 soft boiled egg
Grease bottom of slow cooker with 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Place pork shoulder in slow cooker. Add chicken broth, garlic clove, red chili oil, red chili paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar and black/white pepper blend, and mix until all ingredients are well blended. Cover slow cooker and heat on high for 4 hours (or heat on low for 7-8 hours). If you’re home, stir periodically. If not, don’t worry about it.
Once the pork is cooked through, using a sieve, strain the pork and garlic, reserving the broth in a heat-safe bowl. Return the strained broth to the slow cooker (high heat). Add sliced mushrooms and 1 whole egg (shell-on) to the broth and let cook 15-20 minutes. While the mushrooms and egg are cooking, retrieve the cooked pork from the sieve, slice into ¼-inch thick slices and set aside. Discard the cooked garlic clove and rinse the sieve clean. Using the clean sieve, strain the cooked mushrooms and soft boiled egg, reserving the broth in a heat-safe bowl.
Add ramen noodles to your bowl of hot broth and let sit about 5 minutes to ensure the noodles are heated through.
Top broth and noodles with fresh baby spinach, cooked mushrooms, fresh carrots, sliced pork, sliced jalapeño, soft boiled egg and diced scallions.
Enjoy — and marvel at the ease that is slow cooker ramen.
All images courtesy Marion Bernstein