How to Make It: Better-than-Takeout, Slow Cooker Ramen

We are big-time ramen eaters in this house. Living in D.C. means we have access to so many delicious options like Daikaya, Bantam King, Jinya Ramen Bar, and Reren DC—just to name a few (there are more and we’ve gone there, too, but these are my favs).

But enjoying these options can get expensive, so learning how to make restaurant-level ramen has been on our to-do list for a while now, which is how the recipe below was born.

Warning: This is a two-day affair! Plan accordingly!

Now, onto the good stuff.

Picture of a bowl of ramen with sliced pork, mushrooms, bok choy, noodles, and two seasoned jammy eggs. The words "Better-than-Takeout Ramen" appear next to the bowl.

Making Your Own Broth

The good news for making broth is that you don’t really need an ingredients list. I keep all my veggie butts in the freezer and when I fill up a freezer bag, I turn them vegetable broth.

If you want to make a chicken broth, keep any scraps you save up from making chicken and throw those in, too. Everything is good—fat, skin, bones, etc. Keep that in a freezer bag, too, and dump that in when it’s time.

If you don’t have the scraps, time, or patience for this, feel free to skip this step and head straight to the slow cooker part of this post.

Broth Ingredients

  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2-3 celery stalks
  • 1 onion (or leek if you have an onion sensitivity like me)
  • Oil of some sort (my favs are grape seed, canola, and olive)
  • 1 freezer bag of veggie (and chicken, if using) scraps
  • The biggest pot you own

Directions

Chop up the onion/leek, carrots, and celery stalks. Sauteé in oil until fragrant and the onions and celery are translucent.

Dump in your veggie/chicken scraps. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 45-60 minutes.

You can add salt to this if you would like, but I usually don’t so I can salt it for whatever soup or stew recipe I use it in.

Let cool.

Strain the broth into a large bowl, jar, Tupperware, or freezer bags.

Note: I write measurements on freezer bags then put that amount of broth into them so I know how much I have for future recipes.

The Slow-Cooker Part

Basically, I (mostly) followed this slow cooker ramen recipe from Food52, my favorite recipe website. My modifications are reflected in the recipe below.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless pork shoulder
  • 2 tbsps. neutral oil (I used grape seed oil)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped (I skipped this)
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed (I used jarred garlic and doubled the recommended serving because of who I am as a person)
  • 1 two-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped (I used jarred ginger)
  • 8 cups chicken broth (low-sodium preferred)
  • 1 leek, halved lengthwise, and chopped
  • 1/4 pound Mushrooms, chopped (I just used a pre-chopped container of ‘shrooms from the store)

Directions

Season pork with salt and sear in a hot pan with oil, about 3-4 minutes each side. Put in to slow cooker.

Add leeks, mushrooms, onion, ginger, garlic, and broth to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on the low setting for 8 hours, or until the pork shoulder is tender and broth is fragrant.

Food52 recommends straining the broth and discarding the veggies, but I kept them! They were super tasty!

Once pork is cooked, transfer to cutting board. Ours wasn’t pull-apart tender, so we sliced it into thin slices. Return to the broth.

Don’t Skip Making Seasoned Jammy Eggs

You can absolutely skip this step if you’re annoyed with how long all of this is taking, but I can assure you that you will regret it.

Follow this recipe from Food52 to make some delicious seasoned jammy eggs.

Creating Your Bowl

You can add anything you want into your individual bowl, but here’s what we ended up throwing into our bowls.

Ingredients

  • Miso paste (you can get this at an Asian market*)
  • Dashi powder (also at the Asian market)
  • Cooked ramen noodles (Don’t get the shit in the cheap packets. You can get nicer noodles in the “international foods” aisle. I got some delicious buckwheat noodles to avoid gluten.)
  • Sauteéd bok choy
  • Momofuku-style seasoned jammy eggs, halved
  • Optional: pat of butter, roasted seaweed (a.k.a. nori), soy sauce/coconut aminos, sesame oil, benito flakes (again, at the Asian market)

Directions

Put about 1 tbsp. of miso paste and some dashi powder in your bowl. Scoop out some of the broth and use a whisk to blend it together.

Add noodles, more broth and veggies, jammy egg, and whatever other toppings your heart desires. I opted for bok choy, a jammy egg, and eventually added a bit of nori and benito flakes.

Enjoy!

Did you think it was worth the effort? Let me know in the comments!

*If you have Asian people in your town, you have an Asian market. Don’t be lazy. It will blow your mind how many delicious groceries you’ll find there!

Jessie Da Silva

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