Cured and smoked pork belly is not far from bacon. Paired with a nearly authentic ramen broth (we used smoked pork hocks instead of Kastuobushi). This dish is great for a crowd that likes to build and customize their own dishes!

Total Time: 2 days (with curing time)
Servings: 12

Ingredients:

For the Pork Belly:

  • Maple Smoking Blocks
  • 1 8-10 lb. Pork Belly (you will have leftovers)
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup coarse Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Ginger finely chopped

For the Ramen:

 

  • 2 gallons Water
  • 1 piece Kombu Seaweed, 6” square
  • 1 cup dried Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 3 Smoked Ham Hocks (purchase or smoke your own)
  • 1 lb. Chicken Wings
  • 1 cup Green Onions scraps (or white ends)
  • 1 bulb of Garlic, cut in half
  • Dark Soy Sauce 
  • Mirin
  • Ramen noodles, cooked
  • Rice vinegar (optional)

Chef's Tip

If you have access to an Asian market, get the Asian ingredients there to save some money.

Smoked Pork Belly Directions:

  1. Combine the salt, sugar and ginger. Combine well.
  2. Lay the pork belly out flat and score in a diamond pattern.
  3. Rub the salt mixture all over the meat, being sure to work it into all the nooks and crannies. 
  4. Wrap the pork well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 days.
  5. After the belly has cured rinse off the spice mixture with fresh water and pat dry. 
  6. Fire up a barrel smoker and when the coals have developed add the maple blocks.
  7. Burn for 10 minutes then add the pork belly. Seal tightly and smoke for 3-4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  8. Cover and chill. This can be done in advance. 

Ramen Directions:

  1. To make the broth, heat the water to about 120°F and add the kombu. Allow it to infuse for 30 minutes, then remove the kombu and turn up the heat
  2. Add the dried shiitake mushrooms and the ham hocks, and simmer on low for 2 hours. Keep partially covered with a lid to reduce water loss. 
  3. Add the chicken wings, green onion ends, and garlic and simmer for 2 more hours.
  4. Pour the broth through a strainer. Remove the meat from the ham hocks and set aside. 
  5. Put the broth back on the heat and season to taste with soy sauce, mirin, and salt. If the mirin makes the broth too sweet add a little rice vinegar to balance it out.
  6. To serve place some cooked noodles in a bowl, lay a few slices of pork belly on top and cover with hot broth. Add any toppings to garnish as you like.

*Keep a spray bottle of water handy in case of flare-ups.

Used in this recipe:

Maple Smoking Blocks