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)
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
- Ramen noodles, cooked
- Rice vinegar (optional)
If you have access to an Asian market, get the Asian ingredients there to save some money.
Smoked Pork Belly Directions:
- Combine the salt, sugar and ginger. Combine well.
- Lay the pork belly out flat and score in a diamond pattern.
- Rub the salt mixture all over the meat, being sure to work it into all the nooks and crannies.
- Wrap the pork well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 days.
- After the belly has cured rinse off the spice mixture with fresh water and pat dry.
- Fire up a barrel smoker and when the coals have developed add the maple blocks.
- 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.
- Cover and chill. This can be done in advance.
- 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
- 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.
- Add the chicken wings, green onion ends, and garlic and simmer for 2 more hours.
- Pour the broth through a strainer. Remove the meat from the ham hocks and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.