We have a sad state of affairs here in the US of A. It is widely accepted that ramen, which in reality is a tasty treat that punches you in the face with savory goodness, is a packaged POS loaded with sodium and MSG. Oh sure, some clever folks will take the noodles, toss the “flavor packet” (ie, poopie pouch), add some julienned carrots and various vegetable florets, and call themselves the next Emeril. And this is appealing because that fleeting mistress Time beckons everyone to do other things in life, rather than spend a few more minutes crafting a meal that’s actually worth eating.
People! Life can be so much better than that! Pick yourselves up out of that flavorless puddle and demand a better soup! Because you are worth it, gosh darn it. And it’s still so flippin’ easy, you will be shocked. Does it require that you get some different items at the grocery store? Yes. Are those items hard to find? No. Will it be worth it? Yes, have you been paying attention??
Traditional ramen can take (and I kid you not) days to prepare all of the ingredients, which is crazy pants. This version gets you tons of awesome flavor in a super easy fashion that will take you about 20-30 minutes, not half a week. I would highly recommend the burnt garlic sauce (recipe here)– it adds all sorts of crazy awesome levels of flavor and, once you make a batch, it will last you for several meals.
- 2.5 quarts water
- ⅓ c red miso paste
- 2 t chicken stock base
- 1 lb carnitas, chopped into rough 1-2" chunks (Trader Joe's has this, Chipotle, any burrito shop really. Just don't get it marinated/dosed in spices-- you want plain)
- 4 green onions, sliced thin
- 4 portions fresh ramen noodles (we use fresh wheat noodles found at the local grocery store)
- 4 soft boiled eggs (or pan fry the eggs last minute if you don't have the time or inclination to soft boil)
- Burnt garlic sauce (make this-- you won't regret it--it is truly unbelievable and tasty)
- 1 T oil
- Heat the water in a medium pot until boiling. Lower to a simmer and add the miso paste and chicken stock base.
- In a frying pan, heat the oil on high. Add the carnitas and stir frequently, frying until crispy (5-8 minutes). If you are feeling frisky, you can add a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, honey, and miso to the pork before frying to add extra flavor. About 1 tablespoon of each (less of the miso).
- When all the components are ready to go, add the noodles to the miso on the stove. Simmer until done (I prefer my noodles al dente, so I put them in for about 30 seconds. It's really up to you!)
- Portion all the noodles into 4 bowls and pour the broth over. Cut the eggs in half and add to the bowls, along with the pork, green onion, and a tablespoon of garlic sauce.