For me, a house isn’t a home until my friends have tracked dirt all over my white kitchen floor and I’ve got a well stocked bar of random booze gifts. I made things official with my new home this weekend, complete with friends, beer, and dirty floors.
I’ve been wanting to have a ramen party for the longest time, and I figured my housewarming was the PERFECT time for hot soup. Everything about planning this party was fun for me, but especially the shopping-for-asian-snacks part. I went sort of crazy in the Asian market and bought all of the snacks with interesting shapes and bright colors. Wasabi peas are probably my biggest weakness in life. That, or like, men who play instruments. Both are equally bad for me but acceptable in my early twenties (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself until my next birthday).
I spent my Valentine’s Day party prepping and slaving over this Momofuku ramen broth. It was definitely a labor of love that involved searching the city for pork neck bones and a bacon-scented facial, but I’m still totally having dreams about that broth. Instead of BYOB, I made this party BYO ramen toppings and my friends totally brought their condiment game. They showed up with major topping winners like a dozen soft boiled eggs, fried tofu, and mung beans, PLUS other fun things like sriracha beer and salted caramels. I end the night full of noodles and very thankful.
momofuku ramen broth
from the momofuku cookbook
makes 5 quarts
two 3X6 inch pieces of kombu
6 quarts of water
2 cups dried shiitakes, rinsed well
4 pounds free-range chicken legs
5 pounds pork neck bones
1 pound smokey bacon
1 bunch scallions
1 medium onion, cut in half
2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
taré (I wasn’t able to find this, so I used part sweet soy sauce & part kosher salt)
Fill an 8-quart stock pot with 6 quarts of water and the strips of kombu. Bring to simmer over high heat and then let steep for ten minutes before removing the kombu. Add in the shiitakes, bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. The mushrooms should have plumped up and are actually a super tasty, mid-soup-making snack. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon after about thirty minutes.
Heat your oven to 400. Put your pork neck bones on a baking sheet and roast them for about an hour, turning after 30 minutes. Just after you pop the pork neck bones in the oven, add the chicken legs to the stock pot let simmer. Remove the chicken for about an hour (the meat should pull away from the bones) and save the meat and bones for soups and broths. After the chicken has been removed, replace it in the pot with the roasted pork neck bones. Add in the smokey bacon and let lightly simmer for 45 minutes. Once the bacon is removed, simmer the broth for as long as you can–6-7 hours if you have it. The last 45 minutes, add the carrots, scallions, and onion for flavor.
The following part is my own spin on this broth: let the pot cool and place the whole thing in the refrigerator, bones and all. Let sit overnight until the fat forms a layer at the top. This way you can easily remove it with a spoon and discard the next day. Pour the broth into another pot over a strainer to remove the bones and spent vegetables. Season liberally–I used about 7 Tablespoons of soy sauce and and 4 Tablespoons of sea salt.
You can find plain ramen noodles (read: no seasoning packet) to add into this at Whole Foods or Asian markets. The broth will keep for a few days in the refrigerator or a few months in the freezer.