One does not simply move on from a traumatizing ramen-making disaster, it’s something that stays with you for a long time. If you’re unfamiliar with what I’m referencing, here’s a link to the lesson I learned after cooking ramen for hours – only to have it turn out like absolute crap (pardon my French – but there’s no other way to put it!). Anyways, my wounds have finally healed, and I decided to give ramen soup another chance. But this time ’round, I’d give my mother’s recipe a shot. One that she swears is easy, simple and anyone can make. Well, no pressure there – I’m just practically the only person that seems to struggle with making even decent ramen. So, the stakes were set, and it was time to face my fears – it was go time – Us vs. Ramen, and I refused to lose (again).
Whelp, you know that saying “Mama’s always right”? It holds merit for this recipe! Which is excellent news for us ramen-making-newbies, and thank the Lord! I don’t think I could suffer another crappy-ramen blow to my ego. So buckle up betches, grab your slow cookers, your pork tenderloins and a bottle of wine, we’ve got ramen to make!
- 2 lbs boneless pork tenderloin
- kosher salt (to taste)
- coarse black pepper (to taste)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 1 2″ piece of ginger, peeled to 1/2″ thickness
- 2 small leeks, sliced to 1/4″ thickness using all white and partial green
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms, stems removed, brushed clean and sliced
- 8 cups of chicken broth
- 1.5 lbs fresh ramen noodles
- Flavoring: 2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste; 2 Tbsp soy sauce; 1/4 cup mirin; 1 Tbsp chili paste; 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- Garnishing & Toppings: Jalapeños (sliced); Soft boiled eggs (sliced in half); Cilantro; Green Onions; Carrots; Red pepper flakes
1. Wash and pat dry pork tenderloin; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Prep yellow onion, garlic, ginger, leeks and mushrooms. Place ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.
3. Cut pork tenderloin in half. In a very large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. When oil is nice and hot, place pork tenderloin halves into skillet and sear each side for 3 minutes. Do not move or turn pork during the 3 minutes. When pork is seared, removed from skillet and place in bottom of 4-quart slow cooker.
4. Turn heat down to medium. Toss vegetables from mixing bowl into skillet and sauté until vegetables are 3/4 done. Stirring and scraping pork bits as vegetables cook.
5. When veggies are 3/4 done, add in 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 Tbsps of Thai red curry paste. Stir well until mixture is incorporated. Bring to a soft simmer and remove from heat. Pour liquid and veggies over pork tenderloin in slow cooker.
6. Add soy sauce, mirin, chili paste and sesame oil to the slow cooker; and the remaining 4 cups of chicken broth. Cover and set slow cooker on low temperature for 8 hours.
7. About 1hr before ramen soup base is done, prep your toppings and place in garnish bowls. In a medium stockpot, bring 8 cups of water to a soft boil and add in 1.5 lbs of fresh ramen noodles. Soft boil noodles for 3-4min until al dente. Remove from heat, drain and rinse noodles with cold water and set aside.
8. When stock base is done, remove lid and gently remove mushrooms with slotted spoon. Then, remove pork tenderloin and lightly tent pork halves with foil; set aside.
9. Using a large stock pot, place a strainer on top of stock pot, and strain broth from slow cooker, disregarding stock base vegetables. Turn heat to medium high and bring broth to a soft boil. While broth is heating, slice pork tenderloin in serving bites and place to the side.
10. Using large decorative ramen bowls, add ramen noodles and ladle hot broth over noodles; top with garnishes and enjoy!