I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that Michael and spicy food do not go well together. As far as I can tell it’s not a flavour issue, it’s a comfort one. Spicy food causes him pain. I, on the other hand, am a big fan of some generous chilli heat. It’s not an issue for me, as I can always crack out the chilli sauce and add the punch that way. Or maybe suggest we order in a curry and head straight for the dishes that come with a warning label. From time to time though I get to cook something spicy from scratch – when he’s not having dinner at home. This Chilli Pork Ramen was the product of just such an evening.
We had Roast Pork Loin for Sunday lunch, but as is often the case there was too much meat for the two of us. Only on this occasion not quite enough to stretch to another dinner for two. I knew I had an evening on my own coming up, so popped it in the fridge and started planning.
It didn’t take me long to settle on the Chilli Pork Ramen. Partly because I knew I could make it quickly and without creating too much washing up. But mostly because I knew I could add in plenty of chilli and give my sinuses a bit of a shock. If find that ramen is a dish that belies the effort required to make it. As in there is almost none, yet the end result is a thing of beauty.
A bit of peeling, a bit of chopping and bring a pan of stock to the boil is pretty much it. That said, the choice of stock is important so avoid using a cheap stock cube if you can. You can look online for tips to create a more authentic Japanese flavour, but I find that a good quality, shop-bought chicken or vegetable stock works well for me. Feel free to change it for something more complex if you prefer.
Once the stock is sorted the rest comes down to assembly. Arrange the pre-cooked noodles in a bowl and allow the stock to warm them though. Blanch the vegetables and meat in the stock, arrange them over the noodles, add more stock to the bowl and you’re good to go. Zero to finished in 20 minutes!
I find that when Autumn is making itself known outside – and you wake up to ice on the car each morning – a nice cosy dinner really is food for the soul. This is a little different to some of my other comfort food recipes, but there’s a lot to be said for sitting on the sofa with a steaming bowl of noodles. Especially when they have a serious chilli kick.
Chilli Pork Ramen
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 2 cm Piece of Ginger Root peeled and cut into thin strips
- 1 large clove Garlic peeled and crushed
- 1 Red Chilli finely chopped (remove the seeds if you want less heat)
- 800 ml Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 2 tsp Fish Sauce
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 2 tsp Srirachi Chilli Sauce
- 2 packs “Straight to Wok” noodles
- ½ Red Onion peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 Stalks Tenderstem Broccoli
- 4 stalks Bok Choi or similar
- 6 Shitake Mushrooms
- 300 g Roast Pork thickly sliced
- 2 Spring Onions thinly sliced
- Small handful Coriander Leaves torn
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan then add the ginger, garlic and chilli. Fry for a minute or so to start releasing the flavour, then add in the stock, fish sauce, soy sauce, sriracha and sesame oil. Bring to a simmer. Check for seasoning and add a bit more if needed, then allow to bubble away for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile add the vegetables to the broth and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes – you want them warm but to remain crunchy. Remove from the broth and keep warm. Add the pork to the broth and warm it through too.
- Split the pre-cooked noodles between two serving bowls, then pour over a generous ladle or two of the hot stock, just covering them. Cover the bowls and allow the noodles to heat through for 2-3 minutes.
- Arrange the blanched vegetables and pork over the top of the noodles, then top up the broth to your preferred level.
- Garnish with the spring onion and coriander leaves, then sit back and enjoy!