Sapporo Style Miso Ramen
Ramen soup is typically clear with dashi, chicken, or beef stock as the base, flavored with shoyu. More recent flavors like miso and curry ramen soups are usually chicken or pork based and tend to be heartier. They are gaining popularity and during my last visit to Japan I had the opportunity to taste a delicious bowl of Curry ramen at Yokosuka, well known for its navy curry. This curry ramen reminded me of the miso ramen I had at Japantown, San Francisco some years back.
Miso ramen is a specialty of Sapporo. The soup is kotteri (rich and oily) made with pork bones and flavored with miso. The noodles come with a variety of toppings such as slices of pork belly, hard boiled eggs, bean sprouts, corn, and bamboo shoots. It is often served with chili oil. This is a very hearty and flavorful bowl of noodles perfect for this time of the year.
I used a combination of shiro (white) and aka (red) miso to give the soup a slightly stronger miso flavor. I also made teriyaki pork tenderloin instead of belly pork for the topping. The buttered corn kernels lends a little “creaminess” to the soup. Definitely add in the garlic chili oil as it binds and intensifies the flavors.
- 6 oz soy bean sprouts, ends trimmed
- 12 oz (340g) dried ramen
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 green onions, finely sliced
- 1/3 cup (80g) shiro miso
- 1/3 cup (80g) aka miso
- Slices of teriyaki pork tenderloin
- Buttered corn kernels
- 4 hard cooked eggs, sliced into half lengthwise
- 4 tbsp chili bamboo shoots (optional)
- 2 green onions, finely sliced
- Garlic chili oil
- 1 lb (450g) pork bones
- 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
- ¼ cup (60ml) soy sauce
- ¼ cup (60ml) mirin
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1½ lbs (675g) pork tenderloin, rinse and pat dry with paper towels
- 1 cup (140g) frozen corn kernels
- 2 tbsp (28g) butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
Bring half a pot of water to boil. Add pork bones and allow it to continue boiling for 5 minutes. Remove bones with thongs. Rinse of scum if any. Discard water and rinse the pot.
Fill pot with 10 cups (2.4 liters) of water. Bring it to a boil. Add ginger and return pork bones to the pot. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat and allow it to simmer for 2 hours.
Combine soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, and ½ cup (120ml) water in a bowl.
Heat vegetable oil in a deep fry pan. Brown pork tenderloin on all sides, about 5 minutes. Pour sauce into the pan. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and allow pork tenderloin to cook for 30 minutes, turning once half way through. Do keep an eye on it as sauce may darken and thicken. If needed, add another ¼ cup (60ml) water so that it does not burn.
When done, remove pork tenderloin from pan. Cut into thin slices when cool enough to handle.
Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add corn kernels and cook for 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Garlic Chili Oil
Combine garlic, pepper flakes, and canola oil in a small microwavable dish. Microwave on high for approximately 1½ minutes. Remove and set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Lightly scald bean sprouts for about 20 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon. Set aside.
Add noodles and cook as per packaging instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Add sesame oil. Toss to coat.
Divide noodles into 4 bowls. Top each bowl with slices of teriyaki pork tenderloin, some scalded bean sprouts, buttered corn kernels, and chili bamboo shoots (if using).
Put shiro and aka miso in a medium sized bowl. Pour a cup (240ml) of boiling stock over miso. Stir to melt miso. Set aside.
In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add sliced green onions and fry for 2 minutes. Pour in 8 cups (1.8 liters) stock. When stock comes to a boil, reduce heat to minimum setting.
Gently pour melted miso back into pot. Do not allow soup to come to a boil. Turn off heat.
Finally, pour miso soup over noodles and toppings in each bowl. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and drizzle with garlic chili oil.
Serve immediately with nori.
Although there appears to be many steps involved in the cooking of this Sapporo Style Miso Ramen, it really is not complicated. Do give it a try. It will definitely be worth your efforts. Karaku oishii desu!
NOTE: This post was updated on October 18th, 2013 with new pictures. Some changes were also made to the recipe.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!