Char Siu for Ramen

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A Good Ramen needs to be accompanied with good Char Siu pork. This is the recipe from a ramen restaurant where I used to work. To make Char Siu, you can use different cuts of meat, and typical examples are pork belly, pork shoulder or pork rump. You might find some recipes use skin-on pork or beef but the use of those is rarely seen in Japan.

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1kg Pork belly (from stock making)
500g Pork neck (from stock making)
700ml Koikuchi Soy Sauce
500ml Usukuchi Soy Ssuce
500ml Water
300ml Sake (cooking rice wine)
300ml Mirin (Sweet rice wine)
100g San-on-to sugar
20g Katsuo bushi (dried Bonito flakes)
5g Kombu (dried kelp)
50g Ginger
100g Green onion
150g Carrot

1. The first step is to make dashi infused soy sauce. Put the Koikuchi soy sauce, katsuobushi and kombu in a saucepan, and heat it on the highest heat. Once the sauce comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.

2. Strain the sauce and transfer the kombu onto a plate to set it aside. Squeeze the sauce out of the katsuobushi.

3. Put the kombu from the infusing process and all the other ingredients into a large pot. Start heating that on the highest heat, and once it comes to a boil, turn down to the lowest heat. Put an “Otoshibuta”, a drop-lid, by placing a sheet of alminium foil, then a lid that is smaller than the pot in diameter. Make sure the foil is in direct contact with the surface of the sauce. This way, the Char Siu gets evenly coloured and seasoned. Simmer for an hour.

4. Carefully take the blocks of Char Siu out of the pot using a tong and place them on to tray to cool down. Once they are cooled down, wrap them individually with Glad wrap and rest in the refrigerator for 6 ours or alternatively overnight.

5. Slice the Char Siu as needed when serving Ramen. You can also lightly blowtorch the slices to give them a nice charred flavour. The Char Siu will last up to a month in the freezer.

Extra Tips:
The simmering sauce can be reused to make another 2 batches of Char Siu. It also makes a perfect Tare (seasoning sauce) for Shoyu Ramen or fried rice.


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