3-2-1 Noodle Soup

3 types of Japanese soya based sauces, 2 cuts of pork (shoulder and mined) and 1 type of noodles. This is my recipe for Japanese noodles, transforming the cheap, oft over looked cuts of pork into delightful mouthfuls with lots of love and patience. The combination of the 3 sauces gives the soup a rich, complex taste that’s simply satisfying.

Ingredients (Serves 8)

  • 300ml of Soumen sauce
  • 500ml of Soba sauce
  • 100ml of Sukiyaki sauce
  • 4 medium yellow onions
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 500g of minced pork
  • 500g of pork shoulders
  • 1 packet of dried or fresh Udon
  • 60g of Japanese straw mushroom (optional)
  • 60g of Korean button mushroom (optional)
  • 200g of Bok Choy (optional)

Getting it Done!

  1. Rinse and strain the pork shoulders before cutting into large chunks (3-4 finger width)
  2. Tip: As we are going to cook the pork shoulder for a long time, if you cut it too small, it will disintegrate
  3. Season with 2 small pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper
  4. Into a large heavy bottom pan, over medium heat, add enough oil to coat the cooking surface
  5. When the oil smokes, add the pork shoulder one piece at a time, leaving space between each piece (You may have to do this over a few batches, depending on the size of your pot)
  6. Sear each side for about 2 minutes to caramelize the meat before setting aside
  7. In the same pot, add the onions, roughly diced, stirring occasionally, until brown
  8. Add the whole head of garlic, in whole cloves with the skin removed
  9. Stir for 2 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant
  10. At this point, add all the sauces and 500ml of water
  11. Stir well, taste and adjust accordingly
  12. Add the shoulder, bring the soup to a simmer and transfer to a slow cooker
  13. If you don’t have a slow cooker, cook the shoulder over low heat for at least 4 hours
  14. If using a slow cooker, you can actually leave this to cook, over low, over night (8-10 hours)
  15. Tip: Using a slow cooker imitates the sous vide method. The shoulder becomes really decadent as the soup infuses the meat and the fats are broken down into a ultra smooth texture
  16. When the shoulder is ready, ladle 3/4 of the soup into a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium heat
  17. Season the minced meat with a pinch of salt and generously amount of freshly ground pepper
  18. Mix well with your hands before forming small balls and placing them directly into the boiling soup
  19. Cook for 20 minutes after the last ball is added before turning the heat off
  20. If using mushrooms, add at this point, stir well and cover
  21. The residual heat will cook the mushroom nicely
  22. Into a pot of boiling water, cook the noodles according to the instructions, before removing with tongs, leaving the water in the pot
  23. Tip: Make sure you add oil to the noodles, stirring well after removing from the water to prevent clumping
  24. If you are using Bok Choy, wash and cut into small pieces, separating the stem from the leaves
  25. Use the water used to cook the noodles for the vegetables, cooking the stem first, for 2 minutes and the leaves for 1 minute
  26. Remove and set aside
  27. When ready to serve, assemble all the ingredients
  28. Done!
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