Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Slow Cooker Week: Japanese Pork and Ramen Soup

There's something so enticing about Asian food, particularly the soups.  While I love a good fried rice, ramen, or lo mein (just to name a few), I'm really a sucker for the soup.  Hot and sour from the typical Chinese restaurants and then the Miso soup from the Japanese/Hibachi restaurants, are my favorites.  But give there are those times where I crave nothing more than a slurp-worthy, broth-y soup filled with thin noodles and pieces of tender meat.

I'm not sure what it is about the thin liquid that draws me in, but it sure does.  Like this Japanese pork and ramen soup from Slow Cooker Revolution.  When I was thumbing through the book making my meal plan this soup literally jumped off the page.  The picture alone was enough to real me in, but then the list of ingredients was a second confirmation that I needed this soup.
It lived up to all me expectations and then some.  The broth was incredibly flavorful and definitely slurp-worthy.  The fresh chopped vegetables were incredibly tender yet still gave a depth of texture to the thin broth.  Then the noodles; I love the starchy deliciousness they add to the soup.  There's just something so irresistible about the thin strands of pasta goodness running through the thin, flavorful broth.  Last, but not least, the pork.  It's soaked and simmered in the chicken broth for several hours allowing the meat to become incredibly tender while staying so moist.
This soup hit all the marks.  A thin, brothy base filled with tender meat, long strands of noodles and fresh vegetables.  And all this goodness wasn't made in a pot on the stove top, it was made in the slow cooker.  Meaning that everything was combined, added to the slow cooker and left to cook away while you were away.  Serve this soup with a side of fried egg noodles or egg rolls and you've got a delicious, Asian inspired meal that beyond satisfying.  The next time you have a craving for Asian food, pop this in the slow cooker and enjoy!

Japanese Pork and Ramen Soup

2 White onions, minced
6 Cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
12 Oz shitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
8 Cups chicken broth
1 1/2 Lbs boneless country style ribs
2 (3oz) packages ramen noodles (flavor packets discarded)
6 Oz baby spinach (about 6 cups, loosely packed)
3 Tbsp white miso, plus more for serving
3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce, more for serving
1 1/2 Tsp sesame oil
2 Scallions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds


Combine onions, garlic, ginger and oil in a microwave safe bowl and stir to combine.  Place in microwave and heat until onions are softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to the slow cooker.

Add the chicken broth and mushrooms to the slow cooker and stir to combine.  Season the pork liberally with salt and pepper and nestles into the slow cooker.  Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook until pork is tender, about 6-8 hours on low or 5-7 hours on high.

Remove the pork from the slow cooker and transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest and slightly cool.  Once cool enough to touch shred into bite-sized pieces.  Meanwhile, allow the soup to settle for about 5 minutes.  Once the soup has settled, skim the fat off the top with a large spoon and discard. Stir in the noodles and spinach and cook on high until noodles are tender, about 3-8 minutes.

Add the shredded pork, miso, soy sauce, and sesame oil and stir to combine.  Allow the mixture to cook  until warm through, about 5 minutes.  Taste, adjust seasonings with additional miso, soy sauce, salt and pepper if needed.  Ladle into bowls, top with green onions and serve.

Recipe source: barely adapted from Slow Cooker Revolution

1 comment:

Caroline {TheBarbeeHousewife} said...

This looks so amazing. I have this bookmarked, I need to make it soon!

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