Photo: Jennifer Causey Styling: Lindsey Lower
Any ramen lover will tell you--it's all about the broth. We build layers of rich umami flavor with the help of mushroom stems, fresh ginger, kombu (a type of edible kelp), sesame oil, and, of course, low and slow heat.
Serves 8 (serving size: 2 1/2 ounces pork, 3/4 cup noodles, 1 egg, 1 cup broth, 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, and 1 tablespoon nori)
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan. Add pork; cook 12 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place pork in a 6-quart slow cooker. Increase heat to medium-high. Add onions, cut side down, to skillet. Cook 5 minutes or until charred; transfer to slow cooker. Add stock, 4 cups water, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce to slow cooker. Remove stems from mushrooms; add stems to cooker. Reserve caps. Cover; cook on LOW for 7 hours.
2. Remove pork from cooker. Let stand 5 minutes; shred. Strain liquid through a fine sieve into a bowl. Discard solids. Return liquid to slow cooker; increase heat to HIGH. Thinly slice mushroom caps. Add remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, mushroom caps, sesame oil, kombu, and ginger to slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 20 minutes. Discard kombu and ginger. Add noodles to slow cooker; cook 5 minutes.
3. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Carefully lower eggs into water; cook 6 minutes. Place eggs in a bowl of ice water for 2 minutes; peel and halve lengthwise. For each serving, place 3/4 cup noodles in a wide bowl; pour 1 cup broth over noodles. Top with pork, mushrooms, green onions, and chiles. Place 2 egg halves toward one side of bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and nori.