After visiting New York City's top ramen spots (including Ippudo NY, Sapporo and Momofuku Noodle Bar), Grace Parisi created her dream ramen with a pork-and-chicken-based broth that gets extra depth of flavor from kombu (seaweed) and shoyu (Japanese soy sauce).
4 pounds chicken necks and backs
1 3-pound rack of pork baby back ribs, cut into 4 sections
1 leek, halved lengthwise
2 ounces fresh ginger, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons shoyu or other soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder butt, trimmed and tied
1 12-by-2-inch piece of kombu, seaweed
Shoyu or other soy sauce, for seasoning and brushing
24 ounces fresh or 16 ounces dried chuka soba, curly noodles boiled until al dente
5 ounces baby spinach, steamed
4 soft-boiled eggs, peeled and soaked for 1 hour in equal parts soy sauce and mirin sweet rice wine
2 thinly sliced scallions, 2 sheets of quartered nori for garnishing and seasoning dried seaweed rice vinegar and togarashi Japanese chile powder
How to Make It
Make the Broth: In a large stockpot, combine the chicken, ribs, leek, ginger, garlic, water and shoyu. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the oil. Season the pork butt with salt and brown it well on all sides over high heat, 12 minutes; transfer to the stockpot. Simmer the broth over moderately low heat for 2 hours, until the pork butt and ribs are just tender; skim any scum that rises to the surface. Transfer the pork butt and ribs to a platter and refrigerate. Strain the broth and discard the remaining solids.
Return the broth to the pot. Add the kombu and simmer over moderately low heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Let cool, then chill and refrigerate the broth overnight.
The Next Day, Prepare the Ramen: Preheat the broiler. Skim the fat off of the broth and discard the kombu. Bring the broth to a simmer. Season with shoyu and keep hot.
Untie the pork butt and slice it across the grain 1/3 inch thick. Cut the ribs between the bones. Arrange the pork slices and ribs on a large baking sheet and brush with shoyu. Broil 8 inches from the heat for 3 minutes, turning once, until the meat is crisp; keep warm.
Divide the cooked noodles among 8 bowls and ladle 1 1/2 cups of broth into each one. Add the spinach in piles. Drain the eggs, cut each one in half lengthwise and set a half in each bowl. Arrange 2 slices of pork butt and 1 rib in each bowl and garnish with the scallions and nori. Serve the ramen immediately, passing the rice vinegar and togarashi at the table.