A delicious and easy Pork Ramen recipe that you can make in the slow cooker! A deep and flavorful broth, al dente ramen noodles, crispy shredded pork shoulder, with alll the vegetable topping and garnishes. The recipe looks long, but I've broken it down into manageable steps for you!
Start with the marinade. I like to marinate the pork overnight, but even a 30 minute marinade is better than nothing. Use a sharp knife to chop your pork shoulder into 2 or 3 pieces. Place in a large Ziplock bag and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Rub the salt around to coat the pork.Add 2 teaspoons each: brown sugar, fish sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Zip the bag and shake it up a bit to distribute all the sugar and liquids. Let marinate at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
Slow cook the pork to create broth. Add the pork and all the marinade to a 6 quart capacity crock pot.
Chop 1 onion into a few pieces. Peel 2 carrots and chop them in half. Chop 2 celery stalks in half. Smash 6 cloves of garlic with the side of a chef's knife and peel. Use a normal spoon (trust me) to peel the ginger, you need about a 2-inch knob. Add a jalapeno: slice it in half and remove all seeds and membranes. (This lends great flavor but doesn't make it too spicy.) Add all these vegetables to the crock pot.
Add 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce. Add 1 tablespoon fish sauce and 1 teaspoon sriracha, or more to taste (you can always add more later too). Add 3 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base.
Add about 11 cups of water, or enough to fill your crock pot without getting too close to the top. You need at least an inch of space between the water and your lid.
Stir everything together and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until the pork is extremely tender and falls apart when you stick a fork in it.
Remove the pork to a cutting board and set aside.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables from the broth. (Eat the carrots if you know what's good for you. You deserve a halftime snack. Discard the rest.)
Remove any bits of pork or solids from the broth that you don't want to eat in your ramen. Turn the heat on your crock pot up to high and cover with the lid.
When you are about 20 minutes out from serving your meal, add 16 ounces ramen noodles to the hot broth in the crock pot. Cover with a lid and let cook on high for about 15-20 minutes. Don't do this too soon or your noodles will get soggy.
Toward the end of the slow cooker time, prepare your eggs. See notes for steaming instructions.* Add 4 eggs (old eggs are best) to a medium pot. Add water to the pot until the eggs are covered with one inch of water. Place on the stove with the burner set to high heat, and cover with a tilted lid. Bring to a rolling boil (make sure you stick around so you know when it starts boiling.) Once boiling, remove from heat, cover the pot completely with the lid, and set a timer for 3-5 minutes. 3 minutes will get you fairly runny/jammy eggs. 5 minutes will get you soft eggs that are solid-ish. Once the timer goes off, immediately remove the eggs to an ice bath (a bowl filled with ice water) to stop the cooking process. Leave in the ice bath for about 5 minutes, then remove, peel, and slice in half. Set aside.
Toward the end of the slow cooker time, prepare your garnishes so they are ready to go. Slice 4 green onions (I only did the green parts. Slice them almost vertically to get the long slices you see in the photos.) Place in a small bowl.If you like it spicy, slice one jalapeno and place in a bowl.Add 1 cup (or more) of frozen corn to a bowl to start thawing.
Prepare the sautéed toppings. Peel and chop 2 carrots into matchsticks. See photos.Chop off the ends of the leek, slice in half, and clean well under running water. Discard the tough outer layers. Chop the leek into half moons. Roughly chop 5 ounces of spinach.Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium heat.** When hot, add a couple teaspoons of olive oil. First add the carrots. Sauté the carrots for about 2 minutes, until crisp tender. Remove and add more oil if necessary. Sauté the leeks for 1-3 minutes, until just softened. Remove and add more oil if necessary. Sauté the spinach until just barely wilted, sprinkling with a pinch of salt. Remove all the vegetables to a bowl and set aside to keep warm. Don't wash the skillet.
Make the crispy pork. (At this point you should be just about ready to eat and the ramen noodles should be in the crock pot. All your garnishes should be prepped, the veggies should be sauteed and warm, and your eggs should be halved and ready to go.)Shred the pork with 2 forks. In the same skillet that you prepared the vegetables in, add 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Set over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add HALF the shredded pork in one layer across the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon brown sugar and let the pork cook for about 30 seconds. Do not stir. Drizzle 1 tablespoon each rice vinegar and soy sauce over the pork. Use a spatula to flip the pork over in sections. If should be getting caramelized and crispy. Add more sugar if necessary. Remove the pork from the heat and repeat the process with the second half of the pork. Add all the pork back into the pan and stir to warm it up, then set aside and keep warm until ready to serve.
Serve the ramen. Add plenty of broth and ramen noodles to a large bowl. Top with warm crispy pork. Add warm carrots, leeks, and spinach. Top with 1 or 2 egg halves.
Garnish with corn, sliced jalapenos, sliced green onions, a sprinkle of black sesame seeds and/or white sesame seeds, and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes. Add more sriracha if you like it hot. Slurp away!
*I love steaming eggs instead of boiling them. It makes it SO much easier to peel. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, then place the steam basket with the eggs over the water, then cover tightly with a lid. Steam for 7-9 minutes depending on how runny you like it. Then immediately plunge into an ice bath. **You can toss the sauté vegetables in the pan all at once if you don't care about presentation! Also, the photos show raw carrots and leeks. (I tried it a couple different ways.) You can skip the sauté entirely if you want and top the ramen with raw veggies. I prefer to sauté.