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the soup is... nice

Perfect. Well, IMHO it's perfect... just the way I like it.

It takes all day to make a good soup.

I start with:
5 liters of cold water
1 whole chicken (roasted) [I know, it could start out as a nice, fresh, cleaned chicken, but that's not what I had on hand... I've also used pork bones for one soup, I plan on trying a dashi with bonito for another and I've made a previous soup with chicken 'backs' (you could use turkey or duck too, all comes down to personal tastes and the like...]

onwards!

2 leeks, remove the greens and wash (you can use green onion, but I find leeks are really well suited for making soup)
1 generous knob of ginger; smashed
1 clove of garic, smashed
12 white pepper corns
12 black pepper corns
(yes, pepper isn't very Japanese; I know)
a few carrots; peeled and cut into 1 " chunks

Add it all in while the water is still cold. Bring it up to the point where the water (stock) is steaming slightly and then turn the heat down.

IMPORTANT: never let it boil or the soup will be cloudy and taste odd.

While the soup is on the go take 4 eggs and set them aside.

Take a small pot, 1/2 to 1 liter will do and full it 3/4 of the way with cold water.

put the pot on high heat and when it starts to for little bubbles on the bottom carefully add in the eggs. Take care not to crack them.

Here's the tricky part. You need to cook the eggs to a soft boil, but hard enough that you can peel off the shells. How long this takes will depend on where you are relative to sea level. Where I am it takes 7 minutes. You'll need to experiment...

So, when the eggs have cooked for long enough you need to plunge them into ice cold water. If your tap water isn't nice and cold then add in ice cubes.

Let the eggs cool for a bit and then carefully peel off the shells taking care not to damage the eggs...

so far so good? Excellent...

Now, mix up the following in a small, deep bowl or suitable container:

1/3 cup of mirin
1/3 cup of soy sauce
1/3 cup of sake; not the really nice stuff. Use something for cooking with.

Place the peeled eggs in this mixture and cover with plastic wrap or weight the eggs down with a light lid.

Let the eggs sit in this for the day. Sometimes I make the eggs ahead of time, usually the day before.

Now, you've got the soup on the go and the eggs are sitting in the mirin, soy, sake mix it's time to do the meat.

Take a largish pot and add in 1/3 of a cup of soy sauce, a clove of garlic and a nice knob of mashed ginger.

Bring it to a boil. Take the pork shoulder and place it in the hot mixture and sear/cook each site for a few minutes.

When the meat is seared on all sides you have a few choices. 1. you can roast the mean in the oven or cook it by immersing it in the soup. The choice is yours. I prefer roasting.

Roast / cook the meat until done. Slice only when ready to serve the soup and the noodles are on the go.

Now, back to the mixture that you roasted the pork in... save it. Add to it a cup or two of the soup and bring it to a boil.

Skim out the bits and chunks as well as the garlic and ginger. This will be the base of the soup to which you'll add the other soup and the noodles topped with the port; sliced and the egg.

I add spicy menma; pickled bamboo shoots as well as negi (spring onion) to the toppings along with a few strips of toasted nori.

Tell you what... I'll take a picture of my ramen tonite and post it here.

b.moddo

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bmoddo
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