Black Garlic Pork Ramen

Black Garlic Pork Ramen
Sonja_For The Pleasure Of Eating

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I’m Sonja and “For The Pleasure Of Eating” is my food blog.

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Last but not least in my Pork Shoulder Series, I have a stunning Black Garlic Pork Ramen bowl for you. Sweet and savoury marinated pork, Pickled vegetables, crunchy fresh ones, some bamboo, and water chestnuts for good measure. Topped by addictive Korean marinated eggs and black garlic oil, this tastes as amazing as it looks. Just right for the colder days that are starting now.

Why You Want To Make This

If you followed along and already have pork shoulder and pickled vegetables, you are half done, and this will be a quick leftover dinner, with just a few added ingredients. Many are optional but recommended for layers of flavour and a party in your mouth.

I’m giving you the luxury version with all the bells and whistles here, from which you can pick and choose which parts you’d like to try.

Don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients. Most can be prepared well ahead of time and used throughout the week. Several are optional, but recommended.

The important parts: Broth, Tare, noodles, a protein, and some vegetables. Some say eggs are mandatory, but if you’d rather not add them, you will still have a really flavourful bowl.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not an authentic Japanese ramen, which would be called “Tonkotsu Ramen”, and a great recipe can be found here.
That one takes more than a day to make. And while I’ve been known to do more elaborate recipes at times, this isn’t one of them.
Rather a use for leftover pork, with lots of added vegetables, marinated eggs and ways to meal prep the whole thing, so you have a fresh, steaming, and flavourful bowl on your workdays.

Ingredients

The Pork

I’m using my Cuban marinated air fryer pork for this, as it slices nice and thin, which is great for adding the Asian marinade, to make it really sing in Pork Ramen.

It’s the same marinade and pork I used for the Pork Banh Mi, so if you want to make both, just double the amount and you’ll be set for the week and have two different veggie packed dishes to spoil yourself and your family with. You can use other meats here or tofu, if you prefer a vegetarian version. The marinade will work for all of them.

Cuban Air Fryer Pork Shoulder

If you haven’t made them, check the Marinade part in the Process section or the recipe, where you’ll find the details. It just takes minutes to put together.

Pork Bánh Mì Marinade Ingredients

The Pickled Vegetables

The acidity and freshness of the Quick Pickled Vegetables cuts through the richness of the pork and adds lots of crunch to the Ramen.

They can also be used in many other recipes, like my Banh Mi  or, as I love them, simply as snack, straight from the fridge. You can flavour them any way you like. A classic would be hot, with fresh chili, but I’m not a big fan, as I always feel I can’t taste anything else, as soon as chili is involved, so I left it out.

Quick Pickled Vegetables

I’m using 3 different ones for the Ramen: Sweet, crunchy carrots, vibrant red cabbage, and cute mini sweetcorn cobs. These are optional, so they are not in the recipe itself, to not overload and scare you away. You can just make one or leave them out. Or even add ready made Kimchi for example, if you like it.

The Stock

I’ve used homemade stock here, as I had it in my freezer, but you can use ready-made chicken, vegetable, or beef stock. Whatever you prefer.
What transforms it into Ramen is 1 piece of Kombu (showing beside the spring onions) and optional katsuobushi or bonito flakes, which are preserved, fermented tuna flakes.

The Tare

Or the soul of any good Ramen. Tare is a mix of Miso, Japanese sesame paste and a variety of other flavourful ingredients. It’s usually put at the bottom of your ramen bowl and stirred in, to add lots of Umami, hints of sweet and sour and sometimes hot flavour, depending where go get it.

Black Garlic Pork Ramen_Tare_Ingredients

Miso – This is the main flavouring here. I’m using white, which is slightly sweeter than the darker versions. You can use whatever miso paste you enjoy or have on hand. It adds the typical umami flavour that you know from ramen.

Sesame paste – Since it is notoriously difficult to find any exotic ingredients in Ireland, I went with Tahini instead of the traditional Japanese sesame paste. I’m using my favourite Al Nakhil here, which I order from an Asian shop.

I would either look out for a really good quality Tahini, which should be creamy and runny, not firm, as the standard supermarket ones you get. Otherwise you might end up adding a very bitter flavour to your ramen, which is not what we want.
Failing that, you could use roasted peanut butter, to achieve a similar effect, which is that of slightly thickening your broth and adding a toasted, nutty flavour.

Toasted Sesame Oil – To get the toasted notes back in, that are missing from the Tahini in lieu of toasted sesame paste, I’m adding toasted sesame oil, which is very intense in flavour, so you need very little.

Tamarind Paste – For adding fruity flavours of sweet and sour, I love using Tamarind paste, which is widely available these days. It comes either in form of a block of pulp, which has to be soaked in hot water, then pulled apart, cooked, pureed, and pushed through a sieve (I did that a few times when I just couldn’t find the ready made version) or as creamy paste, that can just be added as is.
If you can only find the block and would like to make paste, here is a great recipe I used in the past.

Soy, Mirin, Garlic, Vinegar – Apart from those three ingredients, it’s soy sauce (you can use Tamari or Coconut Aminos for a gluten free option), Mirin, garlic, vinegar (I used rice vinegar here, but white wine or even cider vinegar work well too) and Gochujang paste for a spicy kick.

Gochujang – This is a Korean (as I said: Not an authentic ramen) chile paste, that is sweet, spicy and savoury all at once. I got mine here.
As this is one of the few places in Ireland that sells it and my favourite online shop to find any exotic ingredients I might need for my…let’s just call it “Kitchen Travels”.
This paste is one of the very few hot and spicy ingredients I actually enjoy, as it adds layers of different flavours to the dishes it touches, not just plain hotness.

If you can’t find Gochujang, you could use Sriracha or other chile sauces you enjoy. Or just leave it out entirely. Your ramen will still be delicious.

Marinated Eggs

You could just use medium boiled eggs if you are in a hurry. Or you could really up your ramen game (and get addicted to these marinated eggs in the process) and throw together a few ingredients the evening before, to make incredibly flavourful Korean marinated eggs from Tiffy Cooks.

Black Garlic Pork Ramen_Marinated eggs

All you need is 6 boiled eggs, peeled, salt, vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil and optional Gochujang, spring onions and sesame seeds.

Vegetables

You can use as little or as many vegetables to top your Black Garlic Pork Ramen as you like. I love to use a lot, as I enjoy the flavour and crunch they bring to every spoonful. And they help me to stay full by adding volume and fibre, while adding very little calories, which is a great help with weight loss as the linked study shows. It was big part of my journey to lose 70lb.

Black Garlic Pork Ramen_ Ingredients

I’ve used broccoli, Pak choy, zucchini, sugar snaps and spring onions fresh. Plus bamboo shoots and water chestnuts from cans, to add an Asian touch to the mix.

Noodles

Ramen has to have noodles of course. Personally I don’t want a huge portion of them, so I’m just using about one portion of noodles from a ramen package. You can buy ramen noodles in pretty much any supermarket these days. Choose whichever you love.

Black Garlic Oil (Mayu)

If you think this is the slowly caramelised version I’ve used in many recipes on this blog, you will be just as surprised as I was, when I found this recipe.
I mean, who would put literally burned garlic into their soup, right? Right. Yet, we do. No really.
That’s what makes this into Black Garlic Pork Ramen.

Black Garlic Pork Ramen_ Black Garlic Oil_ Ingredients
And I honestly recommend you try it. It’s incredible. You only need 3 ingredients: Garlic, chopped, oil for frying and toasted sesame oil for finishing. And you’ll have the most amazing condiment for your ramen bowl, that will last for ages.

The Process

The Marinated Eggs

Start with the eggs if you are using them, as they are best when they had a chance to sit in the marinade over night, but at least 2h.

Boil your eggs for 6-8 minutes. I’m using large ones from the fridge and find 7.5 minutes gives me the perfect consistency with firm white and gooey yolks. You don’t want them soft for this, as it’ll cause a mess when peeling them later.

Once boiled, put them in iced water, so they stop cooking and are easier to peel.

Black Garlic Pork Ramen_Marinated eggs

In a lidded container or freezer bag, mix your marinade ingredients.

Once your eggs are cool enough to handle, peel them and add them to the marinade. Ideally the marinade should cover them, but I found none of my containers works for that, so I just turn them after 1h. Or even the next morning, if leaving them overnight.

Black Garlic Pork Ramen_Marinated eggs

They will have an incredible sweet-savoury-spicy flavour and you can add them to anything you like. A bowl of rice, sandwich, ramen of course, or just eat them as protein snack.

The Broth

I’m preparing about 6 cups of stock here, which tends to be enough for roughly 6 large bowls of ramen.

Bring your preferred stock to the boil. Add the piece of Kombu and the bonito flakes, if using and switch off the heat. Leave for at least 10min. Up to 1h, while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

When you are ready to assemble, take out the kombu and re-heat. You can use the kombu a second time if you want.

The Tare

Mix all your ingredients for the Tare in a jar, which you can keep in the fridge until ready to use.
When ready to assemble, add to the hot broth and stir. You could also add it just to the bowls, but I love my ramen hot, so I prefer to heat it.

Black Garlic Pork Ramen_Tare

The Black Garlic Oil (Mayu)

Chops your garlic cloves finely. Add your preferred cooking oil (I used groundnut for this) to a small saucepan, ideally non-stick. I used stainless steel, which worked nicely. Add the garlic.

Black Garlic Pork Ramen_ Black Garlic Oil Process

Slowly heat everything and cook at medium heat, until your garlic turns very dark brown. Don’t take your eyes of it. You don’t want charcoal. Just about one shade before black. Keep stirring. There might be bits sticking to your pan, that’s fine. They will come lose after cooling down a little.

Once your garlic is very dark brown, take the pan off the heat and add the sesame oil. Don’t taste this. This is really not one of the condiments that tastes great on its own. It’s also very concentrated, so a little goes a long way.

Black Garlic Pork Ramen_ Black Garlic Oil

Once your Pork Ramen bowls are assembled, add about a tablespoon per bowl, drizzled over. Be prepared to be amazed.

The Pork

About 20min before you want your ramen, preheat your oven or air fryer to 200°C (400°F).

Slice your pork of choice thinly and add to a lightly greased ovenproof dish. I’m using Pyrex here, as it can also go in the fridge with the leftovers later. Mix the marinade ingredients together and pour them over the pork.

Let the meat with the marinade heat and slightly caramelise in the oven/air fryer for about 10-15minutes. I found the air fryer is usually much quicker, so best keep an eye on them. You want the meat really hot and the marinade slightly sticky and caramelised. But not black.

The Vegetables

How you prepare them depends a lot on what you are using.

I’ve used some of my quick pickled vegetables here as a topping, since they can be prepared ahead of time and add a nice tang and crunch.

For fresh ones, I chopped some tender stem broccoli in half and blanched it in salted, boiling water for about 3-5 minutes until just tender-crisp. Then quickly plunged it into iced water, to keep it bright green and crunchy.

I sliced the pak choy in half lengthwise and gave it a quick fry of the cut side with some oil in a pan, just to get the leaves a little charred. You could also slice it crosswise and add it to your broth, about 2 minutes before serving, so it gets just heated up, but keeps its crunch.

If using zucchini, cut lengthwise into half, then quarters. Slice across into bite sized pieces. Add them to the broth 3-4 minutes before serving, to heat them through.

For the sugar snaps, I like to slice them into bite sized pieces across, then just add them fresh to the assembled bowl, so they stay sweet and crunchy. You could leave them whole, but they might feel a bit stringy. The small pieces get around that.

The spring onions get the same treatment as the sugar snaps and chopped into fine slices, to be added as fresh topping later.

Water chestnuts can come whole or sliced in the can. If sliced, just drain them, and add to the broth to heat them through. Since they stay crunchy, there is no special timing required. If they come whole in your can, slice them across into bite sized pieces.

The bamboo shoots can just be drained and added together with the water chestnuts.

The Noodles

About 10min before serving, bring the water for your noodles to the boil. Add the ramen noodles and some salt and boil according to packet instructions. Usually they need about 3-5 minutes. Drain. Add to your serving bowls when ready to assemble.

Assembly

When you are ready to eat, reheat your broth and add the vegetables that need a bit of heat to become enjoyable. You don’t want them boiled and soft, just tender-crisp.

Add the tare to your broth and stir it through.

Add the cooked noodles to your serving bowls.

Scoop a ladle full or two of hot broth over your noodles, then top with the remaining veggies, pork, and marinated egg, cut in half lengthways.

Drizzle with a tablespoon of black garlic oil, sprinkle with some spring onions and maybe sesame seeds and enjoy your incredibly flavourful bowl of ramen.

Black Garlic Pork Ramen

Meal Prep

This whole Black Garlic Pork Ramen recipe is really about meal prep.
Use leftover Pork for the topping. Prepare Tare, broth, black garlic, pickled vegetables and marinated eggs in advance. Chop and prepare the fresh veggies.

Keep everything in separate containers in your fridge and just boil the noodles, quickly heat your marinated meat in the oven, and heat your broth with the veggies that need it for a few minutes.

Black Garlic Pork Ramen_ Meal Prep

All that’s left is a few minutes of bowl assembly and you have a fresh and delicious bowl of Black Garlic Pork Ramen on every workday.

It’s my favourite way of meal prep: A dish that looks like you put tons of work into it just now, yet is ready for you within minutes.

Black Garlic Pork Ramen

If you liked this, try out the other recipes from my Pork Shoulder series. They are all just as delicious:
Cuban Air Fryer Pork Shoulder

Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Shoulder

Cuban Pulled Pork Salad

Healthy Leftover Pulled Pork Tacos

Pork Banh Mi

Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
What other recipes would you like to see?

If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot.

Black Garlic Pork Ramen

Black Garlic Pork Ramen

Last but not least in my Pork Shoulder Series, I have a stunning Black Garlic Pork Ramen bowl for you. Sweet and savoury marinated pork, Pickled vegetables, crunchy fresh ones, some bamboo, and water chestnuts for good measure. Topped by addictive Korean marinated eggs and black garlic oil, this tastes as amazing as it looks. Just right for the colder days that are starting now.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Egg Marinating time 2 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Asian, Fusion
Servings 6
Calories 500 kcal

Ingredients
  

Marinated Eggs (Prepare at least 2h ahead. The day before is better)

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp gochujang paste optional
  • 1 spring onion
  • ½ tbsp sesame seeds
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  • ¼ cup water

Black Garlic Oil (Mayu) – Can be prepared days in advance

  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil I used groundnut
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

Tare – Can be prepared days in advance

  • ½ cup miso paste
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tbsp good quality Tahini or Japanese toasted sesame paste if you can find it alternatively roasted peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp gochujang paste optional. Alternatively Sriracha or chili sauce of your choice
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp mirin alternatively 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 5 cloves garlic crushed
  • 4 tbsp tamarind paste optional but delicious

Pork – Marinade can be prepared days in advance

  • 1 lb roasted pork. You can use ready-made sliced roasted pork from the supermarket or follow the recipe for Cuban Air Fryer Pork Shoulder linked above
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1.5 limes zest and juice
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 1 tsp ground coriander

Broth – Can be prepared days in advance

  • 6-8 cups ready-made broth of your choice. I’m using vegetable broth here.
  • 1 strip Kombu
  • 2 tbsp katsuobushi or bonito flakes dried tuna flakes. Optional.

Vegetables – Can be cut and blanched ahead of time

  • 1 small pack tender stem broccoli
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 Pak choy
  • 1 small pack sugar snaps
  • 1 small can water chestnuts
  • 1 small can bamboo shoots
  • 3 cups pickled vegetables such as red cabbage and carrots
  • 1 bunch spring onions
  • 1 lime for finishing
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds for sprinkling

Instructions
 

Marinated Eggs:

  • Boil the eggs for 6-8 minutes until they have a firm white and gooey yolks.
  • Transfer the boiled eggs into a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process and make them easier to peel.
  • In a lidded container or freezer bag, combine 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp vinegar, 3 cloves garlic, ½ tsp gochujang paste (optional), 1 chopped spring onion, ½ tbsp sesame seeds, ½ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup honey, ½ tbsp sesame oil, and ¼ cup water to create the marinade.
  • Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel them and add them to the marinade, ensuring they are fully submerged.
  • Allow the eggs to marinate for at least 2 hours or, ideally, overnight.

Broth:

  • Bring 6-8 cups of your preferred stock to a boil in a pot.
  • Add a strip of kombu and 2 tbsp of katsuobushi or bonito flakes (if using) to the pot.
  • Turn off the heat and let the stock sit for at least 10 minutes, or up to 1 hour, allowing the flavours to infuse.
  • When ready to serve, remove the kombu and reheat the stock.

Tare:

  • In a jar, combine ½ cup miso paste, 2 tbsp kosher salt, ¼ cup water, 3 tbsp tahini or Japanese toasted sesame paste, 1 tbsp gochujang paste (optional), 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 4 tbsp mirin, 5 crushed cloves of garlic, and 4 tbsp tamarind paste (optional).
  • Store the tare in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • When ready to assemble, add the tare to the hot broth and stir to incorporate.

Black Garlic Oil (Mayu):

  • Finely chop 12 cloves of garlic.
  • Heat 3 tbsp neutral oil (e.g., groundnut) in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped garlic to the heated oil and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic turns very dark brown, just short of black.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately add 1 tbsp sesame oil to the garlic oil mixture.
  • Be cautious not to taste the black garlic oil on its own, as it's highly concentrated.
  • Drizzle about a tablespoon of the black garlic oil over each ramen bowl when assembling.

Pork:

  • Preheat your oven or air fryer to 200°C (400°F) about 20 minutes before serving.
  • Slice 1 lb of roasted pork thinly and place it in an ovenproof dish.
  • In a separate bowl, combine 1/3 cup fish sauce, 3 tbsp oyster sauce, zest and juice of 1.5 limes, 3 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice, and 1 tsp ground coriander to make the marinade.
  • Pour the marinade over the sliced pork and mix well.
  • Roast or air fry the pork for about 10-15 minutes until it's hot, slightly caramelized, but not burnt.

Vegetables:

  • Prepare the vegetables according to your preference.
  • Blanch tender stem broccoli in salted, boiling water for 3-5 minutes, then transfer it to ice water to preserve its colour and crunch.
  • Char the cut side of halved Pak choy in a pan with some oil for a bit of charred flavour.
  • Slice zucchini into bite-sized pieces and add them to the broth for 3-4 minutes to heat through.
  • Slice sugar snaps and add them fresh to the assembled ramen bowls.
  • Drain water chestnuts and bamboo shoots and add them to the broth to heat through.
  • Slice spring onions finely and use them as a fresh topping.

Noodles:

  • About 10 minutes before serving, bring water to a boil and cook ramen noodles according to package instructions (usually 3-5 minutes).
  • Drain and add the cooked noodles to your serving bowls when ready to assemble.

Assembly:

  • Reheat the broth and add the vegetables that need heating, keeping them tender-crisp.
  • Add the tare to the hot broth and stir.
  • Place the cooked noodles in your serving bowls.
  • Ladle a portion of hot broth over the noodles.
  • Top with the remaining vegetables, pork, and halved marinated eggs.
  • Drizzle each bowl with a tablespoon of black garlic oil.
  • Sprinkle with sliced spring onions and sesame seeds.
  • Enjoy your flavourful bowl of ramen!

Notes

Please note the calories here are a very rough calculation, as they take the complete egg and pork marinade into consideration, which you probably won’t spoon into your soup.
Calories: Approximately 450-550 calories per serving
Protein: Approximately 18-22 grams per serving
Fat: Approximately 20-25 grams per serving
Carbohydrates: Approximately 50-60 grams per serving
Fiber: Approximately 7-9 grams per serving
Sugars: Approximately 20-25 grams per serving

Nutrition

Calories: 500kcal
Nutrition Facts
Black Garlic Pork Ramen
Amount per Serving
Calories
500
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Black Garlic, High Fibre, meal prep, Protein, vegetables
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