It’s important that you use unsalted, or minimally salted stock for this recipe. I always store homemade, unsalted chicken/pork stock in the freezer as it gives me total control of the seasoning in the final dishes. Whether you are using homemade or store-bought, if your stock already has a prominent saltiness to it, you’ll have to reduce the amount of spicy miso paste to accommodate which will reduce the miso-flavour in your soup. You’d be trading flavours with salt, see?
The type of soy milk may also make a difference. I prefer Asian-style unsweetened soy milk which tends to carry a stronger “tofu/soy bean” taste, but if that’s unavailable, American brands soy milk will do, too. Just make sure it isn’t sweetened, or flavoured with vanilla or etc.
-The only variation to this recipe I made, is that I used a pork hock to make my pork stock and then shredded the meat afterwards and garnished the bowls as opposed to using ground pork in the recipe, but either way is delicious!
All of the above can be made beforehand and kept in the fridge until needed.
To make the spicy miso paste: Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smoothly pureed. You may need to stop and scrape the blender a few times to get it going in the beginning. Transfer the mixture into a pot and set over medium heat. Bring to a low simmer and keep cooking/stirring for another 5 min. Let it cool completely and store in an air-tight container in the fridge until needed.
To make the shoyu soft-boiled eggs: Gently place the eggs in a small pot and fill it with water until the eggs are covered by 1″. Add a generous pinch of salt (not listed in the ingredient-list because it’s more of a superstition for easy-peeling than anything…) and bring the water to a bare simmer on medium-high heat, then immediately lower the heat down to low (only enough heat to keep it at a bare simmer/or if you want to be anal, 212ºF/100ºC). The second the water reached the right temperature, set the timer at 4:30 min. Gently move the eggs around a few times during cooking. Once the timer goes off, immediately transfer the eggs into cold water and leave them to cool completely.
Combine soy sauce, dark brown sugar and water in a small sauce pot. Warm up the mixture just enough to melt the sugar, then set aside. Peel the eggs then submerge them in the soy sauce-mixture. Turning them occasionally while marinating for 2~3 hours.
To make the garlic and togarashi oil: Combine minced shallots, minced garlic, sesame seeds, salt and vegetable oil in a small pot and set over low heat. Slowly cook/stir until the garlics are crispy and lightly browned, approx 5~6 min. Turn off the heat and add the Japanese chili powder/togarashi. Give the mixture a stir and let it sit for a few hours or overnight.
To make the spicy miso ramen: Rinse the dried shitake mushrooms to get rid of any sand/dirt. Finely chop them and set aside (without soaking).
In a large soup pot, heat up 1 tbsp of toasted sesame oil on high heat and start browning the fatty ground pork with ground black pepper. Once the pork has broken up, browned, and released its fat, add 1/4 cup of the spicy miso paste and cook for another min until fragrant. Add the chopped shitake, unsalted stock and unsweetened soy milk and bring to a simmer. Place 1/2 cup spicy miso paste on top of a very fine sieve. Lower the sieve half-way into the simmering soup and use a spoon to slowly dissolve the paste into the soup (it may seem very thick and troublesome in the beginning but be patient, it’ll dissolve eventually). You’d be surprised at how much “solids” within the paste will remain on top of the sieve, which if dumped directly into the soup, will make the soup very thick and “sauce-like”.
Discard the “solids” in the sieve and let the soup simmer for another 5 min. If the soup tastes quite salty at this point, that is correct. It’s Japanese ramen… It is salty.
Cook the fresh ramen noodles according to package instructions, and drain well. Divide the noodles into two large bowl and ladle the soup on top (you may have a bit more than needed). For each serving, place 1 shoyu egg (cut into half), 2 tbsp of finely diced scallions, 3 rectangular nori sheets, and 2 tsp of garlic and togarashi oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.