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Menoodle Ramen

From Houston Cooks: Recipes from the City’s Favorite Restaurants and Chefs by Francine Spiering

This is a culinary play on ramen noodles and menudo, a traditional Mexican beef tripe soup. Instead of tripe, (Izakaya) chef Jean-Philippe Gaston combines adobo flavors with gelatinous, collagen-rich pork trotters, which have a similar texture. As pork ramen stock requires all-day tending, pork ramen concentrate is a great alternative; it can be found in Japanese supermarkets or purchased online.

Ingredients: 

Ramen stock:
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 pounds pork trotter
3 (2-oz.) packages concentrated pork stock

Adobo:
8 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
5 chiles de arbol, stemmed and seeded
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 orange
1-2 cups chicken stock
Salt

Assembly:
½ cup adobo, plus extra to taste (see below)
6-8 cups Ramen Stock (see below)
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 cups chopped reserved pork skin (see below)
2 large eggs
1 (16-ounce) package ramen noodles

Garnish:
1 cup shredded Napa cabbage
1 avocado, chopped
1 white onion, thinly sliced
6-8 radishes, thinly sliced
4-8 slices jalapeño pepper
½ cup bean sprouts
2 lime wedges

Recipe directions: 

Ramen stock: Heat oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes. Add trotters and 3 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 6-8 hours, until the meat is falling off the bone. (The trotters should be fully submerged at all times. If necessary, add more water.) Use a slotted spoon, remove trotters and let it cool.

Strain stock into another saucepan. Add concentrated pork stock while ramen stock is still hot and set aside. Remove meat from the bones, reserving the skin. (Makes 3 quarts.)

You now have ready-made ramen-style stock at your fingertips. (Leftover stock can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.)

Adobo: In a stockpot, combine chiles, onion, garlic, lime and orange juice, and enough chicken stock to just cover the chiles. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain cooking liquid into a large pot or bowl.

Transfer strained solids to a blender and blend on medium speed. Gradually add in cooking liquid, 1 cup at a time, until mixture forms a thick paste. Season with salt. (Leftover adobo can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Use it as a marinade for beef or chicken, or add to beef chili.)

Assembly: In a saucepan, combine adobo and stock to make adobo broth. (Add more adobo for more intense taste.) Add chickpeas and pork skin and bring to a boil.

Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add eggs and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain, then transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water to cool. Peel and halve lengthwise. Set aside.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add noodles, and cook according to the package directions. Drain and divide between four bowls. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chickpeas and pork meat (including skin) to the bowls. Ladle hot adobo broth over the noodles. Top with egg and garnishes. Makes 4 servings.

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