Let’s cut the ingredients for tsukemen. Cut the pork belly slices into 4~5cm (1.6"~2") pieces. Slice the long green onion using diagonal cuts. Crush the garlic clove and ginger root with a wooden paddle.
Here, we will be using frozen shiitake and shimeji mushrooms. The fresh mushrooms were cut and frozen in a freezer bag.
Let’s make the tsukemen broth. Stir-fry the fatty pork belly slices in the heated pot.
When the fat begins to melt, sprinkle on the red chili pepper rings and continue to stir-fry.
Add the sake and the Chinese-style chicken stock, made from instant chicken stock powder. Drop in the green part of the onion, crushed garlic and ginger.
Bring to a boil on high heat. Remove the foam with a fine mesh strainer. Adjust the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the long green onion, ginger and garlic.
Add the soy sauce. Drop in the chopped long green onion, and the shiitake and shimeji mushrooms. Bring it to a boil on high heat and immerse the ingredients in the broth.
When it begins to boil again, adjust the heat to low and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes until the long green onion becomes wilted. Drop in the rest of the pork belly slices.
When the pork is completely browned, test the flavor of the broth. Sprinkle on the pepper. Finally, add the sesame oil and vinegar. Lightly stir and turn off the burner.
Let’s cook the noodles for tsukemen. Boil a generous amount of water in a large pot and drop in one bag of fresh ramen noodles at a time. The cooking time depends on the thickness of the noodles so follow the directions on the package.
When the noodles are cooked, take the pot to the sink and strain the noodles. Gently rinse the noodles in a mesh strainer under running water and remove the gooey texture on the surface.
Place the strainer in a bowl of water and continue to rinse the noodles. Drain the noodles well.
Let the strainer sit in ice water and quickly cool down the noodles to increase the refreshing texture. Remove and squeeze out the excess water from the noodles thoroughly.
Let’s serve the tsukemen. Place the noodles on a plate covered with a bamboo mat. Put the soft boiled egg next to the noodles.
Serve the piping-hot tsukemen broth and vegetables in a bowl.
Top with the bonito flakes and chopped spring onion leaves.
Avoid simmering the pork for long so that it will remain tender and savory.
You can also add grated garlic and hot chili oil to your taste.
Mushrooms spoil easily, especially in the hot summer months. Frozen fresh mushrooms are very handy to use and there is no need to de-frost them when you cook.