This is some real deal Ramen right here.
Growing up I pretty much lived on Ramen Noodle Soup. Especially during the cold fall and winter months. If you live in northeast Ohio, especially along the lake, like I used to, you know that those months can be brutal. Comforting soup is the best cure-all. The rain, the freezing rain, the snow, the ice, the bitter cold – with no sunshine for days.
Ramen, and maybe a roaring wood burning fire, can restore sanity. I would come home from school, boil the water, add the noodles + seasoning and cuddle up on the couch with a big blanket (if I was lucky, the fire was going too), my hot bowl of ramen and either a re-run episode of Gilmore Girls or 7th Heaven.
Ok, that was my ideal day. I cannot say how often that truly happened because I had five other brothers living in the house as well. Getting the TV all to myself meant that I was probably still in grade three, four or five because for some reason those grades got out at 2:45pm. The rest of the grades got out at 3:15 (middle school + high school) and 3:55 (lower elementary school). For the record, Kensington (my upper elementary school) was by far my favorite school, for the sole reason that while attending, I got out earlier than all my siblings. This meant that I had at least an hour alone with my mom after school. With five other siblings + my dad all fighting for her attention, this was obviously the best thing ever to me. It was rare that it was just us girls in the house so I always loved that time after school. Unless of course I had a boatload of homework. Then I was stressed to the max and HAD to get it done right-away (issues).
It’s probably clear I was a total freak. No denying it. I mean what kid does their homework literally right after school? I wouldn’t eat or do anything till it was all done. Mental issues? Yes, yes, yes, I had them and still do, but now they are in different forms…
I have not actually had Ramen Noodle Soup, with the seasoning pack and all, in years because my mom and I sadly found out (at way too young of an age) that Ramen was basically a bunch of processed junk that we did not want to be putting into our bodies. I still remember the day my aunt Alyssa called and broke the news that our beloved Ramen probably wasn’t the best thing to be eating. Daily. And yes, even as a kid I never wanted to eat junk food unless my mom made it from scratch, meaning all her cookies, cakes, K-bars and pies where fair game. I didn’t even like chips. See, total freak.
Last year I made this Thai peanut chicken ramen that I still love and make all the time with angel hair pasta, but this fall it was time for a new Ramen. And um, I have to say that I have totally upped my Ramen making game.
The caramelized pork does the trick. It’s pretty awesome, but I still think the egg… or maybe the curry roasted acorn squash (can’t decide) are my favorites. Together they honestly make the most perfect bowl of ramen.
Bonus, the pork gets cooked all day in the crockpot too. It’s the best way to make this because not only does it make dinner easy, but the pork gets cooked low and slow and creates an incredible broth. Seriously, the broth is out of this world good. There is a little work to do before dinner, you have to roast the acorn squash and get the pork all crispy + caramelized in the skillet, but I promise the extra efforts will be so worth it. You do not HAVE to make the pork all caramelized and crispy. It’s still going to be good if you don’t, but I highly recommend taking the extra ten minutes to do so. It takes the meal to a whole new level. Plus, it totally makes this a Bahn Mi Ramen Noodle Soup.
And the squash, well it’s the perfect fall topping to add to Ramen. I wouldn’t do it any other way. So good.
And those noodles, while nothing will ever compare to real deal Ramen noodles.
Crockpot Caramelized Pork Ramen Noodle Soup w/Curry Roasted Acorn Squash.
- 2-3 pounds pork shoulder roast or butt
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth plus more of needed
- 1/4-1/2 cup + 2-4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce <--Use low sodium
- 1/4 cup + 2-4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce optional
- 2 tablespoons thai red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek chili paste, or to taste
- The juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 cups wild mushrooms left whole - or button mushrooms, sliced
- 4 packs Ramen noodles seasoning packets discarded
- 4 soft boiled or fried eggs for serving
- Chopped carrots sliced jalapenos, cilantro + green onions, for serving
Add the pork to the bowl of a crockpot. Pour the chicken broth, 1/4-1/2 cup soy sauce (depending on your taste), 1/4 cup rice vinegar and fish sauce over the pork. Add the thai red curry paste, ginger, sambal oelek, juice of 1 lime, Chinese five spice powder, black pepper and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours (I recommend going low and slow).
About 40 minutes before you are ready to eat, roast the squash. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small bowl mix together the melted coconut oil, curry powder, miso, brown sugar and a good pinch of pepper. Add the cubed squash to a greased baking sheet and pour the curry mixture over the squash. Toss well. Bake for 30-40 minutes, tossing a couple of times during cooking. You want the squash to be lightly browned and crisp.
Meanwhile, remove the pork from the crockpot and add the mushrooms. Cover the crockpot and crank the heat up to high. Lightly shred the pork with two forks or your hands.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame oil. Once hot, add enough pork to cover just the surface of your skillet, do not over crowd the skillet. Sprinkle a little brown sugar over the pork, add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, toss. Allow the pork to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Stir and allow the pork to continue to caramelize, about 3-5 minutes total. Remove the pork from the skillet, repeat with the remaining pork. Keep the pork warm.
Add the Ramen noodles to the crockpot and allow them to cook 5 minutes. Once the noodles are cooked, stir in only half of the pork. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with extra caramelized pork, curry roasted acorn squash and an egg. Season the egg with salt and pepper, Add the carrots, jalapeños, green onions and cilantro if desired. Happy slurping!
Love this bowl. It’s everything you could ever want in soup.