- ACTIVE: 1 HR
- TOTAL TIME: 5 HRS plus overnight chilling
- SERVINGS: 8
- 4 pounds chicken necks and backs
- One 3-pound rack of pork baby back ribs, cut into 4 sections
- 1 large leek, halved lengthwise
- 2 ounces fresh ginger, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 4 quarts water
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons shoyu or other soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- One 3 1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder butt, trimmed and tied
- One 12-by-2-inch piece of kombu (seaweed)
- Shoyu or other soy sauce, for seasoning and brushing
- 24 ounces fresh or 16 ounces dried chuka soba (curly noodles), boiled until al dente
- 5 ounces baby spinach, steamed
- 4 large soft-boiled eggs, peeled and soaked for 1 hour in equal parts soy sauce and mirin (sweet rice wine)
- 2 thinly sliced scallions, 2 sheets of quartered nori (dried seaweed), rice vinegar and togarashi (Japanese chile powder), for garnishing and seasoning
- In a large stockpot, combine the chicken, ribs, leek, ginger, garlic, water and shoyu. Bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the oil. Season the pork butt with salt and brown it well on all sides over high heat, 12 minutes; transfer to the stockpot. Simmer the broth over moderately low heat for 2 hours, until the pork butt and ribs are just tender; skim any scum that rises to the surface. Transfer the pork butt and ribs to a platter and refrigerate. Strain the broth and discard the remaining solids.
- Return the broth to the pot. Add the kombu and simmer over moderately low heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Let cool, then chill and refrigerate the broth overnight.
- Preheat the broiler. Skim the fat off of the broth and discard the kombu. Bring the broth to a simmer. Season with shoyu and keep hot.
- Untie the pork butt and slice it across the grain 1/3 inch thick. Cut the ribs between the bones. Arrange the pork slices and ribs on a large baking sheet and brush with shoyu. Broil 8 inches from the heat for 3 minutes, turning once, until the meat is crisp; keep warm.
- Divide the cooked noodles among 8 bowls and ladle 1 1/2 cups of broth into each one. Add the spinach in piles. Drain the eggs, cut each one in half lengthwise and set a half in each bowl. Arrange 2 slices of pork butt and 1 rib in each bowl and garnish with the scallions and nori. Serve the ramen immediately, passing the rice vinegar and togarashi at the table.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.