Tsukemen Noodles – Healthy Japanese Home Cooking
vol.17 see all recipes
Wave Goodbye to the Heavy, High-calorie Image of Tsukemen Noodles!
These days, ramen is the most popular form of Japanese cuisine among people from other countries. In particular, the ramen dish called tsukemen – noodles dipped in a rich soup before eating – is growing in popularity.
However, the calorie, fat, and salt content is inevitably a cause for concern. One certainly couldn’t describe it as a healthy dish.
But if you’re making it at home, you actually can make very healthy tsukemen, without losing the umami-rich flavor! This week, I’d like to show you how to make exquisite char siu pork with less than half of the usual fat content.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
・Pork belly…300-400g piece
・Soy sauce…3 tablespoons + some extra
・Sugar…1 tablespoon + some extra
・Dried konbu (kelp)…10cm
・Menma (fermented bamboo shoots)*…To taste
・Naruto (kamaboko cured fish paste with a spiral pattern)*…To taste
・Green spring onion…To taste
*If you can’t get hold of menma or naruto, it’s fine to leave them out.
Method (steps 1-4 should be done the day before)
1. Cut the pork in half, sprinkle salt all over it, and leave it for 20 minutes before washing the salt off.
2.Wipe off any moisture, then roll it up and tie it with kitchen twine.
3.Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and place the pork in it. Remove the pork once the surface has turned white. Discard the hot water, then put 1L of cold water, 100ml of saké, sliced garlic and ginger, and dried konbu into the pan and place it on the heat.
Just before it boils, remove the konbu and put in the pork, then place a lid on the saucepan and leave to simmer for 1 hour.
4.Put 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of honey into a strong plastic bag, then put the pork into this while still warm. Tie up the opening of the bag, ensure that the marinade completely covers the pork, and then wrap the plastic bag in a towel and leave it for 30 minutes.
Place it in the refrigerator overnight, along with the saucepan containing the soup.
5.The following day, white fat will have solidified on the surface of the chilled soup. Remove all of this.
6.Pour the marinade into the soup and heat it up. Taste the soup and add soy sauce, sugar, and/or salt to adjust the seasoning, as needed. You should aim for a fairly strongly flavored soup.
7.Cut the char siu pork into thick slices and roast these in an oven or oven-toaster. This process will also release excess fat.
8.Boil the noodles for the time indicated on the package, then drain in a colander and wash under running cold water to remove any sliminess. Immerse in hot water again, then drain and pile onto plates.
9.Pour the soup into dishes and top with the char siu pork, hard-boiled eggs, menma, naruto, and green spring onion. Enjoy!
By SUGI AKATSUKI see all recipes
Graduate of the University of Tokyo. Researches culinary culture and foods that promote longevity and beauty. Studied basic medical science and life science at university. After studying organic food and Kushi macrobiotics, she began to conduct culinary research independently. Her motto is “simple ways to stay beautiful.” Her specialty is healthy dishes ideal for the busy woman of today. She also teaches yoga and has a popular blog（http://saqai.com/）.
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