There are many toppings on ramen noodles, but pork is the classic option.
It is important to know what type of pork will best suit this Japanese soup so that you can shop for the ingredients and make the best homemade version of ramen.
This post will answer all your questions about buying the right pork for your ramen dish.
Let’s check it out!
Pork is one of the most common kinds of meat for ramen.
However, it can be difficult to choose which pork cut to use for your ramen because there are many different types on the market.
Don’t worry, we are going to teach you how to pick out quality pork that will taste great when cooked into the delicious ramen soup.
Traditionally, ramen is made with pork belly, a cut that is considered the fattiest cut of pork.
However, it turns out that even a lean cut can work in this Asian recipe too.
The key to having the best ramen is mainly the stock, which is made from meat bones, fish, or even vegetables with other spices.
When using a lean cut of pork for ramen, remember to thinly slice the meat and don’t overcook it so that you can have a dish that will not only be healthy but also delicious.
To have a flavorful stock for ramen, you can either use canned stock, pork meat, or pork bones.
Canned stock or bouillon is much more convenient, but they are considered to be packed with more additives, sodium, and preservatives.
Meanwhile, simmering pork meat to make broth might be quite costly and the meat ends up too much more tender than expected.
Therefore, it is best to opt for fresh pork bones to create a delicious stock without breaking your budget.
One more thing to keep in mind is that a fresh cut of pork will result in a better bowl of ramen.
It is obvious that the fresher the meat, the more delicious your dish will be.
Therefore, don’t save money by buying frozen or stale meat, or your ramen will be a mess or not as expected.
The last tip to have the best pork for ramen is that pork should be thinly sliced or ground.
You can look for a pre-sliced or pre-ground package of pork from a local butcher shop, grocery store, or supermarket throughout the country.
This will help save a lot of time and effort compared to buying a whole cut of pork and process it on your own.
In this section, we are going to figure out the best pork cuts for ramen that are commonly used in many ramen recipes throughout the world:
1. Pork belly
As already mentioned, pork belly is a classic cut for ramen.
Although this cut is often used in dry-heat cooking methods like roasting or grilling so that the fat is rendered and moistens the meat, it adds a rich flavor to ramen.
Pork belly is packed with a juicy texture and flavorful taste thanks to the generous amount of fat.
It is also sold at a reasonable price compared to other lean cuts like tenderloin or loin.
2. Pork shoulder
You can also try pork shoulder for your ramen noodle soup.
When using pork shoulder for ramen, don’t forget to thinly slice it so that the meat is more tender to chew.
3. Pork tenderloin
Pork tenderloin is a great cut for different recipes, including ramen.
This is the leanest and most tender cut of pork.
When properly cooked, pork tenderloin can melt in your mouth.
This cut is a bit more expensive than the average cut of pork, but you won’t regret buying it.
4. Boneless pork chops
Boneless pork chops, or thinner pieces of pork loin, are also a good candidate for ramen.
They are lean, but when thinly sliced and cooked to medium-rare, the meat is juicy and tender.
5. Pork bones (for stock)
When shopping for pork cuts for ramen, don’t forget to buy some bones to make a flavorful stock that tastes much fresher than a store-bought one.
You can use pork bones from any portion of the pig and simmer for hours to create a rich, flavorful, and nutritious stock.
Pork bones are inexpensive, and if you know the butcher, you can get the pork bones that have the meat completely trimmed out for free.
There are different cuts of pork that can be used for ramen.
Although the traditional recipe calls for pork belly, you can also use other lean cuts like pork chops and pork tenderloin, or a well-marbled cut like pork shoulder.
Hopefully, our article has helped you choose the right cut for your ramen that meets your taste buds’ preferences.
Which one do you think tastes better?