I like pairing roasted pork with ginger and garlic. Strong and aromatic, these flavorful roots factor into all kinds of cooking and give elaborate noodle bowls an intense foundation that will help keep the last of the winter doldrums at bay.
If you have a pressure cooker, you'll have the tenderest, easiest path to preparing the pork shoulder. But don't worry if you don't, you'll just be devoting more of your prep time to the oven roasting process and your pork might not be as tender as it would be out of a pressure cooker. If you need to, you can slice the pork into thin strips instead of shredding it with a fork. Pick what works for you.
This is a meal on its own. I like enjoying a warm bowl in front of the fire because I can hold it and get that extra warmth on my fingertips too. If you'd like, you can put more soy sauce and your favorite hot sauce out to drizzle onto your bowl as desired. That said, with all this ginger and garlic, I tend to think the flavor is already right at the sweet spot. Enjoy!
- 1 lb. pork shoulder
- 2 T. canola oil
- ¼ c. mushroom soy sauce or other very thick soy sauce
- 3 T. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. minced ginger
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 8 c. chicken broth
- 2 T. fish sauce
- ¼ c. mirin
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3-5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 4 green onions, chopped
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
- Cooked Asian noodles - choose your favorite variety
- Fresh spinach
- Shredded radish — I used black radish
- Shredded carrots
- Sautéed or pickled mushrooms
- Sautéed or pickled red onions
- Black sesame seeds
Place the pork shoulder in your pressure cooker and combine the next five ingredients (canola oil through minced garlic); add the sauce to the pork. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes; release the pressure naturally. Alternatively, you can roast the sauce-coated pork in a 400° F oven for 45 minutes or until fully cooked and tender. When the pork is fully cooked, shred with a fork and set aside.
While the pork is cooking, make the broth. Combine all of the broth ingredients (chicken broth through red pepper flakes) in a stock pot. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle. Strain away the solids from the broth and keep the liquid warm for serving.
While the pork is cooking and the broth is simmering, prepare the remaining ingredients. Cook the noodles, shred the radish and carrots, and, if you have not pickled the mushrooms and/or onions, sauté them.
To assemble the bowls, place noodles in the bottom of a serving bowl and arrange spinach, radish, carrot, mushrooms, onions, and pork over the top of the noodles. Ladle enough broth to just cover the mushrooms and sprinkle the top of the bowl generously with sesame seeds before serving.
- Yields: 6-10 servings, depending on offerings
- Preparation Time: 1 hour