This is one of J’s all-time favourite year-round dish. Using the pressure cooker, it takes only 35 minutes for the pork belly to become soft and meltingly tender. The soup is fragrant from peppercorns and bay leaf, with the big and bold vinegar taste adding depth to the soup. The key here is to use a good broth, such as Simon Gault’s beef or chicken concentrated stock pouches (not sponsored to say this, I always have these in my pantry).
Always pour the soup in just as you are ready to serve to avoid soggy noodles.
If you have enough pourers, you can serve the soup in individual vessels and let each person add their own portion of soup into the bowl. (We’ve just picked up our handmade ceramic pourers from a Christmas workshop and they are perfect for this!)
Slurping is unavoidable and would bring smiles to the chef.
Meat & soup
- 1kg free range pork belly, boneless, with skin
- 3 tbsp rice bran or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 leek, white stalk section – washed and cut into thick rings. Green stalk section – chop into half.
- 2 spring onions, cut into 4 pieces
- 2 big slices of ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cups chicken or beef stock
- ½ cup chinese black vinegar
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- 4 medium sized eggs (optional)
- 200g ’00’ flour or just plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 3 egg yolks +1 yolk
- 1 tbsp olive oil
2 spring onions, green part only, thinly sliced
Soft boiled eggs (optional)
- Heat oil in a pressure cooker over a high heat. Add peppercorns, bay leaves, leeks, spring onion, ginger and garlic and fry for a minute.
- Add pork and fry each side till golden.
- Pour in stock, soy sauce and black vinegar and bring to the boil. Close the pressure cooker lid, ensuring it is locked in.
- Set it to high pressure and cook for 35 minutes. When the cook time has been reached, release pressure. Don’t remove the lid straight away, let the pork rest in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes.
- Remove lid from pressure cooker, remove pork and set aside.
- Place a sieve over a deep saucepan and pass the braising liquid through and into the pan. Heat and reduce the sauce until slightly syrupy (about 10 mins). Adjust flavor to taste by adding extra sugar, light soy or hot water.
*we sometime serve this soup with a soft boiled egg, as you sometimes would for Japanese ramen noodle soup. Place eggs into a pot with cold water and bring to a boil. Once it boils, turn off the heat, cover and leave for 2 minutes. Remove immediately after and place into iced water to cool completely. Peel shells and set aside.
- Place flour and salt in a bowl. Add eggs, yolk and oil. Stir with a fork until mixture forms a dough. Place onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Using a pasta machine, beginning on the widest setting, work the dough through. Repeat down to the second or third setting. Use the thinnest cutter to make thin noodles and toss in flour.
- Bring to the boil a large saucepan of salted boiling water. Boil noodles for 3 minutes, refresh in iced water and drain well.
*Alternatively, use packets of noodles from Asian supermarkets and cook according to packet instructions.
To serve, thinly slice pork to 1cm thick slices (you may want to cut off the fatty skin). Divide noodles between serving bowls, place 3 slices of pork, blanched vegetables, a soft boiled egg and spring onions, and pour over the reduced braising liquid.
It looks like this before closing the lid on the pressure cooker: