Happy Valentine’s Day! I got you this pork belly ramen.

Pork belly exists as a love letter to carnivores, and it’s incredibly versatile.

And when it’s crispy? Sweet baby Tebow.

Here’s how we spent our Saturday night after a long day of food prep, cheesemaking (okay, more like Cheesemonger Cosplay), and chasing after our kids.

Crispy Pork Belly Ramen Bowls

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that David Chang has changed how we think about this peace of meat in the U.S. And it was with that in mind that we combined kosher salt, pepper, and a little palm sugar in a bowl, and smeared it onto a 3 lb. pork belly. We let it sit in the refrigerator for 6 hours to let the spices tenderize and sink into the meat and fat, and then roasted it fat side up on a parchment-lined sheetpan at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. After that, we reduced the temperature to 250 and roasted it for just over an hour more (it depends on the size of your pork belly – you want the fat to render into tenderness, but you also want the meat cooked thoroughly without drying it out). Once cooked, set aside to cool for a bit.

On to the ramen. Well, sort of. We didn’t have any ramen noodles on hand, and we were really tired after cooking all day. So we found some brown rice mai fun noodles in our pantry and consigned ourselves to those.

(served 2, can be scaled easily)

3-4 c. chicken stock
Crispy pork belly to taste
2 cups dry mai fun noodles
Bok choy and Napa cabbage, sliced into strips (1 small head of each)
1 t.  grated fresh ginger
1 T. GF soy sauce
2 t. toasted sesame oil
2 soft boiled eggs

To serve: Chopped green onions, basil and cilantro, Sriracha

Heat the stock in a saucepan, adding the sesame oil, ginger, the soy sauce. Bring to a boil, and add the noodles. Remove from the heat – the residual heat will quickly cook the noodles.

Slice off the desired portion of pork belly for your bowls, and chop into chunks. Pan fry in a small, hot skillet until the fat is crispy.

Ladle the broth and noodles into bowls, and top with herbs, halved soft boiled eggs, crispy pork belly, and a healthy drizzle of Sriracha.

We froze the rest of the pork belly for a later use. And believe me, it will get used.

I know – this isn’t remotely close to an authentic ramen recipe, and I’ll wholly own that. But it was delicious and comforting after a long day on my feet. And it felt like opening a present.

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