“Josh Hartnett is a bit of a ramen addict, and says he has a favourite noodle bar in almost every city he’s been to. This particular version is inspired by a restaurant called Soba that Josh visited in Tokyo, when he was filming there. As simple and comforting as it might seem, homemade ramen is serious business. There are 35,000 ramen restaurants in Japan alone, and it’s a bit of an iconic dish. I’m going to be straight with you, and tell you that this isn’t a dish for the faint-hearted! Plus, as if there weren’t enough elements to bring together, we’re doing it all from scratch – even the noodles! But, the flavour that you get from carefully making all the different pieces of the puzzle and bringing them together is just mind-blowing. ”
Place the pork in a tray, sprinkle with the kosher salt and sugar, then drizzle over the soy sauce and rub all over. Marinate in the fridge overnight.
The next day, preheat the oven to 160ºC/325ºF/gas 3.
Remove the pork from the marinade, brushing off the excess salt and sugar, and place in a snug-fitting roasting tray, cover with tin foil and roast for 4 hours, or until super-tender, reserving the fat from the tray.
For the apple soffritto, peel and very finely chop the onion, garlic, ginger and apple. Add to a pan with the oil over a low heat and fry for 45 minutes, or until softened but not coloured, then remove from the heat.
For the shoyu tare, pour the sake and mirin into a pan and place over a high heat. Bring to the boil, then allow to bubble away for 4 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low, add the soy sauce and apple soffritto, cook for an additional 5 minutes, then remove from the heat.
When you’re getting ready to serve, combine the stock and dashi for the broth and heat through for 5 minutes, and slice the pork into thin slices and warm gently in a low oven (150ºC/300ºF/gas 2). Put a pan of water on to boil.
To six warmed bowls, add 1 tablespoon each of the shoyu tare and reserved pork fat, then divide up the broth.
Cook the noodles in the pan of boiling water for 45 seconds, then remove, shaking off any excess water and add to the bowls, using chopsticks to separate, if needed.
Top each bowl with slices of the pork and a halved marinated egg. Trim and finely slice the spring onions and chilli (deseed if you like), then scatter over the top to finish.
If you don’t have time to make this ramen in its entirety, it’s still delicious even if you make it with shop-bought noodles.