Sunday Brunch is back, baby! I dropped the ball on that one for a little bit, but now that the weather is cooling off a bit, Sunday Brunch is back with a bang. I absolutely love Sunday brunch and I can’t think of a better way to re-introduce my favorite series than with this bacon and egg breakfast ramen.
Noodles might not be what you think of when you think of brunch, but to me, noodles are the perfect food, especially when paired with eggs. Eggs are my spirit food (noodles are too!). If there are eggs around, you best believe I’m going to be there. Some of the best eggs I’ve had have been in Japan and it’s no wonder because they take their eggs seriously there. The raw eggs in Japan are gorgeous: the yolks are a deep golden yellow and the whites are firm and tight. As in love as I am with the egg quality, I am even more in awe of they way they perfectly cook eggs.
Even places where you don’t expect the eggs to be done perfectly, they are. Last year, while cold and hungry in Hokkaido, Mike and I wandered into a random ramen joint. We were seated promptly at a communal table set with a bin of chopsticks and a big bowl of eggs. At first, I wasn’t sure what the bowl of eggs was for. Was it accidentally left on the table? Were they free, kind of like a Japanese bread basket equivalent? I conferred with Mike and after surreptitiously looking around we concluded that the eggs were complimentary.
Guys, it was my DREAM. All you can eat excellently soft-boiled Japanese eggs. I had one, which was perfection. I wanted another (and another and another and another) but didn’t want to be that uncouth tourist who fills up on eggs, so I held myself back. But then, I looked to my left at a dude and his girlfriend and he was peeling and eating egg after egg after egg. He must’ve had at least six and the waitstaff didn’t bat an eye. I took it as a sign and had two more eggs. Best eggs ever.
This breakfast ramen doesn’t come with unlimited eggs, but I’m still in love. It’s got chewy noodles tossed with a punchy, savory soy dressing, crispy soft sous-vide pork belly, and a tender slow poached egg. A bunch of extra umami filled friends gather on top – seaweed, green onions, katsuobushi, sesame seeds – ready to be mixed into the party. Carbs, meat, eggs: it’s everything you want in a brunch bowl.
Happy Sunday friends – I hope there are eggs involved!
Bacon and Egg Breakfast Ramen Recipe
serves 1, scales infinitely
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dashi granules
- 1 portion thick ramen noodles
- 3 slices pork belly (see below) or crispy bacon
- 1 slow poached egg
- seaweed strips
- sliced green onions
- toasted black sesame seeds
Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and chili flakes and cook, stirring, until the mixture heats up and sizzles, about 1-2 minutes. Do not burn – since this is a small amount, keep the heat low. You want the garlic mellow and the chili flakes to just release their spice. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
Mix together the soy dressing together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Cook the noodles according to the package and drain well. Toss with the soy dressing, to taste. Place the noodles in a shallow bowl and top with pork belly and a poached egg. Garnish with seaweed strips, green onions, katsuobushi, and toasted black sesame seeds. Serve with a generous amount of chili oil. Mix and enjoy!
Notes: A lot of this can be made beforehand and held in the fridge – if you’re prepared, this brunch comes together faster than you’d think. Make the chili oil and dressing the day before and hold in the fridge. The soft poached eggs can also be made the day before and heated up in a bowl of piping hot tap water while you’re cooking the noodles. The pork belly can be prepared the day before as well – sous vide it the day before, hold it in the fridge overnight, then slice it and sear it just before serving.
**If you haven’t heard of dashi granules/powder, it’s basically instant soup stock. You can find it in Asian grocery stores in the Japanese section. Katsuobushi is dried smoked bonito flakes – they add a punch of umami. You usually see it on okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and yakiudon. It’s not totally necessary in the recipe, but it is a nice bonus.
Sous Vide Japanese Style Pork Belly Recipe
- 1 tablespoon light Japanese soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 lb skin-off piece pork belly
Mix together the soy sauce, mirin and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add the mix to a vacuum bag with the pork belly. Fill a large heat-proof container with water and set your sous vide machine to 160°F. Sous vide for minimum 6 hours. Chill, in the bag, overnight for ease of handling.
The next day, remove the pork from the bag. Gently wipe off any excess moisture. Sear the top of the pork in a non-stick pan over low heat until deeply browned – you probably won’t need any oil, but if you want to speed up the process feel free to add a touch of oil. Remove from heat and cut into 1/4 in slices. Sear the slices the non-stick pan until golden, 2-3 minutes per side.