“every part of a pig can be eaten except its hooves and its oink”
This dish is a little bit soba, a little bit ramen, and a little bit udon. The broth is like if a quick tonkotsu and a dashi stock had a baby. The dish by name proclaims soba, which normally refers to thinner buckwheat noodles. However, Sōki Soba, or Okinawa soba is served with thicker wheat noodles that resemble udon. I found that the fresh udon at the Japanese grocery store is too thick for our purposes. If you seek out the dry udon noodle, you’ll be right on the money. This soba is served with extra pork ribs, which we sous vide with miso and turmeric, also indigenous to the Okinawa region. An excellent weekend lunch, especially now that the weather is cold.
for the broth:
- 1 ½ pounds meaty pork neck bones
- 1 tbsp. neutral oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, thinly sliced
- ½ cup dry sake
- ½ cup mirin
- 15 grams of bonito flakes
- 15 grams of pacific kombu
- 1-star anise pod
- 2-3 tbsp. soy sauce
- 6 cups of water
- Blanch the pork bones. This step is essential to get rid of that “funk” and remove impurities. See the photo below. You want that gray scum in your soup? NOPE. To blanch, place the bones in cold water in a large pot. Bring up to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Skim the surface of the foamy awful gray stuff. Remove the bones from the pot and rinse them.
- In an 8 quart Dutch oven, heat the neutral oil over medium high heat. Sweat the onion, garlic and ginger for 5-7 minutes until nice and fragrant. Deglaze with sake, scraping up the sucs (caramelized flavor bits on the bottom of the pan, from the French word for sugar).
- Add in the bonito flakes, kombu, anise pod, soy sauce, and water. Return the bones to the pot. Bring the pot up to the boil, then down to a gentle simmer. Cook for 3 hours. Meanwhile contemplate your pork. When the broth is done, strain the liquid, and discard the solids. Taste the broth for salt, and add soy sauce as needed.
sous vide pork, and garnish:
- 1 ½ pounds boneless, loin end, spare ribs
- ¼ tsp. turmeric
- ¼ tsp. shichimi
- 30 grams white miso
- 1 tsp. sake
- minced scallion
- pickled ginger
- pickled mustard greens
- Mix together the turmeric, shichimi, miso and sake into a paste. Rub all over the ribs. Wrap tightly, and circulate at 145 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 hours. When the pork is done, you can remove, adding the juices to the broth, or chill in an ice bath, and reserve for later.
- sous vide pork
- 2 ounces udon per guest
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil for the udon.
- Heat your broth up, and taste again to make sure the seasoning is right. If your pork is hot out of the circulator, let rest on a cutting board tented with foil. If your pork is cold, poach slices gently in broth for 1-2 minutes.
- Gather your garnishes.
- Cook your noodles according to the package’s instructions. Divide noodles into the bowls, and cover with broth. Garnish with slices of pork rib, pickled mustard greens, pickled ginger and scallion. Enjoy!