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Pork Belly Soba Noodle Soup

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Pork Belly Soba Noodle Soup
This soup benefits greatly from good quality pork, so be sure to look out for Berkshire (or Kurobuta) pork belly if you can find it. Most Japanese and Korean markets will sell packages that are thinly pre-sliced already.
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Servings
Ingredients
  • 1-2 teaspoons oil
  • 6-8 ounces thinly sliced Berkshire pork belly cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion about 1 small onion
  • 6 ounces (about 1/2 of most packages) diced tofu as firm or soft as you like
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 3-4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons sake
  • 3-4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 ounces buckwheat soba noodles
  • 2 scallions sliced diagonally
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1-2 teaspoons oil
  • 6-8 ounces thinly sliced Berkshire pork belly cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion about 1 small onion
  • 6 ounces (about 1/2 of most packages) diced tofu as firm or soft as you like
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 3-4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons sake
  • 3-4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 ounces buckwheat soba noodles
  • 2 scallions sliced diagonally
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Instructions
  1. If using unpasteurized eggs, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (If you have pasteurized eggs, you can break them raw into your soup at the end and skip baking them.)
  2. Heat a 2- or 3-quart saucepan over medium heat with just enough oil to prevent sticking, a teaspoon or so. Add the pork belly and onion, and let cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until pork belly is cooked through and onions have softened.
  3. Add the diced tofu, mirin, soy sauce, sake, sugar and water, and stir gently until combined. You may want to start with a bit less of each of the sauce ingredients, and work your way up with more after adding the water if you find it too bland. Turn the heat to high until the soup begins to simmer, then reduce to its lowest setting and keep it on a bare simmer until the noodles and eggs are ready. Since pork belly is a bit fatty, you may want to skim any fat off the surface of the soup as it cooks. (See Notes on other tips to make the broth less oily.)
  4. To prepare the eggs, break each into a small 4-oz oven-safe ramekin, then place into a pan filled with about one inch of water. Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the white just begins to turn opaque. (Again, skip if using pasteurized eggs.)
  5. While the eggs are baking, bring a pot of water to boil and cook the noodles until firm but tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and divide between two bowls. Ladle the broth over each bowl and divide the pork belly and tofu between the two. Top with sliced scallions and serve with very soft (or raw, if pasteurized) egg. Whisking the egg yolk into the soup will make for an especially nice, creamy broth.
Recipe Notes

If you have the extra time and you’d like to make the broth as light as possible, you can prepare it the night before, refrigerate it overnight, and easily remove all the solidified fat the next day. Then simply heat it up as you’re making the noodles and eggs, and enjoy.

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