It was when I realized that I was ordering take-out from Cheu Noodle Bar almost weekly that I finally decided to try my hand at ramen. No, I’m not talking about dorm-room-friendly, sodium-packed ramen. I’m talking about intensely delicious, upscale ramen that is particularly satisfying during the colder months.

Further, while I’ve always heard about kimchi, it wasn’t until recently that I tried it as an add-on at Cheu Noodle Bar. If you’re into things with heat, tang, and a hint of sweetness, I suggest you try kimchi ASAP. It takes a mere three days to ferment and is worth every ounce of labor that goes into making it. In addition to it being delicious, kimchi also boasts a number of health benefits. To read more about kimchi and its health benefits, click here.

If you recall, I used this exact slow cooker pork recipe for my Slow Cooker Pork Banh Mi. While I usually like to switch things up in the kitchen, I’m most certainly not a fan of fixing things that aren’t broken. This scrumptious, melt-in-your-mouth pork makes banh mi and ramen that much more tasty.

Part 1: Sriracha Kimchi

Note: While kimchi is traditionally made with gochugaru, or Korean red chili flakes, I had trouble finding it, hence my use of sriracha.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 head napa cabbage, halved, cored, and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup sea salt
  • 1/2 cup sriracha
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp. pure cane sugar
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
  • 2 quart jars
  • Parchment paper

What you’ll do:

  • In a very large bowl, toss the cabbage and salt together until the cabbage is coated with salt; allow to sit for approximately two hours, tossing several times throughout this period
  • Meanwhile, combine the sriracha, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, shallot, and ginger in a food processor; blend until a paste forms and set aside
  • Once two hours has elapsed, cover the cabbage and salt mixture with water; slosh the cabbage around to rinse the cabbage and strain the water away from the cabbage using a colander
  • Using paper towels, pat the cabbage dry and add the cabbage to a very large bowl; add the sriracha mixture, scallions, and carrots; toss the ingredients together until the veggies are completely coated in the sriracha mixture
  • Stuff into jars, covering with parchment paper and lids; allow to ferment at room temperature for 3 days; afterward, store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months

Part 2: Slow Cooker Pork

Note: Recipe yields enough pork to make six bowls of ramen. Leftovers can also be used on banh mi and other sandwiches, atop salads, and over rice.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 a yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup grape seed oil
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
  • Approx. 3 lb. boneless pork butt

What you’ll do:

  • Combine all ingredients, minus the pork, in a food processor; blend until smooth and transfer to a freezer bag
  • Add the pork to the freezer bag, zip, and ensure that the pork is coated with the marinade; refrigerate overnight
  • The following morning, add the pork and any remaining marinade to your slow cooker; cook on low for 6 hours and rotate the pork halfway through if possible
  • Once 6 hours has elapsed, remove the pork and slice into small pieces; discard any remaining marinade

Part 3: Assembly (Per Bowl)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 sheet of dry ramen
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • Himalayan salt (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sriracha kimchi (recipe above)
  • 1/2 cup slow cooker pork (recipe above)
  • 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup alfalfa and clover sprouts
  • 1 soft-boiled egg, shelled and halved lengthwise (instructions can be found here)
  • 1 tbsp. scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)

What you’ll do:

  • Cook the ramen per the instructions on the package
  • Meanwhile, warm the beef stock on medium heat; season with desired amount of Himalayan salt if needed
  • When the ramen is finished cooking and strained, place in the center of a noodle bowl
  • Pour the warmed beef stock over the noodles
  • Arrange the kimchi, pork, mushrooms, sprouts, and egg around the noodles
  • Garnish with scallions, black sesame seeds, and crushed red pepper if desired