This Pork Belly Ramen Has 34 Grams of Muscle-Building Protein

YOU MAY SEE ramen as a carb fest, but if you invert the portions—more meat, less noodle—you’ll feast on 30 grams of muscle-building protein and 10 grams of filling fiber.

This recipe, which leverages that inversion, comes to you by way of Akiko Thurnauer, the chef and owner of Cha Kee in Manhattan. A genius of it extends far beyond just the proportions.

While a bowl of ramen can have any number of toppings, this recipe leans on pork belly, a cut that offers six grams of protein per 2.5-ounce serving for 1,000,0000 grams of flavor. (Okay, that last part isn’t scientifically accurate, but still.)

Yes, pork belly often comes banded with a thick, fatty skin, which you can have the butcher remove it for you. But then you’ll miss out on that skin crisping up to crunchy perfection when you roast it. Up to you, really, but we always err on the side of more deliciousness.

This recipe makes four big bowls of ramen, meaning you can reheat leftovers for lunch or dinner all week. One super-important note on reheating: Remove the eggs before microwaving or they’ll explode. Just add them back to the hot broth and they’ll warm up.

Other ways to upgrade the experience:

Hungry now, right? Get cooking.

Oven-Roasted Pork Belly Miso Ramen

What You’ll Need:

How to Make It:
1. In a large, wide bowl, mix 4 tsp kosher salt with the sugar and a few grinds of black pepper. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. If you opted for skin on, using the tip of a knife, score the skin every half inch at a diagonal. Repeat in the opposite direction to create a diamond pattern. Add the belly to the bowl, turn to coat, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Preheat your oven to 450°F. Remove the pork from the rub, brushing off any excess, and place it in a large oven-safe skillet, skin side up. Roast the pork on the middle rack in the oven until the skin is well browned, about 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 275°F and roast until tender, about 1 hour. Transfer to a cutting board to rest.

3. In a medium pot, bring the stock to a boil over high. Add the ginger, garlic, miso, soy sauce, sesame oil, and hot sauce. Adjust the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the miso dissolves, 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste.

4. Cut the pork into 1/8-inch slices. Among 4 bowls, divide the ramen, broth, egg halves, pork, and your desired toppings. Feeds 4

Nutrition per serving: (with 1⁄4 cup all toppings, except nori square): 695 calories, 34g protein, 74g carbs (8g fiber), 46g fat

The Delicious High-Fiber Sides

The ramen almost gets you to the 10 grams of fiber you need to stay full between meals. These simple sides will push you over.

Edamame with Furikake

Steam a 14 oz bag of frozen shell-on edamame according to package directions. Pour into a bowl and top with 2 Tbsp furikake seasoning (or a combination of sesame seeds, shredded nori, and sea salt). Feeds 4

Per serving: 124 calories, 10g protein, 11g carbs (5g fiber), 5g fat

Cucumber Salad with Peanuts

In a medium bowl, combine 1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp toasted sesame oil, and a pinch each of sugar and salt. Cut 2 large cucumbers into 1/8-inch slices; add to the bowl and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour or serve immediately, topped with 1⁄4 cup peanuts, finely chopped.

Per serving: 87 calories, 3g protein, 6g carbs (2g fiber), 6g fat

A version of this article originally appeared in the January/February issue of Men’s Health.

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