Pork and Miso Ramen

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retrochick.JPGMichele says:

Ramen. It’s a single word that conjures images of students and young newlyweds alike, united by their grumbling bellies and meager budgets.  Most of us have been there, done that—myself included—and if you’re anything like me, you may have also done a happy dance when you finally said sayonara to your noodle heavy twenty dollar a week food budget.  Despite my longstanding eagerness to eat something (anything!) other than what the Japanese refer to as gakusei ryori, or “student food”, years later I still find myself craving the salty, slurpy soup that got me through the leanest times in my life.

Fortunately for those of us nostalgic for ramen, it’s pretty hip these days!  Made with fresh noodles, the giant bowls come garnished with everything from pork belly to pickled vegetables to quail eggs to kombu (AKA seaweed).  Though delicious, these gourmet bowls can leave one asking, where has all of the cheap ramen gone?  It turns out that the answer is closer than most of us would have ever guessed: it’s hiding in our own home kitchens!

With a few ingredients that you can buy at any well stocked grocery store (check Amazon if you can’t find miso), you can throw together a restaurant-worthy bowl in under an hour.  Best of all, once you’ve made the broth, you can customize the bowls individually to make each one as healthy or as unhealthy as you’d like.  That’s right.  This homemade, veggie filled ramen can actually count as healthy…ish (those pesky fried noodles are the “ish”).  For once, you’ll be able to have your cake ramen and eat it, too!  If only those poor college students should be so lucky.


Pork and Miso Ramen

Pork Marinade:
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice wine (or apple cider) vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Everything Else:
  • 1 pound boneless pork chops
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cups fish broth (I used a 32 ounce carton of store-bought)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (homemade or a 32 ounce carton of store-bought)
  • 2 tablespoons shiro (white) miso paste (you can find it on Amazon if your store doesn’t carry it)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ pound (8 ounces) mung bean sprouts
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) bok choy
  • 1 bunch (approximately 10) scallions
  • 3-3 ounce packages dried ramen, seasoning packets discarded
  • 4 eggs, hard boiled or poached
  • Sriracha for serving (optional)

Step 1: Make the marinade by combining ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and black pepper in a gallon sized zip top bag.  Use a fork to poke holes in the pork chops.  Add the holey pork to the bag with the marinade and allow the meat to marinate for 30 minutes.

Step 2: While the pork marinates, mix 4 cups of fish broth with 4 cups of chicken broth in a stock pot, then add 2 tablespoons miso paste, 1 teaspoon ginger, and ¼ cup soy sauce to the broth.  Cover and bring to a simmer for 30 minutes.  If making hard boiled eggs, cook them now and set aside.

Step 3: While the broth simmers, heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Once the pan is warm, remove the pork chops from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels.  Cook in the heated pan for 4-5 minutes, then flip; cook an additional 4-5 minutes, then remove the pork chops to a plate or plastic cutting board.  Tent pork chops with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Step 4: While the pork is resting, wash the bean sprouts, bok choy, and scallions.  Discard the roots from the bok choy and scallions.  Slice the bok choy into ribbons; set aside.  Cut the scallions into ¼ inch pieces; set aside.  Thinly slice the pork; set aside.  If you’re a worrywart, throw the pork into the broth to make sure that it’s one hundred percent cooked; there’s no shame in it, but it does change the texture of the pork.  If making poached eggs, cook them now and (you guessed it!) set aside.

Step 5: Five minutes before serving, bring the broth up to the boil.  Add the noodles to the boiling broth, being careful not to break up the ramen; slurping the noodles is half of the fun!  Cook the ramen for 3 minutes or until the noodles are soft.

Step 6: Ladle the broth into soup bowls.  Use chop sticks or a pasta server to add ramen to the bowls with the broth.  Add pork to your bowl of noodles.  Top the noodles with bok choy, bean sprouts, scallions, and egg.  Don’t forget a squirt (or three) of Sriracha!

Serves 4 ramen lovers.

Michele Newell is a housewife turned blogger turned Home Ec 101 contributor.  You can read her near daily ramblings at Dreams Unreal.

Pork Chops, Fried

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Heather says:

Fried pork chops are a quintessential Sunday Dinner and depending on the number of minions you are cooking for, they are fairly low effort. They are less touchy than fried chicken and completely company worthy, especially if it’s the kind of company that will hang out in the kitchen and talk while you burn the rice. Oh wait, that’s just me getting distracted by a 9yo making simple sweet cornbread. Multiple cooks in the kitchen = yay, unfortunately to get there we still have to go through multiple novices in the kitchen which is a wee bit distracting.

It’ll be worth the effort. Eventually.

If you’re cooking for more than 4 people, I highly suggest setting your oven to 200°F and holding the finished pork chops on a paper-towel lined plate. Unless of course you’re making roasted broccoli or brussels sprouts, which I strongly suggest as an accompaniment, then just cover the plate to keep them warm.

I had been planning on making onion gravy, like I serve with country-fried steak, but I realized the kids hate gravy of all kinds -weirdos- and I’m the only one I had to please, so I just sauteed the onions in the same pan I cooked the pork chops and well, I was quite happy. If you want to make onion gravy, by all means, be my guest.

*Novice Tip* The exact cook-time is going to be highly dependent on your stove and your cookware. If you have a gas stove and thin cookware, this recipe is going to be extremely touchy and I don’t recommend trying it without a thermometer.

If you have sturdy cookware it’s going to be a lot less touchy.

Fried Pork Chops

: Fried Pork Chops

: Classic Fried Pork Chops

  • 4 – 8 Bone-in Pork Chops, at least 1/2″ thick but not more than 1″ thick
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 rounded TBSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 rounded TBSP Onion Powder
  • 1/2 TBSP Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 TBSP Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil *This depends on the size of your skillet. . . as in, use more for a 10″ skillet than for an 8.

 Flour and Seasoning

    • Mix the seasoning with the flour.

Floured Pork Chops

  • Dredge the pork chops in the seasoned flour and set aside.
  • Save any remaining seasoned flour to re-dredge the chops just before frying.
  • Heat the oil to 350F on my electric stove this is just below medium, but it takes quite a while to get there. While you’re waiting for the oil to heat, make a couple of side dishes. Do not turn the burner to high and wait for the oil to smoke and turn it back down. We can get into a discussion about that later. Just be patient.


One Chop frying in a small pan

  • Cook two or three chops at a time, depending on the size of your pan and the size of the chops. Do not crowd the pan.
  • These chops were 1″ thick and took between 8 – 10 minutes, about 4 minutes a side. If you use thinner chops, it will be less. If you have thicker chops, I recommend cooking three minutes a side and finishing in a 350F oven, covered, to prevent them from drying out.


Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Don’t forget it you want to print this recipe, use the Print Friendly button up there on the right and you’ll easily be able to strip out extra text and photos.

Enjoy! (The 9yo called these “Heaven.”)

Pork and Mushroom Quesadillas with a Giveaway from the Pork Board

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Heather says:

This week Publix and the National Pork Board are featuring sirloin pork cutlets, which will be on sale at Publix through February 22. These boneless cuts of porks are great for quick cooking methods like stir fry. Today’s recipe for pork and mushroom quesadillas takes advantage of this quick cooking method. Quesadillas are a great, healthy weeknight meal and as a bonus, they come together quite quickly and pair well with a salad for a complete dinner. (Keep reading, there’s a giveaway just below the recipe).

If you really want to up the health quotient try substituting whole grain tortillas for the plain flour ones. For more great ideas from the National Pork Board, follow their Twitter account @allaboutpork or fan them on Facebook.

If you’re new to the technique of sauteing, not too long ago I shared how to tell if your pan is hot enough to saute and today I’m adding the following video that demonstrates the water test.

Okay, so now  that you know how to tell if your pan is hot enough to saute the pork (yes, I’m playing fast and loose with saute and stir fry today, but let’s get started with the recipe.

: Pork and Mushroom Quesadillas

: Recipe courtesy of the National Pork Board


  • 12 ounces pork cutlets, pounded 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup olive oil with garlic or olive oil, divided
  • salt to taste
  • 6 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3 cup green onions, sliced
  • 8 oz Swiss or Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 4 large flour tortillas (9 – 10 inch)

  • Stack pounded cutlets and cut crosswise in half, then cut each stack lengthwise into matchstick size pieces. (You may find this easier if the pork cutlets are partially, but not fully frozen).
  • Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a heavy skillet and stir-fry pork for 2 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove the pork from the skillet with a slotted spoon and season with salt, to taste.
  • Add 1 TBSP of oil to the skillet. Add the mushroom and onions to the skillet and stir-fry for 1 – 2 minutes or until crisp-tender (in other words, don’t cook the mushrooms to death). Add the pork to the skillet and toss to mix. Remove from the skillet and wipe the skillet with a paper towel.
  • Assemble the quesadillas by placing 1/4 cup of shredded cheese on half the tortilla, topping with 1/4 of the pork and mushroom mixture and another 1/4 cup of cheese. Fold the tortilla in half.
  • Add the final 1 TBSP of oil to the skillet and cook the quesadillas 2 at a time over medium heat for 2 – 4 minutes on each side, or until golden.
  • Cut quesadillas into wedges to serve.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Calories: 560

Fat: 38 grams

Protein: 40 grams

Now for the giveaway. The National Pork Board and Publix are giving away the following:

  • 8 $5 pork coupons
  • Water bottle
  • Reusable grocery bag
  • Meat thermometer
  • Pedometer
  • Recipe book

to one lucky Home Ec 101 Reader to help you get started with the Good and Good for You Challenge.

How do you get in on this giveaway? Well, it’s pretty simple. Just add a comment to this post. If you want a second chance (and that’s all you get, folks) tweet about this giveaway and copy and paste the URL into a second comment. The comments are the official entry, there is no purchase necessary, void where prohibited. The contest ends Sunday February 26, 2012 at 9pm Eastern. The winner will be announced on Monday the 27th.

Good luck!

This post was sponsored by the National Pork Board, all opinions are my own.

Cubed Indian Pork with Sweet Onions and Bell Peppers (Deconstructed) #Publix4Pork

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Heather says:

This recipe for pork cubes with sweet onions and bell peppers is a modification of another recipe for the National Pork Board’s Good and Good for You Campaign. I had to modify this recipe (which was supposed to be for kebabs) because skewers and small children do not mix. I swear I stored the skewers  in the highest cabinet, but still they were all destroyed in the name of sword fighting or spell casting a la Harry Potter. Who knows. However, I’m pretty much certain mine isn’t the only household that has a baking dish, but lacks skewers.

This week Publix and the Good and Good for you Campaign are featuring sirloin pork roast. Roast simply means a large cut of meat and the loin part refers to the cut coming from the loin (behind the shoulder, along the upper part of the back). It’s not as tender as the tenderloin but will still fall apart with a long, wet cook (like braising) so it’s not the best choice for the slow cooker. Baking, roasting, and indirect grilling work well for this cut.

This recipe is fantastic for a busy night. The marinade is simple to make and everything can be assembled first thing in the morning. The pork cubes cook in just about the same time it takes to make a pot of rice and a side of frozen vegetables. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. I love curry, and it’s a wonderful change of pace from our usual repertoire.

For more recipe ideas visit PorkBeInspired.com and follow them on Twitter.

: Indian Pork Cubes with Sweet Onions and Bell Peppers

: Recipe Courtesy of the National Pork Board


  • 1 bone-in sirloin pork roast, about 4lbs, boned and cut into 1 – 1.5 inch cubes
  • 2 large bell peppers (red, orange, or yellow preferred)
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
    Indian Spice Paste
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 2 TBSP curry powder
  • 1 TBSP kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1 TBSP coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP water


  • Place all of the Indian Spice Paste ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined.
  • Place pork in a large zippered, plastic bag or a shallow, covered container. Stir spice paste in with the pork cubes and refrigerate for 2 – 4 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Place the pork cubes in a 9 x 13 baking pan and add the bell peppers and onions. Stir to combine.
  • Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring once. Remove from the oven when the pork measures 145F.
  • Serve over rice

If you choose to prepare these as kebabs, assemble and grill directly over a medium hot grill. 10 – 12 minutes, turning to cook evenly.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Diet tags: Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 8

Calories: 225

Fat: 10 grams

Protein: 27 grams


 This recipe was sponsored by Publix and the National Pork Board, all opinions including my dismay over skewers and impromptu weapons are my own.

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Winter Greens and Caramelized Onions

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Heather says:

Here’s another recipe from the National Pork Board‘s Good and Good for You Challenge. This roast pork tenderloin with winter greens and caramelized* onions comes together quickly and would make a great weeknight meal. With a little creativity and the right sides, like this morning’s Hasselback potatoes, it’d be good for a healthy, simple company dinner that doesn’t have a huge time investment.


: Roast Pork Tenderloin with Winter Greens

: Recipe courtsey of the National Pork Board

  • 1 pork tenderloin ~ 1 lb
  • 1/4 tsp salt, divided
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced.
  • 1 lb kale or other winter greens, tough stems removed
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 TBSP red wine vinegar

 Roast Pork Tenderloin with Winter Greens Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. If your skillet is thin, do not heat until after the tenderloin is ready.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and rub the pork tenderloin with 1/8th tsp salt, fresh ground pepper, and the minced garlic.
  • Add 2 tsp of olive oil and then the pork to your hot skillet and brown on all sides (3 – 4 minutes).
  • Remove the pork tenderloin from the pan and place it on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the 425F oven and cook until the tenderloin reaches 145F ~ 12 minutes.
  • Add the onions and remaining 2 tsps of olive oil and the sliced onions to your hot skillet. Cover and cook until the onions soften and just start to brown. Add the kale, chicken stock, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and some fresh ground pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes.
  • If after 5 minutes there is lots of liquid in the pan, cook uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the 1 TBSP red wine vinegar and remove from the heat.
  • When the pork tenderloin reaches 145F, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Slice the pork tenderloin into medallions and serve with the kale and onions.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

Calories: 240

Fat: 8 grams

Protein: 29 grams

*Generally when the term caramelized is used in association with onions it implies a long, slow cook over low heat. The onions in the recipe aren’t so much caramelized as cooked.
This post was sponsored by the National Pork Board, I was provided with recipes and compensated for the purchase of ingredients. All opinions are my own.