Momofuko broth – I promise I’m not cursing!

The kimchi was ready this week so I invited a few brave girlfriends over for dinner with the understanding that we might end up ordering pizza. I spent a bit of time researching kimchi, cross referencing how it was eaten and with what until I landed on serving it as part of a composite soup dish. I loved the idea of an over-sized soup bowl arranged with interesting ingredients left to the slurper to mix up. Having gone to the trouble of making homemade kimchi, serving it in a soup, would be pointless, without a fantastic broth. 

Momofuku is a group of award-winning restaurants owned by chef-founder David Chang. I’m crazy about the name partly due to the fact that Mr. Chang chose Momofuko because it sounds vaguely like !*#@&!  I think it’s brazen and hysterical! If he’s courageous enough to choose a name that sounds like a curse word, he’s courageous enough to make the world’s best soup broth.

After seven hours of adding, taking away, scum skimming and tasting, I kid you not, this broth is freaking amazing! Keep in mind, it’s Asian, so not suitable for a bowl of Canadian chicken noodle soup. However, substitute the egg noodles for soba noodles [Japanese buckwheat noodle], the carrots for kimchi and add a soft poached egg on top and you have kimchi soba noodle soup. 

After I took the photos for this post, I ate the soup. It was lovely but not substantial enough for dinner. For the girls, I added pork dumplings, steamed baby bok choy, sauteed jumbo shrimp and fresh bean sprouts. Sadly, I don’t have photographic proof. I have to draw the line on holding up dinner, so I can take pictures, when I have guests. Only my family suffer from “my supper’s getting cold due to crazy food blogger syndrome”  

Momofuku Ramen Broth – slightly adapted from David Chang – Momofuku Cookbook

Makes 5 quarts

Two 3X6 inch pieces of konbu (dried kelp, find this at Asian markets)
6 quarts of water
2 cups dried shiitakes, rinsed well –  I used a mixture of wild mushrooms
4 lbs free-range chicken, either a whole bird or legs – I used whole birds
2 ½ lbs pork neck bones – I used pork steaks with lots of bones
1 pound smoky bacon
1 bunch scallions
1 medium onion, cut in half
2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

THE STEPS:

  • Rinse the konbu under running water.
  • Place rinsed kelp and water in an 8-quart stockpot.
  • Bring the water to a simmer over high heat then turn the heat off.
  • Let steep for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the konbu from the pot and discard.
  • Add the dried mushrooms.
  • Turn the heat back up to high and bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat down so the liquid simmers gently for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 400°F.
  • Remove the mushrooms from the pot with a slotted spoon and discard. After steeping for 30 minutes, the taste is gone.
  • Add the chicken to the pot.
  • Keep the liquid at a gentle simmer – I was constantly adjusting the heat.
  • Skim away any froth, foam, or fat that rises to the surface of the broth while the chicken is simmering.
  • Replenish the water as necessary to keep the chicken covered. This is where I strayed from the original recipe…
  • While the chicken is simmering, put the pork bones on a baking sheet and place in the oven to brown for 1 hour – turn them over after about 30 minutes to ensure even browning.
  • Add the roasted bones to the broth, along with the bacon.
  • Add the scallions, onion and carrots to the pot.
  • Adjust the heat to keep the broth at a steady simmer
  • Continue to skim the scum and replenish the water as needed.
  • After 45 minutes, remove the bacon and discard it.
  • Gently simmer the broth for 6 hours.
  • Stop adding water to replenish the pot after hour 5.
  • Remove and discard the spent bones and vegetables.
  • Pass the broth through a strainer lined with cheesecloth.
  • Finish the broth by seasoning it to taste with: 3 tablespoons of combined kosher salt, soy sauce and mirin, per quart.

THE LOVE: . Make the entire recipe. It’s a lot of work for a little bit of broth! It will keep in the fridge for several days and in the freezer for two months. Make sure you taste it for seasoning. Add enough seasoning until you get it right. It should be very seasoned, almost too salty.

click here for printable recipe

one year ago: roasted beets with clementines and garlic 

two years ago: Wild Mushroom Soup Au Gratin 

Thanks for reading.

  • Kaitie

    Pics look YUMMA!!! I love the momofuku cookbook, but everything in it takes HOURS to make! So I’ll just settle for going to the restaurant 😉

    • Michelle

      Cause you can…Sadly, not so easy for me! xo