This rich, satisfying soup develops its intense flavor from oven-braising the pork belly in a complex liquid that becomes part of the broth. Select a slab of pork from the center of the belly, which has even layers of fat and meat. From The Dutch Oven Cookbook.
8 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 cup hot water
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 lb skin-on center-cut pork belly
1 yellow onion, diced
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and left whole
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
5 cups chicken broth
8 oz cooked ramen noodles
4–6 large eggs, hard-boiled for 5–6 minutes, peeled, and cut in half lengthwise
6 green onions, green parts only, finely sliced
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Soak the dried mushrooms in the hot water for 20 minutes. Strain through a double layer of cheesecloth, reserving the liquid. Rinse the mushrooms in cold water and set aside.
In a 5-qt dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the pork belly, skin side down, and cook until crispy, 3–4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Place the pot over medium-high heat, add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 6–8 minutes. Return the pork belly, skin side up, to the pot and add the mushrooms, soaking liquid, ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, mirin, and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, transfer to the oven, and cook until the pork belly is fork-tender, about 2 hours. Transfer the pork belly to a cutting board. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to a small bowl. Thinly slice the pork and set aside.
Transfer the braising liquid to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the broth and blend again. Return the broth mixture to the pot and adjust the seasoning with salt. Keep warm over low heat.
Divide the noodles among the bowls and ladle the broth on top. Add slices of pork belly, mushrooms, egg halves, and green onions and serve.