This post was originally created in the June 7, 2021 edition of The movement, a place where Eater’s editors share their food recommendations and pro tips – sometimes thoughtful, sometimes strange, but someone is always the right choice. Subscribe now.
One of my favorite snacks from my childhood was raw instant ramen noodles: I would open a bag with it Shin Ramyun To break the noodles, take out the spice packet and dip small fragments of uncooked, hard-to-bite noodles into the ruby red powder. It was one of those salty, spicy snacks I could enjoy as a little kid. In retrospect, it seems pretty savvy and experimental because now, as an adult, I use extra packs of ramen seasoning for everything from making a soup base for kimchi jjigae to lightly sprinkling french fries. My latest kitchen discovery: to season meat with it before it is roasted or grilled in the open air. The addition of Shin Ramyun seasoning as a rub made it one of the most delicious pork belly dishes I have ever cooked.
The flavors of instant ramen packets differ, but the shin ramyun seasoning – which contains garlic powder, mushroom extract, red chilli pepper, onion, soybean paste, and so many other flavor enhancers – makes the most sense for grilling meat. I recently sprinkled a shin spice packet over a thick skin-on pork belly after cutting the skin crosswise to allow the spices to penetrate the meat. For a pound of pork belly, a pack of ramen was enough to cover all the rough edges, and I let the pork belly marinate with the dry seasoning Place in the refrigerator for an hour without a lid. Then I cooked it in a hot air fryer at 380 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes while you check halfway and turn the page.
The skin became incredibly crispy, similar to chicharrones. After letting the meat rest for a few minutes, I finally sliced the fat pork belly, and its insides, in contrast to the wildly crispy skin, were moist, juicy and so tender. The flavors of the ramen pack were subtle yet faintly present, ideal for dipping into additional sauces such as ssamjang, a hearty, spicy Korean paste that is mostly combined with Korean barbecue. I enjoyed the pork belly with musangchae (a spicy, spicy radish salad), with salad for a filling ssam (a Korean style of eating in which food is wrapped in leafy vegetables).
I cooked my shin ramyun seasoned pork belly in the air fryer, but roasting or grilling the seasoned meat in the oven would be delicious too. According to my quick research, massaging the meat with sesame oil before adding the spices would add an extra layer of flavor and make for an excellent wet rub. And while pork belly is my first choice, chicken, ribs, and even fish would be great canvases to play with. (In my opinion, hot, spicy varieties, especially Korean instant noodles like Shin, are Jin ramen, or Neoguri(would work best with meat compared to the chicken flavor of Top Ramen.) Be creative with it!
This simple hack is also an easy way to spice up your Korean BBQ game at home. You can get grill-ready pork belly from places like H Mart, sprinkle on the condiment packet, and start grilling at the table over a portable gas stove. Combine your meat with several side dishes, including fresh lettuce, perilla leaves, ssamjang, and more. (I highly recommend ending this KBBQ feast with some real flavorful ramen.)
For my upcoming camping trip, I plan to bring or prepare a secret barbecue spice instead Just bring extra packs of ramen noodles so I can use the condiments to sprinkle the pork belly before it goes on the grill. And of course the raw, uncooked ramen noodles provide the fireplace snack themselves.