For the broth
100g chicken feet
1 chicken back
6 chicken wings (whole wings, not segments)
1 pig’s trotter, chopped up
20g iriko (dried sardines), guts and heads removed
1 onion, quartered
50g piece of ginger root, sliced (no need to peel)
10g kombu (about a 10-cm square), rinsed
For the chashu
4tbs soy sauce
2tbs light soft brown sugar
500g pork loin
2tbs dark soy sauce (koikuchi or tamari)
3tbs light soy sauce (usukuchi)
1tbs sea salt flakes, or more to taste
4 portions medium-thick, wavy ramen noodles (fresh is best)
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 sheet of nori, cut into 4 squares
To make the broth, preheat the oven to 120°C. Combine the water, chicken feet, chicken back, wings, trotter, iriko, onion and ginger in a large stock pot or casserole. Gradually bring to a low boil over a medium heat, skimming the scum off the surface as it begins to bubble. Simmer for about half an hour, or until no new scum rises to the top, skimming constantly. Top up the water to cover the bones, if needed, cover with a lid or kitchen foil, then transfer to the oven. Leave to simmer in the oven for five hours.
Remove the bones (you can eat the meat from the wings, if you like) and pass the broth through a fine sieve. Add the kombu and the katsuobushi and leave to infuse for one hour. Pass through a sieve again and measure – you will need 1.4 litres of broth in total, so simply top up with water as needed.
Chill completely, then remove the solidified fat from the surface of the broth and reserve. Use a ladle to scoop out the broth and transfer to a separate container, leaving behind any debris on the bottom. The broth should be very clear.
To make the chashu, preheat the oven to 140°C. Stir together the soy sauce and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Score the surface of the pork and rub the sweet soy mixture all over, then transfer to the oven and roast just until the internal temperature reaches 57°C – this should take no more than 30 minutes. (If you don’t have a probe thermometer, prod the pork – it should still feel fairly supple. And remember, if the pork is undercooked, you can always cook it more, but if it’s overcooked, there’s no going back. So err on the side of rare and take it out as soon as you think it might be done!) Chill the pork completely.
To serve, bring the broth to a simmer and add the soy sauces, mirin and salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you like. Prepare a large saucepan full of boiling water. Thinly slice the chashu. Melt the reserved fat from the broth in a small saucepan or in the microwave.
Cook the noodles in the boiling water according to the package instructions, ensuring that they have a good bite to them. Drain well. Divide the broth evenly among four bowls, then place the noodles in the broth. Top each bowl with a slice of chashu, the menma, some spring onions and a spoonful or two of the melted fat.
Place the nori squares on the side of each bowl, slightly submerged in the broth. Enjoy piping hot and don’t forget to slurp!