This dashi-marinated pork tenderloin ramen is a delicious and satisfying choice if you’re craving a ramen night! The dashi pork tenderloin is a savory, quick-cooking protein that makes a perfect accompaniment to your next bowl of noodles.
The Dashi-Marinated Pork Tenderloin
The star of the show is the dashi-marinated pork tenderloin. It owes most of its savoriness to the use of dashi granules. Dashi is a family of stocks from Japan that start with a combination of kombu and bonito flakes. Other ingredients may be used for a different flavor profile, like dried mushrooms or other types of small fish like anchovies. I love keeping a jar of dashi granules for a quick bowl of miso soup or to add to my ramen. I just love the flavor. It has an intense flavor thanks to powdered bonito flakes. I use the dashi granules in two ways in this recipe. First, I add it to the marinade, and then I add it to the ramen broth.
The marinade is made with just a few other ingredients, including:
- Pork tenderloin: You can certainly use pork chops, similar to my pork chop ramen recipe. You can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs too.
- Dashi granules: You can omit them if you don’t have dashi granules. It won’t be the end of the world! If you wanted a little extra umami flavor, I’d recommend adding a teaspoon or two of white miso paste to the marinade and whisking until smooth.
- Mirin: This adds a sweet, tangy flavor.
- Shichimi togarashi: This adds a nice bit of heat. I used Daybreak Seaweed brand shichimi togarashi.
- Honey: I love the additional sweetness from honey and how it pairs with the shichimi and dashi.
- Tamari: You can use your favorite soy sauce. I used a low-sodium tamari, which worked perfectly.
- Sesame oil: This adds a nice nuttiness to the pork.
How to make the pork:
- Start by whisking all the ingredients for the marinade together.
- Pour over the pork in a bowl or use a freezer or storage bag.
- Refrigerate for thirty minutes or overnight. I recommend starting the pork in the morning or earlier in the day so that it is one less thing to worry about at dinner!
- To cook it, simply brown each side in an ovenproof skillet for about 3 minutes per side. Pop it in a 400ºF oven for about 18–22 minutes or until it registers 140ºF.
- Rest the tenderloin for 5 minutes before slicing thinly.
The ramen starts with a simple, aromatic broth. The base is shallot, ginger, garlic, scallion whites, and minced chili peppers if you like it hot! Simply sauté and then add chicken broth or water. Sprinkle a bit of those dashi granules into the broth and simmer as you get the rest of the meal done.
Tare–pronounced like tah-reh–means “sauce” in Japanese and is a concentrated mixture of ingredients used to flavor ramen broth. Tare will vary depending on the style of ramen but contain flavorings, like miso, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sake, or sesame. Typically, tare is simmered until thick and added to the bottom of each bowl, and the broth is ladled on top and mixed in. Since I’m serving a big pot family-style, I make a quick version of tare and pour it into the pot before I serve it tableside.
Corn became a popular topping for miso ramen from the northern region of Japan, particularly Hokkaido. In this recipe, I mix together corn, shichimi togarashi, sesame oil, and minced scallion greens as a quick topping that adds a nice spicy, freshness to the soup.
I finish with julienned carrots and a soft-boiled egg. You could finish with bok choy or enoki mushrooms. Just use what you like here!
How to make the ramen
There are a few components to this dish. Below is the order I recommend making everything.
- Step 1: Marinate the pork.
- Step 2: Prepare the broth by sautéing the aromatics and simmering in chicken broth with dashi granules.
- Step 3: Make the tare by whisking miso, tamari, mirin, and sesame oil in warm water until smooth.
- Step 4: Make the corn by mixing together canned corn, scallion greens, shichimi togarashi, and salt.
- Step 5: After all the prep work is done, cook the pork tenderloin. Heat oil in an ovenproof skillet and brown the pork on both sides. Transfer it to the oven for 18–22 minutes or until the thickest part registers 140ºF. Transfer it to a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes before slicing it into thin medallions.
- Step 6: While the pork roasts, prepare all your garnishes, toppings, and noodles.
- Step 7: Right before serving, pour the tare mixture into the pot and simmer it until just warmed through.
From there, you’re ready to serve it up. Divide cooked noodles between bowls, ladle the broth on top, and arrange a few pieces of pork on top of each bowl. Finish each bowl of ramen with corn, soft-boiled egg, and julienned carrots. I like to sprinkle shichimi togarashi on top for extra heat.
I hope you loved this ramen as much as I did! If you make it, please drop a comment below to let me know how it turned out!
Dashi-Marinated Pork Tenderloin Ramen
- Large pot
- Ovenproof skillet
- Large pot for cooking the noodles and soft-boiled egg
Ramen broth and corn:
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 shallot, peeled and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 –3 Thai chili peppers, minced, optional
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 5 scallions, minced, white and green parts kept separate
- 6 cups chicken broth or water
- 2 teaspoons dashi granules
- ½ cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons white miso
- ¼ cup tamari
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 15- ounce can of sweet corn , drained
- 1–2 teaspoons shichimi togarashi
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Julienned carrots
- Soft-boiled eggs, optional
- 16 ounces fresh ramen or use dry; cooked according to package directions
Marinate the pork:
- Pat the pork dry and transfer it to a gallon storage bag. Whisk together the mirin, tamari, dashi granules, honey, shichimi togarashi, and sesame oil until smooth.
- Pour the marinade over the pork. Squeeze the air out of the bag and close it. Transfer to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to overnight.
Prepare the ramen both:
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic, chili peppers, and white parts of the scallions. Sauté for 3–5 minutes.
- Pour the chicken broth on top and add the dashi granules. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.
Prepare the miso:
- Place the warm water in a measuring glass. Add the miso, tamari, mirin, and sesame oil. Whisk until completely smooth. Set aside.
Make the corn:
- Place the corn in a bowl with the green parts of the scallions. Add the shichimi togarashi and sesame oil. Season with salt and mix to combine. Taste and add more salt or shichimi togarashi if needed.
Make the pork:
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Remove the pork from the storage bag and shake off the excess marinade. Transfer to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven for 18–22 minutes or until the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 140ºF.
- Transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes before slicing into thin medallions.
Prepare the noodles and garnishes:
- As the pork roasts, cook the noodles according to package directions and prepare your soft-boiled eggs. See note.
Finish the ramen broth:
- Pour the miso mixture into the pot of ramen broth and stir to incorporate. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your preference. Turn off the heat.
- Divide cooked noodles between bowls. Ladle the broth on top. Arrange a few slices of pork and a few spoonfuls of corn on each. Garnish with the julienned carrots and serve with more shichimi togarashi sprinkled on top if you like. Enjoy!