- 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 star anise pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
- 6 to 8 whole dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 pound soba or ramen noodles
- 1/4 cup water chestnuts, sliced
- 2 Fresno chile peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with the vegetable oil. Add the pork and brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Combine the broth, soy sauce, sherry, sugar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, star anise and cinnamon stick in a 5-quart slow cooker. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then add the garlic, ginger and mushrooms. Add the pork, cover and program to cook 4 hours on high, then 2 hours on low, or 6 hours total on low.
Transfer the pork to a platter, cover and let rest 15 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the broth and halve them, then return to the broth.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the noodles as the label directs. Slice the pork. Divide the noodles among bowls and top with some of the broth and mushrooms and a few slices of pork. Garnish with the water chestnuts, chiles, scallions and cilantro.
Photograph by Kana Okada