Instagrammers go to great lengths to capture pretty bowls of ramen and an iconic #noodlepull. But no one has to travel far to find the dish: The number of ramen items on menus across the United States has increased almost 50 percent during the past five years, according to the data firm Technomic, and Instagram stars have been made from noodle posts: @lettucedine, run by two friends and fellow noodle enthusiasts, has more than 150,000 followers. Here’s a recipe that’s sure to turn into a photo op — no matter how you top it.
Combine the chicken broth, 2 1/2 cups water, the sliced ginger, 3 smashed garlic cloves, 2 cut-up scallions, the shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce and rice wine in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, covered, until the mushrooms are soft and the broth is flavorful, 35 to 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, combine the hoisin sauce, sesame oil, minced ginger, minced garlic, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper in a medium bowl. Prick the pork chops all over with a fork and add to the bowl; turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature, 15 to 20 minutes.
Heat a grill or grill pan to medium high. Grill the pork chops until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Thinly slice the pork chops.
Bring a separate large pot of water to a boil. Gently add the eggs in their shells, return to a simmer and cook 6 1/2 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. Peel the eggs and cut in half.
Return the pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook as the label directs, stirring often. Drain and divide among 4 bowls.
Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a separate pot. Add the spinach and stir to wilt slightly. Ladle the broth and spinach over the noodles and top with the pork, sliced scallions and eggs; season with shichimi togarashi.
Fresh ramen noodles are available at Asian supermarkets. You can also use dried noodles — just discard the seasoning packet and boil as the label directs.