Ben and I are about to go on a month long vacation to Japan and boy are we excited! It’s been a few years since our last visit and we plan on making up for it big time by stuffing our faces silly!
We will also be working on a travel section for Pickled Plum, focusing on the south of Japan since most of our time will be spent there . Fukuoka is home to the famous tonkotsu ramen (milky pork broth), karashi mentaiko (spicy cod roe) and motsunabe (beef or pork guts hot pot with miso, garlic or soy base soup).
It’s also known for the array of dishes sold in yatai street stalls.
When the clock strikes 6 every evening, street vendors open up for business on major streets like Watanabe-dori in Tenjin and sell steamy bowls of noodles, dumplings, croquettes, yakitori, you name it.
Japan at night is anything but boring; food stalls, izakayas, restaurants, cafes and bars line up the streets with their brightly lit signs, inviting you and your friends to stop by for a snack and a beer. The atmosphere is happy, lively and peaceful.
To not experience the night life in Japan (and I don’t mean clubbing) is to miss out on an integral part of Japanese culture.
People come alive at night in Japan because it’s the only time they get to unwind after spending a long, stressful day at work. Eating good food, just like anywhere else in Asia is of utmost importance.
What this means is that no matter where you go or how much money you have, the odds of finding good food are extremely high. Something as simple as this dish of spicy pork ramen noodles (aka ja ja men) is prepared with care and attention and the same goes for anything else.
I have had good pork ramen noodles in NYC but nothing compares to the ja ja men I slurp in Japan. Ja ja men, taken from the word zhajiangmian which literally means fried sauce noodles, is a dish originally from China consisting of noodles and topped with ground pork cooked in a salty and savory sauce.
Japanese people adapted the dish by using ramen noodles instead of thick wheat noodles and adding a little sweetness to the sauce.
This recipe is meant to be simple and easy, an Asian version of fast food if you will but with much more punch and character.
Toppings may vary but my favorites are tomatoes, scallions, pickled daikon and pickled eggs. A bowl of spicy pork ramen noodles always hits the spot after a night out with friends or when I want something speedy and tasty for lunch.
Did you like this Spicy Pork Ramen Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
Spicy Pork Ramen (Ja-Ja Men)
This is an easy homemade pork ramen recipe injected with heat from Korean hot pepper paste. It’s both savory and slightly sweet too!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 7 minutes
- Total Time: 17 minutes
- Yield: 2 people 1x
- Category: Noodles
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: Japanese
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cup ground pork
- 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sake
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 4 ounce fresh or dry ramen noodles (or egg noodles)
- 4 scallions (cut into thirds and thinly sliced lengthwise)
- 1 large tomato (chopped into 8 slices)
- – In a medium pan over medium high heat, add vegetable oil, ground pork, gochujang, sugar, soy and sake.
- Cook for 5 minutes or until pork is cooked through.
- Keep stirring and breaking the pork into small pieces. Turn the heat off, add sesame oil, stir and set aside.
- Boil ramen noodles according to package instructions and drain. Divide noodles among two bowls.
- Top with ground pork, scallions and tomatoes. Serve immediately.
Other toppings you can add to the ramen:
- Boiled egg
- Stir fried shredded cabbage and carrot
- Sliced cucumber
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 657
- Sugar: 11.3 g
- Sodium: 2132.7 mg
- Fat: 35.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 15.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 56.1 g
- Fiber: 2.8 g
- Protein: 28.7 g
- Cholesterol: 84.6 mg
Keywords: ramen noodles, main,
Hubby and I made two of your recipes tonight and it was a hit. He made the Spicy Pork Ramen and I made the Daikon Soup. We followed the recipes to the letter and I’m really impress with the flavour from such a simple recipe. These are definitely keepers. Thanks for sharing the recipe and back story.
Thank you so much Jenn for sharing this! 🙂
I found this recipe last week and have already made it twice, we love it! I’m looking to add some greens to it – what would you recommend? Broccoli florets? Kale?
Hi Zina! I would add either broccoli or bok choy to this. Sauteed shredded cabbage might also be really yummy 🙂
This recipe looks great! How much would you say does a 1.5 cup of ground pork weigh?
Hi Yael, I’d say it’s about 3/4 of a pound, give or take 🙂
Do you have nutritional information on this recipe?
Hi Yoko! I will create one today, this recipe was created before I knew about calorie counters 🙂
I made this tonight for my wife and we absolutely loved it. Thank you for such a delicious and spot-on recipe. I’ll be making this regularly in our house form now on.
Thanks Matt! If you like spicy noodles, you might like these kimchi noodles: https://pickledplum.com/kimchi-udon-stir-fry/ My husband and I are all over them these days! YUM!
This recipe for spicy pork is absolutely superb! I just made a batch now. I’m very impressed. I followed the instructions exactly (though I didn’t mesure the ground pork, which was about 3/4 of a pound). I’m making ramen tonight — but I have a feeling I’m going to eat more pork than noodle Miam, miam, miam.
So glad to hear that Rick! You can totally throw some of that ground pork into ramen soup as well!
Thank you for another winner! I really appreciate how simple your recipes are. In the past any asian recipes I have tried have so many ingredients it’s just overwhelming. But this is a new family favorite!
I enjoyed this. Quick, easy, tasty! What would you recommend I use to make it more spicy?
Hi Thuy! Gochujang is a spicy Korean chili paste that would add lots of heat and flavor to your bowl of ja ja men. It’s easy to find in most Asian grocery store. Otherwise you could try freshly sliced jalapenos or Thai chiles 🙂
this looks so good! I had never head of ja ja men before – and it’s interesting that there’s no broth. Thanks for sharing!
You’re very welcome Emi! Yes, ramen is pretty amazing when prepared dry, have you ever tried the summer version called reimen? It’s to die for!