Now that Philly's ramen scene is finally rolling with noodle counters from Chinatown to University City, it's easy to overlook an obvious stop for one of our very best: lunch at Morimoto.
The Iron Chef's long been noted for his chicken soup ramen, but has added some other tremendous variations, including a pork belly bowl I crave.
The little touches - the vivid green plume of steamed bok choy, the creamy-yolked four-minute egg, the tangy pickled turnips - all add spark.
But the fundamentals are what really help this bowl sing: an intensely steeped broth of pork, beef and chicken bones, enhanced with a soy-kombu reduction, and so cloudy and rich, it clings to the snappy, imported alkaline noodles.
The thick slices of pork belly were so tender - the result of a slow braise in nuka, the enzyme-rich bran of rice polished from brown to white in Morimoto's basement.
- Craig LaBan
Pork belly ramen lunch, $15, Morimoto, 723 Chestnut St., 215-413-9070.