Having just returned from two fantastic weeks in Japan I thought I’d share a recipe for one of my favourite traditional eats.
Ramen is the ever popular noodle dish traditional to Japan with each region having their own variation including Shoyu Ramen (soy sauce-based), Miso Ramen (soybean-based) or the pork bone-based Tonkotsu Ramen. Ramen is so popular it is not uncommon to find many eager patrons queued up outside the best Ramen eateries at lunch or dinner time. A good Ramen can take up to nine hours to prepare (wow) however the recipe below will see you enjoying Ramen in your own home within one hour.
Cheats Chicken Ramen
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
250g chicken thigh fillet (preferably with skin-on)
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to season
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp sesame or vegetable oil
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
3 tsp fresh garlic, minced
3 tbsp Tamari soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
4 cups salt-reduced rich chicken stock
30g dried shitake mushrooms (or 1/2 cup fresh)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup spring onion, thinly sliced
2 90g packs dried ramen noodles
optional: fresh chilli slices for serving
Cook the chicken: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a large oven-safe pan over medium heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook until the skin is golden brown. Flip the chicken over and cook for another 4-5 minutes, until golden. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven, transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil until ready to serve.
Make the ramen broth: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until softened. Add the soy sauce and mirin, stir to combine. Cook for another minute. Add the stock, cover, and bring to boil. Remove the lid, and let simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the dried mushrooms. Simmer gently for another 10 minutes.
Cook the soft-boiled eggs: Place the eggs in a pot and fill with enough water to cover the eggs. Bring to the boil and cook for 3-4 minutes (until yokes are set but still soft). Fill a large bowl with ice water and transfer the eggs to the ice bath once cooked. Peel eggs and slice in half lengthwise. Set aside until ready to serve.
Assemble the ramen bowls: Cook the ramen noodles as per packet instructions. Chop the spring onion and slice the chicken into thin pieces. Divide the cooked noodles into two large bowls. Add the sliced chicken and the ramen broth. Top with the fresh spring onion and soft boiled egg. Serve immediately.
NB: it is “polite” to slurp your noodles in Japan so enjoy!!