I can’t remember when we started this tradition, but every Friday when we work from home, I would make Japanese ramen noodle soup for lunch. I choose to make it because I would get pre-made ramen kits from our local Japanese market, and all I needed to do was to add some meat and fresh vegetables to make them look and taste like I made it from scratch. Since the pandemic started, I haven’t been able to go to our beloved Japanese market, and I finally have to make it from scratch for real.
Little did I know, it’s so easy to make the whole dish from scratch without the help of the pre-made kits. Here is the recipe –
For the Chicken –
- 2 chicken thighs or breasts (boneless), I usually cut them into thin slices.
- kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to season
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1 tsp Japanese Mirin wine
- 1 tsp Soy Sauce
- 2 tsp sesame or vegetable oil
For the Soup –
- 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 3 tsp fresh garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 4 cups rich chicken stock
- 1 oz dried shitake mushrooms (or 1/2 cup fresh)
- 1–2 tsp sea salt, to taste
- 2 servings of ramen noodles
For the Toppings –
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup scallions, sliced
- 2 large sheets of Nori
- Napa Cabbage, baby bokchoi or greens of you choice.
- optional: fresh jalapeño slices, for serving
- Cook the chicken: Marinate the chicken in the listed ingredients, I like to marinate it for at least half an hour before cooking. Heat the pot that you’ll be using for the noodle soup, and sauté the chicken till they’re fully cooked. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil until ready to serve.
- Make the ramen broth: In the same pot with the remaining chicken dripping / sauce, heat the pot over medium heat, until shimmering. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add the soy sauce and mirin, and 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, then add the dried mushrooms. Simmer gently for another 10 minutes, and season with salt, to taste.
- If you’re adding vegetables or other toppings, add them into the soup and cook accordingly.
- Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water. When the timer finishes, transfer the eggs to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Wait at least 5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle, then carefully peel away the shell and slice in half, lengthwise. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Meanwhile, chop the scallions and jalapeño (if using).
- Assemble the ramen bowls: Start with the ramen, add the sliced chicken and the ramen broth. Top with the fresh scallions, jalapeño and your preferred toppings. Serve immediately.