For many of us, ramen noodles aren’t exactly the pinnacle of fine dining, are they? However, they are delicious, relatively light, easy and quick to make, and even fun to customize, given that you can garnish them in several different ways to suit your own taste. In fact, when prepared according to the rules of Asian culinary art, the results can be downright magnificent! So, we offer you a classic Japanese ramen noodle soup that will not fail to warm and comfort you.
What exactly are ramen noodles?
FYI, ramen noodles are made from wheat flour, water, salt, and an alkaline mineral water called kansui, and sometimes eggs may be added. They originated in China but spread to Japan where they are extremely popular these days. In recent years, recipes featuring this delicious pasta have gained a following in North America and Europe. By the way, the word ramen is used both for the noodles themselves and for the dish at their base.
Japanese ramen noodle soup recipe
This superb Japanese recipe only takes 30 minutes total (prep plus cooking time). So you can safely plan it as an evening meal on Friday, as an express lunch during a day of remote work, and why not as a warming and balanced breakfast? Also, if you use leftover chicken or other meat and use instant ramen noodles (not recommended, but sometimes unavoidable), it can be done in 15 minutes! Here are the ingredients needed for 4 people:
700 ml of chicken broth
4 tablespoons soy sauce, plus a little more for seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
a thumb-sized piece of ginger (about 30 grams), chopped
½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice mix (Szechuan pepper, star anise, Chinese cinnamon, cloves, and fennel)
1 pinch of chili powder
1 teaspoon white sugar (optional)
400 g chicken breast, sliced or julienned
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
3 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
240 g ramen noodles
100 g baby spinach*
4 tablespoons sweet corn
4 soft-boiled eggs, halved
1 sheet of dried nori, finely chopped
green onion or shallot, minced
*You can add many of your favorite vegetables as well as seasonal mushrooms
Preparing the broth step by step
Make a type of white stock by combining the chicken stock, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, five spice, and chili powder in a Dutch oven or large pot. If you usually eat less salt, add about 200 ml of water.
While waiting for the consommé to boil, briefly fry the chicken in 2 tsp sesame oil. Season the meat with the crushed garlic cloves and stir continuously over moderate heat for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pan and set aside.
Then, when the soup is bubbling, put the chicken in it and let the soup simmer for 5 minutes. Add the ramen noodles, then cook over medium-high heat for a few minutes (see package instructions). The paste should retain its fairly firm texture.
The next step is essential as this is the time to taste your Japanese broth and adjust if necessary. If you find it too salty, add 1 teaspoon of sugar to it. If, on the other hand, there is a lack of salt, add a little more soy sauce. Add more spices if needed.
Next, prepare the soft-boiled eggs by carefully dipping them into a pan of boiling water. Let them cook for 6 minutes so that the yolk does not run and is not completely set. Remove from the heat and immediately run them under cold water to stop the cooking process but also to make peeling the eggs easier. Some people prefer to top their noodles with hard-boiled eggs, and if that’s your case, just increase the cooking time to 8-9 minutes.
To distribute all the ingredients evenly between 4 people, you can use a spaghetti spoon and ladle. Fill each bowl halfway with chicken noodles and then top with some spinach and a tablespoon of sweet corn. Pour a ladleful of hot broth into each portion and arrange the two halves of a soft-boiled egg in it so that they are clearly visible on the surface. Finally, sprinkle with nori, minced onion or shallot and a pinch of sesame.
Add other fresh vegetables of choice and season to taste
Source used: www.bbcgoodfood.com