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Chicken Ramen
February 2024
Reading time 1 Minute
Ramen is a Japanese preparation, an authentic version of which might take you several days to create. A tonkotsu broth, for example, will require hours of slowly braising trotters and more to extract the creamy, sticky collagen. Meticulous attention to detail is required for a properly made ramen. There are then, also those packets found in supermarkets and all Asian grocery stores. Immense in variety, these individually portioned waffly slabs of semi- cooked then dried noodles come complete with a small metallic sachet to sprinkle. These packets will have you believe ramen, or rather, an approximation of ramen, is ready in four minutes flat. This recipe falls somewhere between the two! I've suggested you source some kombu for the ramen broth - it is an essential ramen ingredient and available in all Asian grocery stores and also online.
  • For the base
  • 3 pieces of dried kombu (dried kelp; optional but recommended)
  • 8 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 500g boneless, skinless chicken (thigh is best), diced
  • 300g ramen noodles
  • 1 tbsp sake (optional, but worth it)
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2–3 tbsp white miso
  • any green vegetables – such as baby spinach, pak choi or kale, thinly sliced
  • Toppings
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp Japanese seven spice (togarashi; optional, but again, worth it), or use 1⁄2–1 tsp dried chilli flakes, to taste

Soak the kombu and mushrooms in 400ml of cold water for at least one hour or up to two days in advance in the fridge.

After soaking, place the shiitake and kombu with their soaking water in a large pot with the chicken stock and heat slowly until just coming to a boil. remove the kombu and discard. remove the shiitake, thinly slice it and put it to one side.

Bring the liquid to a simmer, then add the chicken and gently simmer over a moderate heat for 15–20 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked through. then, add the noodles, sake, mirin, soy sauce and miso and simmer for just two to three minutes more, until the noodles are tender.

Add the green vegetables and return the sliced shiitake to the broth to heat through.

Divide the cooked noodles between your bowls and ladle over the hot ramen broth, distributing the noodles, chicken, shiitake and green vegetables evenly, before topping with the sliced spring onions and togarashi (or chilli flakes), if using, which i recommend you do. Serve piping hot.

Recipe extracted from One Pan Chicken by Claire Thomson (Quadrille, £20), Photography © Sam Folan

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