Chicken Ramen

Your ramen, or Japanese noodle soup, will be as good as the stock you use. It goes without saying that homemade stock is best, but as this is a quicker version of ramen, the best quality ready-made stock you can find will be fine. There are some very good stocks available, either fresh or in pouches with a long shelf life. I usually make ramen when I’ve got leftover cooked meat or poultry to use up, but it’s worth buying steak or chicken thigh fillets for this satisfying, inexpensive bowl of goodness and warmth.

Hints & tips
1. Cooked vegetables such as pak choi, tenderstem broccoli, shredded kale and chard can be added to the ramen, as can beansprouts.
2. Substitute chicken for cooked pork, beef or lamb. Or snip 4 raw skinless, boneless chicken thigh fillets into strips and cook in the simmering broth for 3-4 mins. Remove from the broth with a slotted spoon and divide between the bowls. Or, cook 1-2 beef steaks rare, slice thinly and divide between the bowls in place of the chicken.
3. For vegetarians, in place of the chicken stock and chicken, use vegetable stock and 400g mushrooms (any type), sliced and fried in a splash of vegetable oil with salt and pepper, or use a handful or two of cooked leftover green veggies.
4. Use sachets of ‘straight-to-wok noodles’ (or similar), if you prefer. If using chilled fresh noodles, you’ll need about 550g for the four servings.

Chicken Ramen
Serves: 4
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ginger purée
  • 3-4 tbsp dark soy sauce (depending on the strength of the stock)
  • dried chilli flakes, to taste
  • 4 x 50g/55g nests dried egg/rice noodles
  • 4 handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • 400g (approx) cooked chicken, shredded
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced diagonally
  • black and white sesame seeds, toasted
  • 4 soft-boiled eggs (cooked for 6½ mins in boiling water, cooled in cold water), peeled and halved
  1. Put the stock in a saucepan with the garlic, ginger, 3 tbsp soy sauce and a small pinch of chilli flakes.
  2. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 5 mins.
  3. Check the seasoning and adjust if need be – you may like to add more soy and/or chilli flakes.
  4. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, drain and divide between four warmed bowls, followed by a handful of spinach leaves in each.
  5. Bring the broth back to the boil and ladle into the bowls over the spinach.
  6. Top with the chicken, scatter over spring onions and toasted sesame seeds and arrange egg halves to one side of each bowl.
  7. Serve immediately – with napkins!


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