I set out to cook ramen for lunch this afternoon, and succeeded... but was also left with a mountain of chicken leftovers.
Not that that's a bad thing, though!
This recipe makes the perfect amount of soup stock for ramen for four people, but leaves a LOT of chicken left over. Usually I'd just make this sort of soup stock with leftover chicken bones, and usually I have some in the freezer. This time I didn't have any bones for stock, so I just used a bunch of chicken legs and breast on the bone, resulting in a silly amount of cooked chicken at the end. Oh well, I know what I'm eating for the next few days.
The pink spiral-y thing is narutomaki, a type of Japanese fishcake. Isn't it crazy and beautiful? I found it in the frozen section of a shop in Chinatown, it came in a little log which I defrosted and sliced.
As you can see, I'm still obsessed with my little flower veggie cutters. Flower-shaped carrots optional – but you have to admit it looks cute, right?
1kg chicken, skin on and on the bone (I used a mixture of breast and leg meat)
3 tbsp coarse sea salt
2 pandan leaves, tied in a big knot (optional: I just love pandan)
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
About 3" cube ginger, peeled and sliced
1 spring onion, washed, topped and tailed
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp sake
Bean Sprout Pickles:
1 can bean sprouts, drained and rinsed
75ml rice vinegar
2tsp gochugaru/chilli powder
Shitake mushrooms, sliced
Fish cake slices
4 'sheets' of ramen (cooked to package instructions)
Carrot and lotus root slices, boiled
Soft-boiled egg (I boil them for exactly 7 minutes)
Fresh chopped spring onion
1) Rinse the chicken thoroughly under a cold tap, rub the skin with sea salt and place in a large stew pot (discard any excess sea salt as the chicken will have absorbed enough).
2) Cover the chicken with water until the water level is 3–4 inches above the chicken, add the pandan leaves, garlic, spring onion and ginger, and bring to a gentle simmer about about 2 hours. Skim the scum from the top as you go along.
3) To make the bean sprout pickles, simply toss everything together and let marinade (no need to put it in the fridge until you want to store the leftovers later).
4) 15 minutes before you're ready to serve, pour the chicken broth into another large pot, separating it from the chicken. Add the sesame oil, mirin, sake, mushrooms and fish cake, and simmer for 15 minutes (you can also cook the veggies and ramen, and boil the egg within this time).
5) To serve, divide the ramen up into 4 large bowls, pour over the soup and arrange your toppings as you like, along with some sliced chicken meat.
That's it. It takes at least two hours to make a tasty stock and a bit of patience to skim it for a clear broth, but other than that it's a simple recipe.