Ramen is a noodle soup dish popular and staple in East Asia, each country having its own version. Having explored a lot of ramen recipes, I understood that preparing ramen is an extensive process. But, given our limited dine out and take out options because of the pandemic, I was eager to try new recipes from East Asian cuisines. Since I have successfully cooked a wide variety of Chinese dishes, it was time to try what the other countries have to offer.
Ramen is a one-dish wholesome meal. The ramen noodles are seasoned with a healthy soup, blanched vegetables, chicken, egg, and an interesting spice paste which you can adjust according to your taste.
You can omit the chicken and add more vegetables if you want a vegetarian ramen. You can use spinach, shitake mushrooms, celery, basil, thinly sliced zucchini, and shredded carrots. Blanch all the vegetables in hot water for at least 5-10 mins before using them in your ramen.
In the long form recipe of ramen, chicken or vegetable broth is made from scratch for the ramen soup which is really time-consuming. Since I wasn’t quite up for it, I used the store-bought vegetable broth. It works perfectly fine. You can use chicken broth or bouillons. A lot of ramen recipes use unsweetened soy milk but, since I couldn’t find it in stores, I used fat-free milk. It was delicious so if you are up for tweaking a bit, fat-free milk works as a fine substitute.
Ramen is spiced with a paste made from chili oil and sesame paste. What I like about the dish is that you can add the spice paste while serving because it allows you to adjust the spice levels according to your taste. I like mildly spiced food, my daughter doesn’t like it, and my husband craves for spicy, pungent food.
Chili oil is easily available in stores but I decided to make my own since the recipe is quite simple and I had all the ingredients in my kitchen. You don’t have to do that though.
So, let’s get started with our chicken ramen! Prepare your ramen in this order so that the main ingredients don’t cool off by the time you serve. This recipe serves 3.
1. Marinate the whole chicken breast in all the above ingredients for 10 minutes. 2. Drizzle a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan, place the chicken breast, cover, cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. Flip the chicken breast and cook for another 10 minutes. Prepare the soup while the chicken cooks. 3. Insert a fork or a sharp knife in the center of the chicken to check if its cooked. 4. Once cooked, cut the chicken horizontally into 4 -5 thin slices. Sprinkle sesame seeds.
Ingredients & Method for Ramen Soup:
1 cup water 1 cup unsweetened soy milk or fat-free milk 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth 1/2 tsp chili oil 1/2 tsp of sesame seeds
1. In a bowl, mix the chilli oil and sesame seeds paste. Keep aside.
2. Add the water, milk, and broth in a saucepan. Cover and bring to boil over low to medium heat. Once done, keep aside covered.
Ingredients & Method for Vegetables:
1 bokchoy 1 bunch of spinach or baby spinach 2 stalks of celery, sliced 1 cup sliced mushrooms, white or shitake 1 cup chopped spring onions 2 – 3 eggs
1. Bring a cup of water to boil. Turn off the flame. Add the spinach to the water and let it blanch for about 5 – 10 minutes. Drain and keep aside. 2. Blanch the mushrooms and the celery separately. 3. Keep the spring onions aside for seasoning. 4. Boil the eggs. Slice into half lengthwise.
Ingredients & Method for Ramen:
Cook 2 portions of noodles (ramen / hakka / egg / veg noodles) according to packet instructions. Drain the noodles and keep aside.
In a deep soup bowl, add a tablespoon of chilli oil and sesame paste mix. Pour the soup till the bowl is half full. Drop in as much ramen noodles as you like. Top with vegetables, chicken, and egg. Season with spring onions.