So as you can tell I am a fan of international cuisine and I am a huge soup fan. I wanted to make an easy version of ramen because I love it! Now why I say it is kinda ramen is because it uses non-traditional ingredients but never the less it is in the true delicious style. The best thing about ramen is you make it how you want it. I am going to list my family’s favorite things to put in it but you can put in whatever you like. Ramen traditionally is a good broth that you add in different ingredients like vegetables, meats, and noodles as you eat it or when you serve it.
Ingredients for the broth:
3 chicken thighs with bone and skin
1 box of Simply Asia “Japanese Inspired Ramen Soy Ginger Chicken Broth” (this is a new item I ran across at my grocery store if you can’t find it Swanson’s makes some soy ginger broth or if all else fails just stick to chicken broth and you can add ginger to it)
1 can chicken broth
2 cups water
Chinese five spices (this is a spice blend you will be able to find in either your spices isle or in the Asian section of your grocery store)
Wok oil (or sometimes its called stir fry oil, this can be found in the Asian section of your grocery store)
Red chili flakes, a few pinches
3 cloves of garlic
1-2 tsp white pepper
Coarse black pepper
3 tbsp rice vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
other things you will need:
diced green onions
fried wontons (optional)
Steak (I use a thin cut top round) this is optional if you do want to have beef with your soup I make a sauce for it using: ¼ cup of soy sauce, ¼ cup water, 3 tbsp honey, and ½ tbsp Sriacha.
noodles (we typically use a stir fry noodle but any rice noodle, udon, or stir fry noodle will work fine, you can find these in the Asian section of your grocery store)
First, crush and dice your garlic and slice your green onions into large pieces, I use about two. Heat a large pot that you are going to be making your soup in. In the bottom of the pot sprinkle your wok oil (as you know I use this oil in many different recipes, I highly recommend it). Add your garlic and onions and stir in the oil until they begin to soften and become fragrant, that’s just a fancy way to say cook them until you can smell the strong smell of garlic, you want to be careful to not burn it. Remove the garlic and onions and save them.
Next lay out your chicken, sprinkle the coarse black pepper, Chinese five spices, and chili flakes. Make sure the pot is still hot and then add the chicken in, you are not cooking it all of the way, just giving it a good sear. Once you have seared both sides add back in your onions and garlic and add all of the broth and water. Next add your vinegar, soy sauce, and several pinches of Chinese five spices, and white pepper. Cover your pot and let it simmer for at least an hour, you want it to simmer until your chicken is cooked and starts to fall apart.
Once you chicken is cooked remove it and let it cool, while it is cooling keep your broth on a low simmer. Once your chicken isn’t so hot it will burn your fingers off, remove it from the bone and shred it, you should just be able to pull it apart with your fingers, remove the skin and bones. Add your chicken back into your broth and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, during this time start tasting your broth, this is when you will decide if you need to add more of something. If it needs more of a sour bite then add more vinegar. If it needs a little more salt add soy sauce. If it needs to be sweeter, add more Chinese 5 spices, and lastly if it needs more spice add white pepper and if you have anything like Sriracha you can add that or more chili flakes.
We always have beef to dip into our soup so I will also tell you how I prepare that. Set out your steak pat it with a paper towel and then sprinkle coarse black pepper, coarse salt, and Chinese five spices, I put just a little of the salt since I make a sauce with soy sauce. Heat up a skillet and sprinkle wok oil in it, once it begins to smoke add the meat and cook until there is a good sear on both sides. Set it aside and let it rest for a minute then slice it as thin. in a small pan, put all of my sauce ingredients and simmer until the honey has thinned out, then pour over your beef.
Prepare your noodles how the packaging tells you too and put in a bowl. We get all of our ingredients prepared then lay them all out on the table and set big bowls of broth in front of us then just add in as we eat. We dip the steak grabbing a noodle or two with it and just dig in. Also, we always use chopsticks…it just feels wrong to eat with a spoon or fork, but no judgment here if you don’t know your way around the sticks.
This may seem like a long and complicated recipe but it is actually pretty easy, it just takes time to get everything done. Other things you can use to add in are, mushrooms, cabbage, egg, roast pork, really anything goes, experiment and try it!!
Remember to TASTE AS YOU MAKE