Easy Chicken and Mushroom Ramen By Somerset Foodie

Thanks to Somerset Foodie for allowing us to feature this recipe. Please click here to see the original.

Ramen is one of Japan's best loved dishes and with more restaurants serving up this slurpy noodle delight, its popularity is on the rise here. Deeply satisfying, umami packed broth with special ramen-style noodles and toppings that add texture, freshness and flavour - this is such a special dish and an amazing cure for a hangover!

The tag of this as an 'easy' recipe is with slight trepidation! Unless you buy the freeze-dried instant pot variety, ramen is never that easy. Over the coming months, I'm going to share a variety of ramen recipes, some of which will require planning a day or so before, but on the basis that you can bash this recipe out in one evening, we are going with 'easy' for this one.

There are three elements to making good ramen, the broth, the noodles and the toppings. It's the broth that generally takes the longest to make as you try to infuse as many umami-packed flavours into the liquid as possible. Time does help with this and making Dashi stock is always a great starting point. However, with this recipe we are going to make a tasty broth in about one hour, so you can satisfy your ramen cravings in a single evening.

Time required: 90 minutes
Prep: Medium
Washing up: 4 pans
Allergens: SOY, EGG, SESAME, FISH, GLUTEN.

Ingredients
Serves 4

1 Pack of Sau Tao Ramen Noodles
1.6Ltr Water
2 x White Onions, peeled and roughly chopped
100g Fresh Ginger, skin left on and sliced
1 x Star Anise
30g Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, left whole
1 x Sheet Kombu Seaweed
4 x Whole Large Chicken Thighs, deboned
2tbsp Karimix Miso Dashi Soup Paste
1½tsp Somerset Foodie Chicken Stock
1 x Bunch of Spring Onions, thinly sliced
250g Tender Stem Broccoli
2 x Eggs, hard-boiled for 6½ minutes
5g Wakame Seaweed
3tbsp Fussels Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil (for frying)

Toppings to serve
Momoya Crispy Garlic Chilli Oil
2tbsps Crispy Fried Shallots
2tsps Sesame Seeds
Shichimi Togarashi - Japanese Seven Spice

1. The first job is to get your broth started. The aim is to use every scrap of the meat to maximise the flavour. Start by removing the bone from the chicken thighs. This sounds a bit tricky but just run a small knife along the side of the bone, slide the knife underneath and cut away the meat, so you can take out the bone - try to keep the thigh intact if you can.

2. Fill a large saucepan with the water and put in the chicken bones along with the white onions, sliced ginger, dried shiitake mushrooms (left whole), star anise, kombu seaweed and the top inch and a half from the bunch of spring onions (the green part) together with the chicken stock powder. Bring to a gentle simmer and leave blipping away for an hour. If you have more time, leave it for longer - up to 4 hours.

3. Hard-boil the eggs for 6½ minutes, you want an egg that's nice and creamy in the middle, so be precise about this. After 6½ minutes, drain and run the eggs under a cold tap until completely cooled.

4. In a bowl, soak the dried Wakame seaweed in lots of cold water. Warning - it grows a lot as it soaks!

5. About 20 minutes before serving, heat a frying pan with a tablespoon of rapeseed oil and fry the chicken thighs skin side down. It's best to cook them for 80% of their cooking time skin side down, so you get lovely crispy skin. Turn them over for the last 3 or 4 minutes and turn the heat right down. You can keep them warm in the pan until ready.

6. In a third pan, gently fry the broccoli in some rapeseed oil so that you get a little colour on the outside then pour in half a cup of water so the broccoli steams and cooks through to tender. Again, keep these warm in the pan until ready.

7. In your fourth pan (yes I did say it's a little pan heavy), bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil, ready to cook the noodles.

8. Strain your broth now and pour the liquid back into the saucepan. Save the dried shiitake mushrooms as there will be loads of flavour still in these, slice them up ready to garnish each bowl. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the Miso Dashi paste to your broth and check it for taste. If you like it a little stronger, add a bit more paste.

9. OK, everything is ready to go. Cook the noodles for 2 minutes in the boiling water, drain and divide up between each bowl.

10. Slice the chicken into pieces and lay them on top of the noodles, add the broccoli, sliced shiitake mushrooms, wakame seaweed and sliced spring onions. Ladle in the umami-broth, so it just covers the noodles.

11. To finish off, scatter each bowl with some crispy shallots, place your egg in the middle, drizzle with some Momoya Crispy Garlic Chilli Oil, sprinkle a few sesame seeds over and dust with some of the Japanese Seven Spice.

Now it's time to get stuck in, have a napkin handy this might get messy!