Ramen is that perfect comfort food you can savor all year round. It keeps you warm in the winter, and miraculously, cool in the summer. It's good for a quick dinner, night out with friends at 2 p.m. when you were out until 2 a.m. the night before. And sure, you can pick up those mysterious packets and cups of ramen from your local grocery store for a quick and easy fix. But it can’t beat authentic ramen made totally from scratch and carefully crafted in a bowl.
Forget the generic flavors you get from powder seasonings packets, with this ramen recipe, you can make an appetizing bowl of noodles that best suit your taste palate using fresh ingredients. Just pack your patience, though all good things take time.
First, you’re going to want to make your broth in a slow cooker. Add roasted chicken wings and pork neck bones with veggies like kelp, mushrooms and green onions to the slow cooker and let it cook for eight hours. You can also save vegetable scraps throughout the month to use for your broth (one of our favorite ways to repurpose food scraps). Don’t have a slow cooker? No problem, you can let the same ingredients simmer in a large pot for three to four hours. For extra flavoring, mix in miso or chili paste to your broth. If you don’t plan on using the broth right away, refrigerate it for up to a week or freeze for several months.
Once your broth is ready to go, you can start putting your ramen bowl together. Make sure all the components are cooked. You need grilled chicken, hard- or soft-boiled eggs, thinly-sliced radishes, bamboo shoots, green onions and bean sprouts
You’re going to fill your soup bowls with very hot water to keep the bowls heated. Then in a large pot, boil your egg noodles. Remove the hot water from the soup bowls and add the noodles into the bowls. Now, arrange your various toppings to the bowl. Finally, add in your homemade broth and serve right away.
Though the process may seem long, it’s all worth it in the end. You can always substitute or add more ingredients to your bowl. You can make a vegetable broth by taking the meat out and replace for more vegetables like shiitake mushrooms, bok choy and kelp. For those pescatarians out there, you add a variety of seafood to the bowl such as clams, crab, oysters and shrimp. And when it's all done, you'll have a restaurant favorite made right in your own home.
For the slow-cooker roasted broth:
1 1/2 pound chicken wings, separated at their joints
1 1/2 pound pork neck bones
1/4 to 1/2 ounce piece kombu (kelp), optional
4 green onions, chopped
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, broken
1/4 cup sake or Chinese rice wine (or dry white vermouth)
Step 1: Heat oven to 400F. On a large baking sheet, put 1 1/2 pounds wings and bones in an uncrowded layer. Roast, turning once or twice, until golden brown on all sides, about 45 minutes.
Step 2: Meanwhile, if using the kombu, in a large saucepan, heat 10 cups of water and the kombu to a boil. Simmer about 10 minutes. Then let steep while the bones finish browning. Use tongs to remove and discard the kombu.
Step 3: In a large (4-quart) slow cooker, transfer the bones with all their pan drippings. Add kombu water (or 10 cups fresh water if not using the kombu) and the remaining ingredients. Cover and slow-cook on low, 8 hours.
Step 4: Strain broth into a container. Refrigerate covered up to 1 week. Freeze up to several months.
For the grilled chicken ramen:
4 cups slow-cooker roasted bone broth or shortcut broth
2 tablespoons shiro miso, optional
1 to 2 tablespoon soy sauce to taste
1 to 3 tablespoon chili paste or Korean gochujang, optional
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushroom caps (no stems)
3 medium egg noodle nests, about 5 ounces total
2 grilled shichimi chicken thighs, thinly sliced (or grilled chicken)
1 soy wasabi hard-cooked egg, halved (or hard-boiled eggs)
2 radishes, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced bamboo shoots
2 green onions, charred in a skillet or chopped
Small handful fresh bean sprouts
Chopped fresh cilantro
Step 1: In a small saucepan, heat 4 cups broth until hot. Season to taste with 2 tablespoons miso, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 3 tablespoons chili paste. The broth should be highly seasoned. Add mushrooms and simmer over low heat.
Step 2: Have all the remaining ingredients ready and near the cooking surface. Fill 2 deep soup bowls with very hot water to heat the bowls.
Step 3: Meanwhile, for noodles, heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop noodles into the water; cook, stirring, until al dente (tender but still a bit firm in the center), about 3 minutes. Use tongs or a slotted wire basket to remove noodles to a plate. Save the cooking water for later.
Step 4: When ready to serve, bring the noodle cooking water to a boil again and dunk the noodles back in to reheat for about 20 seconds. Dump the hot water out of the soup bowls. Divide the hot noodles between the heated bowls. Top each with half of the sliced chicken, egg, radish, bamboo shoots, green onions and bean sprouts. Gently ladle hot broth over all. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve right away. Pass the pepper blend at the table.