These Japanese Ramen bowls with all the delicious ingredients and toppings are so easy to create at home. Taking a shortcut with instant miso soup packets give you all the Japanese flavour you need.
Ramen noodles have featured many times in my life. When I was a little girl, my best friend Erin and I would play ‘restaurant’ and one would serve a bowl of ramen noodles as the waitress and the other would be the demanding customer, slurping the noodles obnoxisously and requesting changes. Then in my early twenties, I gave singing a go. (Now, my ‘day job’ is a vocal coach. Check out my website, Sydney Vocal Coach) I starting hanging out in dingy recording studios a lot. Instant Ramen pot noodles, candy bars and Pringles are generally what people survive on during those long musical sessions.
In the early years, I had no idea that the real, authentic Japanese ramen noodles were so incredible. While on my breaks from teaching singing lessons at my studio in Berwick St, London, I started sampling some local noodle bars. Ramen was getting pretty trendy in London during that time. I discovered the earthy and clean broths, several different choices of noodles FAR removed from the illusively wavy Pot Noodle variety, and my favourite aspect: all the interesting accompaniments floating on top. There was almost always a softly boiled egg, and sometimes sliced pork, seaweed, crunchy fried onions and sesame seeds.
Authentic Ramen at Home
I wanted to create a version that is delicious and authentic, yet easy for the Western home cook, who might not have easy access to lots of traditional Japanese ingredients. I find using a rotisserie chicken carcass is a simple way to make a delicious homemade bone broth. It is so versatile for use in many recipes. Not only that, but I find by using the meat and making a stock from the bones, several meals can be created from just one chicken! Here are a variety of other dishes I’ve made with rotisserie chicken: Moroccan Chicken Stew, Cheesy Chicken and Quinoa Burgers, Simply Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas, Mulligatawny, and Shredded Chicken and Avocado Salad.
In the ramen, I added a couple of packets of instant miso soup. This is widely available at grocery stores and instantly gives a great Japanese flavour. I simply chopped some mushrooms and Asian greens (such as Boy Choy) and let those cook down in the broth. Finally, I added noodles – precooked – do not be tempted to cook the noodles inside the broth or your soup could become cloudy and gummy from the starch. On top, a simple sprinkling of chopped green onion and sesame seeds.
Optional: Marinated Eggs
Lets talk about soft boiled eggs: I have found that if you bring eggs and cold water up to boil in a pot with the lid on for 13 minutes total, they come out perfectly soft boiled. I then let them sit in cold water for a few minutes which creates a layer of steam just under the surface and helps get the shells off. If you have the time, precook, gently deshell your eggs and let them sit in a little plastic bag to marinate in a few tablespoons of soy sauce, rice vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar for a few hours. You can see from my photo that I was in a rush this time and didn’t do this step, but I highly recommend it! It really takes the dish to the next level and all it requires is a little time. Check out this great post from Bear Naked Food with photos and a video tutorial about making marinated Japanese eggs.
Here is your Easy Japanese Ramen Recipe:
- 1 litre chicken broth
- • handful of shredded chicken
- • 4 sachets of instant miso soup
- • 1 tbsp soy sauce
- • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or lime juice)
- • 3 heads of bok choy (or other Asian greens), thinly sliced lengthwise
- • handful mushrooms, sliced
- • 1 pack of noodles, such as soba
- • 3 eggs
- • To serve: finely sliced green onion, sesame seeds, sesame oil, hot sauce
- To Soft boil the eggs, bring eggs in cold water, covered, up to boil for 13 minutes, then run under cold water for a few minutes. Gently Peel.
- Cook the noodles in water according to packet instructions. Run under cold water, drain and set aside.
- Bring the chicken broth up to simmering. Add the instant miso, soy and rice vinegar (or if you are using lime, add this at the very end) and stir.
- Add the bok choy and mushrooms and heat for about 5 minutes until soft. Add the pre-cooked noodles and chicken at the end to heat through.
- Serve with half a boiled egg and top with green onion, a few drops of sesame oil and hot sauce, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.