I'm someone who is guilty of being fascinated by Japan and with Japanese food, although having never been there. I do hope to correct this though!
Ramen is a dish that is satisfying on so many levels and yet is so simple. There are different bases you can make a ramen with, my preference is Shoyu which is essentially a soy base. A soy based ramen made using dashi really focuses on umami (one of the five tastes) and saltiness. Added to this are the soy marinated boiled eggs, which I think are one of the highlights of the dish, and also the baked salted chicken.
My recipe is simple and relatively fuss free. By preparing the eggs and cooking the chicken in advance, you could make the ramen in less than 30 minutes.
Dashi is a stock made from seaweed and dried fish flakes. For those living in the UK it's available in Waitrose, although you can use chicken stock instead if you are unable to source it.
Hands-on Time 20 minutes (plus overnight to marinate)
Cooking Time 40 minutes
2 Eggs, medium
4 tbsp Light soy sauce
1 tsp Caster sugar
2 Chicken breasts (skinless)
Salt, large pinch
1 square of Seaweed
2 Spring onions
1 tbsp oil (vegetable or sunflower)
4 Garlic cloves
Root ginger, thumb-sized amount
1L Dashi (or 1L of chicken stock)
2 handfuls Shitake mushrooms (dried)
Food bag (sealable)
Fill the small saucepan with water and place over a high heat, bringing to the boil.
Lower the eggs into the water using the slotted spoon and boil for 6 minutes.
In the meantime fill the bowl with cold water.
When the 6 minutes are up, remove the eggs from the boiling water and place into the bowl filled with cold water, ensuring they are fully submerged.
Take a food bag and fill with the soy sauce and sugar.
Seal, then shake to dissolve the sugar.
Remove the eggs from the water and peel. I find it’s best to roll the eggs backwards and forwards, pressing gently down at the same time so the shell breaks all over and is easily removed.
Put the eggs into bag, remove as much air as possible so the eggs are surrounded with soy, and seal.
Leave the eggs to marinate overnight.
When you’re ready to make the ramen, start by preheating the oven to 180°C/160°C(Fan)/350°F/Gas mark 4.
Put the chicken breasts in the roasting pan and season generously with salt.
Bake the chicken for 30 minutes.
Using the knife and a chopping board, prepare the spring onions and seaweed for later.
Slice the spring onions on a diagonal.
Cut along the middle of the seaweed, dividing it in two. Cut these two into three pieces each.
Set the seaweed and spring onions aside.
Using the micro-grater grate the garlic followed by the ginger.
Add the oil to the large saucepan and place over a medium heat.
Once it has heated up, add the garlic and ginger.
Stir constantly for 1 minute using the wooden spoon so they cook although don’t burn.
Get the eggs and open the bag.
Pour all of the soy into the saucepan.
Set the eggs aside and stir the soy for 1 minute.
Add the dashi (or chicken stock) to the pan.
Bring to a boil before reducing the heat to the lowest setting possible. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the mushrooms to the stock and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Add water to the small saucepan and bring to a boil over a high heat.
Add the noodles and cook for 4 minutes.
When the noodles have cooked, drain thoroughly using the sieve. Shake the sieve up and down to get rid of as much excess water as possible.
Divide the noodles between two serving bowls.
Pour the stock and mushrooms over the noodles.
Slice the chicken breasts into pieces and put on top of the noodles.
Add the seaweed to the side of the bowl.
Carefully slice the eggs in half and place into the bowls.
Finally sprinkle over the spring onions.
Slurp away and enjoy!