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Tasty Noods

It’s not quite what you think.

I love Japanese food. It is my favourite type of cuisine. I have very, very simple tastes. While I’ve found a few lovely Japanese restaurants here in Dubai (Motomachi springs to mind), it is definitely harder to find decent Japanese food here than in New Zealand. 40AED for six gyoza? I used to get 12 for $12NZD at the dumpling place opposite my work! Japanese was always my favourite cheap-eat in Wellington. We used to go to Arashi on Courtney Place, and for $50NZD could get dumplings, beef tatami, tempura vegetables, karaage and skewers to feed two people.  $50NZD would not go far in Dubai at a Japanese restaurant.

When travelling, I always seek Japanese food, or at the very least, noodle soups. I’m addicted to them. If it wasn’t for the extreme sodium overload, I would probably have them every time I ate out! I remember my noodle soup experiences fondly. Spicier-than-expected noodles with spinach at Galería in St. Petersburg. Hand pulled noodles in chicken broth in a hole-in-the-wall joint in Nanjing, China. The impracticality of trying to eat noodles with a giant soup spoon at Shoryu, London. Steaming pork ramen at the food court on top of Isetan, Tokyo. Ahhhhh. Precious memories. 

Noods of the world.

I’d never thought of making ramen myself. I’m a miserable cook, and it just seemed too complicated. However, craving some ramen deliciousness, I googled a recipe the other day. The results weren’t a terrible disaster. I did struggle to find fresh pasta noodles in Dubai, so opted for a German brand (!) of solid ramen noodle, but it still tasted pretty good. It is very easy, with the chicken poaching in the broth. I was too lazy to shred it. Just make sure to check the broth as you go, to make sure the flavour is to your liking. Also, if you are going to have it for more than one meal, store the broth and the noodles separately for reheating. I did this, and just chucked in another noodle cake to the pot while it was heating on the stove. Easy! I didn’t bother with the egg, so let me know how you get on if you give it a try.

So here it is – my gift to you. Happy ramen-ing! 

Recipe originally from FoxandBriar.

EASY CHICKEN RAMEN

INGREDIENTS

For broth:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger root
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ – ¾ pounds baby bok choy, sliced into quarters lengthwise
  • 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts) 
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 package fresh yakisoba noodles (which I substituted out for noodle cakes)
For the eggs

  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¾ cup water
Additional toppings (optional)

  • sliced green onion
  • cilantro
  • chili garlic sauce
  • sesame seeds
  • lime wedges
INSTRUCTIONS

To prepare the ramen egg
 

1. Whisk together the ¼ cup of soy sauce, ¼ cup of rice vinegar and ¾ cup water, set aside.

2. Prepare an ice bath by filling a bowl with ice and water.

3. Bring a pot of water to boil (make sure there is enough water to cover the eggs). When boiling, carefully lower the eggs into the water using a slotted spoon or spider. Reduce heat if necessary to keep the water barely boiling. Cook for seven minutes, then remove from pot and place eggs in the ice bath. Leave in the ice bath for 3 minutes. Remove from ice bath and gently peel (egg will be soft). Place peeled eggs in the marinade and make sure they are completely covered with the marinade. Leave in the marinade for several hours or overnight. If keeping longer, discard the marinade and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Reheat the egg in the ramen broth (don’t leave in the broth very long before serving or the egg will overcook).

To prepare the noodles

1. If using fresh noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil. When boiling, add the noodles and simmer for 3 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water. Toss with just a little oil if necessary to keep them from sticking (mine already had a little oil on them, so I didn’t need to). Set aside (if using another type of noodle, follow package instructions)

To prepare soup
 

1. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Then, add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for about 30 seconds, just until fragrant so that they don’t burn. Add the chicken broth and 1 cup of water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, fish sauce, chili garlic sauce, stir to combine. Bring back to a simmer.

2. When broth reaches a simmer, add the chicken. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and reaches a temperature of 165 degrees.

3. Remove the chicken and shred it with two forks. Add it back to the broth along with the bok choy and cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

To serve the ramen

1. In a bowl, place a serving of noodles, then pour the soup over them. Top soup with ramen egg, sliced green onions, cilantro and sesame seeds if desired.

 

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