Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Top Notch Ramen in Five Easy Steps


I based this recipe on one from my Wagamama Cookbook. Those Brits do good ramen. You simply must pick up these ingredients first thing tomorrow. Soup lovers will love you for it.

The five steps all take place in the grocery store. The title is a little disingenuous. The ingredients should not be too hard to procure. Most grocery stores have a decent array of Asian sauces. Here's what you need:

1. Produce: fresh ginger, garlic, green onions, a red onion, bean sprouts, one lime, cilantro. If you see them and you're brave, a fresh red chili. Otherwise dried chili flakes are just fine.

2. Chicken broth (I only use Imagine Organic - it's so perfectly flavored, just needs a bit of reduction time). Pick up two 32-ounce boxes.

3. Ramen noodles. You can, of course, use a thin spaghetti, but I really don't like to. My new favorite noodle is from KA-ME - the Chinese egg noodle. They cook up very nicely and are the right length and texture. KA-ME's curly Japanese noodles look great, too, tho I have not yet tried them.

4. Chicken, though you could substitute steak, shrimp, pork or tofu. One breast per person.

5. Bottled stuff: sweet chili sauce (Mae Ploy is my first choice - I buy it in Chicago at Dominick's). Thai Kitchen also makes a nice one, tho it costs more for a much smaller bottle), malt vinegar (tho cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar make excellent substitutes), and fish sauce (Thai Kitchen is what I buy).

Back at home, all you need is about a half and hour to put it all together.

Chicken Chili Ramen
Print recipe only here

Serves 2, generously

INGREDIENTS
4-6 ounces ramen noodles
2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

6 cups chicken broth
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Pinch chili flakes (or a seeded and sliced fresh red chili)
2 T sweet chili sauce (I like Mae Ploy)
2 T fish sauce
2 t malt vinegar (cider or rice wine vinegar are fine substitutes)
1 t sugar

3 green onions, sliced thinly on a diagonal
¼ red onion, sliced thinly
2-4 T cilantro, chopped
1 cup bean sprouts
½ lime, quartered


Preheat grill or oven. Rinse and dry chicken. Rub with a little oil, salt and pepper and cook. When done, bush with a bit of bottled chili sauce (or teriyaki) and set aside to cool before slicing.

Bring a pot of water to boil for the ramen.

To a separate pot, add chicken broth, garlic, ginger and chili flakes and bring to a boil. Simmer on lowest setting for about 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine sugar, malt vinegar and sweet chili sauce.

Cook ramen according to instructions.

Prep veggies and reserve.

Slice chicken and reserve.

Add chili sauce/vinegar mixture to the chicken broth and stir in. Allow to simmer 1-2 more minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as desired.

Divide noodles between two bowls. Top with broth, then chicken, then the cilantro, piece of lime, sprouts and onion. Serve and enjoy.

No comments: