I really enjoyed sampling a variety of ramen when travelling around Japan. One of the most delicious was a rich crab miso ramen in the upstairs food court at Kanazawa Railway Station.
This recipe is from Nancy Singleton Hachisu's fabulous book Japan The Cookbook (Phaidon Press 2018) . Originally from California, Nancy has resided in Japan for 30 years where she lives on a farm with her family, and is widely respected as an authority on Japanese cooking. This is a home-style ramen recipe for those who want to try making their own.
- Prep Time : 2h 15 min
- Cook Time : 2h 00 min
- Yield : 6
- For the Broth
- chicken thighs - 4, bone-in, skin-on (675g in total)
- carrots - 2 small, cut in 3cm lengths
- small negi or fat scallions (spring onions) - cut into 3cm lengths
- fresh ginger - 2cm, thinly sliced crosswise
- flaky sea salt - 1 teaspoon
- toasted sesame oil - 2 tablespoons
- For the Noodles:
- best quality unbleached plain flour - 300g, plus more for sprinkling
- toasted sesame oil - 2 tablespoons
- free range or organic eggs - 2, at room temperature
- egg yolks - 2, at room temperature
- Salt Flavourings
- brown rice miso, soy sauce or fine sea salt - choose one
- For the Toppings
- komatsuna (Japanese mustard greens) - 200g, blanched, squeezed and chopped
- negi (or fat scallions or spring onions) - 3 tablespoons, finely chopped
- free range or organic eggs - 3, at room temperature, boiled for 8 minutes, refreshed, peeled and halved lengthwise
- nori - 1 sheet, cut into sixths
- Rayu (chilli oil) - optional
- Yuzu kosho (chilli paste) - optional
- Shichimi togarashi (7 spice powder) - optional
For the broth: position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 230C (450F).
In a large bowl, toss the chicken, carrots, spring onions and ginger with the salt. Rub with the sesame oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes until nicely browned. Scrape the roasted chicken and vegetables into a heavy pot and add 4 litres cold water. Bring almost to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 1 hour.
Scoop out the chicken thighs and shred the meat off the bones into a medium bowl. Wet the chicken meat with a small scoop of broth. Return the bones to the pot and continue simmering the broth, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Strain into a clean medium pot and discard the bones and vegetables.
For the noodles: Place the flour in a large bowl and drizzle in the sesame oil. Mix with your fingers until pebbly. Make a well and break in the whole eggs and yolks. Mix with your fingers until the eggs and flour are incorporated, but the dough is still a bit crumbly. Turn out onto a work surface and knead until smooth and pliable, about 5 minutes. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes. Roll the dough out using an Italian pasta machine or seimenki (noodle-rolling machine). Cut the dough into thin noodles 3mm wide. Cut those noodles into 22cm lengths with a pizza cutter. Sprinkle the noodles generously with flour and toss the flour into the noodles to help prevent sticking, but keep the noodles aligned.
Fill a large pot three-quarter full of water and bring to a boil over low heat.
Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-high heat and adjust to a bare simmer. Prepare 6 large donburi (deep soup bowls). Measure in one salt flavouring of choice per bowl: 2 tablespoons miso, 4 teaspoons soy sauce or 3/4 teaspoon salt. Whisk 4 tablespoons broth into each bowl to emulsify the flavouring.
Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. While the noodles are cooking, add about 1 1/2 cups broth into each bowl and whisk to combine the flavouring liquid.
Drain the noodles and divide the noodles among the bowls. Working quickly (so the broth does not cool), keeping each ingredient in its own area, add 2 heaping tablespoons chicken meat, 2 heaping tablespoons greens, 1/2 tablespoon negi (fat scallion or spring onion), half an egg and a small piece of nori. If desired, add spice with rayu (for soy sauce ramen), yuzu kosho (for salt ramen) or shichimi togarachi (for mis0 ramen).
Note: Nancy suggests using fat scallions, young spring onions or French shallots if you can't find negi which are slippery mild leek-like onions, sometimes called Welsh onions.