Ramen is one of my favourite things in the world. Three weeks in Japan and I can honestly say I didn’t get sick of ramen, in fact, I think I grew to love it even more. It’s one of those frustrating dishes that has always seemed like it should be easy (and cheap) to make, but getting that broth right has always felt like such a hassle and I always end up just going out. I’m all for making a broth from scratch, but these days I barely eat meat, let alone acquiring enough chicken/pork to make some kind of stock. Lockdown was the period in which I decided enough was enough, I was going to make ramen. My shortcut: acquiring myself a really nice pre-made stock! Why didn’t I think of this before? I have gone for a chicken stock, but that doesn’t mean I necessarily use chicken as my protein – I have tried chicken, tofu and pork – all work just as well. If I’m feeling super lazy, I just cook us up an extra egg each.
In my opinion, no ramen is complete without a boiled egg. Ramen eggs are just the greatest, gooey and oozing the most delicious flavour. After identifying the broth I was going to use, the boiled eggs were to be my next challenge. Little did I realise just how easy they were going to be. I’ve included how to do these below and they’re a step not to be missed. Since lockdown begun, we have been eating ramen several times each week – because yes, it is easy, cheap and so freaking good! This recipe serves two – with adequate amounts for seconds.
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 c mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
- 1/2 c soy sauce
- 1 T brown sugar
- 2 t sesame oil
- 2 t ginger, minced
- 3 t garlic, minced
- 4 c chicken stock (don’t use powdered stock; liquid stuff is best)
- 1/2 c green onion sliced
- ramen noodles
- sesame seeds for serving
- 1/2 c veges for the ramen – shitake mushrooms and mung beans work well, but so does sliced capsicum or small broccoli florets.
- 1/2 c protein – roast chicken or pork leftovers work well and so does tofu – when I’m feeling lazy I will just do an extra egg each and it’s great!
- The night before (or at least 2 hours before) boil the eggs for six minutes. Put them in an ice bath to cool before peeling. Once cool, peel and marinate in the soy sauce, mirin and brown sugar mixture, making sure all the eggs are either covered or rotated every so often to ensure equal distribution of flavor.
- Heat the sesame oil in a medium pot over medium heat. I like to use a pot with measurements up the sides so I can measure the quantity of broth I am making. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add the soy sauce and mirin mixture from the marinated eggs (set the eggs aside), followed by the stock. Too much flavor can be compensated by water and if you want more flavor add some extra soy sauce, mirin or sesame oil. Bring the mixture to the boil and then simmer for approximately 15 minutes.
- Cook the ramen noodles separately if possible. But if you want to just cook them together, add another cup or so of water/chicken broth and expect some murkiness to the broth due to starch being released from the noodles.
- In the serving bowls, lay out the cooked protein alongside the boiled eggs. The eggs will be cold, so it’s nice to give them a chance to warm up. Sometimes I cut my egg in half to aid this. Then add the raw vegetables. Scoop the cooked noodles into each bowl, and then ladle broth to cover the noodles. Garnish with spring onion and sesame seeds.