Chicken Ramen From Scratch

Most people associate Chicken Ramen with instant noodles in a foam cup. You just need to add boiling water and it’s done. It doesn’t taste bad, but it is very different from the chicken ramen that I prepared today. I made everything from scratch, including the chicken broth and the noodles. Instead of cooking the chicken sous-vide like I did in my previous post about chicken ramen, I wanted to show you how you can approach the same result by cooking the chicken at a low temperature (between 65C and 70C or between 150F and 160F) and then taking the chicken meat off the bones and finish making the broth Making ramen noodles from scratch is just like making fresh Italian noodles, with the exception that baking soda is added to make the noodles alkaline (i.e. the opposite of acidic). This will give them a firmer texture when they are cooked in the broth.

I was very happy with the result. The broth had a very nice flavor, the chicken was tender and juicy, and the noodles had a nice texture. It takes a lot of time, but most if it is inactive so this is a great project for a rainy Sunday.
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Ingredients

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Carrot and star anise not shown because I decided to add them later

For the chicken and broth (enough for 4 servings)

1 chicken, preferably free-range and/or organic

80 ml (1/3 cup) shaohsing rice wine

1 green onion/scallion, chopped

1/2 tsp pepper corns

5 cm (2″) fresh ginger, sliced thinly

1 star anise pod

1 carrot, sliced

about 2 liters (2 quarts) cold water

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For the chicken ramen (4 servings; I made only 2)

Chicken and broth from above

4 green onions/scallions

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp oil

4 Tbsp soy sauce

Shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven flavor chili pepper) or plain red pepper flakes, to taste

1 Chinese cabbage, shredded

2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger

135 grams (5/6 cup) low-gluten flour such as Italian 00

265 grams (1 2/3 cup) high-gluten flour such as Italian semola di grano duro rimacinato

2 tsp baking soda

about 160 ml (2/3 cup) warm water

Preparation of the chicken and broth

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Cut the chicken into pieces, put in a stockpot and cover with cold water.

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Bring to a boil and remove the scum that will rise to the surface with a slotted spoon.

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Add scallion, ginger, carrot, star anise, and rice wine. Bring to a boil.

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Turn off the heat and only turn it back on again if the temperature drops below 65C/149F. Cook the chicken like this for 4 hours or until tender.

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Take the chicken pieces out of the stock and allow to cool a little.

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Take the chicken meat off the bones, shred the meat, and set aside. Return the bones to the broth.

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Bring the broth to a boil and cook for another 2 hours to extract more flavor out of the bones.

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First filter the broth using a colander to get out the bones and vegetables, and then filter it again with kitchen paper or a cheese cloth.

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You will now have a lovely clear Asian chicken broth.

Preparation of the ramen noodles

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In Japan 1 part low-gluten flour is used to 2 parts high-gluten flour, and so I did as well, using Italian flours because that is what I have.

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Put the flours and the baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Process until homogeneous.

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Add the warm water while the mixer is running.

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Do not add all of the water at once.  Keep mixing until all of the flour has been incorporated, and add just enough water for this to happen.

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Fit the stand mixer with the dough hook.

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Knead the dough for 5 minutes on medium speed until it is smooth and elastic.

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Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

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Roll out the dough with a pasta machine. If you don’t know how, check here.

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Dust the sheets of dough with flour and cut into noodles using the pasta machine (fitted with the attachment for fettucine, tagliolini or spaghetti).

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Hang them out to dry if you are not using them soon, otherwise they will stick together.

Preparation of chicken ramen

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Chop the green onions, reserving the dark green part at the top. Also chop the garlic and the ginger.

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Heat some oil in a stock pot. Add the green onions, garlic, and ginger.

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Sauté for a few minutes until the onions are soft and fragrant.

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Add the chicken broth and bring it to a boil. Add the soy sauce.

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Add the cabbage and boil for a few minutes.

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Add the chicken.

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Add the noodles and boil for a minute or until they are al dente. The chicken should be warmed through without overcooking it by now as well.

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Add most of the reserved green onions, chopped, keeping some of the green onions for garnish.

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Season with shichimi togarashi to taste. Taste and add some more soy sauce if you like.

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Divide the chicken, noodles, and cabbage among the serving bowls.

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Cover with broth and garnish with green onions. Serve immediately.

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12 thoughts on “Chicken Ramen From Scratch

  1. Nicely done… must have been delicious! Not to quibble, but rather as an interesting culinary note… Ramen is actually a Japanese rendition of the Mandarin lāmiàn (拉面) meaning ‘pulled noodles’. Have you ever seen a video of them making the noodles by swinging a rope of dough and folding and stretching to make successively thinner strands? Absolutely amazing…. and not a skill I ever expect to master 🙂

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    1. Noodles is usually used to describe pasta that is not from Italy. In most cases it is pasta shaped as ribbons. Pasta/noodles have been around in Italy, China and other places for thousands of years, and it is unknown whether it was invented multiple times or invented just once in a single place and then spread out.

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  2. Amazing! I made a similar soup today for my son, but no time to make the noodles! So I bought the oriental noodles and added a few ingredients to make the soup more interesting…I guess I will wait a few days to post it!

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  3. I salute you, Stefan. Really. That lat photo of the bowl of soup looks so very tasty. Let’s make that perfectly clear before I say anything else.
    You see, I’ve never had Ramen noodles. Ever. Judging by the amount of work you performed to recreate them, I’m not so sure I ever will. 🙂

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