Homemade Chicken Ramen Bowls
I didn’t discover ramen until college. You know, those seventeen cent square packages with a brick of dried noodles, and the MSG-filled packets. Delicious. Ramen saved my life when I was in school. I attended a very small college and the cafeteria food was less than ideal, so I often supplemented with cheap ramen in order to survive.
It wasn’t until years later that I discovered legit ramen bowls. I had no idea ramen could be so amazing. My first gourmet ramen experience was only a few years ago when a friend and I decided to check out Two Ten Jack, Nashville’s first izakaya - a Japanese style neighborhood pub. My life was forever changed.
My very first date with my (now) husband was at Two Ten Jack. It’s become one of our favorite places to celebrate anniversaries, etc. ever since.
One night we were watching one of my favorite shows, Chef’s Table, and the episode featured Ivan Orkin, a chef that specializes in ramen. We both finished that episode inspired to try to make our own ramen bowls. Later that same week, I found a simple recipe online to try. The results were fantastic, and it was so easy! After that, my husband started asking for it at least once a week. Each time we made it, I would tweak it just a tad, adding and taking away things here and there until we hit the sweet spot. Now we make it probably once a week or at least once every other week because we’re obsessed! Every now and then we'll make our own zucchini noodles to use occasionally instead of ramen noodles to make it a little healthier. Gotta get those veggies in!
Every single time I post a picture of our ramen bowls on Instagram (which, like I said, is probably once a week), I get messages from people asking for my recipe! SO I finally decided to get it all down so you can make delicious ramen bowls at home too!
This recipe is fairly easy - we still use Maruchan ramen packages for the noodles, but we throw out the MSG-filled flavor packets and make our own broth. It takes about an hour to make, so it’s a super fun date night idea! Trenton and I almost always work together to make these ramen bowls, because there are a lot of steps involved, and a lot of multi-tasking is required. And it’s more fun cooking together anyway!
Ingredients: (Makes 2 Servings)
2 packs of Maruchan Ramen Noodles (remove flavor packets) *
3-4 tbs Butter
1-2 large chicken breasts
2 Eggs (1 per serving)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1-2 tbs fresh ginger (minced)
2 tbs Mirin
4 tbs Soy Sauce
1 box chicken stock
1/2 onion (cut into thin slices)
3-4 carrots (julienned)
2 stalks of kale (chopped w/ stem)
1/2 tbs salt
Dash of pepper
* optional: substitute spiraled zucchini noodles.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Prep all fresh ingredients before starting. (I often prep things as I go, but if it's your first time making this recipe or if you're making it by yourself, I'd highly recommend prepping everything first!) Mince the fresh ginger and cloves of garlic, peel and chop the carrots into thin, even strips that look like matchsticks, slice half an onion into strips, and chop kale into strips, leaving the stem attached.
Prep the chicken and throw it in to start cooking. Coat the chicken with butter, then sprinkle it with salt, pepper, cayenne, chili powder, and cumin. (You can get really creative with this - it really just depends on what spices you love! We mix it up from time to time.) Bake for 25-30 minutes.
While the chicken is baking, start the broth. In a large pot, let the garlic and ginger simmer in olive oil for about a minute on medium heat. Then add the Mirin and soy sauce and let that simmer for 2-3 minutes, then add the chicken stock. Add salt + pepper and bring to a boil. As it’s heating up, throw in some Sriracha to taste. I’m usually pretty liberal with it, but keep in mind that a little goes a long way! Once the broth starts boiling, turn the heat down to Medium heat and add the onions and carrots. Let everything simmer, tasting as you go and adjust accordingly.
The chicken should be done at this point, so take it out and check to make sure it’s cooked all the way. Cover it with tin foil to keep the heat in and set it aside.
After the chicken is done and the broth is simmering nicely, soft boil the eggs. Make sure to keep the eggs in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook them. Bring a small sauce pan of water to a boil and add the eggs. Let them cook for 7 minutes. While you’re waiting for them to cook, make an ice bath by putting ice in a bowl and adding water. When the eggs are done cooking, drop the eggs in the ice bath so they’ll stop cooking. Wait a couple of minutes until they are cool enough to touch, then remove their shells. They will cool down pretty quickly so you want to make sure not to cut them in half until the very end - but don’t worry if they get cold, the broth will warm them up pretty quickly.
After you’ve cooked the eggs, add the kale to the broth and stir.
The noodles are the last thing I cook. Take the dried noodles out of the package and throw away the flavor packets and packaging. Don’t crush the noodles. Place them in boiling water for about 3 minutes, or until fully cooked, then drain.
Divide the noodles into two bowls, and pour the broth on top of the noodles. Cut the baked chicken into thin slices, and divide among the bowls. Cut the eggs in half and set them in the broth. Garnish with cilantro and slices of jalepeno, and voila! You’ve done it!
The traditional way to eat a ramen bowl is with chopsticks, but don’t forget to have a spoon close by to slurp up the delicious broth!
* To substitute zucchini noodles: Spiralize zucchini noodles before you start the broth, and sauté in a separate pan with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic while the broth is simmering. Add to broth once fairly cooked. Will continue to cook in the broth, so it doesn’t need to be cooked all the way.