Here we are, teetering on the precipice of a second COVID lockdown. Whether it’s just a short ‘Tier 2 circuit breaker’ or something longer remains to be seen.
We’ve all learnt lessons from enduring the first few months of the Coronavirus pandemic. No doubt there will be many more to learn.
One lesson we should all aim to learn is how to make ramen as good as the ramen I was treated to on Thursday.
Cooking for other people can be stressful. Dietary requirements. Allergies. Timings. Striking the balance between cooking and entertaining. Add to that, cooking somebody one of their favourites foods AND one which they (ridiculously) review online.
And so it was, earlier this week when Nick decided he would make his signature chicken ramen for me. BOLD!
But you know, it’s October. The world is a mess; we could all do with a bowl of chicken soup!
Some ingredients arrived and the process began…
Nick started cooking at about 11:00. We ate at 19:30. A goooooood percentage of that time went into preparing the broth. There were a whole host of things simmering away for most of the day. My kitchen smelt (and still smells) wonderful!
Surprisingly for a chicken-based broth it was quite opaque and had more sweet, sticky, slurpyness than I had anticipated.
Years of searching and the perfect packet noodles still evade me. Some are too curly. Other too straight. I’m not sure what brand we had on Thursday (there was no English on the packaging at all) but they were good; not too soggy, even after being submerged in broth for a while.
Four types of mushrooms and homegrown spring onions bobbed around. Perfectly tender chicken thigh meat joined it. As did an egg.
Nick stressed over the egg. He appreciates that it’s arguably the showpiece of any bowl of ramen. He needn’t have worried, the slightly runny yolks and soft pillowy whites were glorious.
Was this authentic ramen? No, but does that matter? Well yes, to a purist I suppose it would. To me, the guy who enjoyed the addition of cheese to ramen in Washington DC, it was flavoursome and filling. Which is essentially what I’m looking for in my noodles.
Learn how to make ramen this good. Better, find someone to make you ramen this good. Take lockdown one bowl at a time.
P.S. here’s the recipe if you fancy giving it a whirl:
Chicken leg and thigh
Store-bought chicken ramen
- Put the chicken stock, ginger, star anise, garlic, onion and chicken pieces in water.
- Slow cook for about 6 hours.
- Once done, shred chicken, cook mushrooms and noodles and spring onions in the broth.
- Serve with egg.