Soup is comfort and love in a bowl. Whenever I visited my parents, one of my mother’s many loving offerings included homemade soup. Today it was my turn to make the offering. My darling came home early from work with a low grade fever and headed straight for bed. I needed to get him some nourishment pronto. It needed to be easy to digest and quick to prepare. A quick assessment of our inventory revealed the usual staples on hand: chicken broth, ramen noodles, eggs, garlic, ginger, scallions and carrots. A fortuitous supply of bok choy, Napa cabbage and shiitake mushrooms left over from another meal spelled out “ramen soup” in my head, in flashing neon lights. I quickly ran off to purchase a store roasted chicken. About 40 minutes in the kitchen later, I offered him love in a bowl.
My version of Easy Ramen Chicken Soup uses both prepared broth and dried seasonings. Traditional Japanese ramen uses fresh noodles and the broth is created over many hours from ingredients like kelp, chicken or pork. Korean style ramen uses dried noodles and dried powdered seasoning. I love both styles so I took a short-cut, combining a bit of both and used a Chinese 5-spice powder. Please forgive me.
Serving size: 4
- 1 store roasted chicken, sliced; wings and bones removed and reserved (omit or substitute with tofu for vegetarian version)
- 2 – 32 ounce low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon or about 2 inches of freshly grated ginger
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 – 2 teaspoons of Chinese 5-spice (start with 1 teaspoon and add more to taste)
- 1/4 cup of low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 4 eggs, rinsed
- 6 ounces of ramen noodles (I like the millet & brown rice ramen which is gluten-free)
- 4 cups of bok choy, napa cabbage or baby spinach (rough cut the bok choy or cabbage into 2 inch pieces)
- 2 cups carrots, grated or cut match stick size (Trader Joe’s sells grated and washed carrots)
- 12 fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 2 stalks green onion, thinly sliced
- hot chili oil or sriracha hot chili sauce (optional)
- Remove the chicken wings and set aside. Remove the meat from the thigh and leg, and set the bones aside. Careful, the chicken will be hot internally.
- In a medium pot, combine the wings, bones, broth, soy sauce, onions, ginger, garlic and 5-spice. Bring to a boil, then lower to medium-low heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
- In another medium pot, bring water to a boil. Add the rinsed eggs and boil for about 7 – 9 minutes. (I prefer a 7 minute softer boiled egg.) You will want to rinse the eggs before because they will be cooking in the same boiling water as the ramen noodles. Cook the noodles according to package instructions, timing it so the eggs and noodles finish cooking at the same time. For example, the ramen noodles I purchased needed only 4 minutes to cook. So added the eggs to the boiling water and set the kitchen timer for 3 minute. After the eggs cooked for 3 minutes, I added the noodles, and set the timer for an 4 additional minutes.
- Once the eggs and noodles are cooked, remove the eggs and place them in cold water. This will make it easier to peel the egg shell.
- Using tongs, portion out the noodles into individual large bowls. Rinse out the pot and set it aside to use again. If you are on a gluten-free diet, I recommend this millet and rice ramen noodle brand.
- Prepare the vegetables and finish slicing the chicken meat while the broth simmers.
- Place the chicken on top of the noodles. Remember, a serving size of protein should be the size of a deck of cards (about 3-4 ounces). I tend to consume about 2 ounces or less for myself or I just omit the chicken since the egg is a source of protein.
- Peel the eggs and slice in half. Place two halves in each bowl.
- Once the broth has been simmering for about 30 minutes, turn off the heat. Place a fine meshed strainer over the empty pot used to boil the noodles and eggs. Carefully ladle the very hot broth over the strainer, transferring all the broth to the other pot. I like to pick out the onions and throw them back into the broth. You might find some good little pieces of chicken meat to toss back in too. Discard the bones and other solids.
- Carefully taste the hot broth and adjust the seasoning. You might be tempted to add a little hot chili oil or sriracha sauce too. Turn the heat back on to bring the broth back to a simmer. Toss in the grated carrots, greens and mushrooms. Stir and simmer for 2 minutes to soften the vegetables.
- Ladle over the noodles and chicken. Top with sliced green onions. Deliver with love.