The members of my family have vastly differing tastes when it comes to food – yet we all seem to love eating at Wagamama. The kids especially love their Chicken Ramen, which is nothing at all like the ramen most of us are used to, with the silver foil seasoning packet. This ramen is made from a flavorful, yet light, broth and features fresh veggies and huge chunks of delicious chicken. I would call it Japanese comfort food. It’s a great meal option anytime of the year, especially when you want something slightly different than just plain-old chicken noodle soup. I didn’t think it would be all that complicated to make, yet I wanted to do proper research so that my efforts would produce authentic flavor and, most importantly, something comparable to what we devour at the restaurant.
Homemade Chicken Ramen
Credit: Lucky Peach, Fork Knife Swoon, and Damn Delicious
- 1 rotisserie chicken
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 2-4 dried shitake mushrooms
- Carrots, cut into medium slices
- Scallion, sliced for cooking and additional for garnish
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce (low-sodium)
- 2 Tbsp mirin
- 3-4 packs dried ramen noodles (or refrigerated noodles, if available)
- Prepare broth. Remove meat and fat from the rotisserie chicken. Cut up the good, meaty parts and reserve for serving later. Discard fat. The remaining carcass should be mostly clean, but don’t worry if there is some remaining fat and meat as it will add flavor to the broth.
- In a large stock pot, heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, cook 1-2 minutes until they become fragrant. Add chicken broth, water, dried shitake, and chicken carcass. Simmer until reduced by one-third (to approximately 8 cups) – about 2 hours. While broth simmers, skim off fat (especially during the first thirty minutes or so). Strain broth and return to pan (or store in refrigerator for up to 2 days).
- Add soy sauce, mirin, carrots, scallion, and reserved chicken pieces to broth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn down heat and allow soup to simmer until carrots are soft.
- In a separate pot, heat water and cook ramen noodles by instruction on the package.
- Drain noodles and portion into bowls. Top with broth, chicken and carrots. Season with additional sliced scallions, salt and pepper to taste.
I kept thinking that the broth was missing something…turns out that adding a little salt and pepper made all the difference. Other optional ingredients for your ramen include boiled egg, bacon (you could also put some in while cooking the broth for extra flavor), sliced fresh shitake mushrooms or sliced jalapeno. You can also serve each bowl with a drizzle of soy sauce or sesame oil. Now that I think I’ve got the basic recipe down pretty well, I am eager to try to jazz it up a little. But, I will say, basic is good…in this case, so good that everyone takes multiple servings. I felt successful when one child proclaimed this ramen to be as good as Wagamama. Enjoy!