I used to go to Ramen restaurants when I was in Japan, and they were much better than the cup noodles and the noodles you can buy in the packages. I still remember the name of one that really shocked me. It was called “Mother and Child.” It was actually chicken ramen with egg in it. Once upon a time, I had a Japanese cook book that has vanished somewhere over the years. One thing I learned from that cook book was how to make homemade ramen. I made it this evening for dinner, so I will share with you what I did.
The first thing I did was take some small pieces of boneless chicken, cover them with water in a big pot, and put them on to boil. After a bit, I realized I wasn’t going to get very good broth because my chicken was skinless and boneless, so I added a couple of table spoons of chicken bullion. Actually, the recipe I had read didn’t say to start by boiling chicken. It recommended chicken bullion, and the meat was actually spam cut into bite sized pieces, so if you don’t want chicken, use spam.
While my chicken was boiling, I knew I was going to need some vegetables. My daughter had finished all the broccoli off yesterday or bite sized pieces of broccoli would have been good. The Japanese actually think to make something good, you have to use as many different colors as possible. When you buy a package of ramen, you will find dried peas, dried corn, dried carrots, etc. in the package, but the only thing I had in my fridge as far as good vegetables for ramen was carrot. I peeled the carrot and cut it up, but I didn’t put it in with the chicken. I know that carrot in a broth can completely change the taste of the broth. I cut the carrot up, put it in a glass bowl, put a little water in it, covered with with plastic, and then put it in the microwave to get the carrot soft. When your fork can go into the carrot easily, it is done, but don’t put it in the soup yet.
While the carrots were cooking, I was also thinking the Japanese like to add green onions to their ramen, but we didn’t have any green onions in the fridge, so I got regular onions and sliced them up and separated the pieces into small pieces. I put that in with the chicken because the onion will give the broth a good flavor. I let the chicken and the onion boil for a while until I though the chicken was almost done.
Next, I used regular spaghetti noodles. I put them in the broth with the chicken and let them cook until they were soft. I always let the soup come to a boil, then put a lid on it and turn it down because things cook quicker if you do that.
When the noodles were soft, I added some soy sauce and mixed it in. You add soy sauce as if it is salt. We salt to taste, and the Japanese add soy sauce to taste. Your broth will become slightly brown. However, don’t use too much because if you put too much soy sauce in, you will make your soup too salty. Add some, then taste it and see if it is good. If it needs more, put a few more drops. Be careful not to add too much. After you turn the fire off, you can also add the carrots.
Now, the soup is done. When I was about done, my daughter came in from work. She told me that they had fed her at work, but when she heard I had made ramen, she couldn’t resist. She wanted some too, and we both enjoyed a bowl of nice homemade ramen together.