Ingredients (4 people)
- 1 large free range chicken breasts (skin on)
- 1 litre of great chicken stock
- 8 to 10 dried shiitake mushrooms (fresh if you can get them)
- 4 cloves of good garlic
- 4 slices of root ginger
- 1 tablespoon of mirin
- 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
- 4 or 5 spring onions
- 4 pak choi
- 2 outers of buckwheat noodles
- Salt and pepper
- 4 eggs
- 2 red chilis
- A sprinkle of seaweed flakes (for show and a bit of saltiness)
Season the chicken breasts and seal in a sous bag along with a bit of butter (or better still, chicken fat, a byproduct of making chicken stock at home). Give them an hour to an hour and a half in a 60ºC (140ºF) water bath.
Put the mushrooms in a bowl and add lots of boiling water to reconstitute them. This takes about 30 minutes, an hour does no harm.
Slice the ginger and peel the garlic. Cook the noodles (these were 3 minutes in boiling water). Warm the stock and add the mirin, soy sauce, whole garlic cloves and ginger slices.
Rinse and slice the mushrooms. Add them to the stock. Warm the stock to a gentle simmer. Now for the tricky bit. Cook the eggs to get them medium soft. Place the eggs into gently boiling water and leave them there for 5 minutes. Take them out and add to an ice bath. This stops them continuing to cook.
Peel the eggs. Slice the chilis and the spring onions. Heat a frying pan and place the chicken on, skin side down. Brown the skin until crispy. Add the noodles to the stock and place the pak choi on top. Cover the pot with a lid and wait for the pak choi to wilt. Slice the chicken. Spoon the stock, noodles and pak choi int a large bowl and gently place the sliced chicken and egg on top. (In this case, the chicken came first).
Slice the eggs in half place them in the bowl, gently. Sprinkle on some chili, spring onion and seaweed. Serve immediately and enjoy.
I really can’t over-emphasise the importance of the stock in this dish. If you don’t have an excellent stock, you CAN’T have an excellent ramen. Organic Irish free range chicken, free range Irish eggs and locally grown Irish pak choi help keep this traditional too. It’s as traditional Irish a dish as I have created in a while and worth the bit of effort. Give it a go.