About a year ago, my boyfriend and I discovered what has become one of our favourite restaurants in Manchester: Samsi on Whitworth Street. The sushi at Samsi is simply wonderful – this was our main reason for visiting, as we were tired of the overpriced and undersized portions of sushi at a certain well known chain that shall remain unnamed. However, what we discovered at Samsi was more than just sushi. We discovered Ramen.
For those of you who are unaware, a Ramen is a delightful combination of noodles, vegetables, succulent chicken, broth, and tonnes of flavour. I tend to say this a lot about food that I love, but in this case it really rings true – Ramen is the sort of food that warms your soul.
So, in an attempt to recreate this dish, I have panned the internet for nuggets of advice, and have used various different things from various different recipes, as well as some of my own additions, to create the recipe below. This serves two hungry people, or three more restrained (and civilised!) eaters.
- 3 cloves garlic
- 5cm piece of ginger
- knob of butter
- 2 chicken breasts, preferably skin on.
- Sunflower oil
- Chicken stock
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- Pak choi
- Dried mushrooms (I used porcini as this is what I had in the cupboard. You could use whichever variety your prefer)
- Rice noodles (or your noodles of preference) – 1 nest per person usually suffices
- 1 litre chicken stock
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Preheat oven to 200c/ Gas Mark 7. Season the chicken breasts well and fry in the butter for approximately 4 minutes a side, or until golden brown and slightly crispy.
- Carefully remove the chicken from the pan and onto a baking tray, drizzling the buttery juices from the pan over them. Place in the oven to finish cooking for 20 minutes.
- Grate the garlic and ginger, and fry gently in the sunflower oil in a large pan for around 3 minutes. Stir continuously, and keep on a low heat to prevent the garlic from burning.
- Add the soy sauce and continue stirring for one minute.
- Pour in the chicken stock (I used 1.5 stock cubes in 1 litre of water) and stir to combine. Let the broth come to the boil.
- Add and handful or two of dried mushrooms (fresh mushrooms would probably serve as a substitute, although they do have less flavour than their dried equivalents) and stir. Leave to simmer gently for at least 10 minutes, while the mushrooms soften and rehydrate.
- Get a pan of boiling water ready for the noodles.
- The chicken should be ready to remove from the oven around now. Check that it is cooked through, and set to one side on a plate covered in foil.
- The next bit needs to be well coordinated, as the pak choi will need around 3 minutes to cook, as will the noodles. Make sure the pak choi has been washed, and sliced up if the leaves are excessively large. Put as much as you feel is necessary into the broth, and leave to simmer. Then, plunge the noodles into the water. Cook both for a similar amount of time (usually around 3 minutes for noodles, but do read the packet instructions).
- Slice up the chicken, ready to add to the Ramens.
- When the noodles are done, turn off the heat on both pans and drain the noodles. Add the noodles to your bowls, ladle the broth over the top, then add the pieces of chicken.
To go veggie, consider trying out a range of substitutes – carrots, spring onions, broccoli, green beans – and using vegetable stock instead of chicken. Have you made a variation of this meal? I’d love to hear your thoughts below in the comments section.