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Pressure cooker chicken ramen

Pressure cooker chicken ramen

A good bowl of ramen is a three-part experience for me: a filing and satisfying meal, an emotional restorative, and a pork-scented steam facial. I have been lucky enough to live in Vancouver, a city with a ramen district housing at least ten different tiny restaurants serving incredible ramen, as well as a scattering of other shops throughout the city. The proximity to Japan and Vancouver’s large Asian population keeps these ramen shops up to date and authentic. Well, let’s use authentic loosely, as ramen has been a bit of a mash-up since the beginning.

Now that I live in a small town in Germany, a good bowl of fresh ramen is only going to happen if I make it. So, of course, I had to try. I took as inspiration my favourite Vancouver ramen: the Tori Shio at Benkei Noodle Shop. This is pretty lightweight when it comes to ramen: a chicken broth as opposed to fatty pork, lean slices of chicken breast, spinach, a smattering of corn, and the noodles. But it’s my favourite. So my at-home version is chicken-based too, and uses ingredients you can find in most big grocery stores.

I often make dinners with how I’ll use the leftovers in the back of my mind, and generally this means they’re going into my ramen. Roasted root vegetables, brussel sprouts, fried onions – these are all good. This is a favourite post-roast chicken meal. My [amazon_link id=”B00FLYWNYQ” target=”_blank” ]Instant Pot[/amazon_link] is my best friend here – it makes generating both the broth and the ramen-style soft-boiled egg super quick.

Ramen broth

  • 1 chicken carcass
  • 4 litres of water
  • 5 slices of fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the flat side of a knife
  • 2 tbsp mirin

Pressure cooker instructions

  1. Put chicken carcass, water, ginger, garlic, and mirin in your pressure cooker, set for 90 minutes on high pressure.
  2. Use quick release, open your pressure cooker and strain out the bones and other bits. Jar up your broth and refrigerate, or set aside.

Slow cooker or stovetop directions

  1. Put chicken carcass, water, ginger, garlic, and mirin in a large pot, and put on medium high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and let it go for as long as possible – four hours is ideal. If using a slow cooker, set to 8 hours on low.
  2. Strain and bottle up, refrigerate or set side to use immediately.

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Make your ramen

  • 1 litre of ramen broth
  • 2 packages of ramen noodles, sauce and broth packets discarded
  • Salt to taste

Toppings, any or all of the following

  1. Bring the ramen broth to a boil, and then add the noodles, following cooking directions. Pull the noodles out with tongs into big bowls, then divide the broth between the bowls.
  2. Add your toppings, slice ramen egg in half before placing on top of noodles if using.

Recipe note: I don’t add salt to my broth as I’m using a carcass from a roast chicken I’ve made myself which I salt generously. I like adding salt to my ramen right before serving so I can really taste it. Feel free to add salt to the process wherever you want though. 

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Shirataki noodles make lovely ramen

Shirataki noodles make lovely ramen

shirataki

I know soup is good for you. I know it’s great if you’re trying to eat better. But I just don’t like it much.

There, I said it. Soup is boring.

There is one exception I make in the soup department, and that’s ramen. I mean proper ramen, not squiggly dried noodles in a brick. A huge, steaming bowl of fresh noodles and pork broth that’s been simmering for two days. Oh, there is nothing like it.

I am, like most of the old country, trying out this 5:2 eating plan. Essentially it means eating normally for five days a week, and then for two (non-consecutive) days you fast. Well, eat 500 calories a day.

In a happy coincidence, House Foods, the people who make tofu shirataki noodles contacted me to try  out their noodles right around the same time. I had been eyeing these in the refrigerator case, and have actually tried them once or twice in the past. But now I had a plan.

An entire package of shirataki noodles is only 40 calories, as well as being full of protein as they are made of tofu. I approached them as I do spaghetti squash, namely anything dieting people crow about tasting ‘just like pasta’ generally doesn’t taste anything like it. Shirataki noodles are Japanese in origin, so clearly they would be better in ramen-like incarnation than trying to make them into bolognese.

When you take them out of the package and drain them, there’s a distinct, er, fishy smell. Rinsing and then microwaving for a minute decreases it. They are definitely a bit slippery in texture. Eating the noodles in soup means this isn’t an issue. Finally, I topped my soup with pan-fried trout, any residual fishiness only benefited the final taste.

Miso sort-of ramen with shirataki noodles and steelhead trout
serves one

1 package of tofu shirataki noodles
1 heaping tablespoon of miso paste
Boiling water
Half fillet of pan-fried steelhead trout, or salmon
Fresh baby spinach leaves
Dash of togarashi

1. Drain shirataki noodles in a sieve in the sink, rinse thoroughly with water. Put shirataki noodles in a medium bowl with tap water and microwave for one minute. Drain and rinse again. Set aside.

2. Mix miso paste with enough boiling water to fill a large soup bowl, leaving room for the noodles.

3. Add noodles to bowl, top with fresh spinach leaves and trout, sprinkle with togarashi. Serve immediately.

 

Disclosure: I was given coupons to buy my shirataki noodles with, however I managed to leave them at home, so I bought the noodles myself! The opinions and recipe in this post are my own. 

 

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