This ramen is on heavy rotation in our household at the moment. In fact, it has been since I became obsessed with it back in November. By the time December arrived, bringing with it a militant dose of tonsillitis for Archie that lasted three weeks(!!), this Shiitake ramen was my twice-a-week dinner salvation. Between juggling a sick toddler, work, wedding planning, oh and Christmas, by the end of the day all we wanted was to eat something low maintenance and comforting - conversation was an occasional luxury.
The joy of this is it’s essentially a blank canvas and is always very kind to me when I lack energy and imagination. The veggie’s never complained when I’ve produced it twice in one week because I’ve 'artistically' embellished to make it slightly different each time. I’ve made this ramen with chicken, prawns, chicken and prawns, salmon, pre-bought stir fry mix and simply Shiitake mushrooms. I’ve used dried egg noodles, read-to-use egg noodles and Udon. I love all but for ease and personal preference, I tend to go the Shiitake and Udon route most often. Archie loves having mouthfuls of mine but, as a rule, due to the high salt content I don't tend to make this for him. You could make a lower salt version with low salt Soy and Kalo low salt stock cubes. A little prep and you can have this ramen ready for slurping out of oversized bowls in 15-20 minutes, making it perfect for mid-week, post work meals.
If you want to add some chicken (it is particularly delicious with the Shiitake mushrooms) I would allow one free-range chicken breast between two. Pan fry it in a little oil and butter then season to taste - you could even add a splash of ready-made teriyaki if you're feeling fancy. Cut it into strips and put on top of your soup.
Ingredients (Serves 2):
2 TBSP Sesame oil
1 Litre of chicken stock (stock cubes are fine. You can swap for veggie bouillon but be wary of it being very 'herby')
125g Fresh Shiitake mushrooms (25g of dried also work well)
2 Tablespoons of Soy sauce
2 Tablespoons of Mirin
2 Cloves of garlic
2 Eggs (medium sized)
2 Spring onions
100-150g Brown flat rice Udon noodles (Clearwater are my fave) or egg noodles depending on preference
1. Put a large heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat and fry the crushed garlic for a minute, be careful not to brown it
2. Add the soy sauce and mirin, cook for 2 minutes
3. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes
4. Chop half your Shiitake mushrooms and leave the other half whole, then slice your spring onions ready to sprinkle on top of your finished ramen
5. To cook your udon noodles, bring a medium pan of water to the boil, add the udon noodles then simmer for 9 minutes (if using the clearspring ones). Once cooked drain and rinse quickly under cold water to stop them coagulating and turning into a sticky heap. Leave in the colander resting in the pan you cooked them in until you need them
6. In another pan boil the eggs. The ideal is to have the yolks still slightly soft, I tend to find 7-8 minutes is perfect. Once done drain and refill the pan with cold water then allow the eggs to sit in this and cool for a couple of minutes. This will make them easier to handle and also stop them cooking anymore. Once cool enough to handle crack them and slice in half
7. Once the soup has been simmering for five minute add the shitake mushrooms and simmer for another five minutes or until they feel soft
8. Grab 2 good sized bowls and start to assemble your ramen. I make a heap of noodles then ladle on the ramen before topping with egg and spring onion. If you’ve decided to add chicken I would add this last
That’s it. Job done. No need to bother with Deliveroo tonight, you got this!