When I was a kid growing up in Hawaii, ramen was my favourite lunch, though in Hawaii ramen is called “saimin”. Admittedly, a packet of supermarket ramen doesn’t have much nutritional value or taste especially good with powdered broth, but ramen is the ultimate comfort food when done right. I was visiting my family in California this summer and we went out for ramen in Oakland. It was fantastic, but I was shocked that they charged almost $20 for a bowl! Then I remembered how my Dad used to spice up his ramen by adding extra goodies, so I read up on home-made ramen and came up with this delicious, enhanced ramen noodle soup.

A wide soup bowl from the wave tableware collection is perfect for serving ramen, but it’s handy to have an Eva plate underneath for the chicken bones!

Basically, I use store-bought broth and then enrich it by adding garlic, ginger, spices and chicken wings. In this case I used a combination of vegetable and chicken broths. This is becoming a popular lunch at home on weekends, I let the broth simmer and boil down for a couple of hours. Sometimes when I’m in more of a hurry, I just let the broth cook as long as possible…but if you have the time, letting the broth reduce slowly really enhances the flavor!

I often make ramen with broccoli rabe, but today I used spinach and edamame beans instead.

Since I am now cooking meals for three people, this is a good, hearty meal for 3.

Ingredients:

1 liter chicken broth

1 liter vegetable broth

2 cloves garlic, minced

2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated

1 teaspoon hot chile paste

10 chicken wings

10 stalks of broccoli rabe, cut into 1-inch pieces

(Broccoli rabe is one of my favorites, but you can substitute other vegetables you have on hand)

1 pack of baby spinach leaves

3 packs of square ramen noodles

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

The beauty of ramen is that you can add all sorts of special tidbits, maybe some mushrooms, a piece of leftover pork, tofu…As you can see in the photos, there is no broccoli rabe, but I used spinach and edamame beans instead. As with a lot of my cooking, it’s a matter of preference and what I have in my pantry that day.

Sauté the chicken wings in a large pot with some cooking oil until crispy on both sides. Add the broths, garlic, ginger, chile paste, sesame oil and soy sauce and bring to a low boil.

Cook for 1-2 hours over a low heat, stirring occasionally.

This will reduce and enrich the stock. You can add more broth if necessary.

When you are ready to serve the ramen, turn the heat up and add the carrots, ramen noodles, and broccoli rabe (or other vegetables) and mix them into the stock.

The noodles should only take a few minutes to cook.

Serve hot with a soupy blend of broth, ramen noodles and other ingredients.

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