A Farmer’s Ramen

Is there anything better than a steaming bowl of homemade ramen?
I think not.
We ladled up. I closed my eyes, took one slurpy mouthful and was instantly transported to my favourite noodle bar in NYC. It was better than a scene out of Tampopo. It made me cry.
From a farm in Japan to a farm in Ireland, I give you-
Ramen At Home

For the broth:

  • 2 carrots, cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 2 small Japanese leeks, or 4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 bone-in free-range chicken thighs (or 8 wings)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 TBS rapeseed or sesame oil

For the noodles:

  • TBS sesame oil
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, at room temperature

For the toppings:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 small bunch chopped bitter greens, such as bok choy or kale
  • 3 TBS finely chopped Japanese leeks or scallions
  • 1 sheet nori, cut into eights
  • Soy sauce, miso, or sea salt (to taste)

Make the broth.  Preheat the oven to 450°F.  Place carrots, leeks/scallions, ginger, and chicken thighs in a roasting pan, and toss with salt and oil.  Roast for 40 minutes.  Pour chicken, veggies, and all the juices into a large stockpot, and cover with 16 cups of cold water.
Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, remove the lid.  Take out 2 of the chicken thighs and place in a small bowl.  Cover the thighs with hot broth and let cool to room temperature, then shred.  Continue simmering the remaining broth for another 30-60 minutes, until it is reduced to about 8 cups.  Strain broth into a clean pot and keep warm over low heat.  Discard vegetables and remaining chicken thighs.
Make the noodles: mix 2 TBS of the sesame oil into the flour with your fingers until it is crumbly.  Add eggs and egg yolks and stir with your hand until incorporated, then knead on a flat, clean surface for 5 minutes until the dough is pliable but stiff.  The dough takes some force to really work it into a pliable piece.  Let dough rest 10 minutes. 
Roll out the noodle dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch using a pasta machine or a heavy rolling pin.  Cut into linguine-sized noodles by hand with a pizza cutter, sharp knife or by using a pasta machine.
Prepare the toppings: bring a large pot of water to a boil over high-heat. Add the eggs and boil for exactly 7 minutes, then remove with a strainer and place directly into a bowl of ice-cold water.  Let cool, then peel.  In the boiling water, blanch the bitter greens until just tender, then add to the cold water with the eggs.  Keep the water boiling – you will use it to cook your noodles just before serving.
Once the broth, noodles, and toppings are ready, prepare the bowls: add a small amount of miso, soy sauce, or salt to each bowl (according to diner’s preference) and pour a ladleful of hot broth over the seasoning.  Stir the broth into the seasoning.  Divide the shredded chicken amongst the bowls.  Drop the noodles into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes – they will float up to the top when they are done.  Remove the noodles with a strainer and divide among the bowls.  Top off each bowl with a few more ladlefuls of hot broth, 1 egg cut into halves, a handful of the cooked greens, some of the nori pieces, and a sprinkling of scallions.
Serve very hot, with extra seasoning as desired.

Recipe source: farmette

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