Chicken and Egg Miso Ramen: Oiishi!

Chicken and Egg Miso Ramen: Oiishi!

Simple, easy, delicious chicken and miso ramen noodles

Simple, easy, delicious chicken and miso ramen noodles

When I posted a pic of my Chicken and Egg Miso Ramen on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, I was surprised by the response.  So many people wanted to talk about it: the ingredients, how I made it, and naturally, the recipe.  Jen (as in Jen’s Vegetable Lasagna featured in my cookbook) wanted to come over for a ramen filled afternoon.  Kipp and I decided that ramen beats pho any day (what a great hashtag #ramenbeatspho). Even picky eater Korey had to chime in about her thoughts on egg yolks.

So I’m using my website to share my recipe with you (I know, I know, I haven’t updated in FOREVER!  Forgive me, I’ve been busy).

Now, when I say ramen, I’m speaking of a delicious, savory, umami-filled bowl of noodles and protein, the kind of wonderful comfort-food goodness that makes noodle bars a worldwide sensation.  I know many people hear the word ramen and think of things like Top Ramen and Oodles of Noodles, but that’s instant ramen….. and while that’s quite good to a college kid or 20-something hipster, I’m speaking about a traditional Japanese food staple that has taken the world by storm.  If you haven’t been to a ramen noodle bar, you are truly missing out.  My favorites bowls are found at Momofuku in NYC, Slurping Turtle in Chicago and Sakuramen in Washington, D.C.  And if your town doesn’t yet have a noodle bar, I strongly encourage you to make ramen at home. In fact, when you realize how easy it is, you’ll wonder why you don’t do it more often!

To make ramen at home, I use two pots: one for the broth and one for all the other proteins.  A good ladle strainer, often called a “spider” is a great tool to use, but tongs or a slotted spoon will work just fine.  Everything will cook quickly — just give the ingredient a quick “bath” in hot water — then set it aside.  It really is that easy.

Miso, thank goodness, is available in most grocery stores and organic markets.  You just have to know where to look.  Fresh miso paste is refrigerated, so look for it in the dairy section or where organic foods are kept.  Shelved miso is usually in some sort of bottle and can be found in either the international foods section or even where salad dressings are kept.

Finally, a word on noodles.  You can certainly use instant ramen noodles if that’s all you can find (just remember to throw out those seasoning packets).  Chuka-mein, also known as “chinese noodles” are very good, as are fresh egg noodles and even buckwheat soba noodles.  For me, the longer the noodle, the better, because that means I can slurp up all of the savory goodness.

Proteins are easy — it’s whatever you want them to be.  Leftovers from last night, extra veggies in the fridge, hot or cold.  That’s the fun of ramen noodle bowls — you can experiment with ingredients every time.  Happy slurping!!

Chicken and Egg Miso Ramen
Serves 2

Simple, easy, delicious chicken and miso ramen noodles

Simple, easy, delicious chicken and miso ramen noodles

Ingredients:

1/2 lbs. ground chicken
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
1 carton good chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes (if desired)
4 tablespoons yellow miso
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 package chuka-mein, “chinese noodles” or 2 packs instant ramen
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Additional protein ideas:
1 egg
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
sliced fresh cabbage or baby bok choy
firm tofu, diced
fresh green onions, chopped
shrimp

  1. With the first pot, heat a few tablespoons of oil (canola, vegetable or olive) over medium high heat.  Add the red chile flakes and cook for 1 minute.  Add all of the ground chicken along with the onion and grated ginger and saute until cooked, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the entire carton of chicken stock with the miso paste and 2 cups of water.  Stir to incorporate all the miso, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and allow to simmer gently, uncovered.  Add the sesame oil and soy sauce and season to taste.
  2. In a separate pot, bring cold water to a boil.  Add the ramen noodles and cook until just before done (do not let noodles go too soft, they should still have a bite, about 2 minutes in boiling water).  Using a spider, tongs, or slotted spoon, remove the noodles from the pot, strain and rinse under cold water (keep the water boiling on the stove).  Set noodles aside.  In the same pot with boiling water, cook the spinach leaves (about 1 minute) and again, use the strainer or a pair of tongs to remove and set aside.  Do this with all of your proteins (except green onions) but do not overcook them.  You may want to keep a large clean platter beside the stove or a bunch of small bowls for your cooked proteins.  Lastly, prepare the eggs.  Soft boil eggs in their shell or poach lightly in the simmering water.  Be sure to keep the yolk soft.  Remove egg from boiling water and set aside.
  3. To bring it all together, place the noodles in the bottom of a deep soup bowl, creating a cone-like mountain.  Using tongs or chopsticks, place small sections of proteins around the noodles (spinach, tofu, shrimp, etc). Using a slotted spoon, scoop the ground chicken meat from the broth, and section it around the noodles.  Place the poached egg or soft boiled egg (shelled and split into two pieces) at the very top of the noodles.  Ladle the hot broth over the entire bowl.  Garnish with a generous amount of chopped green onion.  Serve with a soup spoon and chopsticks. Enjoy immediately.
Q & A with Masaharu Morimoto and Takashi Yagihashi

Q & A with Masaharu Morimoto and Takashi Yagihashi

This is PART TWO of my amazing evening with Chefs Morimoto and Yagihashi.  To start at the beginning, click here for “Dinner with an Iron Chef” 

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto

CK: Chef Morimoto, you’ve cooked for people all around the world, from celebrities to every day diners.  Is there anyone that would make you nervous to prepare a meal for?

Morimoto: No.  I don’t cook for anyone but myself.  Even when I’m on Iron Chef and supposedly cooking for judges, I’m really cooking for myself.  Everyday, I challenge myself to be a better cook.

CK: If you’re cooking for yourself, what are you making?  What foods comfort you?

Morimoto: I enjoy everything.  My comfort food would have to be Japanese food.  I could eat it everyday.  I like Thai, French, Italian foods, but I couldn’t eat it everyday.  People like to categorize me and my restaurants as serving Japanese food.  But it’s not.  It’s my food, influenced by my Japanese roots.  Again, I cook for me.

Yagihashi: Noodles are my comfort food.  I could eat them everyday.  Of course, there’s such diversity in noodles, there’s so many different kinds and you can’t forget about pasta.  I could eat it all everyday.

Chef Takashi Yagihashi

CK: So how did tonight’s event come about?

Morimoto: Actually, it’s a funny story.  Takashi called me and asked if I wanted to do an event.  I said sure and didn’t give it another thought.  He planned the menu, he prepared everything, he got all the ingredients.  I just left it up to him.  I didn’t check on anything. I trust him as we’ve known each other a long time.

 CK: How did you and Takashi meet?

Morimoto: Takashi knew Nobu-san (Nobu Matsuhisa) before he met me.  One day, Takashi came into Nobu Restaurant while I was working.  He told me he needed fish to be cut and I started working right away.  That’s why he (Takashi) liked me.

Yagihashi: We’ve known each other for at least 15 years.  He’s been here (in my restaurant) before and he’s seen me in the kitchen.  We trust each other and that means a lot.

CK: You’ve both described your cooking as “global cuisine.”  What do we have to look forward to in global cuisine?

Morimoto: I’m learning more and more about endangered species and overfishing.  My skills and background are

Morimoto's Foie Gras Chawanmushi

based in seafood and Japanese people eat a lot of seafood.  I think Americans need to learn more about seafood and I need to learn more about sustainable seafood. 

Yagihashi: Tastes are changing.  I came to the United States twenty-five years ago and people never said ‘Let’s go eat Japanese.’  Now, people not only say ‘Let’s go eat Japanese,’ they specify what kind of Japanese: sushi, ramen and either authentic or more creative Japanese.

As I get older, I find myself wanting healthier foods, more vegetables, less creams, less salt.  I love seasonal vegetables whereas when I was younger I wanted a lot of proteins and meats.  So for me, I guess you can say I’ll be cooking a lot more healthy stuff, just because my tastes have changed.

 CK: Are there any up and coming chefs that you like to keep your eye on?

Morimoto: Lots of chefs come and go.  Who’s a chef, what makes a chef, it changes all the time.  I guess I like Michimi-san, he works in my kitchen.  He’s young, energetic and works hard.

Yagihashi: I don’t know many young chefs, but I do know Chef Paul at Vie Restaurant here in Chicago.  He’s very good and great at using local foods.

CK: Do you see yourself slowing down or retiring anytime soon?  What’s next?  Another book, another restaurant?

Morimoto: I have restaurants, I have knives, I have beer and sake, I have a cookbook.  I don’t need to do anything else.  People ask me to create t-shirts, hats, cookware. I don’t want that.  I want to cook and make what I like.  I have a theory, it’s that life is about not only having big dreams but a big foundation.

Morimoto and Yagihashi enjoy a laugh with Ming Tsai

Life is about multiples.  If you act like a zero, then nothing will happen to you.  But if you act like a number, a big number with big work, then you’ll get big rewards.  I’ve dreamed big, but my dreams were in big actions.  Every dream had multiple hours of work behind it.  I’m not a zero and I don’t want negative returns.

Yagihashi: I’m not going to die in the kitchen, that’s for sure.  But I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.  I think if there’s ever a day when I don’t want to come to work, then it’s time for me to retire.  I’m working on a book about Japanese street foods.  It’ll feature a little bit of izakaya, yakitori, oden (fish cakes) and really it’s about comfort food.

I have three beautiful children and I take them to Japan so they can learn about their culture.  I think the world is getting smaller and the more we can widen our views, the better we’ll be.

Dinner with an Iron Chef: Masaharu Morimoto in Chicago

Dinner with an Iron Chef: Masaharu Morimoto in Chicago

Chef Ming Tsai with Chef Morimoto

When Takashi Restaurant announced an evening with Masaharu Morimoto, reservations to the tiny Chicago ramen house filled in less than an hour.  The author, restauranteur and Iron Chef superstar teamed up with his friend and colleague, Takashi Yagihashi to offer a five-course tasting menu featuring signature Morimoto dishes.  With every seat in the restaurant taken and a wait-list filled, Kathy (Yagihashi’s wife and restaurant manager) offered me a humble seat at the bar.  As it turned out, it was the best possible seat in the house.

Morimoto chose to spend the evening away from the kitchen, allowing Yagihashi to serve as chef.  Seated next to me while sipping on his own beer, he shared his thoughts on cooking, running a business and the future of global cuisine.  Yagihashi, along with dinner guest Chef Ming Tsai, joined the conversation.

[Read Q & A with Iron Chef Morimoto and Chef Yagihashi (Part 2) here]

“Hey,” Morimoto says to Tsai, “you need to buy my book.”

Chef Tsai caught in the kitchen

“Buy my book my ass,” replies Tsai, “I think my recipes are in your book.”

With that, Tsai gets up, enters the kitchen and comes out wearing a Japanese apron.  He holds a towel in his hand and announces that he’s going from Chinese food to Japanese.  Morimoto then ties a towel around Tsai’s head and tells him to get to work.

“Everyone,” announces Tsai, “free dinner tonight — and for the rest of the week!”

The restaurant erupts in laughter and applause.

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s Tasting Menu at Takashi Restaurant

Amuse Bouche

Morimoto's Tuna Pizza

Tuna PizzaBig Eye Tuna, Anchovy Aioli

Second Course
Bocconcini de Buffalo SashimiProsciutto, Scallops, Salmon and Octopus

Third Course
Foie Gras Chawanmushi Wasabi, Seared Foie Gras, Soy-Dashi

Fourth Course
Angry ChickenMorimoto’s Tandoori Chicken, Curried Lentils, Crispy Rice Noodles

Fifth Course
Pork KakuniBraised Pork Belly, Scallop Congee, Crispy Burdock

Dessert
Sugared Salmon with Beet Sorbet, Kobosu Creme Brulee, Asparagus Pocky

See ALL PHOTOS from the Morimoto Event HERE