Getting your face steamed by a hot bowl of ramen is the unsung hero of exfoliative techniques. It’s rich, it’s comforting, and it banishes winter back north of the wall. The classic tonkotsu pork broth can take 18 hours to cook, so Tokyo Tina head chef Scott Lord has shared a speedier chicken-based version better suited to the home cook.
“What I enjoy in a ramen is a deep umami flavour. The broth must stick to the noodle then be finished with fresh spring onions, with the heat to make your insides warm up,” says Lord.
“Tokyo Tina's Spicy Chicken Ramen is straight up delicious,” he says. “The broth coats the noodles really well which creates the perfect mouthful.”
If you want a pro tip for home-cooked ramen, Lord has one simple trick: “Don't over cook your noodles.”
Spicy Chicken Ramen
3 chicken frames
1 spring onion
100g white sesame seeds
100g white sesame paste
3 peeled garlic cloves (roast in oven with a touch of oil and wrap in cooking foil)
40ml cooking sake
100g white miso
40ml tamari soy
1 chicken thigh
5ml sesame oil
10g rice flour
1 bunch snow-pea tendrils
(Julienned leek in thinly sliced and placed into iced water)
1 tsp Yuzu Kosho Paste (a fermented yuzu peel and chilli peel paste you can buy from a Japanese grocer. If unavailable, substitute for blended long red chillis.)
2.5 tbsp sesame paste (ingredients above)
1 packet ramen noodles per person
To start the stock, wash the chicken frames under cold water. Place in a pot with the water and bring to a boil. Skim the fat that rises to top of pot then add the carrot, spring onion and daikon. Continue to skim and cook on a simmer for 3–4 hours.
For the sesame paste blend the roasted garlic with mirin. Separately blend the white sesame seeds and then fold through remaining ingredients until the mix is the consistency of natural peanut butter. Put aside.
Allow the chicken thigh to marinate in the sesame oil and microplaned ginger for an hour before use. When you’re ready to serve the ramen, coat the thigh in rice flour and cook in a hot oiled fry pan. Cook until golden on both sides, allow to rest for 5 minutes and dice into bite sized pieces appropriate to pick up with chopsticks.
Blanch your noodles in boiling water for 2 minutes, then strain well.
In a deep bowl for each guest add 2.5 tbsp of the sesame paste and 1 leveled tsp of Red Yuzukoshu paste (or substitute). Pour the chicken stock through a fine sieve till the bowl is half filled. Whisk the stock and pastes throughly. Add the blanched noodles and add more stock until it just covers the noodles.
Finish with the cooked chicken thigh pieces and garnish with the julienned leeks and snow-pea tendrils. Add more heat with some chilli oil if you need more of a kick.