Does the idea of eating ramen noodles bring back sodium-packed memories of your early adult life? A college student staple for its quick, easy cooking and super low price, ramen has gotten a bad rap thanks to the packages of processed, MSG-infused cup of noodles that we associate it with. But with this gourmet ramen recipe, you’ll see the one-bowl wonder in a whole new light.
With just a touch of sugar, low-sodium soy sauce and savory Asian sesame oil, this ramen recipe uses simple ingredients to become something special. Fresh kale and meaty shiitake mushrooms give the dish body, while potent ginger root and perky green onions add a zesty vibe. This quick ramen recipe takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish – perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.
Gourmet Ramen Recipe with Roasted Chicken, Kale & Shiitake Mushrooms
12 Ounces Ramen Noodles
4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
6 Ounces Fresh Kale
4 Ounces Shiitake Mushrooms
2 Quarts Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar (or Sugar Alternative)
2 Tablespoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Asian Sesame Oil
1 One-Inch Piece of Fresh Ginger
2 Green Onions for Garnish
Cooking Spray (if desired)
Place your top oven rack six inches from the heat, and preheat your oven’s broiler on high. Line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with cooking spray if desired.
Prepare your vegetables. Slice the shiitake mushrooms, and cut the green onions into small, diagonal pieces. For the kale, remove any large, tough stems, and cut the leaves into thin little strips. Remove the skin from your ginger root, and cut into matchstick-size pieces.
In a bowl or plastic bag, toss your chicken thighs with the sugar and low-sodium soy sauce. Place the thighs on your foil-covered baking sheet, and broil for a total of 8 to 10 minutes, turning once.
Meanwhile, bring your chicken broth and ginger to a boil in a medium-size pot. Add your ramen noodles, and cook according to the package directions.
During the last three minutes of cooking, add your fresh kale, sliced mushrooms, and Asian sesame oil.
Slice or shred your chicken thighs into small, bite-size pieces. If it’s too hot to handle, use two forks to make the process easier.
Divide the noodles and broth mixture into four serving bowls, and top each with an equal amount of chicken and green onions. Enjoy!
Substitute any fresh leafy green for the kale. Try spinach, chard, collard greens or turnip greens.
Go veggie by replacing the chicken with chunks of firm tofu or seitan, and using vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth.
Don’t like mushrooms? Substitute with eggplant, cauliflower, zucchini or sweet potato. Without mushrooms, you’ll miss a little of the umami – so crank it up by adding a little oyster sauce, miso paste or fish sauce.
Optional toppings include sliced boiled eggs, bean sprouts, nori (dried seaweed) or corn.
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Photo by Ron Dollete