I do this disclaimer every time I make something that isn’t really in my wheelhouse, but I’ll say it one more time: this ramen ain’t the real stuff. If you’re looking for an authentic ramen recipe, hop back on the google machine because you are lost, my dude. This is Becky’s “ramen,” ok? I’m just out here trying stuff.
My goal today is to continue to show that the pantry has some range, and you can simplify your life by learning how the ingredients you probably already have work together. You don’t need to stock mirin and ginger and sake and kombu (unless you want to!) to satisfy a last-minute ramen craving. If you love Asian food and you have those ingredients around, awesome. If you don’t, I gotchu.
The key to ramen is the complexity of the broth. It’s rich, salty, earthy, sweet, and just a little bit bright. Fortunately, we can recreate that classic umami vibe—not perfectly, but well enough—with a few simple swaps. Soy sauce is a must. Fortunately, I keep that around at all times. Otherwise, mirin gets substituted with a splash of apple cider vinegar and maple syrup. Ginger gets replaced with lemon and the tiniest touch of cinnamon. And that umami base note that comes with the homemade stock territory? Parmesan rind. I know. Crazy.
Oh, and I used spaghetti instead of ramen noodles. That’s what I had :) Any type of pasta or noodle you like will work. The bowl is finished with chicken, greens, and a soft-boiled egg. See? Easy. Test this out next time you have a ramen craving with no mirin in sight. I hope it hits the spot.
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Spaghetti Ramen with Chicken and Parmesan Rind Recipe
This pantry interpretation of the savory classic gets ramen served in about 45 minutes.
Makes: 3 servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (about 3 cloves)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon (small pinch) cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Dash of hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1-2 ounces Parmesan rind (use what you have)
- 1 quart broth or stock
- 1 large chicken breast
- 6 ounces pasta or noodles (we used spaghetti)
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups salad greens (use something peppery, dark, or bitter like spinach, arugula, or baby kale)
- Optional: red pepper flakes and pickled jalapenos for topping
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. When the oil shimmers and the butter is melted, add the onion and garlic and saute for two-three minutes, until fragrant.
- Add the soy sauce, vinegar, syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon, black pepper, hot sauce, and mustard to the pot and saute for an additional two minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Add the stock to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a consistent simmer. Add the parmesan rind and chicken breast to the broth, cover, and allow the chicken to poach (15-20 minutes, until 165 degrees Fahrenheit internally).
- While the chicken is poaching and the broth is simmering, prepare the pasta or noodles according to the package instructions in another pot or pan. While the noodles boil, nestle the eggs into the same boiling water for seven minutes. You want to time this so that the eggs and noodles are done at the same time, so start the eggs earlier if your noodles will cook quickly.
- Remove your eggs from the noodle pot once finished, plunge into ice water to cool, then peel and slice them in half. Drain your noodles and set them into three serving bowls.
- When your chicken is poached, remove the chicken from the broth and slice. At the last possible second, remove the Parmesan rind from the broth and discard.
- Pour the finished broth over the noodles. Top each bowl with chicken slices, greens, an egg, and pickled jalapenos and/or red pepper flakes as desired. Enjoy.
Notes and Nutrition Information
You can prepare the broth, chicken, and pasta separately ahead of time, then make the eggs fresh. Store each component separately in the refrigerator up to three days.
If you have extra time, let the broth simmer uncovered. The longer it goes, the more the Parmesan rind flavor will enrich and enhance it. Just add a bit more broth to start with, as you will lose some liquid.
I haven’t tried this “hack,” but apparently you can actually make your spaghetti more ramen-like in texture using baking soda.
I strongly recommend using low sodium broth and/or soy sauce. Full-sodium of both ingredients will produce a quite salty dish, probably overly so.
Make this dish vegetarian by omitting the chicken or swapping it out for tempeh.
One third of this recipe as written contains approximately 510 calories, 17 grams of fat, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 37 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 2382 milligrams of sodium.