Preparation time: 2 hours | Cooking time: 2.5 hours | Serves: 6
For the broth:
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (675 g total)
- 2 small carrots, cut into 3 cm pieces
- 200 g small scallions (spring onions), cut into 3 cm pieces
- 1 2 cm piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- 2 tablespoons gold sesame oil
For the noodles:
- 2 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons gold sesame oil
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
For the salt flavorings (choose one):
- Brown rice miso
- Soy sauce
- Fine sea salt
For the toppings:
- 200 g komatsuna (Japanese mustard greens), bok choy, or spinach, blanched, squeezed, and chopped
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped scallions (spring onions)
- 3 eggs, at room temperature, boiled for 8 minutes, refreshed, peeled, and halved lengthwise
- 1 sheet nori, cut into sixths
- Rayu (chili oil), optional
- Yuzu kosho (chili paste), optional
- Seven-spice powder (shichimi togarashi), optional
Make the broth:
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450°F (230°C/Gas Mark 8).
- In a large bowl, toss the chicken, carrots,scallions, and ginger with the salt.
- Rub with the sesame oil and dump onto a rimmed baking sheet.
- Roast for 35 minutes until nicely browned.
- Scrape the roasted chicken and vegetables into a large heavy pot and add 4 litres cold water.
- Bring almost to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook, covered, for 1 hour.
- Scoop out the chicken thighs and shred the meat off the bones into a medium bowl.
- Wet the chicken meat with a small scoop of broth.
- Return the bones to the pot and continue simmering the broth, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Strain into a clean medium pot and discard the bones and vegetables.
Meanwhile, make the noodles:
- Place the flour in a large bowl and drizzle in the sesame oil.
- Mix with your fingers until pebbly.
- Make a well and break in the whole eggs and yolks. Mix with your fingers until the eggs and flour are incorporated, but the dough is still a bit crumbly.
- Turn out onto a work surface and knead until smooth and pliable, about 5minutes.
- Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough out using a Japanese noodle machine (seimenki) or Italian pasta machine.
- Then cut the dough into thin noodles 3 mm wide. Cut those noodles into 22 cm lengths with a pizza cutter.
- Sprinkle the noodles generously with flour and toss the flour into the noodles, to help prevent sticking, but keep the noodles aligned.
- Fill a large pot three-quarters full of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-high heat and adjust to a bare simmer.
- Prepare 6 large bowls (donburi).
- Measure in to each bowl salt flavoring of choice: 2 tablespoons miso or 4 teaspoons soy sauce, or ¾ teaspoon salt.
- Whisk 4 tablespoons broth into each bowl to emulsify the flavoring.
- Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.
- While the noodles are cooking,add about 1½ cups (350 ml) broth into each bowl and whisk to combine with the flavoring liquid.
- Drain the noodles and divide the noodles among the bowls.
- Working quickly (so the broth does not cool), keeping each ingredient in its own area, add 2 heaping tablespoons chicken meat, 2 heaping tablespoons greens, ½ tablespoon scallions, an egg half, and a small piece of nori.
- You can add some more spice with rayu (for soy sauce ramen), yuzu kosho (for salt ramen) or shichimi togarashi (for miso ramen).
Source: 'Japan: The Cookbook' by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
About the book: 'Japan: The Cookbook' has more than 400 sumptuous recipes by acclaimed food writer Nancy Singleton Hachisu. The dishes - soups, noodles, rices, pickles, one-pots, sweets, and vegetables - are simple and elegant.