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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.

To serve:

  • 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.

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