Healthy and hearty soup? Try Chicken Ramen

You’ve probably heard that nothing heals the body and the heart like chicken soup. And I’m a believer of this. Chicken soup is my go to food when I’m feeling down and need a boost. However, it sometimes needs a little extra, an additional spiciness. That’s how I discovered Chicken Ramen.

The first time I tried ramen soup I was on a business trip in Silicon Valley, and I was really tired. A friend from work had heard of a great ramen place nearby (Ramen Izakaya Yu-Gen if you’re ever in the area) and, although the only thing I wanted to do was to get right to my hotel bed, I figured I had to eat at some point, so why not try it out. It was an amazing discovery. Although it was way too much for just one person, servings there are huge, the texture, the warmth and the combination of ingredients made me feel nurtured and cared for. A different version of my childhood chicken soups; one that had a unique twist. 

Make your own soup

Ever since that first encounter I fell in love with ramen soup, especially chicken ramen. And, in addition to looking for places where they serve this soup, I started trying out some recipes at home. 

Making an authentic ramen soup requires several ingredients that sometimes are a little hard to find, so with time I’ve developed a simpler version of it that’s easier to cook and still has the essence or a chicken ramen flavor. And it’s not just eating it, but preparing your soup also has a little magic in it. It makes you feel that you’re taking care of yourself and giving your body nutritious food. In the end, some of the ingredients, like Bok Choy and eggs are superfoods. 

Here’s what you need 

  • Chicken thighs 
  • Bok Choy
  • Garlic
  • Ginger root
  • Onion
  • 1 lime
  • Mushrooms (preferably Shitake)
  • Boiled eggs
  • Soy sauce
  • 1 package of Yakisoba noodles 

(Although I’ll add my suggestion of quantity of ingredients, these can vary according to what you like best. For example, I’m not much into garlic, so I go low on that, but I love mushrooms, so I add a lot. Make it your own.)

How to do it

You’ll need chicken broth, so I prefer preparing it from scratch with the chicken thighs. So cover the chicken with water, add a piece of onion, garlic and salt and wait for the thighs to be cooked. Then remove the chicken and shred it with a couple of forks. 

In another pot add olive oil and one (or half) sliced onion, 2 or 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon of grated ginger root and mushrooms. Sauté until it’s soft and fragrant — don’t burn it — and then add the chicken broth you put aside. Add a cup of water and half a cup of soy sauce (try it and add more if you feel it needs it). You can also add rice vinegar, oyster sauce, fish sauce and something spicy if you want. I only add soy because the other ingredients aren’t that easy to find, and I’m not much into spicy food. But this is the moment to make it your own, so don’t be shy to try different things out. 

Mix everything together and add the shredded chicken and the lime juice. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes and then add the bok choy and the noodles. Once the bok choy and the noodles are soft, try it again to check if it needs more condiments. If it’s ready, serve it and add the boiled eggs. I love boiled eggs, so I usually add three halves to my plate! 

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