What's better to have in winter than a warm bowl of soup, veggies AND chicken?! Nothing! Introducing the amazing Ramen Bowl! The dish is of Chinese origin and has such a simple foundation but leaves you feeling full and well nourished. It's very seldom that I find a meal where I don't feel lazy or fatigued after, and I think the beauty of a ramen bowl is that you can use any kind of noodles you, like whether they're traditional ramen noodles or egg noodles (which are lighter and the seemingly "healthier" option).
I remember very recently not being a fan of this dish because the ingredients (other than the meat) are raw and haven't been cooked to perfection, rather, they are quickly tossed in and soften in the broth. This gives a much healthier side than cooking your vegetables and removing all of their natural vitamins and minerals, this way you have them fresh and ready to be devoured as soon as the broth has been cooked through. Needless to say, I've gotten over this minor hurdle and now embrace the healthy eating and enjoy this meal so much!
To get this broth looking and tasting so good, I used a chicken stock, but you can use a vegetable stock as well. This gives the soup and full and rich flavour, rather than just tossing vegetables into warm-soya-sauce water.
Now that winter is upon us in South Africa, warmer and more wholesome meals are on the top of list when deciding what to make for lunch and/or dinner. A good chicken soup goes a long way, but if you're anything like me, it will only leave you feeling full for a few hours and then you'll be looking for something more filing. Because a ramen bowl has so many healthy and wholesome ingredients, you'll feel fuller for longer!
Recipe: Chicken ramen
2 chicken breasts (deboned and cleaned)
Maldon seal salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
3 tsp fresh garlic, minced
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
4 cups chicken stock (method should be on the box)
2 cups mixed mushrooms
1-2 tsp sea salt, to taste
2 large eggs
1/2 cup scallions, sliced
2 packs dried ramen noodles
2 handfuls spinach
1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic flakes
Cube the chicken breasts, marinade with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cumin and garlic flakes, and chili powder, and lightly fry in a separate pan.
In a pot over medium heat, add the oil, butter, garlic, ginger (fresh) and cook until fragrant.
Then add your vinegar, sugar and chicken stock.
Let the broth come to a nice boil. In the meantime, boil the eggs for about 6-7 minutes so the yolk is solid. If you want a softer egg, boil for longer.
Add the noodles to the broth after its cooked through for about 8 minutes and then the chicken.
Then lower the heat so the noodles can cook through and reach al dente (not too soft) and the chicken can absorb the flavours.
Add the egg, mushrooms, spinach, scallions last.