During quarantine, I got really into making my own ramen. I made it in the biggest possible pain-in-the-butt way that I could, because honestly: What else did I have to do? Might as well spend two days making soup!
Except I don’t always want to spend two days making soup. Sometimes – like last night – I want truly excellent ramen, except I want it now.
Enter: This absolutely spectacular (ifIdosaysomyself) broth, which blends in hints of lemongrass and ginger to make it a perfect, ever-so-slightly-spicy base for noodles. It’s about two hours start to finish (much faster than most stock recipes), because of a little secret: While it tastes 100% homemade, it actually involves a little cheating (ssh).
Chicken-Ginger Broth (With A Hint of Lemongrass)
What you need:
- 1 package chicken thighs
- A few carrots, cut into big chunks
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 whole garlic, cut in half
- 1 stick lemongrass
- Shiitake mushrooms (dried and softened in warm water for half an hour, or fresh)
- Better Than Bouillon (it’s chicken bouillon that comes in a jar, and it really is, as advertised, so much better)
What You Do:
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Pat chicken dry and season generously (I use some garlic powder and Maldon salt).
- Smear the ginger on and around the chicken.
- Place seasoned chicken on a lightly oiled sheet pan with the carrot, onion, and garlic. This is Cheat #1, to speed up the chicken-cooking process rather than boiling it in the stock pot, which takes forevvvver.
- Roast for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and vegetables are softened.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the chicken and vegetables to the pot, and throw in the lemongrass and mushrooms, along with a couple of heaping spoonfuls of bouillon (Cheat #2). Set a couple of the mushrooms aside to use as a topping later, if you like.
- Cover, turn down the heat, and let simmer for about an hour and a half, tasting every so often and adding more bouillon as needed.
- Strain out the solids, and serve with the highest-quality noodles you can find and whatever toppings you like (I go for a poached egg, pickled bamboo shoots, and some thinly sliced scallions).