Put all the packaged pre-boxed stuff back into the pantry –we’re making this one the “hard” way. I posted a “beginner’s” ramen recipe last year, but couldn’t leave it there! I wanted to come back for a second pass to try to do it justice. I still have a lot to learn, but I think I’m getting closer.
I considered making this with pork, but we just got back from Colombia, and probably ate a year’s worth of chorizo and chicharron. Time for a break.
This version isn’t necessarily “hard” to make; time is the key. Sixteen. Hours…granted, it’s only about three hours of active cooking. I’ve learned that you have to let that stock cook overnight if you want the right flavor, color, and texture. Similarly, the char siu marinade needs at least twelve hours to give you that deep red color. What’s the good news? Each of the steps is pretty simple; you just need to work methodically.
I’ll walk you through the process, with pictures, then put the formal recipe at the end.
First, mix the char siu marinade, and seal the meat (usually pork) in a ziplock overnight in the fridge.
For the stock, sear a chicken leg quarter, skin-on, then deglaze with water (*gasp*) and add kombu (kelp), dried shrimp, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, soy sauce, cooking wine (I usually just mix cider vinegar, tequilla, and white wine vinegar). Sear it, then add water, and boil.
Lower the heat to a simmer, and…go to sleep.
Oh, already awake? Well once you’re up, add some green onion and taste for seasoning. See that color? That the golden-brown nectar is the fruit of your patience. Time to finish up.
Once the chicken is about room temperature, add it to a heavy pot and slowly raise the heat. Add the marinade as needed to glaze the meat. Once it’s cooked, put it under the broiler. You can also fry up your shallots, and finish that oil with garlic, and chilies.
Stir-fry some bok choy, and shitake with that chili oil, and save the rest.
Boil some wheat noodles (I could only find them in the Korean section this time, so their shape is a little off), and finally, it’s time to chose your own adventure…
I don’t eat eggs– but Dani does, so you can see how we both started: His & Hers.
Still with me? Get ready… this is gonna blow your mind: add that stock.
1 Chicken Leg Quarter
3 Chicken Thighs
1 Tbs Dried Shrimp
1 Kombu Leaf
1 Head of Garlic (for stock)
2 in Ginger, sliced thinly (for stock)
1 Tsp Ginger, minced
1 Tbs Garlic, minced
1 Shallot, sliced thinly
2-3 Green Onions
1 Leek, sliced in half
3 Baby Bok Choy, sliced in half
2 Cups Shitake
1 Cup Dark Soy Sauce
1 Cup Soy Sauce
3 Tbs Vegetable Oil
1 Tbs Brown Sugar
4 Tbs White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbs Cider Vinegar
1 Tbs Tequila
1 Tbs Chili Flakes
1 Tsp Sesame Seeds
1 Tbs 5-Spice Powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
1. Combine Dark Soy Sauce, Soy sauce, brown sugar, wine vinegar, five spice, minced garlic, minced ginger, salt and pepper in a bowl, and whisk. Transfer chicken thighs to a large ziplock, and fill with marinade. Chill overnight, but flip at least twice for even coverage.
2. Score the chicken leg with a sharp knife, then season with salt and pepper. Sear in a heavy pot until golden, then add sliced ginger, head of garlic, leek, kombu, dried shrimp, and soy sauce to taste. Bring to a rolling boil for one hour, then lower to a simmer, and continue cooking overnight.
3. *Next day* Add green onion, and mixture of Tequilla, white wine vinegar, and cider vinegar. Taste after a few minutes. Strain out all of the solids.
4. Let marinated chicken rest on the counter for thirty minutes, then transfer to a cold pan, and gradually raise the heat to med-high. Add half of remaining marinade, and flip as it thickens. Once fully cooked, cool, and slice into strips. Place under the broiler until crispy, then let rest on the counter.
5. Fry sliced shallots in vegetable oil until golden, then drain the shallots on paper towels. Lower the heat to medium-low, then add chili flakes, and garlic. Turn off the heat, and let the oil cool.
6. Stir fry shitake and bok choy in your new chili-shallot oil, then set aside. Boil an egg if you’re about that… and boil the noodles in a separate pot. Drain and shock in cold water.
7. Combine all components, and add stock.