I’ve been sick the past week – it suuuuuuuuuuucks. In so many ways…but I’ll spare you the bitching. We’ve been making a lot of soup – soup is the perfect sick-person food, because you can just cook the broth, leave it there, languish away/mope on your bed for a few hours, and crawl to the pot when it’s ready. Yes, I was THAT pathetic.
Today it was an impromptu chicken ramen (mi ga). We roasted a whole chicken 2 weeks ago and STILL had leftover meat. We also saved the carcass & leg bones – it’s always a wonderful thing to find some bones of any kind in your freezer…yeah, I am aware that I sound like a serial killer (do they make soup from human bones in Dexter?)
The toppings were just a kind of mash-up of what I think fit in a “chicken broth context”. Straw mushroom is my favorite Vietnamese mushroom, and bok choy just makes (Chinese) sense. I love Japanese ramen, but have always wished there were more greens in it (although the pickled takenoko is wonderful, too). The broth is really a rip-off of Vietnamese pho Ga, but even after straining off all the scum/impurities, I still ended up with a milky broth that looks a lot like Japanese tonkotsu ramen. I think it’s the combination of bone marrow + the leftover meat &fat on the bone + 12+ hours of simmering. The result was a surprisingly good cross between Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese noodle soup. This broth is the basic pho Ga broth – my family usually adds dried squid and dried shrimp, and cilantro to make the distinctive pho Ga taste.
Chicken bones (the more the better) – we used one chicken’s bone for a small 3 quart pot.
3-inch piece of ginger
1 medium white onion
the white parts of spring onions – about 3
Toppings: bok choy, mushroom, anything you want, really
Simmer the bones for as long as you can – I did for 12 hours. If you want you can hack the bones apart to expose the marrow, but if you have time to cook it long enough, all the bones will soften and fall apart and expose the marrow by themselves. Even the leg bones fell apart at hour 12th. I did cut in half the carcass though – the pot was small. Remember to skim out the scum at the beginning.
About 8 hours in, grill onions and ginger (with skin on). The skin will burn and peel away by itself, woohoo! Toss them in the pot.
Boil the greens and mushroom until they’re just cooked. Use the water to cook the ramen noodles. Remember that if you’re using bitter greens like mustard greens or something you might not want to use the water for the noodles.
Assemble: noodles, toppings (top with the green part of the spring onions too if you like), chicken meat, then broth. Season to taste with fish sauce (don’t cook the broth with fish sauce as it might get slightly sour). Eat eat eat!
(i know the egg looks raw – yes I like it that way. Maybe. It’s totally not because I failed to cook it long enough. Nope.)