When Kyle Itani of Itani Ramen makes ramen at home, this chicken version is his go-to. The broth is a relatively simple but deeply flavored chicken base layered with fresh ramen noodles, poached chicken breast, soft soy eggs, and a delicate fennel oil. We recommend Sun Noodle for fresh ramen noodles, but if you can’t find them, dried will do in a pinch. Other common toppings you can buy include: Bamboo shoots, fish cake, pickled mustard greens, and corn kernels.
Featured in: Behind Japan’s (and America’s) Ramen Obsession
For the Broth
- 5 lb. chicken bones (backs, wings, and legs)
- 1 medium white onion, peeled
- 1⁄2 head green cabbage (1 pound 7 oz.)
- 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
- 1 medium carrot, peeled
- 3 dried shiitake mushrooms (1/4 oz.)
- 1 4-inch square of dried kelp (kombu)
- 4 oz. bonito flakes (about 7 cups)
- 8 oz. soy sauce
- 5 oz. mirin
- Combine chicken bones, onion, cabbage, ginger, and carrot in a large stock pot and cover with 3 quarts of cold water. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, and then immediately reduce heat to low to maintain a simmer for 4 hours, periodically skimming the fat.
- Add the shiitake mushrooms, kombu, and bonito flakes and continue to simmer for one more hour. Skim the broth again and strain into a clean 4-quart pot. Add the soy sauce and mirin and bring pot back to just simmering.
- 9 cups chicken ramen broth, divided
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 14 oz.)
- 1⁄2 lb. mung bean sprouts
- 2 green onions
- 20 oz. fresh ramen noodles (recommended: Sun Noodle
- 1 7-minute egg, sliced in half
- 2 green onions, green parts only, sliced thinly at an angle. Reserve the white bottoms to make fennel oil.
- Fennel oil, for garnish
- Bring 1 quart (4 cups) ramen broth to a simmer and poach the chicken breasts for 8 minutes. Remove and cool. Slice into half-inch pieces at a slight angle.
- Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large saucepan. Blanch the sprouts for 20 seconds, strain, and plunge in ice water to stop their cooking. Set the sprouts aside until ready to plate.
- Make sure your ramen broth is simmering, your noodle water is boiling rapidly, and your toppings are all prepared and ready to plate. Drop 5 oz. of the noodles in the water and cook for 90 seconds. While they are boiling, ladle 1 ¼ cup (10 ounces) of broth into a soup bowl.
- Strain the noodles and place in the bowl of broth. Pick up the noodles with chopsticks and fold them over on each other to create a bed for the toppings to sit upon. Repeat with remaining noodles and broth.
- Garnish the bowls with the sliced chicken breast, blanched bean sprouts, and green onions. Drizzle fennel oil over the toppings.