Its dark. Its gloomy. Its cold. Its officially monsoon in India!! What can be better than a bowl of hot Sesame Chicken Ramen noodle soup with a nice little runny egg to warm you up, inside and out??
Every once in a while things happen that spook you. And when that happens, my goto solution generally is some sort of comfort food. As much as I love Chicken Biriyani or Spaghetti and Meatballs, sometimes I just want a bowl of something warm..something easy that will practically make itself and cocoon me in deliciously in its fragrant steam as I sit down with it. It was on one such spooky day I went ahead and made this Chicken ramen noodle soup.
Me? I am a horror movie aficionado, partly because DaddyLongLegs is kinda crazy for them..and partly (the sheepish, slightly embarrassed bit of me) coz I enjoy them too. I love the thrill of watching a good nail biting thriller or a really scary horror movie, all bunched up under my blankets , in my bed , with P’s and my legs intertwined and our fingers brushing against each other as we both rhythmically reach into the bag of chips 😉 What did you think!!! Gosh!! I cater to a family audience of food lovers..I wouldn’t dream of writing something inedible (even if its to the senses). 😛 😛
So yes, I enjoy the scare. Occasionally.
Who can honestly say that they have watched The Omen without getting scared of babies or crows! I know i was .. 😛 And very recently, I loved (because I jumped through out the movie) The Conjuring and Annabel. Two really good horror movies if you ask me. The other ones like Evil dead etc leave me laughing as I cant have anything with too much paint scare me. In fact, it makes me wish I had a dummy I could paint whatever way i wanted to 😛
But today, I got scared…like literally jumped out of my skin. So there I was in my kitchen, swaying as I do to my playlist while chopping or tossing things..a glass of good old OJ (not wine ..come on.. it was 10 am!!) in my hand, chef’s knife in the other..oblivious to everything except the food that I was preparing and occupied with the thought of getting to taste it. Suddenly, what felt like a dark shadow crossed the hall. For a second I disregarded it as fleeting reflection of some random thing..Back to my chopping and sipping..and all of sudden I see this big gray ugly alley cat staring at me at what can best be summed up as the scariest eyes in the history of catkind! OMG!!! (Sorry but it was an OMG moment)!! If you guys know me (or read my dinner stories here) you must be aware of my fear (and partial hate) for cats. No offense to cat lovers..I am just a dog owner (used to be in my previous life as a carefree single gal) and somehow cats have always given me the jeebies.
I screamed like a banshee..my knife clattered to the floor and the cat bared its teeth at me! I screamed again…and this time definitely defeaned (at least temporarily) by my high octave scream, the wild stealthy beast took off through the hall window!
Ans: “Sorry aunty..nothing.. it was a cat”.
Response : “Don’t worry Tom must have come in search of Jerry..not you” (suppressed laughter reaches my ears). Grrr.
Do I hear laughter from you too??!! Come on… humor me.. They are just so stealthy..I hate their eyes and the way they sneak up on you. I would rather have a jumping, pounding , barking loud big dog with all its paws on me than a stealthy little cat anywhere near me.
Anyways, I decided it was enough scare to last me an evening..and between the cat and the pink eye(conjunctivitis) I needed something to calm me down and warm me up in the cold rainy night. I knew there was some chicken breast in the freezer and I had all the veggies I would need..So then and there, I knew I had to make a soup..but not just any soup..I wanted Ramen chicken noodle soup, my ultimate comfort food that scores BIG on all important points.
Easy – check
versatile – check
Quick – check
One pot – BIG Check!!!
Real Japanese ramen, takes years and great skill to perfect. I wanted to create a simple ramen noodle soup that reminded me of Japan, but could be made quickly, with ingredients on hand.
I opted for chicken instead of pork, but kept the rest of the ramen vibe somewhat traditional: a killer chicken soup base with garlic, ginger, mushrooms veggies, filled with ramen noodles and slices of succulent chicken, and topped with fresh spring onions and a soft-boiled egg.
My version is on the table in less than an hour – and half that if you opt for rotisserie chicken – and while it might not be completely authentic, it’s a flavorful, comforting soup just in time for the unmistakably cold and grey weather that these first days of August have ushered in.
As my hubby says, there is no grey that a dash of Oriental cant dispel!!
So here goes, my easy and delicious , one crock pot recipe for a delicious, warm, comforting and flavorful Chicken Ramen noodle soup. Its loaded with veggies, sesame crusted chicken slices and perfect runny eggs to make it feel like Christmas!! The broth gets its amazing flavors from Red Thai curry paste,low sodium soy, fish sauce and rice vinegar. I wish I lived in a city that could provide me with Mirin. But I don’t. So I had to make do with what I had in the fridge, and believe me, you will not complain about anything in this bowl!
Here’s to cold evenings, loving company and heart warming bowl of ramen,
- 2-3 chicken breast or thigh (i used breast)
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2-4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoons fish sauce (optional)
- 2 tablespoons thai red curry paste (i used store bought for this)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon red chili paste,adjust acc to taste
- The juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
- ½ cup broccoli florets, par boiled.
- 2 packs Ramen noodles, seasoning packets discarded
- 2 soft boiled or fried eggs, for serving, desired doneness depends on individual taste.
- Shredded carrots, sliced jalapenos, cilantro + green onions, Sliced Red bell peppers for serving.
- Sesame seeds - 2 tsp
- Sriracha Sauce- a dash
- Start by grilling the chicken in your favorite marinade. Mine was a simple herb+garlic+olive oil marinade. Grill it for 10-12 mins till done. Set aside. Slice into thin portions when cool.
- Start with the soup :
- In a big sauce pan or dutch oven, add the sesame oil and saute the ginger and garlic till fragrant. Add the thai red curry paste, red chillie paste, juice of 1 lime, Chinese five spice powder, black pepper and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. saute for 2 mins.
- Pour the chicken broth, ¼ cup soy sauce (depending on your taste), rice vinegar and fish sauce. Cover the crock pot .
- About 30 minutes before you are ready to eat, brown the mushrooms and broccoli with your choice of dried herbs.
- Cover the crockpot and crank the heat up to high.
- Add the Ramen noodles to the crockpot and allow them to cook 5 minutes. Once the noodles are cooked, stir in the half the shrooms and broccoli.
- Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with sliced chicken,remaining mushrooms and an egg.
- Season the egg with salt and pepper,
- Add the carrots, jalapeños, green onions and cilantro if desired.
- Happy slurping!
If you have miso paste on hand, you can use a tbsp of that in place Red curry paste too.
You can add Bokchoy /Lettuce/ Cabbage to the broth too.
Feel free to leave out the broccoli if so desired. I try to sneak in the good things 😉