Looking for an easy bowl of Homemade Chicken Ramen that’s brimming with flavor and can be customized to your taste? Then this is the recipe for you! 🙂
I’m also sharing plenty of tips and shortcuts to help you make the PERFECT Shoyu Ramen bowl, with a delicious soy sauce chicken broth, topped with caramelized soy chicken, a ramen egg and other flavorful toppings.
Recently, I’ve been on a mission every time we went on a trip, to find the best bowl of ramen that city had to offer. I’ve come across the best, and sadly the worst too, during my travels.
Both my husband and I love ramen, and since there isn’t a good place that makes it locally, we make our own at home. My Easy Pork Ramen has been a hit with my readers, but I realized that I’ve never shared my Easy Chicken Ramen recipe with you guys! So today, I’m going to fix that with this flavor-packed, easy homemade chicken ramen.
If you love classic homemade chicken ramen, that’s simple to make, but you can still customize to your taste – then this is the recipe for you! I’m going to show you how to make a delicious bowl of ramen that tastes like an authentic Shoyu Ramen bowl, plus I’ll share shortcuts to make this homemade chicken ramen even easier. This recipe can be made in 30 minutes right at home!
How to make CLASSIC but easy Homemade Chicken Ramen (Or Chicken Shoyu Ramen)
This is my favorite way to prepare homemade chicken ramen – traditional straight Japanese noodles in a delicious soy sauce chicken broth (or a Shoyu broth), topped with a jammy egg marinated in a sweet soy marinade (or a ramen egg), with flavor-packed caramelized soy chicken and vegetables!
I prefer using homemade chicken stock, but I don’t always have homemade chicken stock at hand. So I use store-bought in a pinch. To upgrade the store-bought chicken stock, I simmer it with ginger, spring onions and some chili (because we like it a little spicy).
Other flavorings that I add to the ramen broth
- Soy Sauce – this is what makes the ramen broth a SHOYU RAMEN. You can leave out the soy sauce for a SHIO RAMEN base. Or add some white miso for a MISO base.
- Mirin – a classic addition to Japanese ramen that really enhances the flavor. It’s a sweet rice wine with a slight tang. Supermarkets usually sell “Aji-Mirin” which isn’t really mirin, but it works just as well. If you don’t have mirin (you totally should!), you can use a dry sherry or dry white wine. I sometimes add a little rice wine vinegar with brown sugar to mimic the sweetness too.
- Garlic – I always add garlic, but because there’s ginger in the recipe, the garlic isn’t a necessity. Or you can leave out the ginger, and just add garlic. It’s up to you.
What type of noodles can I use for this homemade chicken ramen?
- Straight ramen noodles – usually this type of noodles is used with heavier broths. But I love these noodles, so I use them regularly at home.
- Wavy ramen noodles – these noodles work better for lighter ramen bases, such as this recipe. If you do have them, you’re more than welcome to use it for this easy chicken ramen recipe.
- Instant ramen noodles – perhaps the most popular type of ramen noodles out there. I prefer not to use these, because these noodles overcook so quickly and swell up in the broth and get soggy. But you can use them for this recipe if you like. Just make a note to under-cook them slightly, so that they don’t get soggy in the ramen broth.
- Udon, soba, somen noodles – these are usually sold as dry noodles in supermarkets. You can use these too if you prefer.
- Fresh vs dried noodles – you can use either! If you have access to fresh ramen noodles, just make sure to cook them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
How to to cook the chicken for easy chicken ramen recipe vs classic ramen recipe
To make this chicken ramen even easier, you can cook the chicken RIGHT IN THE BROTH, and then shred the chicken so that it gets mixed with the ramen noodles and broth. This does save time, but personally, I much prefer to cook the chicken separately, because it adds another great layer of flavor to your ramen bowl.
Making caramelized soy chicken is easy, and you wouldn’t believe how delicious the results are! The chicken is marinated in a soy, dark soy and mirin mix (the same marinade that I use for ramen eggs), and then grilled in the oven OR on a pan. I find it easier to do this in the oven, because this way I can cook more chicken at the same time (extras are great for fried rice!), and it leaves the stove free for the ramen broth and noodles.
I could never have enough ramen toppings. But there’s only so much that your bowl can fit…
There are several classic ramen toppings and they all add great flavor to your ramen bowl. Unfortunately, they are not so easy to find here in mid-Missouri.
- Negi or chopped spring onions – a must for any and every ramen bowl!
- Tamago or eggs – another topping that I just have to have. You can serve the eggs however you like; hard boiled, soft boiled, plain or marinated (ramen eggs – get the recipe here!).
- Sesame oil – I love adding a drizzle of sesame oil to my soy ramen (Shoyu Ramen), even if it isn’t a classic option. If I’m making Shio or Miso Ramen, then I might add a little butter instead.
- Radishes or sweet bell peppers – another topping that’s not traditional, but I like them because they add a nice crunch and sweetness to my ramen bowl.
- Mushrooms – shiitake mushrooms are my preferred choice, but I also love enoki. Adds a delicious umami flavor, and I also like how meaty they taste.
- Steamed or stir-fried greens – baby bok choy (or Shanghai bok choy), bunch spinach, water spinach, gai lan, yu choy are all excellent toppings in a ramen bowl.
- Fried chili and garlic, or fried garlic – I buy this from the store, because it’s easier and we put it on everything. Even steamed rice.
- Naruto or Kamaboko – steamed fish cake. I absolutely love this topping when I eat ramen at a restaurant, but I don’t add this when making homemade chicken ramen.
- Nori or Furikake – sometimes I add this, sometimes I don’t. I do love furikake on my Mazemen bowl though.
- Moyashi – raw been sprouts add some sweetness to the ramen, as well as a nice crunch factor.
What if I can’t find some of these ingredients?
- Soy sauce – if you don’t have soy sauce at home, you can leave it out and just season it with salt or white miso. If you’re looking for a GLUTEN FREE option, use TAMARI instead.
- Dark soy sauce – you can use regular soy sauce instead.
- Mirin – if you don’t have mirin, you should get a bottle, because it’s so good! And essential for making teriyaki. But if you don’t have it, you can use a dry sherry or dry white wine. Also you can use a little rice wine vinegar with brown sugar to mimic the sweetness too.
- And if you don’t have any of the toppings? You don’t really need any fancy toppings for a kick-ass ramen bowl. Spring onions, a soft boiled egg and chicken will do the job just fine too! But feel free to add anything else you have at hand, that you like to eat. My husband usually adds peas and carrots to his ramen when he takes it to work.
How to cut down the cooking time when making this easy chicken ramen recipe?
This homemade chicken ramen recipe takes about 40 – 45 minutes because I cook the chicken separately. I also prefer to cook the ramen separately as well. But here are some ways to make this recipe even faster, and cut it down to 25 minutes!
- Ready to use, store-bought chicken stock eliminates one step altogether.
- Rather than adding large pieces of garlic cloves and ginger, mince or chop them finely in a spice grinder. That way you don’t need to worry about straining them out later.
- Add the chicken to the stock at the same time as the garlic, ginger and spring onions. This will allow the chicken to cook as the the stock is infused with all of the flavors. Once the chicken is cooked (about 20 minutes), you can chop or shred it and add it back to the base, along with mushrooms.
- Steam the greens in the microwave. Spinach only takes 1 minute to steam in the microwave. I add a little oil, garlic and soy sauce and steam in the microwave, and then it’s ready to be used.
- Using instant noodles will cut down on cooking time for the noodles. If I do use instant ramen, I prefer to use NongShim Shin Ramyun ramen packets. They are thicker and hardy, and stay nice and firm for longer.
- If you’re using dried noodles, you can increase the amount of stock (about 1/3 cup per person), and cook the noodles RIGHT IN THE BROTH too. Keep in mind though, this will make the broth more cloudy because of the released starches. This is why I prefer cooking the ramen separately.
- If you didn’t have time to make the ramen egg earlier, no worries. It only takes about 10 minutes to make an egg, that’s not marinated. Just boil water, and cook the eggs for 6 – 6.5 minutes and then they are ready to eat as soon as they are cool enough to peel. You can boil the eggs while the ramen broth is being prepared.
So there you have it. This homemade chicken ramen is nothing if not flavor-packed! I hope you guys love this easy chicken ramen just as much as we do! 🙂
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Easy Homemade Chicken Ramen
Easy Homemade Chicken Ramen - an incredibly flavorful chicken ramen with authentic flavors, but easy enough to make for dinner! Topped with caramelized soy chicken and a ramen egg. Can be made in 30 minutes, leisurely, for a quick version. The classic version can be made in about 30 minutes too, but you have to get that chicken in the oven first, and make the ramen while the chicken is grilling! So carefully read the recipe in its entirety first to decide if you want to go ahead with the classic version or quick version.
You also have the option of marinating the chicken and ramen eggs overnight to increase the flavor.
Caramelised Soy Chicken
Marinade for the chicken
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce (Or mushroom dark soy sauce) double the amount of light soy sauce (below) if you don’t have dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 garlic cloves chopped finely
- 4 pieces of chicken thigh boneless, skin off or on
Glaze for the chicken
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce (or mushroom dark soy sauce) or 1 tbsp light soy sauce + 1 tbsp water
- 4 - 5 cups of good quality chicken stock preferably low sodium
- 4 stalks of spring onions trimmed and cut in half
- 4 - 5 cloves of garlic
- 2 inch piece of ginger sliced
- 4 red chili or 1 ½ tbsp dried chili flakes (crushed red pepper)
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- ¼ cup mirin
- 6 - 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms stems trimmed and sliced, or cut in half
- 12 - 13 oz dried ramen noodles or four portions (or four portions of fresh ramen noodles)
Regular soft boiled eggs (if you don't want to make ramen eggs)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 bunches of spinach or 4 shanghai bok choy or any Asian greens
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- 4 stalks of spring onions sliced finely
- Sliced radishes or bean sprouts
- Ramen eggs marinated or plain
- Chili garlic oil
Caramelized Soy Chicken
Place all the ingredients for the chicken marinade in a bowl. Mix well to coat the chicken. If time permits, allow the chicken to marinate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425°F, and place an oven rack in the top third of your oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the chicken pieces on the baking sheet, skin side down (or smooth side down), evenly spaced apart. Then place the baking sheet in the preheated oven (upper third).
Let the chicken cook for 15 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, mix the brown sugar and dark soy sauce for the glaze, and start making the ramen.
After 15 minutes, flip the chicken pieces over and spoon the glaze sauce over them. Let the chicken cook for a further 10 - 15 minutes. Then remove from the oven and let them cool down.
Slice the chicken and set aside.
Ramen (Classic Version)
Place two saucepans on the stove.
Optional - chop the garlic and ginger.
In one saucepan (Pot 1), place the stock, ginger, garlic, spring onions, chili (if using), soy sauce and mirin. Stir and cover the pot. Let it come to a boil at high heat. When it comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium and let it simmer for 25 minutes. Taste the base and add more soy sauce if needed.
While Pot 1 is simmering, add water to the second pot (Pot 2), and bring it to a boil. Add the dried noodles to the boiling water, and cook according to package directions. I prefer cooking the noodles for ONE MINUTE LESS than what's recommended on the package, as the noodles will continue to cook for a bit longer when served with hot broth. The straight ramen noodles I use here take 3 minutes to cook. Drain the noodles and divide into 4 bowls and set aside.
When the ramen base in Pot 1 has cooked for about 20 - 25 minutes, strain to remove the garlic, ginger, chili and spring onions (or remove only the spring onions and chili). Add the strained stock back into the pot and add the mushrooms, and let it cook for a further 5 minutes until the mushrooms have softened. The ramen base is now ready.
Ramen (Quick Version - Chicken will be cooked in the ramen stock)
Place two saucepans on the stove.
Place the ginger and garlic in a spice grinder and grind to a paste. Add this paste with the stock into the first pot (Pot 1) along with the soy sauce, mirin, spring onions and chili. Add the pieces of chicken straight into the pot and cover and let the stock come to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 20 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are cooked through. You can cut the chicken before adding it to the stock to further speed up this process.
While Pot 1 is simmering, add water to the second pot (Pot 2), and bring it to a boil. Add the dried noodles to the boiling water, and cook according to package directions. I prefer cooking the noodles for ONE MINUTE LESS than what's recommended on the package, as the noodles will continue to cook for a bit longer when served with hot broth. The straight ramen noodles that I use here take 3 minutes to cook. Drain the noodles and divide into 4 bowls and set aside.
After the chicken in the broth is cooked through (about 20 minutes), remove the spring onions and chili and discard. Remove the chicken from the stock and chop into pieces or shred it. Add the chicken back into the ramen, or serve it on top. Add the mushrooms to the stock and cook further for about 5 minutes. Taste and season with extra soy sauce if needed. The quick version of your ramen base is now ready.
Ramen Egg or Unseasoned soft boiled egg
Make ramen eggs the day before, according to this recipe.
OR make regular soft boiled eggs to top your ramen bowl. (Ramen eggs need at least 2 hours to marinate).
To make regular soft boiled eggs - bring a pot of water to a boil. Lower 4 large eggs carefully into the water and cook the eggs for 6 - 6 ½ minutes.
Immediately place the eggs in cool running water or an ice bath for a few minutes. Peel and set aside until ready to serve. This can be done BEFORE you cook the ramen as well.
Wash the greens, and cut them in half, or into sections if necessary (for Shanghai bok choy).
Place the greens in a bowl and drizzle a little soy sauce and sesame oil (and garlic) on top. Toss to combine.
Cover and microwave in 1 minute increments until the greens have softened, but not too wilted. Alternatively, you can heat a non-stick pan with a little oil, and pan fry the greens with soy sauce and garlic for about 2 - 4 minutes.
Evenly divide the hot stock between the four bowls with ramen noodles.
Top with the steamed greens, sliced soy chicken, ramen eggs, spring onions, radishes and other toppings you like.
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