Sapporo Style Ramen w. Miso Broth
Cook Time: ~30 Minutes
Last week I offered a solution to the laborious task of preparing ramen with a quick & easy shiitake ramen recipe that took just 20 minutes to cook with eight core ingredients. Today, I wanted to share a ramen recipe that is a touch more comprehensive. Sapporo is the capital city of Japan’s Hokkaido Prefecture and is an area known to be the birthplace of ramen noodles in miso broth. It’s a city also known for its fatty & warming dishes, particularly as Hokkaido is Japan’s most northern island and faces some harsh winters. The interpretations of Sapporo ramen vary, but two classic identifiers are sweetcorn and butter garnishes.
If you are eating this between two, make sure you are hungry!
Time: ~30 Minutes
Information - What you require
• Four boneless chicken thighs
• Chicken stock (1L)
• White miso paste (3 tbsp)
• Red miso paste (2 tbsp)
• Four eggs
• Four spring onions
• Sweetcorn (100g)
• Two heads of pak choi
• One small leek
• One carrot
• Ramen or rice noodles (200g)
• A pinch of sesame seeds (~5g)
• Soy sauce (1 tbsp)
• Sesame oil (1 tbsp)
• A few knobs of butter
• Extra virgin olive oil (3 tbsp)
• Chillie oil
• Ground black pepper & salt
Optional Ingredients & Notes
• Meat: I would recommend using chicken thighs with skin if you can, and first cooking the chicken skin-side down, to get a delicious crispy skin. In place of chicken, you may also use a fatty cut of pork.
• Noodles: For most people, I would suggest using ramen noodles. However, in my house, we tend to avoid gluten when we can, so have opted for rice noodles.
• Stock: I use chicken here, but you may wish to use dashi, one of a family of stocks used in Japanese cuisine which traditionally forms the base for miso soup.
• Serving Size: These ingredients will prepare enough ramen for two hungry individuals or a fair bowl of ramen for four people.
• One large pot
• Two small pots
• One medium-sized pan
• Two large ramen bowls to serve
Mise En Place - Food preparation
Drain and decant your sweetcorn. Pour out ~3 tbsp of olive oil. Peel and finely slice your leek. Peel and slice your carrots julienne style. Mix the soy sauce and sesame oil into one dish. Wash the pak choi, remove the stump and slice in halves lengthways. Finely chop the spring onions. Season the chicken well with salt and ground black pepper.
I would recommend conducting two steps of the cooking process as part of your mise en place for this recipe. First, lightly toast your sesame seeds until golden brown and set aside. Second, soft boil your eggs for ~6 minutes, plunge them into iced water to cool, and then peel.
There are four steps to this cooking process; cook the chicken, fry the vegetables, prepare the noodles, and prepare the broth. If done in the order I suggest, you should have no trouble. Start by mixing the chicken thighs with soy sauce and sesame oil in a bowl. Once coated, add ~3 tablespoons of olive oil to a medium-heat pan and lay down the chicken (skin-side down if you have skin) to cook for ~4 minutes on each side. The amount of oil will feel like you are shallow frying the meat, but that’s okay. A nice brown crust should materialise on each side. Once you ensure the meat is cooked, place it aside to rest.
Using the same pan and oil, throw in your leek, pak choi, and carrots (leaving the sweetcorn and spring onions aside for garnish) and fry for 5-6 minutes. Whilst that fries, bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook your noodles according to the packaging (ramen noodles typically take 3-5 minutes, while rice noodles will take 6-8 minutes). Once cooked, drain the noodles, run them under cold water to stop the cooking process, and divide them into your ramen bowls.
In a separate pot, bring 1 litre of chicken stock to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and add two tablespoons of red miso paste and three tablespoons of white miso paste. Mix it well, and allow the broth to simmer for 3-4 minutes as it absorbs the miso. Slice your chicken thighs and divide them between the bowls, alongside your noodles and fried vegetables. Slice your eggs into halves and add them too. Pour over the miso broth and top with sweetcorn, toasted sesame seeds and spring onions.
To serve, I recommend some freshly cut chilli, chilli oil, and a welcome knob of butter (traditional with this dish).
If you do attempt this dish, please let me know how it goes, and if you variate the recipe in any way. Also, this newsletter relies upon word of mouth, so if you feel you know someone who would enjoy this publication please share it.
Thanks for reading,
Chilli oil, in my opinion, is a must-have garnish for every kitchen. It goes well on salads, pizza, pasta, and soups, making for an exciting alternative to a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. To make, buy 500ml of quality extra virgin oil, gently heat inside a pan (no bubbling) and add in ~75 to 100g of chilli flakes and stir. If you have red wine vinegar, a tablespoon of that would be a welcome addition too. After stirring the chilli flakes for a minute or so, decant the chilli oil into a jar to cool down, and voilà you have some chilli oil. The longer it is stored, the richer the flavour and heat will become.
To cut carrots in the julienne style start by peeling and slicing them into two or three equally sized portions. Remove one thin layer from each portion to form a flat side of your carrot. Place the flat side down and cut thin strips. Bundle your strips, and cut once more to create match-stick shapes. I would suggest watching this short video by Martha Stewart if you are not sure.