(Fun Fact: During kindergarten, I routinely ate chicken flavored Top Ramen for breakfast. My alternative breakfast meal was Campbell's Vegetable Beef Soup. This is a true story.)
I lack knowledge on my Japanese heritage. I feel like cooking, something I love, is a good starting point to connect more with this. And sharing those meals with my children, who share this heritage, is somehow important. I recently found the Japanese Cooking 101 website and have been reading over recipes. Next up is cookbooks! Ramen seemed like a good place to start because 1). it's having a moment and is super easy, 2.) I was sure everyone would like it (they did), and 3.) see above where I mention how I used to eat ramen for breakfast and you can tell my love for it is real.
This looks like a million ingredients, but stay with me! They all go into just one pot. Okay, two pots because of the eggs. But they're optional! You can do this!
Chicken and Mushroom Ramen
2 tbsp. of sesame or vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp of fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp. of fish sauce
3 tablespoons soy or tamari sauce
2 cups of chicken stock
4 cups of water
1 package of instant miso (optional but adds a really nice touch. Instant miso can be found in most grocery stores in the Asian section.)
2 packages of ramen noodles (any flavor, you aren't going to be using the flavor packet)
2 cups sliced mushrooms (I used baby bellas, but any kind will work just fine)
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I used left over chicken from the night before. A precooked rotisserie chicken would also work great!)
2-4 green onion, chopped
4 soft boiled eggs (optional)
1. Heat sesame oil in a large pot over medium high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the ginger and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the fish sauce (fact: fish sauce smells disgusting when it first starts cooking. WORK THROUGH IT. Do not listen to your children as they say things like "What is that smell?! What are you cooking?!" in disgust because that smell goes away quickly and they will eat this food and be so happy because fish sauce is delicious) and the soy or tamari sauce. Cook 1 minute. Add the stock and water. Bring to a boil, add the instant miso, if using. Add the chicken and the mushrooms, cook at low boil for 10 minutes. Add the ramen and cook until done, 7-10 minutes. Add the green onions, cook for 3-5 minutes. Ladle into bowls.
To make the soft boiled eggs: In a small pot, bring enough water to cover the eggs to a boil. Add the eggs directly from the fridge, you want them to be cold when they go into the boiling water. Cook at a boil, uncovered, for 7-9 minutes. Remove the eggs from the boiling water and place in a bowl of ice water. Let them sit in the ice water bath for 5 minutes. Peel and slice in half, and add to each bowl of ramen.