A quick, weeknight version of the traditional Japanese noodle soup, spicy chicken ramen is warm, satisfying, and oh-so-comforting.
I’m sure most of us remember those ramen packets in college when microwave cooking was about the only option we had. Quick dinner with the roommates before heading off to night class meant you were looking at cafeteria food, ramen, or easy mac.
These days quick dinners might still include ramen, but there’s no microwave, it’s still fast, and still so good.
Homemade ramen reduces sodium content as compared to some brands of packaged ramen. Too much sodium increases blood pressure and puts stress on the heart. Anywhere we can reduce sodium without sacrificing flavor is a win in my book. Smart Chicken Mushroom Chicken Bone Broth that I used for this recipe actually has only 360mg of sodium!
Japanese cuisine is characterized by seafood, rice, soy, and in-season fresh fruits and vegetables among other things. My kind of food! Some of my favorite personal Asian recipes include Soba Noodle Salad with Sesame Ginger Soy Vinaigrette, Japanese Quick Pickled Cucumbers, and Baked Chicken Thighs with Asian Glaze.
One of the main staples of the Japanese diet is soup including udon, soba, nabe (hot pot), and ramen. Ramen bowls typically include noodles, protein, bone broth, vegetables, and garnishes such as fresh herbs, eggs, and onion.
How to Make Spicy Chicken Ramen
For some of these prep steps, the order in which you complete them doesn’t matter.
Feel free to season and cook your chicken ahead of time, or wash and dice your vegetables the day prior.
When you cook the ramen noodles though, be sure to set those aside and add them to the soup last so they don’t get mushy.
To make the soup base, you’ll want to prepare your chili paste and spices first before adding the bone broth and veggies.
I like to use Smart Chicken Bone Broth. It is organic and made from cage-free, air-chilled chicken bones. The difference in flavor and nutrition is incredible!
Add leftover or precooked chicken to the broth and simmer. At this point you will want to start filling bowls with your cooked ramen noodles.
After topping my ramen noodles with the broth, I am ready for the real star of the show: toppings. No ramen bowl is complete without a variety of garnishes including ramen eggs, herbs like cilantro, jalapeños, scallions, lime wedges, and so much more.
Ramen eggs are especially fun to make because they’re simple but add a lot of flavor, protein, and texture to your bowl.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are ramen eggs?
Ramen eggs are a flavorful, soft-boiled egg soaked in soy sauce. I typically make them on my stovetop but you can also make them in the instant pot.
Can I substitute the chicken?
Yes. Thinly sliced pork would be my next best recommendation, along with beef, fish cakes, or shrimp.
Can I freeze this soup?
Yes. Though I recommend freezing the broth separate, and cooking the noodles fresh each time.
Your chopsticks are waiting.
Spicy Chicken Ramen
- 2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek chili paste (optional)
- 8 cups chicken broth (store-bought or homemade)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin
- 2 tablespoons Nakano Natural Rice Vinegar (or lime juice )
- 8 ounces shitake mushrooms (thinkly sliced)
- 2 packages ramen noodles (prepared according to package instructions)
- 4 ramen eggs
- raw onion (thinly sliced)
- jalapeno slices, lime wedges, Sriracha
- fresh herbs such as cilantro or Thai basil
- Pre-heat oven to 375. Brush chicken breasts with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- While chicken is roasting, begin heating sesame oil in a large soup-pot. Add ginger and chile paste and heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in chicken broth, soy sauce, hoisin and rice vinegar plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer.
- When chicken is cooked, remove from oven and let cool enough to handle. Use two forks or your fingers to shred chicken. Add shredded cooked chicken and mushrooms to the pot and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Divide cooked ramen noodles between four bowls then ladel the chicken ramen on top of each. Garnish with optional toppings to serve.