Monday, January 31, 2011

Spicy grilled chicken ramen!

Spicy chicken ramen, my cure for a cold wet London afternoon. 
I absolutely love the flavours of Asian cooking. I can often be found trawling the aisles of my local Asian market, harassing the staff about various ingredients and trying to pull trade secrets out of them (mostly with very little success) . I've been tweaking my version of Phở/Ramen for a few years.  I like to think of the recipe I've ended up with as being the illegitimate bastard child of Vietnamase hooker and a Japanese business man.  

One of the great things about this dish is that it lends itself very well to being played with (that's the hooker side). I tend to use whatever fresh seasonal veg I can get my hands on. So please feel free to play around with it. 

Recipe: Serves 4 
What was available in my local market
1 carrot                                                 
1 large piece of Ginger    
2 limes                                          
2-3 chillies  
2 eggs                     
5 fresh scallions/spring onion
Ingredients I used in making the marinade for the chicken.
Two hours at room temperature, or a over night in the fridge.
1/2 pack of buckwheat noodels     
800mls of good quality stock     
4 free range chicken breasts 
Large bunch of coriander 
200g of good mushrooms       
1 yellow pepper 

1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons of light soya sauce
1 teaspoon of dark soya sauce
Juice of a lime
Grated chunk of ginger 
1 crushed clove of garlic 
1 tablespoon of honey 

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and leave the chicken for as long as possible. This marinade is wonderfully sticky and the toasted sesame oil gives and amazing smokiness to the flavour. I love it and so does my boyfriend. 

Warm up your stock with some fresh chillies and some lime juice and cook your noodles separately. Once the noodles are cooked drain them and rinse with cold water. You can then put the noodles in the bottom of the serving bowl (the hot stock will heat them back up later). I like to cook my eggs at the same time as my noodles and de-shell them just before serving. 

Chicken breasts just after turning. 
I placed my peppers and spring onions raw on top of the noodels because I like the crunch. About 5 min before my chicken was cooked I placed the carrots and some mushrooms into the broth to soften slightly.

To cook the chicken, take it out of the marinade and allow the excess to drip off. Heat a grill pan to medium and place the chicken down. Don't be tempted to move the chicken around the pan. Just leave it as it is and you'll get those lovely scorched lines. Turn your chicken over and cook for 7min on the other side. Try not over cook the chicken, there's nothing worse than a dry breast (or so I'm told). 

Once the chicken has rested for a few min, slice it thinly and at an angle just because it looks pretty. Then ladle on lashing of the beautiful spicy broth over noodels. Place the sliced chicken ontop and serve with a lime wedge and half a boiled egg. Add as much or as little extra chillies and coriander as you like. ENJOY!