Making real-deal ramen is a lengthy project that requires planning in advance. But there are days when you just want a delicious bowl of it, without the fuss. This easy Korean-style kimchi ramen is for those times. It's loaded with flavor, but takes less than an hour to throw together, thanks to several umami-rich ingredients and a cool baking-soda trick that turns angel-hair pasta into ramen-like noodles.
Why This Recipe Works:
- Umami-rich ingredients like miso, shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce, and kimchi add layers of deep flavor without the need for long cooking
- A rich, gelatinous chicken stock yields a broth with lots of body.
- Cooking the pasta in water with baking soda creates noodles that seem ramen-like.
Note: Ideally the stock should gel at least slightly when chilled. You can use homemade chicken stock that was made with lots of wings and/or feet, which should help it gel naturally, or you can use thinner homemade stock or store-bought low-sodium broth with 2 packets unflavored gelatin dissolved into it. To do so, sprinkle gelatin on top of cold or room-temperature stock and allow gelatin to soften while you prepare the other ingredients, then add it with the stock when called for in the recipe.
- 4 tablespoons canola, vegetable, or other neutral oil, divided
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced
- Kosher salt
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 5 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 5 teaspoons)
- 3 quarts gelatinous chicken stock (see note)
- 1 packed cup kimchi, chopped, plus 6 tablespoons kimchi liquid
- 2 tablespoons miso
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons baking soda (if using angel hair pasta)
- 1 (500-gram) box angel hair pasta or 4 servings ramen-style noodles
- 4 soft-boiled eggs, halved, for serving
- 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, very thinly sliced
- Nori (Japanese seaweed sheets), for serving
- Watercress or other tender leafy green, for serving
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add shiitake, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have released their water and are starting to brown all over, about 4 minutes. Transfer shiitake to a plate and keep warm.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to saucepan, then add onion, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring up any brown bits on bottom of saucepan, until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add stock and bring to a simmer. Stir in kimchi and its liquid, miso, and soy sauce and return to a simmer. Season with salt, if needed.
Meanwhile, if using angel-hair pasta, add baking soda to 4 quarts of boiling salted water; otherwise, omit baking soda and bring 4 quarts of plain salted water to a boil. Cook noodles until al dente; drain completely.
Transfer noodles to bowl and spoon kimchi broth on top. Top each bowl with 2 egg halves, reserved shiitakes, scallions, nori, and watercress. Serve right away.