Slow Cooker Ramen: A Hearty and Flavourful Recipe for Every Season
Ramen, a beloved Japanese dish known for its rich flavours and comforting warmth, has captured the hearts and palates of people around the world. While traditional ramen often involves hours of simmering and precise techniques, there's a simpler way to enjoy this soul-soothing delight without sacrificing flavour or authenticity. Enter the slow cooker ramen—a recipe that combines convenience and taste in one steaming bowl. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to create your very own slow cooker ramen, perfect for cosy weeknight dinners or lazy weekend feasts.
For the Broth:
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced
1-inch piece of ginger, sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons miso paste
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional for heat)
For the Slow Cooker Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
2 large eggs
4 servings of ramen noodles (discard seasoning packets if they come with instant ramen)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cups baby spinach or kale
1 cup sliced green onions
Nori sheets (seaweed) for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Step 1: Preparing the Broth
In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic, sliced onion, and ginger. Sauté until fragrant and the onion becomes translucent.
Transfer the sautéed mixture to your slow cooker.
Add chicken or vegetable broth, soy sauce, miso paste, mirin, sesame oil, salt, black pepper, and optional red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
Place the chicken breasts or thighs into the broth mixture.
Set your slow cooker to low heat and cook the broth and chicken for 6-8 hours. The longer it cooks, the more flavourful the broth becomes.
Step 2: Preparing the Eggs
About 30 minutes before serving, prepare the soft-boiled eggs. Bring a pot of water to a boil and gently lower the eggs into the boiling water. Cook for 7 minutes for a slightly runny yolk or 8-9 minutes for a firmer yolk.
After boiling, immediately transfer the eggs to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Once they're cool, peel and halve them.
Step 3: Cooking the Ramen Noodles
Add these to the slow cooker 5-10 minutes before serving and turn the cooker up to high if not already.
Step 4: Assembling Your Slow Cooker Ramen
Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred it with two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the broth.
Place the sliced mushrooms into the broth and let them cook for about 10 minutes, or until tender.
Stir in the baby spinach or kale and let it wilt in the hot broth.
To serve, divide the cooked ramen noodles among your bowls.
Ladle the flavourful broth, shredded chicken, and vegetables over the noodles.
Top each bowl with a soft-boiled egg, sliced green onions, toasted sesame seeds, and a sheet of nori for that authentic ramen experience.
Step 5: Enjoying Your Slow Cooker Ramen
Serve your slow cooker ramen hot, garnished to your liking. It's customary to slurp the noodles, so feel free to embrace the tradition!
Customise your ramen by adding extra toppings like bean sprouts, corn, bamboo shoots, or chili oil for an extra kick.
Recipe Tips and Variations:
For a vegetarian or vegan version, omit the chicken and use vegetable broth. You can also add tofu or tempeh for protein.
Adjust the spice level by increasing or decreasing the red pepper flakes or adding a drizzle of chili oil.
Experiment with different vegetables like bok choy, corn, or bean sprouts.
If you prefer a creamier broth, add a splash of coconut milk or almond milk.
Play around with different types of miso paste (white, red, or brown) for varying depths of flavour.
Slow cooker ramen brings the comforting flavours of this classic Japanese dish right to your kitchen, with minimal effort and maximum taste. Whether you're a ramen aficionado or new to this delightful cuisine, this recipe offers a cosy and satisfying way to enjoy a bowl of steaming goodness. So, gather your ingredients, fire up the slow cooker, and embark on a culinary adventure that will warm your soul and satisfy your taste buds. Slurp away and savour the simplicity and flavour of homemade slow cooker ramen!