Sometimes it’s really hard to please a teenager that’s as changeable as the wind direction in Wales and whose food fads keep me in a whirlwind. It’s even harder to please a sick teenager, but one dish that managed to both satisfy and apparently cure was the Wagamama inspired chicken ramen.
As the poor girl huddled in bed shivering and sniffing I attempted to stimulate her appetite with various ideas mostly failing until I suggested her favourite, a simple chicken ramen (funnily enough the recipe is in a book she just happened to buy me for Christmas!).
So while she slumped under the covers snuffling and feeling sorry for herself, I went to whip up a quick soothing supper. Returning a little later with a steaming bowl of chicken, noodles, broth and pak choi she visibly perked up. After the first small bowl she requested a second, at which point she had recovered enough energy to chat to her friend on Facebook!! The conversation went like this
Teen: “I’m ill in bed, mum’s made me chicken noodle soup”
Friend: “ooohhhh not fair, I want chicken noodle soup. Hold on I’m gonna ask mum to make me a dippy egg with soldiers”
A bit later
The teen: “did you get your dippy egg?”
Friend: “it was rubbish, the egg was hard and I only got three soldiers AND it was brown bread”.
My teen emerged from her room looking suitably smug about her superior supper of chicken noodle soup.
For my chicken ramen (to serve four) I used:
4 chicken breasts, vegetable oil (to oil the chicken), 500g ramen noodles (available in most supermarkets these days or failing that specialist Asian shops) 2 litres chicken or vegetable stock either freshly made or really good ready-made, stock cubes are really not good enough for this, 4 pak choi roughly chopped or shredded (which I got from Moelyci. Amazingly it has continued growing all through the winter even surviving the snow), 24 canned bamboo shoots known as menma in Asian supermarkets, 8 spring onions finely chopped and a handful of bean sprouts. I also added a heaped teaspoon of miso to the stock and the teen added some soy sauce.
Either grill or use a char grill pan to cook the seasoned chicken breasts brushed with a bit of oil. Once cooked allow to rest then slice on the diagonal and set aside.
Cook the noodles in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes until tender. Drain and refresh under cold water. Divide between four deep bowls. Heat the stock until boiling and if you want to experiment like we did add the miso. Put the pak choi on top of the noodles followed by bean sprouts, then pour over the boiling stock. Finish with the chicken breast, menma and spring onions.