With the cooler temps clearly upon us, the cult-favourite Melbourne restaurant, Supernormal, have kindly offered discerning denizens the necessary know-how to make their very own ‘not-so-traditional’ but seriously delicious rendition of the slurpable bowl of comfort.
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
2 boneless chicken thighs, skin on
8 prawn and chicken dumpling (optional, see the cookbook for the recipe)
500g ramen noodles (buy fresh noodles from a Japanese grocer)
2 spring onions, green tops only, thinly sliced diagonally
1 tbsp shichimi togarashi (Japanese chilli powder)
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
2 sheets toasted nori, each cut into 6 squares
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp mirin
4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
3 cm piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
190ml light soy sauce
2 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
600g chicken wings
2 litres light chicken stock
10 x 5cm piece kombu
1/4 cup white miso paste
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 celery stalk
3 cm piece fresh ginger
2 tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbsp light soy sauce
To make the soy eggs, in a small saucepan bring all the ingredients, except the eggs, to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add 500ml cold water, remove the pan from the heat and set aside. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Pierce a small hole in the larger end of each egg using a thin metal skewer. Carefully put the eggs in the boiling water and cook for exactly 6 minutes, stirring slowly for the first 1 1/2 minutes to distribute the heat evenly. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice. When the eggs are done, transfer them straight to the ice bath and leave to cool for 15 minutes. Once the eggs are cool, peel them in the water — this will help them keep a perfect exterior. Transfer the eggs to the soy sauce mixture and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 and up to 6 hours, making sure they are completely submerged in the liquid by placing a small plate on top of them. To serve, take the eggs out of the marinade and cut them in half lengthways. The soy sauce mixture can be reserved for another batch of eggs. (The eggs will keep, refrigerated in a tightly sealed container, for up to a month.)
To make the ramen broth, preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celcius. Chop the chicken wings into 3cm pieces with a cleaver. Put them in an ovenproof dish and roast for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Heat a chargrill pan over high heat. Cook the carrot and onion for 10 minutes on one side until well charred. Put all the broth ingredients, except the soy sauce, in a large stainless steel stockpot and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 2 hours to develop the flavours. Strain the stock through a fine sieve and add the soy sauce. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the strained ramen broth to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low.
Heat the grapeseed oil in a non-stick frying pan over low heat. Place the chicken thighs, skin-side down, in the pan and cook gently for 5 minutes or until golden. Turn the chicken over and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until cook through. Remove the chicken from the pan and slice each thigh into 8 pieces. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Drop the noodles into the pot and cook for 3 minutes. Strain through a colander.
Divide the noodles between four bowls. Place 1 egg and 4 slices of chicken in each bowl, then divide the hot broth among the bowls. Top with spring onion greens and sprinkle with a combination of shichimi togarashi and ground sesame seeds. Finally, tuck 3 squared of toasted nori into the side of the bowl and serve.
For more delectable recipes from Supernormal, get your hands on their cookbook here.