I love ramen. Ever since I visited Japan, I crave a hot bowl of ramen at least twice a month. There's just something so comforting about fresh noodles swimming in flavorful pork or chicken broth that makes my stomach happy. Over the years, I have been perfecting my ramen recipes but I have yet to prepare shio ramen. For some reason, I always found shio ramen to be the most daunting. Well, it was time to face the challenge and attempt to make it myself. With the help of a pressure cooker, this instant pot shio ramen actually was easy to prepare and tasted wonderful!
Instant Pot Shio Ramen
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 lb chicken bones
- 2 ½ lb chicken on the bone drumsticks or thighs
- 1 onion peeled, quartered
- 5 cloves garlic smashed
- 8 cups water
- 1 cup water
- 3x3 inch kombu
- ½ cup bonito flakes
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoon sake
- 1 tablespoon mirin
Black garlic oil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 4 teaspoon MSG optional
- 4 soft boiled eggs
- 1 cup corn kernels fresh or frozen
- 4 scallions thinly sliced
- 4 packs ramen noodles
- Make the chicken stock for the ramen. Add the chicken bones to the instant pot and cover with water. Set the pressure cooker for 10 minutes. Release the steam and discard the water. Rinse the chicken bones and the instant pot and set the bones aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the pot of the instant pot. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until browned. Add back the chicken bones along with 1 quartered onion, 5 cloves garlic, and 8 cups water. Seal the instant pot with a lid and set the pressure cooker to 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and shred the meat. Close the lid and continue to cook the stock for 1 more hour.
- Meanwhile, make the shio tare. Combine 1 cup water with a 3x3 inch kombu square in a medium pot. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add ½ cup bonito flakes and cover the pot. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Strain the dashi broth, discarding the kombu and bonito flakes. Add 1 tablespoon salt, 2 tablespoon sake, and 1 tablespoon mirin. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat until the salt has dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Make the black garlic oil. Heat ¼ cup olive oil and 1 tablespoon minced garlic in a small saucepot over low heat. Continue to slowly cook the garlic until it turns almost black. Remove from heat and blend the oil until smooth. Set aside.
- Prepare the remaining toppings for the ramen including soft boiled eggs and sauteed corn.
- Release the steam from the pressure cooker. Strain the stock, discarding the chicken bones, onion, and garlic. Skim as much fat as possible.
- Cook the ramen noodles according to the directions on the package.
- Portion 1 ½ tablespoon shio tare into a bowl and ladle 2 cups ramen broth. Add 1 teaspoon MSG if using per portion and mix to combine. Add the cooked ramen noodles and top with chicken, egg, corn, and scallions. Drizzle black garlic oil on top. Serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
This instant pot shio ramen can be made on the stovetop but it will take a bit longer. To make the chicken stock on the stovetop, first, boil the chicken bones in water for 10 minutes. Drain the bones, rinse them with cold water and clean the pot.
Then, heat oil in the same pot and sear the chicken. Add the onion, garlic, and water, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Remove the chicken and continue to cook the stock for about 2 hours. The liquid should barely be bubbling, extracting the chicken flavor slowly. You may need to add an additional cup of water if it is reducing too quickly.
Remove the chicken from the stock and skim as much fat as you can. It's always easier to skim the fat when the soup is completely cold since the fat solidifies.
While the stock is cooking, make the shio tare. For shoyu and shio ramens, there's a sauce component called "tare" that adds flavor. It's like a concentrated flavor bomb that makes ordinary stock extraordinary. While I was testing abura soba recipes, I discovered that every ramen shop in Japan has its own special tare recipe. Since it's difficult to find one standard recipe, I created what I believe is a close replicate of shio tare. It's essentially a seasoned dashi broth; it will be very salty but that's the whole point!
Next, make the black garlic oil. I love black garlic oil in my ramen. It adds another level of umami and savoriness, rounding out the soup beautifully. To make the oil, simmer minced garlic and oil over low heat until the garlic turns almost black. It's almost like burnt garlic but don't worry, it'll be great. Blend up the oil and garlic and there you have it.
Prepare the remaining ramen toppings including the soft-boiled eggs, sauteed corn, and sliced scallions.
For the noodles, I always use fresh ramen noodles instead of dried ones. If you're going through all the trouble to make homemade ramen, might as well use good noodles, right?
Cook the ramen noodles and prepare the bowls, adding shio tare to the chicken broth. To stay true to the Japanese culture, I add just a touch of MSG but this is optional. I will say, it does make the ramen taste better but again, it is optional. Add the ramen noodles to the bowls and top with chicken, egg, corn, scallions, and a drizzle of black garlic oil.
My husband was so excited for this instant pot shio ramen that he kept popping into the kitchen. This ramen is everything I want in a bowl: chewy noodles, savory flavorful broth, earthy garlic oil, sweet corn, and a perfectly boiled egg. I mean, how can you not love this ramen?
For more Japanese food inspiration check out this hiyashi chuka recipe!