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!
**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, sear the chicken in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the onion, garlic, and water, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours or until the chicken is fall-apart tender. 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 the 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 ramens. 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. 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?
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