270 gmdried ramen noodles4spring onions, thinly sliced, to serveTo serve:toasted sesame seeds and shichimi togarashi (optional; see note) Chicken dashi1.5 kgchicken carcasses, halved lengthways with a cleaver25 gmdried bonito flakes15 cm piecekombu (see note)90 mlshoyu (see note)60 ml(¼ cup) each mirin and sake1 tbspcaster sugar2dried shiitake mushroomsFried chicken3boneless chicken thighs (about 450gm), skin on, thickly sliced60 ml(¼ cup) shoyu (see note)20 gm(4cm piece) ginger, finely chopped1 tbspsake1garlic clove, crushedFor deep-frying:vegetable oil150 gmpotato flour (see note)
Preheat oven to 200C. For chicken and dashi stock, place bones in a roasting pan, roast until golden (1 hour) and transfer to a large saucepan. Drain fat from roasting pan, then deglaze pan with a little water and pour over bones. Cover bones completely with cold water, bring to the simmer over medium heat, skim scum from surface and simmer until stock is well-flavoured (2-3 hours). Strain 1.5 litres through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan, add bonito flakes, kombu, shoyu, mirin, sake, sugar and mushrooms, bring just to the simmer over medium heat and set aside to infuse (10 minutes). Strain and keep warm.
Meanwhile, for fried chicken, combine chicken, shoyu, ginger, sake and garlic in a bowl and refrigerate to marinate (2-3 hours). Preheat oil in a deep saucepan to 180C. Remove chicken pieces (discard marinade), dust in flour, shaking off excess, and deep-fry, turning occasionally, until deep golden and cooked through (3-5 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper and keep warm.
Cook ramen in a saucepan of boiling water over medium-high heat until al dente (3-5 minutes), drain and divide among bowls. Pour stock over, top with fried chicken, sesame seeds, shichimi togarashi and extra spring onion and serve hot.
Note Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese spice mix. Kombu is a brown seaweed. Shoyu is a light soy sauce. If potato flour is unavailable, substitute cornflour. All these ingredients are available from Asian grocers.
This recipe is from the August 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.