It’s very much winter and that means it’s also very much soup weather. There’s honestly nothing like putting yourself immediately into a food coma after scoffing down a big brothy bowl of yum soup, and one of the surefire ways to hit that instant nap mode is with a hefty bowl of ramen. If you’re in Sydney, you’ll know that winter also means Butter kicks the Butter Ramen Club back up and that insanely-yum fried chicken ramen slides back onto the menu. But if you’re nowhere near Surry Hills, Parramatta, or the pop-up in Glebe and you’re pining for those soupy noods, you’re in luck ‘cos the official Butter ramen recipe has been unleashed.
Revealed as part of the UberEats Food Fest, which is running until June 30 and focuses on a different cuisine every day, Butter’s head chef Julian Cincotta has opened his cookbooks for us all to learn his secrets behind that insanely good ramen.
Though it takes a bit of time to prep and get everything sorted (so it might be more of a weekend challenge to tackle), Julian told PEDESTRIAN.TV that the essential things to make the perfect ramen are “quality ingredients, balance and harmony, love, patience, and time” so take your time, don’t rush through, don’t cut corners, and you’ll wind up with a decadent, fatty broth to slurp down.
Truly some things cannot be rushed, and the Butter fried chicken ramen is absolutely one of them.
Butter’s Fried Chicken Ramen Recipe
For the ramen base:
15ml hondashi1 chicken Maryland w/ bone
500g chicken wings
200g chicken feet
100g chicken skin
100g dried shitake
40g kombu tsuyu
20g mustard powder
1 brown onion
1 garlic bulb
1 bunch green shallots
For the tare:
500g chicken wings
320g light soy sauce
For the chicken fat:
100g chicken skin
100g vegetable oil
5 garlic cloves
For the ajitsuke tamago (marinated soft-boiled egg):
1 cup of water
1 cup of sake
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 cup sugar
Condiments to put on top:
toasted sesame seeds
salted bamboo shoots
ground white pepper
narutomaki (fish cake)
ONE DAY BEFORE:
Ajitsuke Tamago can be made in advance, lasting up to 3 days, depending on the freshness of the eggs.
It is best made at least one day before, so it can marinate longer and infuse the flavours.
Combine water, sake, sugar, soy and mirin in a bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and set aside.
Bring a medium pot of water to boil over high heat.
Carefully lower eggs into the boiling water, using a spoon or tongs.
Cook for exactly 6 minutes (set a timer!)
Once ready, drain the hot water and run cold water over the eggs.
Still in the pot with the cold water running, start cracking the eggs so the water leaches under the shell to help in the peeling process.
Once eggs are cool, peel eggs and put into a container that will fit them all and then pour over the marinade.
ON THE RAMEN DAY:
To prep the chicken wings, use a cleaver and chops wings into 5 pieces. You want to have cut through the flesh and bone exposing it.
Roast the chicken wings in a roasting pan on 140ºC for 15mins, this will allow any fats to leech out of the cuts you have made.
Turn heat to 180ºC and roast for 25 mins more or until golden. (Do not worry about overcooking, this is for an infusion, so the meat will be discarded.)
Once cut wings are roasted deglaze the tray with the sake.
Using a wooden flat spoon scrape off any crusty bits stuck to the pan, this is all flavour, add mirin and soy and return to the oven.
Turn the oven off and let sit for two hours. You do not want the liquids to reduce, only to take on the flavour of the chicken creating the umami bomb.
Strain the tare through a fine sieve and reserve.
Crush the garlic and chop the chicken skin.
In a small pan, add the oil, chicken skin, and crushed garlic.
Warm to approx. 70ºC and hold this temperature for approx. 1 hour until the fat releases from the skin and flavour infusing into the oil.
Strain the chicken fat and reserve in an airtight container in the fridge.
Bring the 5L of water to a simmer.
Add hondashi and let steep for 15mins.
Chop chicken Marylands exposing flesh and bones.
Sear chicken in a pan till golden on both sides.
Add the chicken Marylands, chicken feet, and skin to the stock.
Cut onions and leeks lengthways, cut the bulb of garlic exposing the cloves in rounds, and chop ginger into 3 pieces.
Using the same pan as the chicken, add the onions and leek and cook til blackened. They need to be black! This adds depth and richness to the stock.
Add the blackened leek and onion to the stock.
Cut the green shallots in thirds, add to the same pan and repeat the process as with the onions and leeks.
Once the green shallots have blackened, add to the stock with the fresh ginger and garlic.
Bring the stock up to a boil, skimming any impurities or foam that surfaces.
In a food processor, blend the dried shiitakes and add to the stock along with the kombu tusyu and mustard powder.
Keep stock on a high simmer, stirring often for approx. 2 to 3 hours
The contents of the broth (i.e. the chicken, veggies etc), should breakdown into a pulp-like consistency.
Taste the ramen base broth, if it has a chicken/fish (from the base dashi) aromatic tone, then the stock is ready. If not, reduce a little bit further.
Once the stock is ready, strain it through a large-hole colander, pushing out all of the liquid.
Discard all remaining meat/veggie pulp
Strain once more through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve your ramen base.
You can buy fresh ramen noodles in the freezer section in most good Asian supermarkets – they usually come in thick or thin, so choose depending on your taste.
Bowl these as per instruction, just before compiling your ramen.
Note: noodles are best slightly undercooked, so when you pour the hot broth over them, they finish the cooking and the broth soaks into the noodles.
Ramen has no rules, you can use any type of condiments you like! All the condiments you will need are readily available at good quality Asian supermarkets.
Our favourites are: toasted sesame seeds, chilli oil, salted bamboo shoots, enoki mushrooms, toasted nori, ground white pepper, narutomaki (fish cake), green shallots, Katsuobushi salt.
Make sure 30 to 40 minutes prior to serving, you have ordered Butter’s crispy fried juicy chicken to pop on top – a little cheat, you deserve it. (Ed’s notes: if you don’t live near a Butter, I’m sure your local quality fried chicken will do.)
Place a tablespoon of the chicken fat into your serving bowl, with droplets of chilli oil.
Place noodles on top and pour over hot broth.
Using chopsticks, untangle noodles so they lay nicely – no one likes clumpy noodles!
Add your condiments on top, to your heart’s desire.
Slice marinated egg lengthways and place on top.
Enjoy your fried chicken ramen!