I'm not really a soup person. If you're like me, you probably want to chew your calories, not slurp them, but ramen soup is in a league of its own. Yes, it's a broth. But it's a broth with 2 (or more!) proteins, carbs, veggies and spice. My kind of soup.
Ramen is also all about building layers of flavor. For this reason I recommend using dark meat chicken and baking the chicken before placing in the soup. Dark meat chicken has more fat and fat, generally, means flavor. And by baking the chicken beforehand, you avoid that boiled chicken taste that I generally associate chicken soups with.
For this reason I also use mushrooms to build this soup out. Mushrooms are meaty and have umami. I specifically recommend using Hen of the Woods mushrooms here because they are the meatiest of mushrooms.
1 pound chicken drumsticks or wings
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 carrot, diced
1 medium sized yellow onion, diced
1 large maitake (hen of the woods) mushroom
1 eight ounce package shiitake mushrooms
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos + more for eggs
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 package ramen noodles
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
salt, to taste
japanese chili oil
1. Make the eggs: bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil and transfer the eggs to the boiling water. Boil the eggs for 6 minutes, then transfer them to an ice bath. Once the eggs have cooled, peel and place them in a small sandwich bag. Cover the eggs with soy sauce, seal the bag and store them in the refrigerator until the soup is ready. This can be done a day or two in advance.
2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and transfer to the preheated oven. Cook until the chicken is nice and browned, about 40 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway.
3. In the meantime, in a large soup pot, heat the sesame oil over a medium heat. Add the carrot and onion, salt to taste, and cook until soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. When the chicken is ready, add it to the soup pot. Make sure to get any of the brown bits from the baking sheet into the pot too, as these bits contain lots of flavor. If they are stuck on the sheet, pour a little hot water over them and use a wooden spoon to scrape off.
5. Add the mushrooms to the pot and then cover the mixture with water. Add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and smoked paprika Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for at least 2 hours, up to 8. If you are simmering for longer, make sure to add more water as the water from the pot evaporates. Taste the broth and adjust salt as desired.
6. When you're ready to serve, make the ramen noodles according to package instructions. Divide the cooked ramen between serving bowls and spoon broth over the noodles. Add mushrooms, chicken and one egg to the bowl, then top with your desired toppings.