Although ramen noodles are originally from China, they are very popular in Japan, and Japanese cooks have created many of their own unique ramen dishes. Miso ramen was first made in Sapporo, a northern city famous for its Snow Festival and its many ramen shops.

Noodle Soup with Chicken and Bean Paste




1/4 lb. chicken breast*
9 oz. ramen noodles, instant or fresh-dried
5 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, crushed
6 tbsp. miso
1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce salt and pepper to taste
2 scallions, chopped into thin rounds

1. Place chicken breast in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover pan, and simmer for 30 minutes. Carefully remove chicken to a small bowl or plate to cool.

2. While chicken is simmering, cook ramen noodles in 6 c. boiling water until they soften, about 2¥ to 3 minutes for instant and 5 to 6 minutes for fresh-dried. Drain and rinse with cold water. Divide noodles among four bowls. When chicken is cool enough to handle, use your fingers to shred it into thin strips and divide strips among the four bowls, on top of the noodles.

3. In a saucepan, combine chicken or vegetable broth and ginger root and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove and discard ginger. Keep broth over low to medium heat.

4. In a small bowl, combine miso and a small amount of the heated broth. Mix well and add to saucepan. Add soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Pour hot broth into bowls. Garnish with scallion rounds and serve.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 to 55 minutes
Serves 4

*Instead of chicken, try adding spinach leaves, mushrooms, or bean sprouts to this flavorful broth. Just barely cook spinach in boiling water for 30 to 40 seconds, or lightly stir-fry mushrooms or bean sprouts in a little vegetable oil.