There's a chill in the Melbourne air and the coats are out of the cupboards, so that means it's time for Supernormal's not-so-secret ramen to return. The chicken broth is topped with a perfectly jammy egg, crisp nori squares, slices of grilled chicken thigh and a pair of pork and chicken dumplings. Slurp to it – only 20 bowls of the $20 lunch-only weekday special will be served each day throughout autumn and winter. Should you miss out, Andrew McConnell has provided his recipe below:
This is not a traditional ramen whatsoever. We have taken the basic principles of ramen and created our own version, which we serve at lunchtime. Traditionally, ramen stock is made from pork and can be quite rich. I prefer a lighter-style broth, which is the reason I use a chicken stock here – Andrew McConnell.
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp mirin
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3cm piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
190ml (¾ cup) light soy sauce
2 tbsp castor sugar
600g chicken wings
2 litres light chicken stock
10cm x 5cm piece kombu
¼ cup white miso paste
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 celery stalk
3cm piece fresh ginger
2 tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
2 boneless chicken thighs, skin on
8 prawn and chicken dumplings (optional)
500g ramen noodles (buy fresh from Asian grocer)
2 spring onions, green tops only, thinly sliced diagonally
1 tbsp shichimi togarashi (Japanese chilli powder)
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
2 sheets toasted nori, each cut into six squares
1. To make the soy eggs, in a small saucepan, bring all the ingredients, except the eggs, to a simmer. Cook over low heat for five minutes. Add 500ml cold water, remove the pan from the head and set aside.
2. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Pierce a small hole in the larger end of each egg using a thin metal skewer. Carefully put the eggs in the boiling water and cook for exactly six minutes, stirring slowly for the first 90 seconds to distribute the heat evenly.
3. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice. When the eggs are done, transfer them straight to the ice bath and leave to cool for 15 minutes.
4. Once the eggs are cool, peel them in the water – this will help them keep a perfect exterior. Transfer the eggs to the soy sauce mixture and marinate in the fridge for at least two and up to six hours, making sure they're completely submerged in the liquid by placing a small plate on top.
5. To serve, take the eggs out of the marinade and cut them in half lengthways. The soy sauce mixture can be reserved for another batch of eggs. (The eggs will keep, refrigerated in a tightly sealed container, for up to a month).
6. To make the ramen broth, preheat the oven to 220C.
7. Chop the chicken wings into 3cm pieces with cleaver. Put them in an ovenproof dish and roast for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Heat a char-grill pan over high heat. Cook the carrot and onion for 10 minutes on one side until well charred.
9. Put all the broth ingredients, except soy sauce, in a large stainless steel stockpot and bring to a simmer. Simmer for two hours to develop the flavours. Strain the stock through a fine sieve and add the soy sauce.
10. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the strained ramen broth to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low.
11. Heat the grapeseed oil in a non-stick frying pan over low heat. Place the chicken thighs, skin-side down, in the pan and cook gently for five minutes, or until golden. Turn the chicken over and cook for a further two minutes, until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and slice each thigh into eight pieces.
12. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Carefully drop in the dumplings (if using) and cook for two minutes (or according to packet instructions). Drop the noodles into the same pot and cook with the dumplings for a further three minutes. Strain through a colander.
13. Divide the noodles and dumplings between four bowls. Place one egg and four slices of chicken in each bowl, then divide the hot broth among the bowls. Top with the spring onion greens and sprinkle with a combination of shichimi togarashi and ground sesame seeds. Finally, tuck three squares of toasted nori into the side of the bowl and serve.
This is an edited extract from The Supernormal Cookbook, RRP $60
Ramen available between noon and 3pm Mon-Fri or until sold; Supernormal, 180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne