Matcha Chicken Ramen, Miso Broth

All this business with matcha nowadays. It seemed to come out of nowhere alot of the time these things seem like fads, like wheatgrass. Holy shit, wheatgrass tasted like... Grass. I don't think so batman. But this one is different. Matcha, I think, has a rather dynamic flavour - it's got a punchy earthiness to it, with a lingering sweetness. Simply put, it's delicious. I see people left and right, making cakes n shit. But here's me thinking, "This would be great... with CHICKEN." Add some noodles to that and you've got food heaven. So lets tie two fan favourites together, and smash it out of the park shall we?

Ingredients (for 2):

250g Ramen Egg Noodles

3 Tbsp Miso Paste

2 Tbsp Crushed Ginger

2 Tbsp Crushed Garlic

Dark Soy Sauce

3 Chicken Thigh Fillets

1 Courgette

6 Brown Button Mushrooms or other tasty-as mushrooms

1 Radish

1 Block of Firm Tofu

Rice Wine Vinegar

Mirin

Matcha (good quality preferable)

Salt

Pepper

Toasted Sesame Seed

Rice Bran Oil

Method

IT'S ALL IN THE PREP

So let's marinate that chicken first. Mix half the ginger, half the garlic, a teaspoon of matcha, a splash of rice wine vinegar and splash of mirin in a bowl and massage the mixture into the chicken thigh fillets for a few minutes.

Brush an oven tray with some oil, and place the chicken thighs down, pouring any extra juice over top. Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Cracking on with the broth. I found with my broth that I was reluctant to let things boil. I wanted the flavours to gently infuse. I took 8 cups of water and brought the temperature to about 80 C. This is steaming, but not boiling. Monitor this so it doesn't get too aggressive. From there, put the remainder of the ginger, garlic, stir through, then add the miso paste. Let this infuse - taste at the start - the ginger will be pungent and the garlic will be raw/harsh.

Let it sit on a medium/low heat, stirring occasionally - the flavours will change, they'll mellow and infused. The liquid will reduce too. It's at this point that we can start adding a couple of extra dimensions - we've got the the flavours, now we can enhance - we want about a 1/4 cup of Rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup of mirin, and a couple of tbsps of dark soy sauce. Stir, and allow to infuse. After a couple of minutes, drop in your mushrooms - they'll poach in there and take on some of the flavour.

Finely slice the courgette and radish into rings. Gently fry the courgette discs until caramelized. Set aside.

Take the tofu, slice into sticks, and salt. Salt will allow for a good crust around the tofu when you... Fry it in rice bran oil in a frying pan. Tofu seems to be quite resilient, so I did it on a medium heat, being sure to get an adequate crust before flipping.

Once you're up to the tofu stage, you can put the chicken in the oven.

To prepare the noodles, boil water either in a kettle or on the stove. If the noodles have come vacuum-packed, toss them about a little bit - loosen them up so they aren't sticking. Put the loosened noodles in the boiled water for 30 seconds. Move them about with a fork or some chopsticks to make sure they don't stick. After thirty seconds, strain them through a colander or sieve, and rinse under cold water- this stops the cooking process, so they don't turn back to dough - I learned this the hard way!

Once thoroughly rinsed, transfer the noodles to your serving bowls. They'll heat up again with the hot broth.

Take the chicken out of the oven, slice. Take the tofu out of the frying pan. Pour about 2-3 cups of broth per person over the noodles, add all the tasty extras around the outside and the chicken on top. Dust with a little more matcha, salt, pepper, sesame seeds and...

Enjoy!

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