To call this super tasty, super creamy dish ‘fusion’ would be overstepping the mark a little, but I think traditionalists might hunt me down for calling it ramen! So, let’s just say that this is my attempt at recreating the simple pleasure of one of those packet noodle dishes I enjoyed so much as a student, elevated to the next level. And boy is this elevated! Rich, spicy, salty and filling, it’s one of my favourite go-to dishes if I want something a little comforting. It’s one of those meals that’s great on a sharp autumnal evening! This serves 6 in our house. If you’ve got your salted peanuts from a large bag, go ahead and serve the entire bag on the side, everyone always keeps coming back for more!
- 2 tablespoons of groundnut oil
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large cubes
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
- 1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced
- large thumb of fresh ginger, grated
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tablespoon of smoked paprika
- 17½ fluid ounces / 500ml chicken stock
- 4¼ ounces / 120g natural (sugar and salt free) peanut butter
- 2½ ounces / 70g red Thai curry paste
- 14 ounces / 400g can coconut milk
- 2 fluid ounces / 60ml low salt soy sauce
- juice of 1 lime
- 1½ tablespoons of soft dark brown sugar
- 3 nests fine egg noodles
- 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves
- 1¾ ounces / 45g salted peanuts, roughly chopped
Heat 1 tablespoon of groundnut oil in a large wok and flash fry the chicken until golden and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Wipe the wok clean with some kitchen roll and add the remaining tablespoon of oil and turn up the heat again.
Toss in the peppers and ginger and fry for 5 minutes, before adding the garlic and paprika. Fry for another 2 minutes.
Next, add the stock, peanut butter, curry paste, coconut milk, soy sauce, lime and sugar and stir for a couple of minutes until everything (especially the peanut butter) is combined.
Return the chicken to the pan and give a good stir, bringing everything to the boil.
Add the noodles and simmer, stirring regularly, breaking up the nests for at least 5 minutes, but until the noodles have separated and softened and the sauce has thickened.
Sprinkle a handful of the coriander and salted peanuts over the ramen and serve the remainder on the side.
Strictly speaking, a ramen is a Japanese noodle soup served in a meat-based (sometimes fish-based) broth, flavoured and served with a variety of toppings like a pizza. Different regions of Japan (and Asia generally) have their own varieties. The only thing they have in common is noodles and broth.