Ramen always reminds us of college, cooking a quick late-night meal with a hot pot as our only appliance. Money was tight and ramen was perfect – delicious and satisfying. And cheap! Now it’s our teenagers who gravitate towards those little packets.
We still love ramen, but we’ve become a bit more selective about what ramen we will eat. And, lucky for us, there are plenty of delicious ramen-serving restaurants that have opened our eyes to what this dish can really be, even here in the Midwest. This Simple Homemade Chicken Ramen Bowls recipe is our contribution to the delicious world of “grown up” ramen. It’s simple and versatile, so you can put together a combo that your kids will love, too.
The broth is truly the key here and the Instant Pot is how we get that flavor deep into the broth without giving a whole day to stove-top monitoring. Get that started first by combining low-sodium chicken broth with aromatics and spices, which will pressure cook together for 20 minutes. After that, you will allow the pressure to release naturally, strain the broth, and add a tangy hit of seasoned rice vinegar.
While the official cooking time is 20 minutes, you will also need to allow about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to pressurize and another 20 minutes for the pressure to release. Most of that time is hands-off and you can use it to prep your toppings.
The noodles themselves will cook quickly, so do that just before you serve your Chicken Ramen Bowls. We’re using the noodles from the familiar little packets because they are so inexpensive. Just toss the seasoning packet that comes with them – it’s loaded with sodium and won’t pack the flavor punch that our homemade broth brings to this dish.
Cook your noodles in water just before your broth is finished. Or you can cook them in the broth if you like so that the noodles absorb that wonderful flavor. To do this, bring your finished and strained broth to a boil either in the Instant Pot or in a large pot over medium-high heat on your stovetop and use it to cook the noodles according to the package directions.
Place the cooked noodles in your serving bowls, then pour the broth over them before adding your toppings.
We’ve listed a lot of toppings here and we love them all! The eggs are a quintessential part of a good ramen bowl, but if you prefer a harder cook do that instead.
Use the toppings you like best. We like serving this like a buffet because choosing toppings and making each bowl unique is fun for everyone! Put each topping in its own bowl and let each person choose what they like best.
The Best Dessert with Chicken Ramen Bowls
We love a good sweet end to any meal, and this meal is no exception. The Chicken Ramen Bowls are healthy and deliciously loaded with fresh veggies. For dessert, you can go with a bit of decadence with this Decadent Dark Chocolate Mug Cake or this Dreamy Dark Chocolate Sheet Cake. Or you can keep it light and fresh with something fruity like Summer’s Best Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Ice Cream or Fresh Blueberry Pie.
Simple Homemade Chicken Ramen Bowls
For the Broth:
- 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 medium yellow onion quartered
- 6 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
- 1-1/2 inch knob of fresh ginger peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
For the Toppings:
- 3 packs ramen noodles discard the spice packs (8 ounces of noodles in total)
- 6 soft-boiled eggs halved
- 3/4 pound cooked and cubed boneless skinless chicken breast or 12 ounces diced tofu
- 3 ounces mini bella mushrooms sliced
- 5 ounces baby bok choy sliced crosswise into ¼-inch strips
- 2 medium carrots grated
- 1 cup frozen corn thawed
- 6 ounces (1-1/2 cup) snow peas, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup cilantro roughly chopped
- 3 green onions white and green parts, sliced
- 1 jalapeno sliced with or without the seeds (or pickled jalapeno)
- In your Instant Pot, combine the chicken broth, onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, peppercorns, salt, and crushed red pepper. Secure the lid and set to pressure cook for 20 minutes.
- While the broth cooks, boil the ramen noodles according to the package directions. Once done, drain and run cold water over them to stop the cooking.
- When the broth is finished, let the pressure release naturally (this could take 15-20 minutes or more).
- Strain the broth and return it to the pot, then stir in the seasoned rice vinegar.
- Evenly distribute the noodles and broth between 6 bowls. Add two egg halves to each bowl. Gather your prepared toppings so that everyone can top their ramen bowls with whatever they like.
- If you prefer, you can lightly saute the mushrooms.
- If you are not using low sodium soy sauce or broth, reduce or omit the salt