Slow-Cooker Roasted Broth

Makes about 8 cups.

Note: No slow cooker? Simmer the bones with the kombu water and remaining ingredients in a large pot, stirring often, with the lid partly covering the pot, for 3 to 4 hours. From JeanMarie Brownson, Chicago Tribune.

• 1 1/2 lb. chicken wings, separated at joints

• 1 1/2 lb. pork neck bones

• 1/4- to 1/2-oz. piece kombu (kelp), optional

• 4 green onions, chopped

• 2 dried shiitake mushrooms, ­broken

• 1/4 c. sake or Chinese rice wine (or dry white vermouth)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put wings and bones on a large baking sheet in an uncrowded layer. Roast, turning once or twice, until golden brown on all sides, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, if using the kombu, heat 10 cups water and the kombu to a boil in a large saucepan. Simmer about 10 minutes. Then let steep while the bones finish browning. Use tongs to remove and discard the kombu.

Transfer the bones with pan drippings to a large (4-quart) slow cooker. Add kombu water (or 10 cups fresh water if not using the kombu) and onions, mushrooms and sake. Cover and slow-cook on low for 8 hours. Strain broth into a container. Refrigerate covered up to 1 week. Freeze up to several months.

Shortcut broth: Simmer 1 quart of store-bought chicken, vegetable or seafood broth (check out your local butcher’s house-made broth if possible) with 2 tablespoons of mirin or dry vermouth, 1 or 2 tablespoons miso paste, 1 or 2 thin slices fresh ginger and 1 or 2 teaspoons soy sauce in a saucepan for 10 minutes. Strain before using.


Grilled Chicken Ramen Bowls

Serves 2.

Note: I like to add a couple of spoonfuls of miso to give the broth body and flavor. Shiro miso is light and sweet — perfect for a weekday bowl of ramen. Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese chili pepper spice blend. Use a combination of salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes if it is unavailable. From JeanMarie Brownson, Chicago Tribune.

• 4 c. slow-cooker roasted bone broth or shortcut broth, see recipe

• 2 tbsp. shiro miso, optional, see Note

• 1 to 2 tbsp. soy sauce, to taste

• 1 to 3 tbsp. chili paste or Korean gochujang, optional

• 1/2 c. thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushroom caps (no stems)

• 3 medium egg noodle nests, about 5 oz. total

• 2 grilled Shichimi Chicken Thighs, thinly sliced, see recipe

• 1 soy wasabi hard-cooked egg, halved, see below

• 2 radishes, very thinly sliced

• 1/4 c. sliced bamboo shoots

• 2 green onions, charred in a skillet or chopped

• Small handful fresh bean sprouts

• Chopped fresh cilantro

• Shichimi togarashi, see Note


Heat broth in small saucepan until hot. Season to taste with miso, soy sauce and chili paste. The broth should be highly seasoned. Add mushrooms and simmer over low heat.

Have all the remaining ingredients ready and near the cooking surface. Fill 2 deep soup bowls with very hot water to heat the bowls.

Meanwhile, for noodles, heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop noodles into the water; cook, stirring, until al dente, about 3 minutes. Use tongs or a slotted wire basket to remove noodles to a plate. Save the cooking water for later.

When ready to serve, bring the noodle cooking water to a boil again and dunk the noodles back in to reheat, about 20 seconds. Dump the hot water out of the soup bowls. Divide the hot noodles between the heated bowls. Top each with half of the sliced chicken, egg, radish, bamboo shoots, green onions and bean sprouts. Gently ladle hot broth over all. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve right away. Pass the pepper blend at the table.

To make soy-wasabi eggs: Mix 3 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 teaspoon wasabi paste in a small dish. Add 2 peeled hard-cooked eggs. Let soak, turning eggs often, 10 to 20 minutes until eggs are golden in color. Remove from soy bath.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 768 Fat 26 g Sodium 1,409 mg Saturated fat 8 g

Carbohydrates 74 g Total sugars 13 g

Protein 55 g Cholesterol 360 mg Dietary fiber 11 g


Grilled Shichimi Chicken Thighs

Serves 4.

Note: Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese chili pepper spice blend. Combine salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes if it is unavailable. From JeanMarie Brownson, Chicago Tribune.

• 4 to 6 medium boneless chicken thighs

• Shichimi togarashi, see Note

• Sesame seeds

• Finely sliced green onions


Heat a gas grill or prepare a charcoal grill to medium heat. (Or heat a broiler to medium high.) Meanwhile, generously sprinkle chicken thighs on all sides with shichimi togarashi. Grill chicken directly over the heat source (or on a pan set 8 inches from the broiler), turning once, until almost firm when pressed with your finger or a spatula, usually 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from grill. Sprinkle generously with sesame seeds and green onions.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 314 Fat 20 g Sodium 138 mg

Carbohydrates 0 g Saturated fat 6 g Total sugars 0 g

Protein 31 g Cholesterol 180 mg Dietary fiber 0 g