I’ve had my eye on Lady and Pups’ Chicken Galbi Ramen recipe since she posted it. What is not to love about spicy chicken, tossed with instant ramen, and covered with cheese! While cheese and ramen seems to make inroads into the western consciousness only a year or two ago (if Youtube is any indication), one of my favorite dishes is a Hong Kong style pork chops and rice, which my mom always makes with a lot of shredded cheese. So, if you like one, you’re very likely to like the other.
But I didn’t take into account the two to four hour marinating time. In the end, I marinated it for an hour was not worse for wear. I made quite a few adjustments to the recipe, dialing down the spices, and swapping out one packet of ramen with a few handfuls of rice cakes and also adding half of a softball sized cabbage. Mandy Le uses a prodigious 2 cups of scallions, and I used a single one for color. I suggest you use something in between.
While there have been times where this has backfired, don’t be intimidated if you don’t have all the ingredients at hand. Although garnishes make all the difference in visual appeal, they usually don’t change the flavor profile. I knew the base of flavors would come from the korean chili paste and chili powder, and that things like soy sauce, honey, wine, ginger, and sesame oil would make a lot of impact on the taste so I wouldn’t have attempted the recipe if I didn’t have those on hand. ButI thought I could get away with not having garlic powder, because the recipe already calls for seven cloves of garlic!
Some things I didn’t have were a lot of scallions (I had a few in a pot growing outside and sacrificed one), apple juice, sake, sesame seeds, provolone, garlic powder, curry powder, and laughing cow cheese. I replaced the sake with shaoxing wine (a Chinese cooking wine), the provolone and laughing cow cheese with mozzarella and Parmesan, and the curry powder with a pinch of turmeric, mostly for color. I omitted the garlic powder and the sesame seeds. I also only had chicken drumsticks so I cut the meat into chunks and used that in lieu of chicken thighs. I wasn’t sure what the apple juice did besides adding sweetness and acidity so I replaced it with kimchi juice, but since it’s only two tablespoons you could omit it entirely.
Chicken Galbi Cheesy Ramen
ADAPTED from Lady and Pups
NOTES: Do not touch the red chili paste or powder with your bare hands. It can burn.
- 14 oz (400 grams) chicken meat
- 7 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp (10 grams) ginger
- 3 1/2 tbsp (74 grams) korean chili paste/gochujang
- 2 tbsp (30 grams) sake wine
- 2 tbsp (30 grams) apple juice or kimchi juice
- 1 tbsp (15 grams) soy sauce
- 1 tbsp (14 grams) toasted sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tsp (11 grams) honey
- 1 tsp Shin Ramen seasonings
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp curry powder or a pinch of turmeric
- 1 tbsp Korean chili flakes/gochu, or more if preferred
- 1 disks (106 grams) Shin Ramen
- 1 cup of shredded provolone cheese, mozzarella, or another mild, melty cheese
- 1/4 cup of parmesan
- 1 cup of thinly sliced cabbage
- 2 cups of rice cakes, soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 1 scallion for garnish, thinly sliced
TO MARINATE THE CHICKEN: In a blender or food processor, run garlic, ginger, gochujang, wine, kimchi juice, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, honey, Shin Ramen seasoning, black pepper and tumeric until smoothly pureed. Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings. Transfer the mixture onto the chickens, then add Korean chili flakes. Stir to combine, and let marinate for at least 1 hour, and up to to 4 hours.
TO COOK: Heat a large flat skillet over medium-high heat, and add a tablespoon of olive oil and marinated chickens (with all the liquid). I rinsed out the ziplock bag with another tablespoon or two of water. Continue to cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally but not too frequent (to allow more caramelization), until the chicken is cooked through. Add the cabbage.
Meanwhile, blanch the Shin Ramen in boiling water for a minute. Then add the rice cakes and cook for a minute more. Add the blanched Shin Ramen and rice cakes and toss until evenly coated in sauce (if you find it a little dry, add a tbsp of water or so). You can now either layer the shredded cheese and melt them under a preheated broiler, or you can simply toss them into the noodle over the stove until melted. Sprinkle with Parmesan and scallion.