Josh Reisner's ramen stock is packed with flavor—umami from dried shiitake mushrooms and Parmesan rinds, a touch of sweetness from Napa cabbage, and smoky notes from the charred leek and katsuobushi. Simmering chicken feet in the stock gives it a silky texture. The recipe calls for 2 fresh chicken carcasses with the wings. If you are unable to purchase from a butcher, buy 2 chickens, cut the whole legs and the breasts from the carcasses—leaving the skin from the breasts and the wings attached to the carcass—and reserve the legs and breasts for another use. The stock can be made in a very large pot or divided between 2 large pots. Once finished, it is the perfect base for ramen and other soups.

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Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

total:
5 hrs 45 mins
active:
1 hr 45 mins
Yield:
Makes about 2 quarts
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add chicken carcasses one at a time and cook for 30 to 45 seconds to blanch and clean the chicken. Transfer each carcass to a very large pot, arranging in a single layer in the center. Strain any scum off the top of the water and bring back to a boil. Add chicken feet and blanch for 60 seconds. Transfer chicken feet to the pot with the carcasses, arranging them around the carcasses.

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  • Place onion quarters down the center of the pot on top of the carcasses. Add the water. Bring to a simmer uncovered over medium-high heat, watching closely and reducing heat to maintain a simmer, and skimming off any scum as soon as it forms at the top of the stock. Do not let it come to a boil. Continue to simmer, skimming the stock as needed and maintaining the heat to ensure it simmers gently and does not boil. Try not to agitate the stock to keep it clear. The stock will start out with a greyish color but will turn golden as it simmers. When you start to notice the color of the stock changing, after about 1 hour, turn the heat to low and cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar. Simmer until the stock is golden yellow, about 3 more hours.

  • Meanwhile, turn a gas burner onto medium to medium-high. Hold on to the dark green part of the leek with your hand or tongs. Hold the white part of the leek over the flame and cook, turning occasionally, until the white outer layer is charred all over. Alternatively, this can be done under the broiler. Cut off and discard the dark green part of the leek and store the charred leek airtight until cooled.

  • Peel off the outer charred layer from the leek and add to the stock (reserve the rest of the leek for another use—it will be infused with a smoky flavor). Add the cabbage, mushrooms, katsuobushi, and Parmesan rind, if using, ginger, and rock sugar. Gently simmer the stock, covered with the lid slightly ajar, until the stock is golden and aromatic, 2 to 4 more hours. Use a ladle to transfer the stock to the bowl of ramen so as not to disturb the stock, which can turn it cloudy. If not using the stock right away, ladle it into one large or several smaller containers. Let the stock cool, then cover and refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 2 months.

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