Mark Schaeffer doesn’t need to go camping to perfect his caveman skills. He practices in his backyard. “Cooking over an open flame brings us back to the foundation of cooking,” maintains the Sussex County chef.
His campfire ramen recipe is “a perfect example of how things were cooked before we had fancy kitchens,” he says. “Noodles are the ultimate comfort food, and what better way to enjoy them than under the stars?”
Ramen strays away from the typical boring campfire food. It’s fully customizable! Maybe you prefer a fried egg to top your noodles—no problem! Fry up a few eggs to your liking. For a more veggie-filled soup, add vegetables of your choice like thinly sliced carrots, snow peas or shredded cabbage.
We also recommend prepping the chicken and mushrooms at home. You could use canned broth, but what fun is that? If you make it from scratch, start a fire in the morning and get the broth going at lunchtime to give flavors time to develop.
Campfire RamenCourse: MainCuisine: AsianDifficulty: Medium
We recommend using homemade chicken stock, and allowing it to simmer over the fire for 2-5 hours. With boxed or pre-made stock, this soup comes together in about an hour.
- For the Chicken Stock
1 white onion, cut in half
3 stalks celery
1 ounce ginger root
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 gallons water
- For the Ramen
1 whole chicken broken down into 8 pieces (reserve the wings and carcass for stock)
1 ounce of Thai basil
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 heads baby bok choy, cut in half or chopped—your preference
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and saved for broth
2 packs soba noodles
Black garlic powder to taste
Sea salt to taste
- Campfire Chicken Stock
- Place the leftover chicken parts, onion, celery and carrots in the coals to char.
- Once everything is charred, carefully use tongs to place them in Dutch oven with the remaining ingredients.
- Add 1 gallon of water and cover.
- Place the pot over the coals, and simmer for 3 to 5 hours, adding additional water if needed.
- Campfire Ramen
- Use tongs to pull the vegetables from the hot liquid and then add the chicken legs and thighs. (If you are using boxed stock, heat it over the fire and add chicken.)
- Heat a cast-iron pan over the coals. Add enough oil to coat the pan.
- Gently add the shiitake caps, bok choy and the chicken breast, skin side down, to the oiled pan.
- Get a hard sear on everything and add an ounce or 2 of broth. Cook until done.
- While the chicken is cooking, crack a hole in the top of the eggs and place them, hole side up, in the coals. (If you do not make a hole, the egg will explode. Schaeffer learned this the hard way.)
- Cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Once cool, peel the eggs.
- When the chicken is completely cooked, add soba noodles to broth. Cook until soft.
- Ladle the noodles, broth and chicken into bowls.
- Slice the chicken breast and fan the slices over the noodles with bok choy and eggs.
- Top with Thai basil and serve.