Chicken Ramen

Chicken Ramen Recipe

Since posting my recipe for Tonkotsu ramen two years ago, I’ve been getting requests to make a non-pork version of the rich collagen laden broth. Well… here it is finally!

Tori Ramen (鳥ラーメン) is nothing new. People have been using chicken stock to make ramen since the early days of ramen’s popularity in Japan. Sadly, it just doesn’t get as much respect as its unctuous porcine cousin. It probably has to do with the fact that chicken contains a lot less marrow fat than pork, so it’s almost impossible to get the same richness in the soup. That’s why chicken stock is often used in lighter styles of ramen such as shoyu (soy sauce) or shio (salt).

But getting a rich stock isn’t totally impossible. What chicken lacks in fat, it makes up for in collagen, especially in the joint areas and skin. Because chicken wingtips have a high ratio of cartilage and skin to meat and bone, they’re perfect for getting a rich sticky broth.

Chicken Ramen Recipe

If you’re looking for an exact replica of Tonkotsu ramen, you’re going to be disappointed, but in many ways, this chicken ramen is better. First of all, it takes a lot less time to make. Secondly, while it may not qualify as healthy, it’s certainly healthier than a broth made of pork fat. Lastly, the relatively mellow flavors of the chicken stock base allow all the other flavors to shine through. To put it simply, it’s more Pierce Brosnan than Daniel Craig.

I usually top Tonkotsu ramen with Mayu (burnt garlic oil), but since the burnt garlic might overwhelm the milder chicken, I made a fried scallion oil instead. After mincing the white parts of a few scallions I fried them in sesame oil until they were just shy of burnt, then I added a splash of soy sauce to the hot oil which bubbles up furiously, caramelizing around the scallions and giving off a savory aroma that will make you want to lick the air around you.

Since topping this chicken ramen with pork chashu would negate the benefits of a purely chicken ramen I came up with a chicken chashu you can use as a topping. Since it’s hard to get good ramen noodles in the US, I like to make my own noodles, but thin Chinese style yellow noodles will work in a pinch. Add some scallions menma and boiled egg and you’ll have a world-class ramen worthy of any ramen shop with a line wrapping around the block.

Equipment you'll need:

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    Chicken Ramen
  • Prepared in the same way as Tonkotsu ramen, this rich and unctuous chicken ramen is brimming with umami.
ServingsPrep TimeCook Time
4 bowls 30 minutes 135 minutes


Servings: bowls


  1. Bring a kettle full of water to a boil. Lay the wing tips and chicken bones in a clean sink, then pour the boiling water over the chicken. Wash the chicken with cold water, scrubbing off any clumps of blood. This step solidifies some of the blood on the chicken so you can wash it off and it doesn't end up in your soup.
  2. In a small saucepan, add the leeks, ginger and garlic, then cover with vegetable oil. Gently fry over medium low heat until the aromatics are dark brown, but not burnt (about 30-40 minutes).
  3. Add the kombu, wingtips and bones to a pressure cooker and cover with 10 cups of water. Bring it to a boil uncovered, then skim off the scum that floats to the top. Continue skimming until you don't see any more scum. Remove the kombu and discard, then add the fried leeks, ginger and garlic. Seal the lid, then cook under high pressure for 1.5 hours.
  4. When the stock is done cooking, let it cool to room temperature. Pour it through a large strainer into a large bowl. Squeeze the solids with your hands to extract as much liquid as possible. You'll notice that the liquid starts turning a creamy white. This is what gives the soup its body so be sure you get every last drop. Pour the strained soup through an extra fine sieve (such as a tea strainer) into a clean container. You can either stop here and refrigerate the stock or keep going.
  5. If you refrigerated the stock, it should be fairly easy to scrape off the excess fat with a spoon. If not, use a fat skimmer to skim off the extra fat and set the fat aside. In either case, you want to leave a little fat behind. Measure your the soup. You should have about 6 cups, if you have more, you should boil it down to 6 cups, if you have less, add water.
  6. To make the caramelized scallion oil, add the sesame oil along with about 2 tablespoons of chicken fat that you've skimmed from the soup to a small saucepan. Put the saucepan over medium heat, then add the minced scallions. Fry the scallions until they are medium to dark brown in color. Turn off the heat, then carefully add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. The oil will sputter, so be very careful. This caramelizes the soy sauce, giving it a wonderful toasty aroma.
  7. To make the soup, add the 6 cups of strained stock to a pot, add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of salt, and the soy milk and gently heat.
  8. Boil your noodles according to the package directions or make a batch of homemade ramen noodles.
  9. To finish the ramen divide the noodles between four bowls, pour the soup over the noodles then top with your choice of toppings. I served this with a soft boiled egg, menma, shredded scallions, and chicken chashu, but what you top it with is up to you. Boil your noodles according to the package directions. Put the boiled noodles in the bowl and add the toppings. Cover with the hot soup, then drizzle on some of the caramelized scallion oil. Serve immediately.
  • Mike

    Great Marc! Usualy i tried it with a combination of beef-, chicken and lamb bone to get a rich subsitute of the pork flavour, but this sounds much better!
    Also the caramelized scallion oil alternative sounds great.

    I’ll definitely give it a try! Keep up the good work!

  • Melody Fury

    I love the addition of soy milk for creaminess. Beautiful, Marc!

  • Toni

    What noodles do you use?

  • Heather Koning

    Can’t wait to make this! I don’t have a pressure cooker, will boiling work?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Yep, you can cook it in a regular pot. Usually when you use a regular pot instead of a pressure cooker, you just triple the time. In this case 4 1/2 hours. You’ll probably need to add more water as more of it will evaporate during the longer cooking time than in a pressure cooker.

  • IGredux

    so many slight, but clearly going to be impactful, marc genius tweeks make this a MUST-DO. grateful for the share!

  • Monica

    I have made about 5 of your recipes since I’ve stumbled onto your blog…and I drool over making a dozen more. It’s not the sheer yummyness of the food recipe but your way with words that has me actually reading your pre-recipe musings. I don’t think I’ve ever proposed to man solely on the basis of food…but if you keep up the awesomeness that is your blog I think you just might get a marriage proposal!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Thanks Monica, I’ll try and keep it up;-)

  • Kelly Siew

    Wow! I have to give this a go! Thanks for sharing. I have referred to your Tonkotsu recipe and got great results.

  • Gelo Barretto

    You da man! Question: I got chicken bones from my butcher and they gave me a bunch of bones with a lot of skin and meat still on. Do I need to remove the skin and meat before making the stock since there is so much grease in the skin? I think I made that mistake when I tried making your tonkotsu and stripped the chicken bones of the meat and skin and thus the flavor wasn’t as pronounced as I would have hoped. Also, 1 pound of wing tips?? That’s a lot of tips! ;)

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Yep, you definitely want to leave the skin and meat on the chicken. The skin and cartilage is where this soup gets it’s creaminess from which is why there are so many chicken wing tips in it. For the creamiest soup it would be best to only use chicken wingtips, but since bones are cheaper/easier to find, I did a mix for the recipe.

  • Helen Liu

    marc, your recipes are inspiring and always beautifully presented. thank you for sharing with us! question here….do you think this recipe could be adapted for a slow cooker?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Helen thanks for your comment! There are some things that slow cookers are good at (like tenderizing tough cuts of meat). But making stock is not one of them. Ramen stock in particular requires a relatively aggressive simmering action in order to keep the collagen and fat emulsified with the stock (it’s what gives the stock richness). A slow cooker simply doesn’t get hot enough.

  • George

    Marc, i have nothing but to thank you. Your recipe is very good, so is the way you explain everything.Question:For a starter cook that wants to start with Japanese food,what would you consider right to start with?.
    I can see that you say that to make this Ramen stock you must be a fast or experienced cooker.

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  • Lily

    Hi! I want to make this for my friend, but he is allergic to soy milk. Is there any substitute for soy milk in this recipe?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      The purpose of the soymilk is to give the soup richness and body, so you could try adding a smaller quantity of cream.

  • Marisa S.

    I absolutely love your work! Beautiful blog. My favorite cuisine…I am so glad I found a blog that makes broths/stocks the way they’re really supposed to be made :)

  • Jess Prabawa Hudaya

    Daaammnn! U are genius! I plan to open ramen shop in indonesia, because its booming now in jakarta. Many japanese open original ramen shop in here this year, such as ikkousha hakat ramen, tokyo tabushi, santouka, etc. Its so frustating to find the right flavor, but ur idea to put soy milk instead ordinary milk plus addimg wingtips, really really save me! Big thnxxxxxx

  • Eve

    Marc – great blog! Question about the soy milk: is there a specific brand or type that you use? In many Asian supermarkets, there are so many different choices-Korean, Chinese, Japanese soy milk are each slightly different and some are sweeter than others…

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Great question! Personally I like Japanese soy milk because it doesn’t taste like soy milk. It’s creamy with just a hint of sweetness and a mild soy flavor. Here’s a photo of the brand I use. It’s on the right hand side of the photo:

  • Rossy

    Hi Marc,

    thanks for your recipe! I did it yesterday was simply delicious and caramelized scallion oil was great! I follow you from Italy I’ve tried many of yours japanese recipes:amazing! thanks again

  • Ciara Troy

    Hi Marc, I am a massive fan of Japanese cuisine, especially ramen at this time of year! I love your recipes and your passion for the food. Lately I’ve been trying to make a vegetarian miso ramen but I just can’t seem to get the depth of flavour that comes from using katsuo / pork / chicken stock…Have you any ideas as to what I should try? My email is or perhaps you could post a message if you have a minute? Thanks a lot

  • David Torrey Peters

    Hi Marc,

    I have had a hard time getting chicken wing tips without all of the chicken wing also attached, and I just don’t need that many chicken wings. However, the store near my house sells chicken feet. From what I can tell from reading on the web, chicken feet are also high in collagen, with all the skin and joints. So in your opinion, do you think I could substitute chicken feet? Thanks so much!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi David, honestly I’ve never cooked with chicken feet, so I’m really not sure how it would work. It should have a lot of collagen, but I’m not sure how much flavor you’d get out of them. Perhaps you can try using a mix of whole chicken wings with chicken feet? If you do try it, let us know how it goes.

  • Kakashi Hatake

    is there any alternative of soy milk to use in making ramen ?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      You could replace it with water and it will just be a lighter ramen. If you’re allergic to soy though you’re also going to have to substitute the soy sauce though and I don’t really have a good substitute for that.

      • Kakashi Hatake

        i am not really allergic to soy but i don’t like soy milk .any better alternative of soy milk ?

        • Marc Matsumoto

          If you use good soy milk you shouldn’t really be able to taste it in the soup. That said you could just use water and make a lighter style ramen. I don’t think regular milk will work very well as it will probably make it too rich.

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  • ahmed rawat

    hi mark just wondering is there a subtitute for the ramen noodles

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Ahmed, I’m not sure what you’re asking? If you’re asking if you can use another kind of noodle, then I don’ t see why not. If you’re asking if there’s another type of noodle similar to ramen, that you can use, then no, there isn’t. Why not make your own ramen noodles?

      • ahmed rawat

        thanks a mill for your advice marc

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  • Joe

    Hi Marc, do you know how long it would take to cook the stock without a pressure cooker? Is it feasible without or will I need one?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      I like using a pressure cooker because your stock is done 3x faster and I feel it does a better job of extracting flavor from the bones. That said you can do it without a pressure cooker by increasing the cooking time by 3x. You’ll probably need to add more water along the way as you’ll have more evaporation happening due to the longer cooking time.

  • Michael Allen

    I look forward to trying this recipe out! However, I’m in the market for my first stock pot… I just picked up a small one that’s only 5 3/4 quarts. Is this too small for this stock? In general I’d only be serving 2 people tops, but substantial (2+ servings) leftovers would be ideal. Also, how much room should I leave from the brim of the stock pot when filled to it’s maximum capacity?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Michael, I like having a smaller 4-5 quart pot around for boiling pasta and such, but typically tend to use bigger pots when making stock. 10 quarts might be excessive for 2 people, but you might want to consider a bigger pot if you’re going to be making stock on a regular basis. I usually make a big batch once or twice a month and freeze it. That said this recipe should be fine in your pot. As for the room you need from the brim there’s no rule (unless you’re using a pressure cooker), but you wouldn’t want to fill it so high it boils over.

      • Michael Allen

        I appreciate the quick and thoughtful reply – it answered all my questions perfectly. I look forward to trying many new recipes of yours over the coming weeks!

  • Johanna

    Hi Marc! I love this recipe! I’ve made it a few times and it’s become one of the household favourites, though I’ve run into a problem.

    Usually when making this, I’d use fairly low quality wings from a supermarket but this time I thought I’d make a special one and bought organic from the butchers. I’ve simmered it for 6 hours and it seems like the stock doesn’t have as much body and flavour as before. Have you had similar experiences varying the quality of the wings?

    Thanks for all the wonderful dinners!


    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Johanna, wow that’s really odd. The only thing I can think of is that if they chickens were free range they probably got a lot more exercise which means they may have had a lower fat content than the regular wings. My guess though is that your stock is going to taste better as muscles that get more exercise have more flavor. The soy milk should add some body to the soup, so I’d be curious to hear back on how the finished ramen turned out. If it still doesn’t have enough richness, you could try and ask your butcher for some extra chicken skin to throw into the soup the next time you do it with the organic wings.

  • Iwan Bom Widjaja

    Hi Marc, I haven’t try the recipe yet. But reading your recipe about how to made scallion oil is giving me a new technique about how to made a tasty oil for flavoring the noodle. Thank you very much Marc

  • Gordon

    Hi Marc, thanks for this! Just wondering, but do you have any idea how Tenkaippin makes their kotteri broth so thick? I found a few recipes on cookpad that claim to reproduce it but haven’t had a chance to try any of them yet.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Gordon, I’be never been to tenkaipin so I can’t really say, but some Internet searching seems to indicate they use a pork (not chicken) based broth. That would explain the richness as pork broths are usually made with fat, marrow and cartilage rich bones. See my tonkotsu post for more on a pork based ramen broth.

      • Gordon

        Thanks for the reply, Marc. Actually it is a chicken broth, but somehow they get it really thick like a gravy. It’s wonderful and I highly recommend you try it in Japan sometime. This video gives you an idea of the consistency.

        • Marc Matsumoto

          Hi Gordon, it’s hard to say without having ever tried it, but typically the way richness is added to any ramen stock is by adding fat and collagen. If it is 100% chicken broth (may ramen’s use a blend), it’s probably made by using lots of chicken skin (which is high in both collagen and fat). That’s the only thing I can think off without adding some kind of starch to thicken it, which I doubt. Hope that helps.

    • Tristan Leterrier

      here’s one of the best ramen recipes website l have ever found. it features a tenkaippin like recipe and that l think is very close to the original one.
      the problem is it’s all in japanese so it can be a problem if you want to recreate it
      l have tried some of them and always got good results

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  • Lucy

    I made this for dinner the other night. My boyfriend has Celiac and is weirded out by seaweed, so I made a couple of modifications.)

    For cleaning the chicken – I found it easier to put the raw meat/bones in a pot of cold water, bring the water to a boil, dump out the hot water, then run the individual chicken pieces under hot water. I didn’t have any weird scum floating to the top of the pot, so I guess I did it right. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Lucy, that’s the technique I use with pork for pork based ramen, but the problem with the chicken wingtips is that they’re so thin, if you boil them first, you end up losing a lot of flavor, which is why I usually just pour boiling water over the wings.

  • Priscilla

    Hi Marc,
    I always love to read your stories behind every dish you make, it makes the dish very special! =) Keep it up!

    Do you think chicken feet will have more collagen/cartilage that the wing tips?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Priscilla, I’m glad to hear you enjoy the stories:-) as for chicken feet they’ll have a ton of collagen, but probably not as much fat as the wing tips, which is why I used the wingtips instead of feet. Still, if that’s all you can get, they should work.

  • H. Wong

    Hi Marc
    Thanks for this recipe – its awesome! I made this ramen today with some modifications. I used a mixture of wingtips, bones and chicken feet. Whilst the chicken feet imparted a strong chicken flavour, it wasn’t rich/fatty enough. Next time, I’m going to go all the way and make this with wingtips, bones and leftover chicken skin. Instead of simmering the stock continuously over a flame, I did the following: after 1.5 hours on a flame I switched to a slow cooker, left it overnight and then returned it to the stove for another 2 hours to thicken the base. After it came out from the slow cooker the soup base came out intensely chicken-y. Not sure if that was the intended result but twas delicious anyway!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Glad to hear it! It should be intensely chicken-y though I usually don’t recommend making ramen stock in a slow cooker. The agitation involved in a constant simmer keeps the fat and collagen emulsified with the soup, giving it body and richness. If you do it in a slow cooker, I’d imagine you had a fair amount of fat that separated out on top?

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  • R. Sheldon

    Hi Marc,
    I love reading your recipes! I’ve been pursuing a perfect homemade ramen bowl for a few months now, and I find that a lot of the time my broth is much darker than the broths I see in ramen shops and on your blog. I’m thinking it might be the bone marrow, because my pork and chicken broths taste similar, despite my best efforts to clean the bones. Does that sound right? have you ever experienced this? Thanks!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Sheldon, it’s usually the blood that causes brohs to get darker. For chicken ramen, you could try increasing the amount of wing tips , which is what gives chicken ramen it’s creamy color. As for pork, the marrow is important as the fat from the marrow is what gives the soup it’s richness. Honestly as long as you feel the taste is good, I wouldn’t get too hung up on the color. — Sent from Mailbox for iPad

  • Sanya

    I haven’t gotten the chance to make the chicken stock from scratch yet, but the recipe you posted has been the base for countless delicious ramen dinners in my house. I can’t thank you enough!

  • SixAces

    I’ve been on a ramen cooking craze as of late, I would love to give this recipe a shot. I’ve managed to borrow a pressure cooker which I’ve never used before, so what kind of heat do I cook it over? Do I want the contents inside to be constantly at a stage of rolling boil?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi SixAces, the way a pressure cooker works is that it uses the steam created by the liquid inside to increase the pressure within the cooker. This in turn increases the boiling temperature which allows you to cook foods at higher temperatures higher than 100 degrees C. So to answer your question, you need to have enough heat as to maintain pressure inside the cooker, but you don’t want it so high that the cooker fails (modern cookers have multiple safeties to prevent this from happening). How do you know if the pressure is too high? Some cookers have a gauge with a safety range indicated. If yours doesn’t have a gauge you can go based on sound. If it’s whistling violently the pressure is too high. If it’s not whistling at all, it’s too low. You can adjust the pressure by turning the heat up or down.

      • SixAces

        Thanks for the pressure cooker tips, I’ve successfully made a batch of broth/soup. A quick question, do most tori paitan ramens use soy as a “thickener” for their broths?

        • Marc Matsumoto

          Hi SixAces, nope it’s not very common, in fact I’ve never heard of anyone doing this. It’s just how I do mine to get it extra creamy.

  • sandz

    Hi Marc, thankyou so much for this autentic ramen recipe.. it really helps me alot since i can’t eat pork.. but i have some questions, is there any subtitution for sesame oil?.. does the sesame oil affect the overal taste that much?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Sandz, the sesame oil is there for flavor, so to answer your question, leaving it out or substituting it will change the taste. That said, lately I’ve been preferring to use the chicken fat from the soup instead of sesame oil. Toasted sesame oil can have a strong flavor, so I’ve found that using the chicken fat let’s the chicken flavor really come out while adding richness to the soup.

      • sandz

        brilliant!!.. using the leftover fat, i’ve never thought that before.. this’s in my must to do list now.., thanks alot Marc

  • Da Niel

    hi ;) mr. marc. very nice article ;)

  • sparx10

    Hi ive been wanting to try ramen recipes like this one..its a shame that pork ramen is beoming so popular that chicken is not used as much..well id like to know two things. About menma adding flavour and why sesame seeds are ground to make the dish? I’m a beginner but I’ve cooked noodles from rice vermicelli to soba noodles. If you do know id be glad to hear your response! Thank you.

  • Nick

    Just finished this recipe after 4.5 hours of cooking (no pressure cooker), dang that broth is gold. It’s super rich even without any salt added. Can’t wait to make some soup now!

  • Andy

    Would it be better if you used chicken feet instead of chicken tips? Doesn’t feet have more collagen? Also what would happen if you pressure cooked the broth for 3 hours or more instead of 1.5 hours? Would the broth be richer tasting because of the collagen conversion?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Andy, are you unhappy with the richness of the stock? You could certainly try it with feet, but wing tips provide plenty of collagen and I think they’ll provide more flavor to the broth because they have some muscle tissue. As for the time, 1.5 hours under full pressure is plenty. When making a stock, longer is better only up to a certain point. If you over do it you’ll give your stock a musty taste like canned meat. I’ve actually been reducing the time to 1 hour lately because that’s plenty of time to make the bones brittle and the collagen fully dissolve. To fully incorporate the collagen, use a whisk on the stock before straining. You can see more on this technique here:

      • Andy

        Thanks for the tips! I will try it! I was curious because whenever I read about pork Tokotsu Ramen, restaurants and recipes claim to boil the bones for over 12 hours, some as much as 30 hours! I assume they do this to extract as much collagen as possible. Do you think they are overdoing it? I know for your Tokotsu recipe you pressure cooke for 1.5 hours. Do you think it would be better at 4 or 5 hours?

        • Marc Matsumoto

          Hi Andy, Tonkotsu ramen is made with pork bones, which are much larger and more dense than chicken bones. That’s why you need to cook them for longer. Also, the 12-30 hours numbers you’re stating are assuming they’re cooked without pressure. Pressure cookers cook food 3-4 times faster, so you’d actually be looking at much shorter cooking times using a pressure cooker. In my experience with pork bones cut in half, 1.5 hours in a pressure cooker has been enough, which is why I wrote the recipe that way. If you disagree, feel free to change the times.

  • Sai Waluga

    I don’t have a pressure cooker, can I use normal pot instead? In that case how long I should boil it?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Sai, you can use a regular pot, but you’ll probably need to add water as the cooking times will be 3-4 times longer. Basically you want to cook the bones until you can break one of the thicker bones in half fairly easily.

      • Sai Waluga

        Thanks for the answer :) I will try this recipe and chicken chashu recipe next week, will let u know how they go. Happy Easter!! :)

  • nausa

    hi, if i want to make similiar broth to tonkotsu but still can’t eat pork can i use beef bone instead?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Nausa, chicken will give you a closer taste to tonkotsu than beef. You can also get the same creaminess as tonkotsu by using wing tips as recommended in this recipe.

      • nausa

        i see, thaks a lot for the tips


I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!