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Chicken Chashu for Ramen

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Chicken Chashu is a spin on the popular Pork Belly Chashu ramen topping. Rolled chicken thighs are pan-fried, braised in a sweet soy sauce, then left to marinade to soak in the delicious seasoning.

This is Part 2 of the Ramen at Home series for Traditional Shoyu Ramen.

Chicken Chashu is a spin on the popular Pork Belly Chashu ramen topping. Rolled chicken thighs are pan-fried, braised in a sweet soy sauce, then left to marinade to soak in the delicious seasoning. 

Chashu is a highly popular ramen topping. It is the Japanese version of the Chinese Char Siu but with a very different cooking technique. Most of the time, you’ll see Pork Belly Chashu in ramen shops all over the world, but Chicken Chashu has been rising in popularity over the past few years.

Many ramen shops in Japan now serve both chicken and pork chashu for variety. It can be enjoyed as a ramen topping, with a bowl of rice, or by itself as a snack.

This Chicken Chashu recipe is from the “Ramen at Home” cookbook by Brian MacDuckston of ramenadventures.com, and Part Two of a six-part series featuring his Traditional Shoyu Ramen recipe.

Here are the links to the rest of the posts in this series:

How to Make Chicken Chashu

You will need 1 pound of boneless, skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe. Roll the chicken thighs, skin side out, into tight rolls, and secure with cooking twine. I found it helpful to start with tying the middle first, then one on each side.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, add the chicken and brown the meat on all sides.

Chicken Chashu is a spin on the popular Pork Belly Chashu ramen topping. Rolled chicken thighs are pan-fried, braised in a sweet soy sauce, then left to marinade to soak in the delicious seasoning. 

In a large stockpot or saucepan, combine 2 1/2 cups of water, 2 cups of soy sauce, 1/2 cup of dry white wine, and 3/4 cup of sugar.

Stir to dissolve the sugar completely, then add the chicken.

Chicken Chashu is a spin on the popular Pork Belly Chashu ramen topping. Rolled chicken thighs are pan-fried, braised in a sweet soy sauce, then left to marinade to soak in the delicious seasoning. 

Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes.

This may seem like a lot of seasoning liquid but do NOT discard it as you will be using this liquid for the Menma (Seasoned Bamboo Shoots) as well as the Half-Boiled Ajitama (Seasoned Eggs). You’ll want to marinade and season everything in this liquid once you taste how delicious it is!

Chicken Chashu is a spin on the popular Pork Belly Chashu ramen topping. Rolled chicken thighs are pan-fried, braised in a sweet soy sauce, then left to marinade to soak in the delicious seasoning. 

Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. To let the flavors soak in evenly, rotate the chicken in the seasoning liquid every 10 minutes or so while it is cooling.

Alternatively, cover the top of the chicken with a heavy-duty paper towel to help the liquid evenly soak into the meat.

Chicken Chashu is a spin on the popular Pork Belly Chashu ramen topping. Rolled chicken thighs are pan-fried, braised in a sweet soy sauce, then left to marinade to soak in the delicious seasoning. 

Allow the chicken to cool to room temperature. Discard the paper towel and remove the chicken from the seasoning liquid. Don’t forget to save the seasoning liquid to use in other recipes!

Remove and discard the cooking twine. Cut the Chicken Chashu into approximately 5 mm slices.

If you won’t be using the Chicken Chashu right away, keep them stored (un-sliced) in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to a few days.

Chicken Chashu is a spin on the popular Pork Belly Chashu ramen topping. Rolled chicken thighs are pan-fried, braised in a sweet soy sauce, then left to marinade to soak in the delicious seasoning. 

Enjoy the Chicken Chashu as a ramen topping, in a bowl of rice, or by itself as a delicious snack.

Traditional Shoyu Ramen
Chicken Chashu is a spin on the popular Pork Belly Chashu ramen topping. Rolled chicken thighs are pan-fried, braised in a sweet soy sauce, then left to marinade overnight to soak in all the delicious flavors. 

Chicken Chashu

Char Ferrara
Chicken Chashu is a spin on the popular Pork Belly Chashu ramen topping. Rolled chicken thighs are pan-fried, braised in a sweet soy sauce, then left to marinade to soak in the delicious seasoning. 
4.78 from 18 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 6 bowls of ramen

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 lb chicken thighs boneless, skin-on
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups dark soy sauce Japanese
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Instructions
 

  • Roll the chicken thighs, skin-side out, into tight rolls, and secure with cooking twine.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the chicken and brown the meat on all sides.
  • In a large stockpot, combine the water, soy sauce, white wine, and sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar completely, then add the chicken. 
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. To let the flavors soak in evenly, rotate the chicken in the seasoning liquid every 10 minutes or so while it’s cooling. To make this easier, cover the top of the chicken with a heavy-duty paper towel; the paper will help the liquid evenly soak into the meat.
  • Once the chicken is cooled to room temperature, remove it from the seasoning liquid and discard the paper towels. The chicken can be cut and used immediately, or wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for a few days.

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 64mgSugar: 25g
Keyword chicken, ramen
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Chicken Chashu is a spin on the popular Pork Belly Chashu ramen topping. Rolled chicken thighs are pan-fried, braised in a sweet soy sauce, then left to marinade to soak in the delicious seasoning. This is Part 2 of the Ramen At Home feature for Traditional Shoyu Ramen.
Recipe Rating




Andrew

Tuesday 30th of January 2024

Used some Spanish dry cooking wine for this recipe and it turned out great! $3 for a big bottle and more budget friendly than a classic bottle of wine

Andrew

Tuesday 30th of January 2024

I scored the skin to try to let more flavor in, don’t do it! Made it much less visually appealing and I’m not much of a chicken skin fan but it was amazing on this chashu and wish all the pieces would’ve had skin

Cathy

Monday 14th of November 2022

Where can one find boneless chicken thighs with skin on? I've never seen them at the market. Also, once the chicken has marinaded in the sauce, how long can that same sauce be refrigerated for reuse Also, as an alternative if not making another dish soon, is it safe to freeze the marinade the chicken sat in and, if so, how long can it be frozen for? I'd think once the chicken has been marinaded in the marinade, you'd have to toss out the marinade due to exposure to meat.

Char

Sunday 20th of November 2022

Hi Cathy! I recommend asking your local butchers where to find chicken thighs with the skin on. If you're not able to find it, skinless is fine too. Since the chicken is cooked while it is marinating in the sauce, the sauce should keep for about 3 days in the fridge or a couple of months in the freezer. I hope this helps!

kris

Sunday 20th of March 2022

Thanks for sharing your recipe.

kris

Sunday 20th of March 2022

So good. Prepped and made the chicken the day before. I marinated soft boiled eggs in the liquid after the chicken came to room temp. I'm going to freeze the liquid and use it again. Should be okay? I'll report back!

Char

Saturday 26th of March 2022

Hey Kris! I'm glad you enjoyed this recipe. That should be alright. Please keep me posted! :)