Richard Blais's Use-It-Up Ramen

Kombu (also called dashima or konbu) is an edible kelp popular in Japan and Korea. Bonito flakes are dried-tuna shavings (tastier than they sound!). Find them in well-stocked grocery stores, in Asian markets, or online.
use it up ramen

Recipe by Richard Blais

Recipe adapted from So Good: 100 Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours by Richard Blais; Copyright© 2017 by Richard Blais and Evan Sung. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; all rights reserved.

  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


  • 1 chicken or half a turkey carcass, broken or chopped to fit the pot
  • 1 cup chopped ham
  • 1 cup diced salami
  • 2 hot dogs or any uncooked sausages
  • 2 bunches scallions, white and light-green parts only, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • Cloves from 1 head garlic, smashed
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
  • 1 piece kombu
  • 1/4 cup bonito flakes
  • 2 qt. homemade or store-bought chicken stock, plus more if needed
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce (optional)
  • 2 cups cooked noodles (such as soba, linguine, or thin spaghetti; about 4 oz. uncooked)

To Top It Off: Ramen is way more fun when you pile it high with tasty garnishes. This list will get you started.

  • Canned Corn
  • Chili oil
  • Cooked bacon
  • Fried onions
  • Frozen peas
  • Leftover chicken, turkey, or pork
  • Leftover hot dogs
  • Nori or seaweed snacks
  • Pea shoots
  • Scallions
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Sliced bamboo shoots
  • Soft- or hard-boiled eggs
  • Thinly sliced carrots
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Togarashi (a spicy Japanese seasoning blend that typically includes chiles)


1. In a large pot, add all the ingredients listed through the chicken stock; bring to a boil. Skim any foam that rises to the surface, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, until the broth is flavorful, 2 to 3 hours, adding more stock or water, if necessary, to keep the solids covered with liquid and adjusting heat up or down to maintain a low simmer. (If using a pressure cooker, add all the ingredients listed through the chicken stock; seal and cook for 30 minutes, then proceed with the recipe.)  

2. Using a colander, strain the broth into another large pot. Discard the solids, reserving the hot dogs if they look good. Taste the broth and add the soy sauce, if needed. Divide the noodles, sliced hot dogs, and broth among shallow bowls. Add toppings as desired.