It takes about 30-45 minutes to make this delicious and healthy ramen with spinach and oven baked crispy panko breaded chicken tenders. Be sure to check the notes to make the Basic Shoyu Tare Sauce ahead of time, otherwise be prepared to add a few extra minutes to your cook time.
Preheat the oven to 375 °F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and set it aside.
Season the chicken pieces with the salt and pepper.
Put the beatened egg in a shallow bowl and the panko in a separate shallow bowl.
Dunk the chicken pieces first in the egg and then in the panko, turning to make sure each piece is well coated.
Arrange the chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown, crisp on the outside, and cooked through. (It didn't look browned or crispy enough so I baked it for 3 extra minutes*)
In a pot, heat the broth over medium-high heat until simmering. (At this point in the recipe, I boil some water in another pot to cook the spinach by adding it to the boiling water and immediately taking the spinach out and then cook the noodles in the same pot according to the package)
Into each of the 4 serving bowls, put 2 tablespoons of tare. Divide the noodles among the bowls and ladle the broth over the noodles. Divide the chicken and spinach among the bowls. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of sesame oil all over each bowl and serve immediately.
Cook time: the recipe indicates that the prep time is 15 and the cook time is 15 minutes but it took me 45 minutes from start to finish, including having to maneuver around my husband who was making a side dish at the same time.
I make a half recipe of the basic shoyu tare on page 18 which yields about 1 cup: combine 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup sake, 1/4 cup mirin, and 1.5 teaspoon sugar in a small sauce pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Quickly reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature. For each recipe, use 2 tablespoons of tare (1 tablespoon if you use 1 cup of broth per person) and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
*The chicken didn't look brown enough to me so I added a few extra minutes and the chicken was cooked through and not overcooked. The next time I make it, I recommend giving the panko coated chicken a light mist of olive oil spray before baking for better browning. I also recommend using a thermometer to check that the chicken is fully cooked instead of eyeballing it.
Calorie count may vary depending on the type of noodle you use. The chicken, broth, spinach, and sesame oil (not including the ramen noodles) are approximately 310 calories total.