Hey does anyone else have a lot of trouble getting out of bed and feeding themselves sometimes? Yeah me too. BUT I’ve basically gotten the cheap, easy, fast ramen thing down to a T by this point and thought I’d share it with you guys. It can be made very easily for any type of diet, including gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian.
Time: Will vary depending on your ingredients, but at minimum it’ll take about 5-10 minutes.
For just a soup base+noodles, you will need:
A package of cheap-ass ramen noodles - throw away the seasoning packet or save it to use with something else. Buy in bulk if you don’t want to go to the store every time you want noodles. If you’re gluten-free, get rice noodles or another gluten-free option.
Miso paste - I got mine for about $3, and it lasts for a very long time in the fridge. Pro tip: it’s cheaper at an Asian grocery store or market if you have access to one.
Stock cube/paste - around $2 at my local grocery store. I went for low-sodium chicken stock cubes, but you use your preferred type.
Water - about 2-3 cups for one portion depending on how big your bowl is. Remember, if you’re adding in extras, the liquid level will rise. I’ve made that mistake way too many times.
If you want extras, some good options to mix and match at your preference/budget/convenience are
Bean sprouts - super cheap at the grocery store. Just throw a handful in and call it a day. I like mine to still be a little crunchy so I do it in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
Snow peas - ditto to the bean sprouts. Extras can be frozen.
Onion - I typically use half or a quarter of a white onion cut into thin slices, and tossed in the broth asap because I like it a bit more tender. Freeze the rest if you’re not going to be using it within the next few days.
Green onion/scallions - 1-2 will be good for one portion. Slice in thin disks, or on an angle if you’re fancy. Also you can use both the tops (green) and the bottoms (white), but that’s to your preference. I typically use these as a garnish, but you can add them in whenever you’d like.
Bok/pak choi - one of my favorite vegetables in the entire world. It can be found in most grocery stores nowadays, but is much cheaper at an Asian market if you have access to one. Cut off the very bottom part and then cut the pieces in half length-wise. Throw them in at the beginning if you like them softer, or in the last 3 minutes if you still want them a bit crunchy.
Spinach - just chuck in a handful whenever. Spinach can also be used frozen and is often cheaper to either buy it already frozen, or buy fresh in bulk and store it in your freezer to have forever. Get those vitamins!
Shredded carrot - you may not have the time/energy to shred carrots. Buy the pre-shredded kind and freeze whatever you have left over.
Corn - use frozen.
Mushrooms - slice thinly or buy pre-sliced. Add to broth toward the beginning.
Tofu - silken tofu is usually the best option for this, but use whatever it is you have/can afford. Cut into small cubes and add whenever you’d like.
Chicken - use leftover cooked chicken to add to your soup or slice a raw chicken breast thinly and poach it at a gentle simmer in the broth for 7-10 minutes or until it is white and opaque. It does take a little extra time, but you don’t actually have to do anything while it cooks and this will add extra flavor. Pre-marinated chicken is good for this as well (look for “Asian” flavors like soy, sesame, ginger, garlic, chili, etc.). Again, more expensive or time-consuming if you’re marinating it yourself, but it’s up to you.
Shrimp - use pre-cooked frozen shrimp to save time and just dump in a handful. Buy the frozen stuff in bulk. Or, like with the chicken, poach raw shrimp in the broth until they are pink and opaque.
Garlic - either use a garlic crusher if you have it or just toss in thin slices into the pan with a little bit of veg or sesame oil for about 2 minutes, before you add your liquid. I buy pre-crushed frozen garlic that comes in little cubes and just pop them straight into whatever I’m cooking. There’s also that pre-crushed/chopped garlic in a paste or little jars. The pre-prepared stuff is more expensive than just buying bulbs of garlic BUT it will last you a while and saves a lot of time and energy.
Ginger - same as the garlic.
Chilis - chopped into thin disks. Take out the seeds and white part inside the chili if you don’t like it too spicy. Add as a garnish or into the broth if you like it a little spicier.
Hot sauce - use your favorite brand.
Chili oil - I got mine for about $1.50 and it’s a must-have for me in my soup. I drizzle a couple teaspoons on top when my soup is all done.
Soy sauce - light or dark soy is fine. Add as much or as little as you like.
Sesame oil - this is quite strong, so a little goes a long way. Use about a teaspoon.
Fish sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine/mirin/sake - these are great flavors but may be a bit harder to find and tend to be a little more expensive. Use about 1-2 teaspoons if you have it.
Cilantro - throw the stalks into your broth and strain them out afterward or just use the leaves as a garnish.
Lemon or lime - a squeeze to taste.
Sesame seeds - sprinkle on top.
Like I said, all the above ingredients are simply suggestions. It’s up to you to decide what you want, what you have the time and energy for, and what you can afford. This is just to show you the range of options.
Prep whatever ingredients you’re using (slice/chop/take out of freezer). If you’re not using any, just go to step 2.
Bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil. If you have an electric kettle, this will make the process much quicker.
Add in your stock cube and miso paste and cook for about 2 minutes until they dissolve. You may want to stir a couple times just to help it along.
Add in whatever vegetables/protein/additional flavorings above suit your fancy and cook to your liking.
Add noodles and cook for 3 minutes.
Put food in bowl. Don’t worry about making it pretty. Garnish as you like.
Put food in mouth.
Put any leftover soup you may have into a tupperware or thermos and take it to work/school the next day. Or save it for 3-4 days in the fridge and heat it up when you’re hungry.
Another pro tip: you can make the soup base in bulk and freeze whatever you don’t use. when you want soup but don’t want to go through the whole process again, stick the frozen soup in the microwave/melt in a pot on the stove, bring to a boil, add in your noodles/extras and you’re good to go.
Spontaneously made ramen the other night for the first time, and it was too bomb not to share. Recipe as follows:
- cook around 100g dry ramen or soba noodles + drain and set aside
- in a large saucepan put 3 cups of water, 1tsp veg stock, some crushed garlic, 1tbsp tamari sauce, some chilli flakes (add more or less depending on how spicy you want it) and some crushed ginger. Bring to the boil.
- reduce heat a little (medium-high) and add pak choy stems to the water for 3 mins (I used a small pak choy)
- add pak choy leaves & spring onion to the water and reduce heat a little more (around medium-low) for 3 mins or until pak choy tender
- add cooked ramen/soba noodles and stir together for 3 mins
- whilst soup is cooking, pan fry some tofu in tamari, 1tsp blackstrap molasses or coco sugar & some sesame seeds in a pan on the side.
- once everything’s done, pour noodle soup into a big bowl and add tofu on top. Enjoy!👌
2 Ingredient Egg Drop Soup (For When You're Struggling But Don't Wanna Eat Like You're Struggling)
photo by Ashley Reed
Prep: 5 minutes, tops Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Recipe Time: 13 mufuggin’ minutes, my g
1 package of ramen (technically you can use any flavor but don’t be that fucking creep who makes it with like beef or something, just use a chicken one) 1 Egg
1 pot 1 utensil to stir your noodles with
How To Actually Make This Shit:
1) Fill your pot up halfway with water, and bring to boil on the stove.
2) Add your noodles, then add the packet of seasoning. Cook to your liking. I like my noodles to cook to a kind of clear-ish color, but I guess if you’re one of those weirdos who eats them right after they get soft when they’re still white and puffy that’s straight, too.
3) Take a moment to pause and reflect on your blessings. Play some Yung Thug. If ramen and eggs is your only dinner option, you probably need some happiness in your life.
4) Crack an egg into a bowl. (Technically, you can skip this part if you feel like you’re G enough at cooking to evenly distribute the whole egg in the pot of noodles. Good luck not dropping in any eggshell pieces.)
5) Pour the bowl of egg over your boiling pan of noodles. You should see white lil’ tendril-y things start floating up - that’s your egg white cooking.
6) Cook for about 60-90 more seconds, depending on how firm you like your eggs.
7) Pour that shit into a huge bowl, or if you wanna be economical (which you prolly should if you’re eating ramen) pour half into tupperware container for later and eat the rest.
It serves two, so I guess your struggle ass and whoever else is tryna eat with you.
To make the sauce, just take all those things and combine them in a small bowl. Taste it, if you want to add any more of any of the ingredients, fuckin go for it you ho, I don’t own you.
Boil some water, add salt into it and boil the noodles for a little over 1-2 minutes. If your noodles are dried packaged thingies, boil them for about 4 minutes or until they are al dente.
Take your vegetables and about half of your chopped chives, already sliced, and mix them together in a bowl, coating them in some sesame oil, black pepper, and salt. Heat up a large pan on a stove and drizzle a little sesame oil onto there once it’s insanely hot.
Add the veggies onto the pan and cook them until they’re limpish. Once that’s happened, add the ramen and the sauce and, using two tongs, toss that shit like a salad.
Once it’s almost done, taste one of the noodles to see if it’s cooked to your liking. Add some salt or pepper if you want.
Then add the katsuoboshi. Toss more. Afterwards, add the rest of the chives and toss again. After it’s done, place it in a bowl and top it with some seaweed flakes, some more chopped chives, and some pickled red ginger.
AND THERE YOU HAVE IT NERDS. YOU JUST MAKE YAKISOBA.WOW. ARE YOU PROUD BECAUSE YOU TOTES SHOULD BE BROTHA.
Now you best be making this yakisoba and enjoying it with your moeblob bandmembers okay? okay.
A sign of the obsession with food that my girlfriend and I share is that one of the principal reasons for choosing a duck for Christmas lunch was it would mean having duck ramen the following day.
As we ate the roast duck (more on that in a future post) we were already talking about the ramen to come. It all started with a duck ramen we ate back at a Grub Club event in October – that one was rich and full of aniseed, garnished with Thai basil. This one was more subtle and savoury, topped off with garlic oil.
I’m going to assume you’re starting with a roast duck. If not, you can remove the duck breasts and roast the carcass and legs to get to the same starting point, and then grill the duck breasts before you serve. You’ll also need vegetable dashi (or a really good, non-salty vegetable or chicken stock), two stalks of lemongrass, three star anise, two slices of root ginger, noodles, pak choi, garlic, shallots, vegetable oil, sesame seeds, eggs, spring onion, coriander, shiitake mushrooms, beansprouts and coriander (cilantro).
The base: Strip as much meat and skin off the carcass as possible, keeping the skin and meat separate. Cover the bones with water, add three sticks of celery, and a sliced onion. Gentle simmer for three hours and allow to cool. Remove the bones, picking off more meat. Allow the stock to settle, and skim off most of the fat from the top. You want to leave small dots of fat across the top, as this will help the soup stick to the noodles. Strain the stock through some muslin. Taste and add some vegetable dashi to add savoury depth to the broth, and six shiitake mushrooms, with the lemongrass, star anise and ginger. Heat gently but keep just below boiling point.
Garlic Oil: Peel and smash up two shallots and three cloves of garlic in a pestle and mortar. Add a good tablespoon of sesame seeds and pound some more. Tip this into a small saucepan and cover with vegetable or groundnut oil. Heat this and fry off very gently for five minutes or so, and then add Japanese pepper (nanami togarashi) to your taste.
The contents: Blanch the pak choi (one small one per person) and refresh in cold water. Boil an egg per person for six minutes, run under the cold tap and peel. Break the meat into small pieces. Finely slice the spring onions. Rinse the beansprouts and pick the coriander leaves. Lift the mushrooms out of the soup and slice. Cook the noodles per the instructions – but make sure you time it right so that they still have bite when you drain them. Have a frying pan ready and when the noodles are in, add the chopped duck skin and fry it quickly to crisp it up.
The assembly: Before you put the noodle on, pour some boiling water into the ramen bowls to heat them up. When the noodles are about a minute away, empty and dry the bowls, and add the meat, pak choi, beansprouts, sliced mushrooms, spring onion and coriander. Drain the noodles and add them. Slice the egg in half and add this, and finally the crispy duck skin.
Finally: Ladle in the boiling soup, bringing it just up to the top of the ingredients.
Serve with the garlic sauce on the side for people to add as they wish.
This worked out really well and possibly even topped the Christmas lunch!