Easy Weeknight Ramen
Cold weather and busy work days sometimes make it a bit hard to get a fast dinner ready on a week night. This fast soup is the perfect remedy! I take your typical store bought 25 cent ramen packet, toss out the weird ‘chicken’ flavor packet, and dress it up using homemade chicken stock, real protein, fresh veggies, and a soft cooked egg 😛
My results are this super yummy ramen, and you can watch me make every step in this video:
Confession time: I love those super cheep weirdly flavored ramen noodle packets. I always have.
A few years ago after tasting restaurant ramen for the first time, I decided to try it at home using some chicken broth and the noodles. While the first time I did this (using a thin store bought canned broth) was not much to be excited about, I saw the potential of how much better ramen could be! I spent a few years in my mid twenties perfecting and building the *homemade chicken stock* recipe my mom taught me, and guess what? It turns out that a super rich chicken stock is the most necessary part of this recipe.
The optional part of the broth recipe is adding ginger. I sometimes feel like having that extra zest of asian inspired flair, and when I do my preferred way to make the addition is using the pre-measured frozen crushed ginger cubes. They are easy to find in my local stores (Kroger/Trader Joes/Whole Foods Market). Each cube is 1 teaspoon and I would recommend 1-2 teaspoons of the crushed ginger per serving, so two to four cubes depending on how much gingery zest you want to add.
Adding protein, aka meat and or eggs, are absolute must haves for ramen if you ask me! I’ve said it before, but pork belly is one of my FAVORITE meats to make! I don’t yet have an updated ‘sous vide’ pork belly recipe ready to share (coming soon) but here is my traditional dry brine *basic pork belly roast* recipe I shared last year.
Not mentioned in the video, but a great alternative to the pork belly would be some sliced (or shredded) chicken–either a freshly cooked breast or yesterdays *roasted spatchcock chicken* leftovers would work well!
In my case, the soft boiled ramen eggs are one of my favorite parts of the dish. The creamy, barely cooked yolk makes ramen feel so rich and indulgent, even if I use a less fatty meat (or no meat at all)! What I like is essentially a ‘six minute egg.’ You make it by boiling water, gently adding your egg to said boiling water, turning the heat down, then removing the eggs from the water at the six minute mark. If you have a joule sous vide, there is a super great preset for a perfect soft boiled egg! Pro-tip on de-shelling the egg: crack the shell then remove the shell pieces under cold running water.
I always add either chopped green onions or finely shaved onions (mandolin) when I make ramen.
Other veggies for me are super optional when it comes to ramen.
If you want to use this as a way to increase the veggies you are consuming, here are a few asian inspired ideas of what you can add!
- carrots, shredded or julienne
- sliced mushrooms
- nori (seaweed paper) cut into strips
- greens, such as spinach, kale, or bok choy
Now the big question of the day: what does it mean to Sous Vide? This is a precision cooking method where you seal your food to be cooked in plastic vacuum sealed bags, submerge said bag in a water bath, and cook gently at very precise temperatures for specified amounts of time. Essentially it is like a really precise and super fancy version of a slow cooker.
A really nice benefit of using a sous vide, especially with a steak, is the wider window of time the meat is fully cooked without being over done. For example, a steak on the stove or grill has only a few minutes where the meat is perfectly cooked, before going ‘over.’ With a sous vide however, you schedule to cook time and temperature based on desired doneness, and have often an entire hour past ‘done’ that the steak can stay in the sous vide before it goes ‘over.’
Before you think I am a sous vide master (I’m not) I’ll give you my secret: I use a Joule Sous Vide that comes with a pretty sweet app that lets me pick my preferred doneness then calculates the time and temperatures for me. And most importantly, it sends me alert messages so it is basically impossible to screw up!
My sous vide was also a great reason to ask for a kitchen blow torch for Christmas!
Easy Weeknight Ramen (measured for two generous filling portions)
- 2 Packets Ramen Noodles
- 1 Quart *Homemade Chicken Stock*
- I love *Pork Belly* here, Chicken Breast also works really well
- 2 Soft cooked eggs
- Green Onion/shaved onions a must
- other asian inspired veggies (such as julienne carrots/sliced mushrooms/spinach/kale/bok choy/nori) are super optional
- Grated Ginger (optional)
- Sesame Seeds for topping
- Gather all desired ingredients, put a pot of water on to boil
- Warm chicken stock on stove
- Add eggs to water once boiling, turn heat down, set timer for six minutes
- Clean and slice green onions, remove seasoning packets from ramen
- Final prep of meat, if sous vide, finish by blow torch/broil/sauté then cut into bite size slices
- Add ramen noodles to boiling chicken stock
- If using, add ginger while noodles are cooking
- De-shell egg by cracking shell then peel shell under cold running water
- Assemble final bowl: noodles first, broth, add protein & veggies, then top with sesame seeds
- My favorite step: ENJOY!