If I were to list out all the words that describe my mission over here (plant-powered, convenient, practical, approachable), I would say this recipe epitomizes all of those things. Today we are making ramen in just 20 minutes!
I'm not sure if it's like this everywhere but ramen has become uber popular in Denver over the last few years. There are more and more super delicious restaurants popping up (like Uncle and Ototo, and more recently Izakaya Ronin which I still haven't made it to quite yet although I'm dying to go). I have to admit I was a little skeptical of these places at first because I always associated ramen with the cup o' noodles from college.
But wow, authentic ramen is so very different. The broth is typically simmered for hours until it develops this rich and complex flavor, then combined with those chewy ridged noodles and any additional flavors toppings that your heart desires. In general most of the versions I have tried keep things simple with some miso, maybe a bit of pork belly, some thinly sliced green onions and that perfectly jammy egg.
THAT EGG though. Let's talk more about that. No matter what combination you choose, I feel like the 6-minute egg is a must-have in this situation. Thanks to Bon Appetit, I was able to successfully make one here and it was actually really easy.
Now I'm going to be real with you, in typical fashion, I wanted to come up with a shortcut version so you could enjoy this without spending hours in the kitchen. This is by no means an authentic recipe. I actually stole (borrowed?) this idea from my husband who took an instant pack of noodles and doctored it up with everything we had in the fridge that seemed to make sense. How brilliant husbands are sometimes. The result is this happy medium between the restaurant-quality stuff and the boring noodles from your dorm room.
I know what some of you might be thinking - instant ramen, really? But I was pleasantly surprised to find that the available options are much improved and most actually have a really basic ingredients list. I also added some special ingredients to make it feel a little bit gourmet, like shiitake mushrooms, kimchi, and cilantro. This brand of noodle pictured above is the one I tried and the flavor is really nice. There are a few different varieties available, but I went with the mushroom and here's what the ingredients list looks like:
Noodles | organic heirloom wheat flour, sea salt
Broth packet | Shoyu powder, miso powder, kombu powder, shiitake mushroom powder, shiitake mushrooms, onion powder, sea salt, green onion, garlic powder, ginger powder, black pepper
I can get down with all of that! I initially tried to make my own broth too but it was hard to replicate that rich flavor in so little time, so instead I ended up enhancing the packet instead, which worked like a charm. I used one of the packets for two portions of noodles to cut down on the extra saltiness a bit. You can always add more later if you want!
In case you were wondering, kimchi is fermented and seasoned cabbage/vegetables, a staple in Korean cuisine, and you can find it in most grocery stores now so don't let it intimidate you. You will be amazed at how often you make a dish that needs a little something extra and kimchi works like a charm to fill that void. Just make sure to check the spice level first because the hot ones are no joke for the non-spicy loving people out there.
This is a quick and simple version of the classic comfort food. Perfect for a cold, rainy Spring day or the ultimate sick-day meal. Customize it based on your own taste preferences and let me know what you came up with by tagging me on Instagram at @LeanneRayRDN and using the hashtag #SpiceUpYourCookingGame!
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
- 5 oz package shiitake mushrooms
- 2, 2 oz packages ramen noodles
- 2 eggs
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup kimchi
- 2 Tbsp cilantro, minced
- optional: 1 Tbsp sriracha