The Return of Ramen     

ramen 1By Morgan Mansa

Just over ten years ago, ramen noodles were a staple in my college diet. My roommate and I regularly stocked up on instant ramen by the caseload. We would brew ramen noodles in a hotpot in our dorm room while pulling an all-nighter. There were absolutely no additions to the classic preparation of instant ramen. Boil water. Add noodles. Flavor with the silver packet provided.

Today ramen has developed somewhat of a cult following. Ramen chefs elevate these minimalist noodles into gourmet entrees, competing worldwide for who has the best recipe. Ramen-focused restaurants are the latest trend in a foodie dining experience, costing up to $180 per bowl. There are even hit documentaries of food critics, scouring the streets of New York City and Tokyo to find the best bowl of ramen noodles.

Outside of pop culture trends, this Japanese noodle soup dish has been around since the early 20thcentury. Variations of the recipe depend on region and preferences but even in its most simplistic form, ramen always has noodles and broth.

ramen 2I must admit that I have also joined the ramen-loving movement. Once a month, I create what I consider “upgraded instant ramen”, which consists of instant ramen noodles topped with fresh, nutrient rich ingredients. Instead of the $0.30 pack of instant ramen noodles, I explore the instant ramen options available at local international markets. I also tend to choose the chicken flavored ramen, even if I garnish with egg, beef, shrimp, or sautéed tofu.

So, let’s bring some water to a boil and make upgraded instant ramen…

Ingredients:

1 package of instant ramen noodles
1 cup of water
3 cups of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of ginger, grated
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of celery salt
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 ½ tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of sriracha hot sauce
2 tablespoons of fresh lime/lemon juice
1 cup of baby spinach
½ cup of green onions
1 egg, hard boiled 

Directions:

  1. Fill a large pot with water and chicken stock; bring to a boil.
  1. Once boiling, add ramen noodles and all other ingredients except fresh lime/lemon juice, baby spinach, green onions, and egg.
  1. Stir occasionally for 5-8 minutes, or until noodles have softened.
  1. Taste broth and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more soy sauce, sriracha, or garlic.
  1. Turn off heat, then add baby spinach. You barely need to stir the spinach in as it will easily wilt on its own.
  1. Pour the soup into your serving bowl.
  1. Garnish your soup with green onions, egg, fresh lemon juice, and a bit more sriracha.

Enjoy!

ramen 3