Oh instant ramen, one of those embarrassing staple college foods. Want to know a secret? I still eat ramen at least twice a week! Eating ramen doesn’t have to be a depressing bowl of MSG. Over the last couple of years I have perfected my “fancy ramen” and it still goes from cold water to hot meal on your plate (or bowl) in ten minutes. (Like I literally timed it on my phone because I hate “20 minutes recipes” that end up taking 45 minutes with prep.)
I typically use Koyo Organic Ramen, which is available at Whole Foods or Amazon. Koyo is a little pricier than the cheap stuff, but at $1.50 it’s still much less than you’d pay even getting fast food. I also sometimes use Lotos Rice Ramen (I get the big packs at Costco,) but I find the texture just slightly gluey, but if you’re gluten-free I think it would be a fine substitute.
As a Stir-Fry
Bring water to a boil and cook ramen noodles according to directions on package.
While the water’s boiling and noodles are cooking, heat a teaspoon of oil in a small skillet.
Chop or grate 1-2 cloves of garlic. (Optional: ginger or shallot.)
Sauté garlic about 2 minutes, until soft and fragrant. Push to one side of pan.
Crack an egg onto the other side of pan and fry or scramble and season with salt and pepper. Push egg over with garlic.
Make it saucy. (I add approx. 1 Tbsp. Tamari soy sauce, 1 tsp. sesame oil, a very small drizzle of honey, and a squirt of gojuchang or Sriracha.)
Top it off with some crushed red pepper flakes or furikake if desired.
Even quicker than a stir fry! All I do is add some veggies while I am cooking the noodles. (Season the water with a generous pinch of kosher salt. Something like broccoli goes in about the same time as the noodles, where spinach goes in at the very last second. I also use frozen edamame or the pre-chopped kale from Trader Joe’s quite frequently. If I add an egg, I will crack into the pot about 1 minute or so after I add the noodles which gives me a medium-cooked yolk. I also sometimes make large batches of boiled eggs, in which case I will just slice and add to the soup at the end. If I have leftover steak, I like to slice it thinly and add it to the soup once it’s totally finished and in the bowl. The heat of the soup is enough to warm the meat up without overcooking it.
I always use the Koyo Ramen if I’m doing it as soup, and I find their seasoning packets not quite flavorful enough. I add a splash of soy sauce and hot sauce and boom! Done. Protein, fat, fiber, in about 5 minutes.