Like you, my favorite food in the entire world is ramen (from the ancient Japanese word “ramen” meaning “more sodium per teaspoon than an entire livestock salt block”). Unfortunately, like almost every delicious thing humans actually enjoy eating, it is extremely unhealthy for you when consumed in its most popular form: pre-packaged block of ramen with a “flavor packet” of dehydrated broth dust and enough salt to tan several mammoth hides.
Good news for all you ramen loving folks* because I (e.g. my wife) have devised a way to make ramen kinda, sorta from scratch at home that is far healthier than the pre-packaged alternative which is known to sometimes cause heart attacks to occur in anyone standing within a three foot radius of a single pack. Also good news, is that unlike every other recipe you find online I’m not going to preface this recipe with a 2,000 word long rambling preamble about my personal ramen experiences, the entire history of ramen, or why I think ramen should be the official food of Mars once we establish a colony there. I’m just going to get right to it.
STUFF YOU NEED
1) Ramen noodles. This should be pretty obvious, but you may not have been aware until the end of this sentence that you can buy just ramen noodles all by themselves. Here in the Haley Test Kitchen we’ve used two brands of ramen, Simply Asia Ramen Noodles and Lotus Foods Rice Ramen, with the Simply Asia Ramen Noodles being our currently preferred.
2) Broth. Here’s where we kick the “less lethal” aspect of this recipe into high gear. Unlike the “flavor packets” in packaged ramen which contain 1% flavor and 99% pure sodium, instead buy unsalted or lower sodium liquid broth. My favorite these days is unsalted beef broth.
3) Other stuff. Here’s where you can get creative by adding other stuff to your ramen. Remember, we’re trying to be healthy here so think of adding things to your ramen like vegetables and not chili cheese fries. An easy way to add vegetables is to use frozen mixed vegetables. If you want to get really fancy you can add thinly sliced beef, kimchi, or a Fabergé egg.
4) Spices. As delicious as broth alone is, it can always benefit from a bit of spicing up. Some good spices to use are black pepper, tons of salt, onion flakes, oregano, and dried red peppers, but feel free to add whatever your favorite spices are, this is a free country after all!**
WHAT YOU DO WITH ALL THE STUFF
1) Pour enough broth into a sauce pan.
2) Add spices and extra stuff (vegetables or chili cheese fries) to broth.
3) Bring broth to a boil on high heat.
4) Add in ramen noodles and turn heat down to medium.
5) Cook until ramen is no longer the consistency of fiberglass.
*Everyone on Earth.
**If you’re reading this in North Korea please consult the official DPRK List of Recommended Spices for Success of Health and Excellent Way of Doing Life.
Bowl of delicious ramen image from Dreamstime Stock Photos.