Dressed Up Ramen!
I had grandiose plans for today, honestly I did. My plan for this fine Sunday was to wake up early, help my mother finish moving, go visit my father and take him out for lunch, and then go home to make chicken crepes for dinner and peanut butter toffee cookies for tomorrow. It all seemed like a reasonable list of tasks and well within my reach. Out of all of these things, I accomplished #1 and #2. I woke up early as planned and got over to my mother’s house and that’s about where my grand plans ended.
I think it’s an unspoken rule or law somewhere that no matter how well you plan a move, nothing ever goes as planned and whenever you help someone, no matter how quick they say it will be, you should always count on it taking the whole day. I should know better by now, but alas, hope springs eternal. At any rate, I finally got done helping with the move 9 hours later and alas, there went my well laid plans. To that end, when I finally slogged myself to the comfort of my own home, chicken crepes and cookies were a thing of the far future. Anything requiring more than 15 minutes of cook and prep time was beyond my grasp.
So when the chips are down, the ramen comes out. Now I know a lot of people may hear “ramen” and scoff at the notion…and to be fair, I had my fair share of Maruchan chicken flavored ramen in my dorm in college (so much so that when I finally got out, I refused to even look at it for about 2 years afterwards), but what I didn’t learn until after was that with a little creativity and some patience, even the most boring bowl of ramen can become a thing of beauty and wonder. That’s right kids, you can dress up your ramen with very little effort to make it the belle of the ball full of sophistication, flavor, and pure awesomeness.
Honestly, this is sort of my go-to meal when I’m either really tired or just feeling uninspired to cook for the night. A quick forage in my fridge usually yields any number of items that are a great addition to the ramen and gives it just that extra special somethin’ somethin’. For me, I personally prefer to poach an egg in there, add some aromatics like finely sliced onions or scallions, some green roughage like chinese spinach or bok choi, and maybe some other protein if it’s available (chicken, beef, shrimp, hot dogs, whatever). The recipe I share with you below is what I made tonight, but let your imagination be your guide and don’t be afraid to throw in whatever you like!
Dressed Up Ramen
A TastyDesu creation
1 package ramen/instant noodles (I used MaMa branded Tom Yum Flavored noodles)
1/4 small onion, sliced thinly
Handful of chinese spinach, cut into bite sized pieces
1 hot dog, sliced into bite sized pieces
Bring water to boil as specified on ramen package directions over high heat. Add in seasoning packet(s). If you’re using protein such as chickn or beef, add it here and allow to cook until no longer pink. Then quickly add in your noodles and then crack the egg onto one side of the noodles so that it lands in the broth next to one side of the saucepan. Lower heat to medium. Now, there’s 2 schools of thought at this juncture…I like to leave my egg undisturbed just as it is so that the result is basically a poached egg. My ex husband preferred that I crack the yolk here and swirl it around into the broth so that it resembled an egg drop soup type broth. I suggest trying both and see what you like best.
Once you’ve added in the egg, if you’re using a heartier green leafy vegetable, you may add it here (i.e. chinese spinach or bok choi) to the broth as well as the hotdog with the noodles. If you, like me, prefer your eggs poached, continue simmering the noodles until the noodles just start to break away from its brick like structure and becomes pliable. Add in onions/scallions and allow to simmer for an additional 30 seconds. Pour out into a bowl, being careful to not crack or disturb the egg. Enjoy!