For me, ramen was a college staple. If I wasn’t eating eating tacos and chips from my waitressing job, I was stuffing my face with ramen. Trust me, I made plenty of tip money from Taco Tuesday, but every penny I earned was for beer and a cab ride home. Yes, if you are younger than 30, you may remember a thing called a cab.
Ramen noodles are a vastly underutilized pantry staple. You can throw together a quick meal and nobody will know it came from a little package found in the corner of your pantry. During the coronavirus quarantine, I was the frantic lady at the grocery store throwing anything into my cart that could last 100 years. Now, I am stuck with 500 packages of ramen, that are now a tripping hazard in my garage. Finding a good quarantine dinner without having to go to the store has been difficult, so I have turned to grown-up ramen. Feel free to throw whatever meats or vegetables you have into the soup. Soups are a great way to clean out your refrigerator so have fun. Enjoy with leftover chopsticks from your Chinese takeout and pour some sake. There are no rules!
The perfect soft boiled egg
Add eggs to a pot and add water until eggs are completely covered. Bring to a very light simmer. Put a lid on the pot, turn off heat and set timer for 6 minutes. When the timer goes off, remove eggs and put in a bowl of ice water until the eggs are completely chilled. Crack and remove shells.
The instant pot is my new favorite method to soft boil eggs. Put an inch of water in the bottom of the pot and put metal trivet over the water. Place eggs on trivet and close the instant pot with the lid and lock. On manual mode cook on high for 3 minutes. Once complete do the quick steam release and immediately add the cooked eggs to an ice water bath. Do not let eggs sit in the instant pot or they will continue to cook and get a grey ring around the yolk.
How to make grown-up ramen
Start by marinading the chicken at least a few hours before you plan to cook. Will the chicken be good if you dont let it marinade? Yes, it will still absorb some flavor and chicken thigh is already so tender. After the broth is finished you can cook the chicken on a skillet. If chicken isn’t your thing then try with shrimp, beef, tofu or just extra veggies.
To make the broth, I personally ditch the MSG seasoning packet commonly found in ramen packets and make my own broth. I’m not looking to start growing eyes on the back of my head anytime soon, so I prefer a cleaner and more flavorful substitute. Heat vegetable oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Be careful not to burn because it can leave a very bitter flavor in your soup. Immediately add the chicken broth. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil and mirin for flavor and let simmer for 10 minutes.
When you are ready to serve, add the noodles and bok choy to the broth. Let simmer for approximately 3 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Divide the noodles, veggies and broth in bowls. Add the soft boiled egg, green onion and grilled chicken. Done and done!
- 12 oz. ramen noodles (3 packets of top ramen)
- 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
- 4 soft boiled eggs
- 1 lb chicken thigh (approx. 4-6 thighs)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (low sodium preferred)
- 1 tbsp lime juice (approx 1/2 lime)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp ginger, minced (optional)
- 64 oz chicken broth
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium preferred)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp mirin (optional)
- 3 cups roughly chopped bok choy
- For the chicken marinade add the soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and sesame oil to a medium boil. Add the chicken and stir until evenly coated. Store in refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours, but no more than 36 hours.
- Heat a skillet to medium high and cook chicken 5-6 minutes per side or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F. Just before serving, slice chicken.
- In a large pot, heat vegetable oil and saute garlic and ginger for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, soy sauce, sesame oil and mirin. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Soft Boiled Egg
- Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Using tongs gently lower eggs into the pot of water. Remove from the heat, place a lid on the pot and set a timer for 6 minutes.
- Using tongs, carefully lift the eggs out of the water and transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Just before assembling bowls, add the ramen noodles and bok choy to the broth and simmer for 3 minutes or until the noodles are tender.
- Divide broth, bok choy and noodles into 4 bowls. Top with sliced chicken, green onion and a soft boiled egg (cut in half).
- To make vegetarian, use vegetable broth and add tofu or tempeh instead of the chicken