I’ll bet during our social isolating, some of you are revisiting your penniless early adult days by making instant ramen. Ramen noodles are easy and inexpensive, but they need not make you feel penniless. You can make sophisticated rave-worthy ramen with a few fresh and funky add-ins.

Kicked Up Ramen Noodles

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of instant ramen
  • 8 oz. vegetable, beef, or chicken broth
  • 1 carrot sliced
  • 2-3 shiitake mushrooms sliced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon minced ginger (or 1/4 t. dry ground ginger)
  • 1-2 bok choy leaves chopped
  • Several thin slices of meat (pork, chickn, or beef – optional)
  • Half a peeled soft boiled egg
  • 1 scallion sliced for topping

Directions:

  1. Open ramen package and discard seasoning packet. Set noodles aside. Soft boil an egg. (see recipe below)
  2. Heat broth in a small saucepan. Add soy sauce, hot sauce, garlic, and ginger. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Add carrot slices and simmer for 10 minutes. Add mushroom slices and simmer 5 more minutes.
  4. Add noodles, bok choy, and sliced meat if using. Cover and follow package directions for cooking time of noodles.
  5. Uncover and pour all into a bowl for serving. Top with the half egg and a sprinkle of sliced scallions to serve.

It’s super easy to double the recipe for two, or triple/quadruple it for more.

If you don’t have bok choy, you can use spinach, kale, chard, cabbage, or really any greens, even kimchi. Shiitakes are my favorite in this dish, but any fresh mushroom will do nicely. Sriracha is great with ramen, but you can easily use any hot sauce or chile paste to give your ramen a kick of flavor, even diced chiles, or no heat at all. And you can add absolutely anything you like to this dish. It’s a great way to use up little bits of leftovers.

Soft-Cooked Eggs for Ramen

  1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower eggs into water one at a time. Cook 6½ minutes, adjusting heat to maintain a gentle boil. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water and chill until just slightly warm, about 2 minutes.
  2. Gently crack eggs all over and peel, starting from the wider end, which contains the air pocket.