Recipe: Ramen Hack

ramen hack
A far cry from Ramen with Japanese Chashu, but it carries its weight at home.

I have been reading about Ramen a lot lately from local food writers and itching to try one of the gourmet versions. As a child of the 90s, Ramen was the first thing I remember “cooking” and was the back up meal in college when I wasn’t working an evening at the restaurant and getting a shift meal. While I fully recognize how bad it probably is for me and what a poor representation it is of actual food, I can’t help that I like and crave it from time to time. Can’t and won’t help it.

On a particularly foggy evening this weekend, I was craving Pho, which morphed into a craving for Ramen. I knew, however, that I wanted more than noodles and broth to call my dinner. After perusing a few local Ramen eateries’ online menus, I whipped up with little Ramen Hack. And, oh boy, plain Ramen has officially been dethroned and a lazy night staple.

Ramen Hack

Ingredients:

4 C water

2 packets of Ramen

1 TBSP cornstarch

5 TBSP fish sauce

all spice

star anise

Extra firm tofu (or you could use grilled meat)

handful mushrooms

2 scallions

spinach

4 soft-boiled eggs

lime, cut into wedges

avocado

Sriracha

Instructions

Follow the directions on the cornstarch packet for thickening soups and add to water. Bring to a boil and whisk until all starch is completely dissolved. Add in Thai fish sauce and spices and let boil a few minutes.

While water is boiling, back tofu, cut into 1/2 in. sticks, at 350 for 10 minutes or until beginning to brown.

Pull spices out of broth with a slotted spoon and add mushrooms, scallions and tofu to boiling water and cook 1-2 minutes.

In another pot, bring 3/4 of a pot full of water to a boil. Add in the eggs and cook for 3-4 minutes for soft-boiled eggs, longer for hard-boiled eggs. (Note: The yolk in the soft-boiled eggs makes the soup broth dreamy.)

As the eggs cook, add the noodles and cook according to the package. Remove from heat and add in the flavor packets – we are having Top Ramen after all!

Serve the soup with an egg on top, cut open for full effect, a squeeze of lime and chili sauce.

Arigato, Top Ramen.

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