Eating ramen noodle soup made from plastic bags containing noodles, oil, and seasoning packets is a comforting but guilty pleasure. Why not try making your own easy version of ramen from scratch?
There aren’t a whole lot of nutrients in readymade ramen, but there are a lot of carbohydrates and a very high amount of sodium. Yes, ramen is a quick fix when you want a warming meal, but you can easily make it yourself with some key ingredients from your pantry, and I guarantee that your homemade version will be a lot healthier than the stuff in the crinkly plastic bags.
What you’ll need to make your own healthy ramen:
First and foremost, ramen is about noodles. You can use any kind of noodles that you like to make this soup, but I recommend going with skinny rice noodles because they cook quickly and they’re easier on your digestion than wheat noodles. They’re also good for those who are gluten-intolerant. You can find rice noodles in health food stores and Asian markets.
Once you have your noodles, it’s time to think about flavor. This is the fun part. Stock your pantry with dry seasonings like chili powder, fresh garlic or garlic powder, onion powder, dried ginger, and chili flakes. Mix up any combination of these with some salt, and you’ve got you own ramen spice mix.
A few veggies can turn this soup into a satisfying, balanced meal. You can add any veggies you like. I often throw in diced shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, and scallions. I love adding corn when it’s in season. If you don’t want to bother with cutting up fresh veggies, use frozen! Because frozen vegetables are already cooked, they just need to simmer for a minute or two.
Those final touches that you stir into the soup just before slurping it up can take it over the top. I suggest a dash of any of the following flavor enhancers: toasted sesame oil, olive oil, rice vinegar, lime juice, soy sauce, and hot sauce. I’m also a big fan of stirring a spoonful or two of peanut butter into my ramen. PB makes the broth thick, and adds a rich, fatty element that punches up the flavor. Try it!
How to make the ramen
1) Put a few cups of water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
2) Add dry spices and fresh vegetables, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes.
3) Add frozen veggies (if using) and rice noodles. Bring the water back up to a boil after adding the noodles, then let them simmer. Cook for three-five minutes, until the noodles are just tender.
4) Transfer soup to a bowl, adjust the seasoning, and top with your favorite garnishes.