I thought about titling this post “Adult Ramen Noodles”, but I felt like maybe that may insinuate something, um, X-rated. You know that’s not how we do things here at Chattavore! Anyway, ramen noodles for adults are something I’ve really only discovered fairly recently.
What are ramen noodles for adults, you ask? Well, let me tell you. I don’t recall ever eating ramen noodles as a kid (though I do think that my mom started buying them for my brother and sister when I was a teenager…but I don’t think I ever ate them). In fact, I think I first ate ramen as-you guessed it-a college student. Yep. When I wasn’t scarfing chicken nuggets and fries or Subway in the University Center or eating at TGIFriday’s with my friends because we thought the food there was soooo good, I was generally eating ramen noodles or something with peanut butter on it.
Now, technically, I was an adult during this time. I turned 18 the weekend before I walked into my first college class. However, I was an adult only in the yes, I can vote, and yes, I can buy cigarettes (something I’ve done only once when my boss made me go to the gas station and buy cigarettes for a guy who said he could stay till close before I could go home for the evening. I was terrified someone would see me, though my scorn for cigarettes is well-known and I’m sure anyone who saw me would know they weren’t mine…but I digress.), but my mom still washes my clothes and my roommate and I have pictures of cute celebrities hanging on the door to our bedroom so no, no I’m not an adult, thank you.
The ramen noodles that I ate back in those days were typically of the chicken variety and I don’t think I ever finished a package because I lost interest very quickly. I still remember the day that I figured out that you could actually eat ramen noodles without boiling them first and that was a pretty exciting discovery (by the way, they’re quite tasty baked and mixed in with this Napa cabbage salad), but prior to discovering a recipe for miso ramen noodle soup on the Steamy Kitchen blog, I hadn’t eaten ramen noodle soup in about fifteen years.
Like I said, though…these are not your ordinary ramen noodles. Toss out that flavoring packet and boil them in stock instead. Add some vegetables…toppings…whatever you want. The world is your oyster, and if they’re your guilty pleasure you don’t have to be ashamed to eat ramen noodles anymore-or to serve them to your family for dinner. By the way, there is such a thing as ramen noodles that are not packaged with the flavor packet…but I haven’t found them yet. I just pick up a few packages of the familiar standby and I’m on my way. Now go-make your ramen!
Ramen Noodles for Adults
- 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock (homemade or low-sodium-I used Kitchen Basics)
- 4 packets ramen noodles (any variety, since you're going to discard the flavor packet)
- 2 carrots (julienned)
- 10-ounce package frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 lime (cut into wedges)
- 4 large eggs (boiled, peeled, and chopped)
- 1 can bamboo shoots (drained and chopped-optional)
- green onions (chopped)
- cilantro (chopped)
- sriracha (optional)
Feel free to add whatever toppings or add-ins you'd like....or leave out anything you don't want! These make great leftovers, but be aware that the noodles will soak up the liquid as they sit, so it won't really be "soup" the next day.
|Bring the stock to a boil. Place the carrots in the boiling stock and cook until tender crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon.|
|Cook the ramen noodles in the stock according to package directions, omitting the flavoring packet (just discard that).|
|Stir in the fish sauce, the brown sugar, the spinach, and the corn. Cook for about a minute. Check seasonings and season with salt if needed (though you probably won't).|
|Divide the noodles among four bowls. Top each bowl with carrots, bamboo shoots (if using), a chopped egg, chopped green onions, cilantro, sriracha, and a squeeze or two of lime. Serve immediately.|