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Every true college student has at least a few packets of instant ramen in their cupboard. Requiring only the push of a few buttons, ramen serves as a hearty meal and versatile survival item to have on hand while juggling a massive workload.
As finals week kicks off, there’s no better time to take your packaged ramen to the next level, and create a comforting ramen bowl in under 30 minutes.
Here are two easy ways to brighten up your finals week with ramen:
Like most ramen dishes, this recipe requires a tasty broth, which will consume most of your prep and cooking time. But trust me, a well done broth is worth the extra effort. Start by thinly slicing a variety of vegetables of your choice. In this recipe, I used a carrot, 1 ½ cups of napa cabbage (shredded), a few scallions, a minced garlic clove and a quarter pound of mushrooms. Chop all your vegetables on the smaller side to avoid large chunks in the broth — they’ll also cook faster.
For some aromatics, grate a roughly 1-inch piece of ginger and an optional sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
Add a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil to a large saucepan set over medium heat. Once the oil reaches the right temperature, add your vegetables and cook for about three minutes. Once the vegetables are softened, add your ginger and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, followed by enough chicken broth to cover the vegetables. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let stand for 10 minutes. The liquid should be light brown and the vegetables will be soft. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside. You can also cover the mixture with a lid if you want to keep the broth hot.
While your broth is simmering, bring another pot of water to a boil for your eggs. At this point, you should also microwave your packaged ramen to its specified instructions and drain the water once it’s cooked.
Set aside as many eggs as ramen bowls you’ll be making, as well as a bowl of ice water to place the eggs in once they’re done boiling. Add your shelled egg(s) to the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer, letting the egg(s) cook for seven minutes for medium-boiled eggs, or nine for hard-boiled. After your desired cook time, transfer your eggs to the ice water. To peel the eggs, carefully tap them with a spoon to crack the shell and carefully remove it. Then slice the egg(s) in half.
Add the chicken meat and any seasonings you like to a pot, then add water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken. Once it’s ready, slice the chicken — ensuring it’s properly cooked — into as many smaller pieces as you’d like before assembling the bowl.
Place the noodles in the bowl and then ladle the broth and vegetables over top. Add your chicken and halved eggs before dropping in a bit of soy sauce, hot sauce, extra scallions or whatever garnish you prefer. Now it’s time to dig into a hearty meal, and take your mind off a full day of studying.
Start this broth in a similar way to the chicken broth except this time, add sliced vegetables after the liquid base. Instead of an ordinary vegetable broth, also add miso paste to enhance the flavor.
To prep, roughly chop one bunch of bok choy into smaller pieces, shred half a carrot — it’s best to use a grater — and a ½ cup of shelled edamame. Additionally, grate some ginger, mince a garlic clove and slice a scallion, just like the chicken broth.
In a medium-sized pot, heat a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil over medium heat and add your garlic, ginger and scallion until they just start to brown (1-2 minutes). Then add about 2 cups of vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Once the mixture reaches the correct temperature, add a few tablespoons of the broth to a small bowl along with a tablespoon of miso paste and stir together to create a slurry.
Immediately pour the slurry back into your broth, add your remaining vegetables and let simmer. Now you can start microwaving your ramen package to its specified time. After about five more minutes, turn off the broth’s heat. Drain the liquid from the noodle package and add to a bowl for assembly.
Add your broth and vegetables on top of the noodles as well as a halved egg, either hard- or medium-boiled. Garnish is up to you, but hot sauce or Sriracha is probably your best bet to give the vegetables a nice kick.
Published on May 4, 2022 at 11:43 pm