Ramen Noodle Soup

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My eldest daughter left home, this year, and has been joking about living on ramen, so I figured we had to come up with a quick cooking healthy version that contains real vegetables and no msg!

We managed quite a few variations as we closed in on what we liked best. When I first made it, I sliced hard boiled egg onto the top of the soup rather than coddling the egg in it, and also used commercially produced garlicky hot sauce in the broth rather than the garlic, Braggs, sugar, root ginger, and chili. This version uses ingredients that are more universally available, and reduces the number of pans used. It’s also less labor intensive.

Jeanette's Ramen

Ramen with sliced boiled egg rather than poached egg.

We determined that cooking the ramen in the vegetable broth thickens the broth slightly. It just so happens that 2 ramen cakes (140g/5oz dry pasta, total) to 4 cups of water gives us about the right consistency. My girls also had me adjust the ratio of vegetable to noodles. We all figured that there needed to be more veggies than the commercial varieties offered, but I did over do it to start off with.

I’ve found it a pretty useful recipe as the vegetables included are easily adjustable. I add the veggies in two batches: longer cooking vegetables such as onion, carrot, cauliflower, sweet bell pepper, and mushrooms go in first and get sautéed then simmered, and then quicker cooking vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage go in the pan just before the broth, and so get a quick coating of oil to help them retain their shape during the 5 minutes simmering.

As for the amount of chili used, if I’m cooking for my youngest who doesn’t like spicy food, I use 1/2 a fresh jalapeño and pass round the sriracha sauce bottle to the others. If I’m cooking for my eldest who loves spicy food, I’ll use a whole jalapeño or 1/2 a fresh red serrano chili, at which point it’s as hot as I care to have mine (if not slightly hotter). The moral of the story is that you’ll probably have to adjust to taste.

The noodles I use are commercially prepared, gluten free, millet and brown rice ones from Costco. However, you could substitute freshly made pasta, if you wish. Interestingly, I added the miso because I felt that the broth was a bit ‘thin’ on flavor, and miso rounds it out very nicely.

Serves 3-4

14-16 oz firm tofu, drained (optional)
1 tsp salt (for the tofu, optional)
1/2 tsp black pepper (for the tofu, optional)
1 tsp onion powder (for the tofu, optional)
1 tsp garlic powder (for the tofu, optional)

2 large cloves garlic
1/2 – 1 inch fresh root ginger, skinned
1/2 – 1 jalapeño, deseeded (or to taste, see note above)
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp brown rice miso
3 tbsp Braggs, or other GF soy sauce

1-2 tsp sesame/coconut oil
4 oz mushrooms (or other veggies: see comment, above)
4 oz broccoli florettes, cut small

2 GF ramen cakes (5 oz total, when dry)
3-4 eggs (one per person)
fresh cilantro/leaf coriander for garnish

If you’re using the tofu, drain it, and cut into small dice. You can either use it as is, or toss it in the tofu seasoning, then cook: Coat a baking tray with cooking spray/oil. Spread the tofu cubes on the tray, and place under a hot grill/broiler, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned.

Put 1/2 liter / 16 fl oz / 2 cups of water into a blender along with the garlic, ginger, chili, sugar, miso, Braggs/soy sauce, and blend until there are no large lumps.

In a medium sized saucepan, warm the oil, then fry the harder vegetables for 5 minutes. Add the softer vegetables to the harder vegetables, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the contents of the blender to the saucepan, and use another 1/2 liter / 16 fl oz / 2 cups water to rinse the blender out into the saucepan.

Bring the soup to a simmer, then add the ramen cakes (push them to the bottom), and crack the eggs towards the edge of the simmering broth. Keep the soup simmering very gently for 4-6 minutes or until the ramen are cooked and the egg whites have solidified.

Serve in individual bowls with one egg per bowl, and garnished with chopped fresh cilantro, and tofu if using. Hand round the sriracha sauce and Braggs/soy sauce for diners to adjust to taste.

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