Ramen noodle meals


tBrian, Wikimedia Commons

Ramen noodles can be used in many ways, especially in soup and for stir fry.

 

The night before writing this, I finally got around to trying out a recipe I received in an email.


I subscribe to quite a few food blogs, too many, to be exact. I can barely keep up and I admit many of those emails just end up going unopened. But I was hungry for something made with ramen noodles, so I decided to just go ahead and make a certain recipe.


Luckily, the recipe suggested that anything and everything could be substituted as to your preference or what you have on hand. I will include that recipe and its source, as well as a few others that I think many folks will like.


I hope you are somehow managing to stay nice and cool so far this summer, and safe from fires.


Vegetable ramen noodle stir fry


From the folks at thewoksoflife.com. I used shrimp, cabbage, green onions, white onions, celery, carrot matchsticks, broccoli, garlic and snow peas. But you can use anything you like. Also, I used one packet of noodle seasoning to sprinkle over the shrimp and veggies. I also waited to pre-cook the noodles or they tend to stick together when they cool. Another tip: I found that this did not hold up all that well, texture-wise, when reheated the next day, at least in a skillet or wok. For just two people, consider halving the recipe, to avoid leftovers.


2 packages ramen noodles


1 tablespoon soy sauce


1 teaspoon dark soy sauce


1 teaspoon vegetarian (or regular) oyster sauce


1/2 teaspoon sugar


1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


1 pinch ground white pepper


2 tablespoons canola oil


2 cloves garlic, sliced


1/4 cup sweet red bell peppers, julienned


5 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced


1 medium carrot, julienned


1 1/2 cups cabbage, shredded


1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (can use any type of rice wine as a substitute)


1 cup snow peas, cut in half at an angle (I remove any strings)


1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts


2 scallions, split and cut into 2-inch pieces


1. Open the instant ramen and discard the flavor packet. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for about 45 seconds to a minute, using chopsticks or a fork to stir occasionally. You want to just rehydrate the ramen until it breaks up from its rectangular form. It’s important not to cook the ramen fully in this step. Once the ramen is rehydrated, immediately drain the noodles in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and get rid of the excess starch.


2. Combine soy sauces, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil and white pepper in a bowl and set aside. Heat a wok over high heat, and add oil and garlic. Immediately add the peppers, mushrooms, carrots and cabbage, and stir fry for 1 minute. Next, add the Shaoxing wine and stir-fry for another 15 seconds.


3. Next, add in the cooked noodles, pulling them apart if they are stuck together. Pour the soy sauce mixture evenly over the noodles. Stir-fry for about 20 seconds using a scooping motion until the sauce is well distributed. Add in the snow peas, bean sprouts and scallions. Mix well for another minute and serve. Makes 4 servings.


Chinese cabbage salad


This one has been around for years, with a few variations, but it remains extremely popular and people still ask for the recipe at potlucks.


2 packages chicken-flavored ramen noodles


1 head cabbage (I like to use the regular kind)


1 bunch green onions, sliced


1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted in butter


1 cup (more or less) sliced or slivered almonds


2 cups cooked, cubed chicken breast


Dressing:


1/2 cup salad oil


6 tablespoons rice wine vinegar


4 tablespoons sugar


2 tablespoons sesame oil


Seasoning packets from noodles


1. Break up dry noodles in a large bowl and toss with other salad ingredients. Mix ingredients for dressing; toss with salad to coat well.


2. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Makes 6 servings.


Mongolian beef ramen noodles


1 1/2 pounds flank steak


1/4 cup cornstarch


1/4 cup vegetable oil


1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips


8 ounces uncooked ramen noodles


3 green onions, chopped


For sauce:


2 tablespoons sesame oil


3/4 cup soy sauce


2/3 cup packed brown sugar


1 1/4 cup chicken broth


4 cloves garlic, minced


1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


1. Slice the flank steak into small thin pieces against the grain. In a large resealable plastic bag, add the starch and beef to it. Close the bag and shake well until each piece is coated with cornstarch.


2. In a non-stick skillet, heat the oil. When oil is hot, add beef and cook until browned. It will take 2 or 3 batches because you don’t want the steak pieces to stick to each other. Also, if you need more oil after the first batch feel free to add more. Remove beef from skillet to a plate and empty the oil from the skillet.


3. Add the bell pepper to the skillet and saute for a couple of minutes, just until the pepper gets soft. Remove the pepper from the skillet to a plate and set aside.


4. In that same skillet, add sauce ingredients: the sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, chicken broth, garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook over medium heat until sauce thickens a bit and reduces by about a quarter, about 10 minutes. You don’t want to reduce it too much because you need more sauce for the noodles. Meanwhile, cook the ramen noodles according to package directions.


5. Return the beef and bell pepper to the skillet and toss in the sauce. Add the cooked ramen noodles to the skillet and toss everything together. Top with green onions and serve.


Spicy garlicky ramen noodles


2 packages ramen noodles, without flavor packets


1 baby bok choy, sliced in half lengthwise


4 to 5 brown button mushrooms, finely chopped


1/2 cup red or yellow bell pepper, finely chopped


3 large cloves garlic, minced


1 tablespoon peeled ginger, chopped


1 1/2 tablespoons Gochujang sauce *


2 tablespoons dark soy sauce


2 tablespoons tomato puree


2 to 3 tablespoons chili garlic oil, divided (keep 1 tablespoon for garnish)


1/2 cup green onion, chopped, divided (1 tablespoon for garnish)


Salt, to taste


2 slices of lime or lemon


2 tablespoons sesame seeds


3 cups vegetable stock


*Gochujang sauce is a Korean ingredient, and is a thick, spicy-sweet mixture made from red pepper flakes, sticky rice, fermented soybeans and salt.


1. Cook ramen according to the package directions. Remove it into a plate or bowl. Sprinkle some oil to avoid sticking of noodles.


2. In a separate pan, add one tablespoon of oil. Heat over medium heat. Add chopped garlic, stir for about 30 seconds and add chopped ginger. Add chopped mushroom and saute for 1 minute. Add chopped bell pepper and saute about 30 seconds.


3. Mix all the sauces and tomato puree together to form a paste. Add the paste to the pan and saute mixture for 1 minute. Add 3 cups vegetable stock, allow mixture to come to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes. Taste to see if it needs salt; add just a little if it does.


4. Add chopped green onions (after reserving 1 tablespoon for garnish). Add bok choy to mixture and turn off the heat. (Note: I much prefer to let the bok choy cook a little, adding it at the same time as the vegetable stock.)


5. Divide the broth evenly between two serving bowls. Do the same with the cooked ramen noodles. Garnish with some chili garlic oil and reserved green onion. Sprinkle with some lime or lemon juice and sesame seeds.

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