Colder weather calls for warmer foods but many soups can take hours to create and sometimes families need food in a hurry. The answer? homemade ramen. While this may sound complicated it’s really not- store-bought broth doctored with whatever ingredients appeal and filled with leftover bits from the fridge and a scoop of noodles or pasta make for a hearty dinner that pleases a crowd. Create a “ramen bar”and let the family compose their own bowls!
Pro tip: arrange ingredients in bowl then heat soup and pour over to gently heat everything in your bowl.
Here’s the formula for composing your ramen bowl- choose one or more from each section:
Soup base: Chicken, Beef , Turkey, Vegetable or Miso Broth figure 12 ounces of broth per person. Stores (Whole Foods, Aldi, etc) also sell bone broth which is perfect for this!
Broth seasonings (to taste): ginger, garlic, soy sauce, chili flakes, 5 spice powder (cook the seasonings a bit in the broth to develop the flavor- add slowly- you can always add more
Protein: Leftover chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu- even shredded smoky ham or bits of cooked bacon, even a hard boiled egg are terrific here
Veggies: Shredded carrot, sliced spinach or baby kale (raw), sliced mushrooms (you can put these in raw or sautee them a little) scallions, shredded carrot or chunks of cooked squash or sweet potato
Noodles: Fresh ramen noodles are available in speciality grocery stores or in a pinch you can buy the ramen packages available everywhere and use the noodles but omit the seasoning packet (it’s mostly salt!) Any pasta will do- boil the pasta separately and drain to avoid starchy broth. Rice noodles or any pasta you have on hand- even rice, are also great
Toppings: Sesame Seeds (black or white), chopped peanuts, cilantro, shredded seaweed (wakame) or seaweed slices, siracha or chili paste for spice fans or for authenticity shichimi togarishi- a Japanese 7 spice powder that’s a bit hot, and a bit crunchy (available in the supermarket)