Doctored-up Ramen

May 20, 2009 at 8:06 pm 2 comments

Ramen Noodles

A cookbook author and an editor/correspondent for Gourmet, Nina Simonds has shared her philosophy about Asian cooking and ingredients widely.  One of her methods for spreading the word is through her “Dinner Doctor” character, who goes around solving common challenges to making delicious, healthy dinners.  She can be seen on Oprah and her own website breaking down people’s extensive excuses – I am too tired at the end of the day, I don’t know how, it’s too expensive to buy groceries, I have to eat takeout to get to my fortune cookie, etc…

My second foray into Nina’s book, Spices of Life, is a healthful twist on doctored-up ramen.  Ramen noodles, the staple of college dorm rooms everywhere, answer almost all of the above excuses (you’ll still have to get your own fortune cookie – sorry – but Confucious says necessity is the mother of invention).  Ramen are super easy and low effort (add water and stir) and cost about 20 cents a package.  Granted, this dinner-doctored version is a bit more high maintenance, but it is also far FAR better tasting.  Toss out your “flavor pak” and check this recipe out:

Stir-Fried Ramen Noodles with Vegetables, from Nina Simonds’ Spices of Life

(serves 6)

ramen-mise3/4 lb. fine dried Japanese ramen, Chinese egg noodles or angel hair pasta
1/2 small head Chinese (Napa) cabbage (about 3/4 pound)
2 Tbs. virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. dried chile flakes, or to taste
2 medium red onions, peeled and cut into thin slices (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 carrots, peeled, ends trimmed and grated
2 Tbs. rice wine or sake

Noodle Sauce (mixed together):
5 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. mirin (or 2 Tbs. rice wine or sake plus 1 1/2 Tbs. sugar)
1 1/2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbs. soy sauce

2 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Drop the noodles into the water and stir to prevent them from sticking together. Bring the water again to a boil and cook 4 1/2 to 5 minutes, or until the noodles are just cooked. (Since the cooking time varies with the type of noodles, refer to the package for the recommended time.) Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse under warm running water. Drain again and set aside.

ramen-onions

Cut the cabbage leaves from the stem. Trim the leafy tip ends and discard. Rinse the leaves thoroughly and drain. Cut them into julienne strips about 1/4 inch wide, separating the stem sections from the leafy sections.

ramen-cabbage

Heat a wok or a heavy skillet, pour in the oil, and heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add the ginger, garlic, chile flakes, and onions, and stir-fry for about a minute. Cover and cook for several minutes, until the onions are soft. Add the cabbage stem shreds, carrots, and rice wine. Stir-fry lightly, cover, and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, until almost tender. Add the leafy cabbage shreds, toss, cover, and cook for a minute or two. Pour in the Noodle Sauce, bring to a boil, and add the noodles and the sesame seeds. Toss lightly to coat the noodles and vegetables and spoon onto a serving platter. Serve immediately.

Fancy Ramen Noodles

(As you can see from the pictures, I sauteed some shrimp to mix in, but as-is it is a vegetarian main course.)

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Entry filed under: Main Course, Recipe, Starchy Side, Vegetable Side, Vegetarian. Tags: , , , , , .

Kung Pow! Chicken Simple Roast Salmon

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Simple Roast Salmon « From My Table…to Yours  |  May 24, 2009 at 11:31 am

    […] Kung Pao Chicken gives an easy method for making a favorite Chinese takeout dish at home and Doctored-up Ramen demonstrates a healthy, inexpensive and fun version of a nostalgic noodle – but I also intend […]

  • 2. Ramen Noodle Salad « From My Table…to Yours  |  May 31, 2009 at 11:02 am

    […] 31, 2009 Leftovers Week continues… After my fancy doctored-up ramen dinner for one, I had a half-package of ramen noodles with the seasoning pack, half a head of napa […]

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