Every student in university knows the joke that we basically sustain ourselves on ramen. If you’re taking a quick trip to Sobeys or Save-On, you’re guaranteed to find some sort of discount noodle. However, the discount brands usually take the most work to spice up. Here are a few tried and true ramen combinations to get you back to the books feeling full. You can use the homemade ramen base below if you’re up for a little extra prep, or simply throw these toppings in with your average package from the grocery store.
HOMEMADE RAMEN BASE
Total Time 30 Minutes
2 tbsp. oil
12 oz. shiitake mushrooms,
stems removed and sliced thin
1 tbsp. ginger, grated
1 tbsp. garlic, grated
4 green onions, sliced thin
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
2 bundles udon or soba noodles
2 tbsp. miso paste
Recipe adapted from vanillaandbean.com
In a large pot, heat oil until shimmering. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the mushrooms, ginger, garlic, and onions. Stir occasionally for about six minutes. Throw in any other desired additions.
Add the broth and water and bring to a boil. Scoop out about a cup of broth and set aside to cool a bit. Once boiling, add the noodles to the pot, turn down to medium, and simmer until the noodles are tender. Remove from heat.
Add the miso paste to the cup of broth and whisk to dissolve. Pour the miso slurry into the ramen pot and stir.
Grab some deli meats if you want to add a little more substance to your soup. Some good ones are roast beef, chicken, or turkey. The thicker the better. If you’re feeling really adventurous you may even want to try some Spam, a specialty in South Korean ramen. Grill until brown, dice, and throw in.
A great addition is seaweed, or nori. Small strips add an earthiness to the soup that complements the natural flavour of the soup base. Or try other greens like bok choy, spinach, or even coleslaw mix.
When preparing noodles over the stove, add a fresh egg as soon as the noodles begin to soften and unravel. After the noodles and egg have cooked for three minutes, scramble the egg in the soup and add Sriracha and Hoisin sauce to taste. The egg adds a heft to the broth that accompanies the sauces nicely.
Photo by Matthew Jacula.