All photos: Laura Hobbs, Fayetteville Flyer
It’s Wednesday night and I’m about to catch a flight to Las Vegas, where Hubs and I plan to spend the next 72 hours eating our way through Sin City, when we’re not people-watching, drinking shockingly expensive drinks or playing the nickel slots. By the time you read this, I will be touching down back in cool, calm, collected Colorado with a katzenjammer the size of Texas. Pray for me.
The recipe for this week’s column is quite the opposite from the food I’ll be eating this weekend. Granted, ramen has made quite a comeback in recent years, and is considered a culinary cult classic by many. I’ve been on quite a ramen kick lately myself – but if you’d asked me a couple of years ago what I thought when I heard the word “ramen”, I would have told you, “cheap food for poor, lazy college kids.” If you ask me now, I would say, “cheap food for lazy people whose spouses work at night.”
The thing is, there are two different types of ramen: First, you’ve got the $.99 ramen that’s straight out of the package, boiled for two minutes and sprinkled with the mystery spice packet before being slurped up while watching Jersey Shore. Second, you’ve got the $9.99 ramen that’s made in hip little noodle joints in big cities, with freshly made pasta, broth that’s been cooked for days and a slew of toppings, only a couple of which I can recognize and name. (What on earth is that white thing with the pink swirl in the middle, anyway?) I’d like to think that my version of ramen is the middle of the road. The happy medium. The satisfying-yet-not-annoyingly-fussy. You may be thinking, “Seriously? She’s going to tell me how to cook ramen?”, and my answer is, “Well yes, Snarky Snarkerpants.”
This recipe takes packaged ramen and amps up the flavor with additions like soy sauce, grated ginger and sesame oil. And instead of leaving the ramen naked, I like to add on plenty of fun and delicious toppings, like thinly sliced shiitakes, green onions, cilantro, and a just-a-dab’ll-do-ya blob of chili paste. The ramen comes together quickly, so it’s a great weeknight meal when you’re not in the mood to slave over the stove. Cooking for two? Double the recipe! It’s as easy as… well, ramen. Enjoy!
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1 pkg. ramen
1 c. water
1 c. low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 spice packet
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. chili oil
Mushrooms, green onions, cilantro and chili paste for topping
Cook the ramen according to package directions in the water, vegetable broth, 1/2 the spice packet and soy sauce. Remove from the heat and add the grated ginger, sesame oil and chili oil. Pour everything into a soup bowl, and top with sliced mushrooms, green onions, cilantro, chili paste, or other favorite ramen toppings.
* If the above slideshow doesn’t load, you can view all the photos from this recipe on Flickr.
Laura is a regular contributor for the Fayetteville Flyer. She was born and raised in Fayetteville, but has recently moved to Boulder, Colorado. She is a self-proclaimed foodie and avid cook. For more from Laura, check out her food blog, Prana & Pie.