The kids asked me the other day to name my favorite food, and I totally blanked. I had about ten different options swimming around my head, all foods that I don’t make at home–tom yum soup, risotto, even a really good slice of cheese pizza (okay, I make that, but you know it’s not the same)–but couldn’t land on a single one. The kids were incredulous. “Are you sure you don’t know your favorite?” they insisted. “And don’t say pizza.”
But I was at a loss.
Two days later, as I was preparing dinner (not pizza) and Quinlan was chatting with me in the kitchen, she stopped mid-sentence. “Mom. It’s NOODLES. Noodles are your favorite food!”
Oh, yeah. How could I forget?
She’s right. Give me a big bowl of pasta and I’m a happy lady: angel hair aglio e olio, cacio e pepe, Japanese udon, Vietnamese pho, heck, even Annie’s mac ‘n’ cheese from the box–like a lot of people, noodles are my ultimate comfort food, and, as David is always saying, most often the simpler recipes are the best ones.
To that point, I’ve been searching high and low for an easy ramen soup recipe: one that can rival the kind that comes with the packet, but takes just about as long to make. I think I found it, on a lovely food blog called Fifteen Spatulas, and I’m SO excited. I made it the other night, with some adjustments based on what I had on hand, and it was delicious. Enough to even rival pizza.
With the holidays arriving next week, I know a lot of us won’t have time or simply don’t feel like cooking a big dinner some (let’s be honest: most) nights. Let this be your substitute instead of that takeout one night. If you’re a fellow member of the Noodle Crew (no? We’re not making that a thing?), here you go. You’ll be so happy.
Quick Ramen Soup
(adapted from fifteenspatulas.com)
* I only had a white onion on hand for this, and that’s fine to use as a substitute for green onions: just chop it very, very small so your kids don’t act like you’re trying to poison them.
**I used Lotus Millet and Brown Rice Ramen: it’s more filling and healthier than regular ramen, and you don’t notice a texture difference. But use anything you can find, really. Noodles don’t judge.
For eggs (optional): fill a medium-sized sauce pot halfway full with water and heat to boiling. Once the water is boiling, use a slotted spoon to gently add the cold eggs, one at a time, to the water. Boil the eggs for 6 1/2 minutes for medium eggs, and 7 1/2 minutes for large eggs. Once your timer goes off, place the eggs in a bowl filled with ice water. Let cool for 2 minutes, then gently peel under running water. The eggs are now soft-boiled. Set aside.
While the eggs are cooking, heat the oil in a large sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, scallions, and sriracha and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the scallions start to soften.
Add the chicken stock, beef broth, fish sauce, and soy sauce to the pot. Bring this to a boil over high heat. Add the ramen noodles and cook according to package directions.
Portion into soup bowls and garnish with eggs (sliced lengthwise in half) and cilantro. Enjoy, then repeat every single time you’re craving your favorite food.
One more thing: As I mentioned, I am a hippie, and therefore belong to a CSA (a community-supported farm), so every week I’m faced with a pile of organic, locally-grown vegetables we have to eat right away or else feel like terrible humans. If you’re in a similar boat (looking at you, you plastic container of wilting “super greens” in the back of the fridge), throw those veggies you can’t quite face in this, too: stir in a couple of handfuls of spinach or chard while the noodles cook, or add shredded cabbage or zucchini. Your conscience will thank you, even if your kids don’t.