So, I love soups. I would eat them every day. I love broth ones, porridge ones, creamy ones. In a box with a fox, in a house with a mouse.
My wonderful, long-suffering Italian husband… he’ll eat them. He’s a good sport. But he doesn’t love them.
I love Asian food. I’m a military brat who spent a total of 6 years of her childhood on Okinawa (and some other random places, too). I grew up in a home that appreciated this “ethnic” food, and we ate it frequently.
My wonderful, long-suffering Italian husband… he’ll eat it. He’s a good sport. But he doesn’t love it.
Homemade ramen soup.
He actually asks for this. I’m not entirely convinced it’s because it has a pasta-like carb in it ;-) but for us… happy medium when I’m craving Asian and he’s not feeling so tolerable to my other dishes. Like cabbage stir-fry or fried rice.
Now, my disclaimer is this: there is probably going to be some ramen purist out there that will claim I didn’t do this the correct way. You’re probably right. There’s likely many restaurants out there that could make this more authentically. However… this foodie is on a budget. With legit health concerns over the food I eat. So I think this is a balanced compromise.
butter, for sauteing
1 small onion, or about 1 c. chopped
1 medium carrot
1 pound of ground pork… as best sourced as you can afford
1 clove garlic (or two!)
1/2 c. san-j soy sauce (I can’t recommend any other brand)
1 tsp. ground ginger
dash red pepper flakes
ground pepper to test
5 cups water (or broth)
1 cup frozen peas, optional (but delicious!)
Note on the veggies: by all means… feel free to increase them. I often do, to increase vegetable intake
hard-boiled egg, at least 1/2 per person
chopped scallions or chives
diced carrots, mushrooms… lots of topping ideas. We usually stick to green onions, but if you know you have a favorite asian topping, I promise you can add it and it will be fine!
And… I recommend chopsticks :)
Do your thing with the butter, onions and carrots. I would recommend using a big pot or dutch oven. Also, side note, this smells like heaven. If you were slightly hungry before starting, now you’re likely salivating.
Remove the vegetables (I use a slotted spoon) once they are softened (they don’t have to be mushy… you’re going to boil it later) and brown the the ground pork. DO NOT SALT IT. If you’re a home cook and you’ve done browning meat any length of time, a lot of recipes call for salting it. You will regret it because of that soy sauce that’s coming on later. However, feel free to go nuts with the pepper. The soup can be as spicy or peppery as you want, so do this as what you feel is appropriate for your tastes.
Now that the pork is browned, add the veggies back in. Sprinkle on the ginger and red pepper flakes. Stir and let it saute for just a minute. Now you may add the soy sauce.
Use the soy sauce to scrape up the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot … this is also called deglazing. You want the brown bits because it adds flavor. I promise it’s true, because the depth is not as great if you tried to clean it off (and not use it) and then continue cooking with a clean pot.
Add your water. You could use broth… wouldn’t hurt. However, if it’s salted you might run into issues make the soup too salty.
Throw in your peas if you’re using … and begin the boil.
Now while this is boiling, I recommend doing the following:
- get your hard-boiled eggs ready, if necessary
- get your ramen noodles ready
- chop your garnish
I know there are guides out there for how to boil eggs. I just use this sucker (check it out here). Love it. Had it for years and it was a cheapy kitchen spontaneous buy.
You want to boil the soup for about 10 minutes, (this is about cooking the veggies the rest of the way), then let it simmer for another 15 minutes or so. Just honestly, you could rush this. Or draw it out. Whatever you are working with in time. I wouldn’t recommend letting it simmer for an hour or anything… I think the peas and carrots would go to mush. Unless you like that kind of thing… then knock yourself out.
Now here’s how it’s going to vary… prepping whatever ramen you’re using. I use gluten-free ramen noodles. I’m still not over this… my ITALIAN HUSBAND LOVES THESE THINGS. 1) They’re Asian and 2) they’re rice (not wheat). My noodles call for me to boil them for a very short amount of time, then run then under cold water. I just have to tell you… if you buy them and they say to run it under cold water…. DON’T SKIP IT. It prevents them from cooking further and not turning gross and mushy. The benefit of the soup still simmering is that once I drop the noodles in, it rewarms them! It works beautifully.
Because I have to limit my carb intake, I do not put 4 servings of ramen noodles in the big pot once they’re done. I ladle out the soup into individual bowls then put in the cooked pasta as per our carb preferences. (You can buy a big pack of these noodles here.)
And then… top it. That egg, y’all. THAT EGG. And those scallions. I really wouldn’t skip these garnishes!
Isn’t this soup great and forgiving? it really is what you want it to be. Maybe that’s why my Italian husband loves it, too.
DISCLOSURE: There may be affiliate links within this post. I never recommend anything arbitrarily and receive small financial benefit. If I choose to recommend something, it’s of my own free will and volition and MORE because I think you’ll benefit from hearing about it more than me gaining the $$.