Homemade Ramen Noodle Soup

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A couple years ago The Kid and I gave up our cable TV service since the prices were getting ridiculous. We moved to watching network TV with an antenna and watching other fun stuff through Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. The other night I was poking around in the section of movies they recommended for me and found a movie called Ramen Girl.

It was actually a pretty cute movie if you like chick flicks. Not award winning by any stretch, but entertaining if you’re bored one night. Naturally all I could envision after that was ramen soup. Sigh, thank goodness it wasn’t Humongous Super Hot Fudge Sundae Girl that I watched. 😉 I did my research and found a recipe that looked promising and set about Questifying it.

Seriously. Every time I look for authentic Asian recipes, I’m traumatized by the number of steps, the chopping, the time consuming processes that seem to go into making these dishes. I do appreciate the thousands of years of traditions, souls, and secret ingredients that go into each one. That’s is so my kind of thing, BUT I don’t have time for all that.

Exhibit A of not having time. I had ramen soup, my recipe, and ingredients all planned out. I got a call from The Kid 2 hours before I was to start making dinner. “Oh hey, don’t forget I have to be back tonight for a meeting.” Um, yeah. First I’m hearing of this, so no chance of me forgetting if I’ve never been told. Sigh, so I gathered my wits, reread the recipe, and Uber-Questified it not only for calories and macros, but now for time.

Boom! The result, ramen in a flash. It’s got a little bit less of my soul put into it, but it still tasted like perfection to us. The Kid loved it, gave it a like on Instagram, and asked me to make it again. The trifecta of Kid Approval. There are lots of notes on this one both in the instructions and afterwards, so make sure to read through before heading to the store to get ingredients and starting.

Homemade Ramen Noodle Soup Homemade Ramen Noodle Soup

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms (see notes)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped (appx 3/4 cup)
  • 3 oz (85g) shredded carrots
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp white miso paste
  • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 oz (140g) uncooked ramen noodles (see notes)
  • 12 oz grilled chicken breasts, sliced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts chopped
  • 4 tsp sambal oelek

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add in the dried porcini mushrooms. Let them sit in the water for about 15 minutes. I used a big glass measuring cup for this step. Once the mushrooms have softened, gently scoop them out and keep the mushroom water. Don’t dump it out! Slice the mushrooms and set aside. While the mushrooms are soaking, don’t just stand around. You can use this time to slice your onion, white mushrooms, chicken breasts, and green onions.

Heat a large pot over medium heat and spray with non-stick spray. Add the onions and carrots, and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are softened and translucent. Add in the chicken broth and mushroom water (not the mushrooms, just the water). Stir in the miso, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Give it a good stir to mix in the miso since it’s thick. Bring the soup to a boil and lower the heat to let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, divide the sliced white mushrooms evenly into 4 big bowls. Ramen is about the presentation so typically there are clusters of veggies and ingredients in the bowls to look pretty. They aren’t all stirred up together. I just sort of pushed my mushrooms into one section of the bowls in small piles.

About 10 minutes into simmering the soup, start a pot of water to boil for making the noodles. This will give the water time to come to a boil and for you to cook the noodles, and have everything come together around the same time. Yes, you are an efficient machine here. Once the water is boiling, you’ll need to pay attention to get these next steps right.

Ramen comes in blocks of dried noodles and for this recipe, I used two blocks. Drop them gently into the boiling water, but don’t stir. This isn’t spaghetti where you stir to break up the noodles. You want the ramen clumped. You’ll be boiling them for 4 minutes. Keep watch on the time! One minute after dropping in the noodles, use a spoon or ladle to gently add the 2 eggs to the water.

The eggs are in their shells as you are soft boiling them for 3 minutes. Just gently sit them in the water to the side of the noodles. Boil the noodles and eggs together for the remaining 3 minutes. Carefully drain both. I used my ladle again to quickly pull out the eggs, and then drained the noodles in a colander just like spaghetti. Again, don’t break up the clumps of noodles.

This should be right about the time the soup is finished simmering. Remove the soup from the heat. While the eggs and noodles are cooling enough for you to touch them, carefully ladle the soup broth into the bowls with the mushrooms. The soup is hot enough that the mushrooms will slightly cook while you are waiting on the eggs.

Lay the sliced chicken breast pieces in a section of each bowl. Add in a little pile of the sliced porcini mushrooms. Slice each clump of ramen in half and place a clump of noodles in another section of each bowl. Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel the eggs and slice each in half. Place an egg half in each bowl. Top the soup with the green onions for garnish and serve with the sambal oelek.

Makes 4 servings at approximately 329 calories each – 28g protein, 42g carbs, and 6g fat.

Notes

  • If you don’t have or don’t want porcini mushrooms, you can substitute 1 cup vegetable broth and 3 cups water for the water/porcini combo. You will also obviously be skipping the first step of soaking the mushrooms and slicing them.
  • I used carrots from a bag of shredded carrots that I had for salads, wraps, and spring rolls. Shredded carrots are one of the few ingredients where I buy pre-shredded and pay a little more, but they save time and food processor washing. I call that even. 😉
  • I used minced garlic from a jar and a tube of ginger. It’s very true that fresh tastes a little better, but every time I buy fresh I find it later dried up or moldy in my fridge when I desperately need it. To avoid this, I get the jar and tube and I’m good to go. If you’re using fresh, use 3 cloves of garlic and about a 1 inch piece of peeled ginger as equivalents here.
  • You can use regular ramen noodles for this soup, but I went with Jade Pearl Rice Ramen Noodles since I liked the ingredient list and nutritional information better. I found them at Whole Foods but Amazon also has them. Don’t freak out over the price, it’s for a package of 6. They also come in black and brown rice versions. Black was cool but I thought the green would look pretty in the soup.
  • If you need other recipes to use up your sambal oelek, I used it in Kung Pao Grilled Chicken Tacos, Spicy Asian Stir Fry, Thai Curry Turkey Fritters, and more. Just do a search for sambal oelek on here and you’ll see a bunch. I also use it in place of sriracha on eggs, burgers, and more. I plan to use the miso to make The Kid miso soup and also in a sauce for chicken later this week. Trust me, I use up my ingredients instead of a pinch of this and that, while leaving the rest to sit forever.

The steps here may seem crazy, but I was a Zen Master at time savings. The original recipe had all kinds of crazy things going on. They had you straining the onions and carrots out of the broth and throwing them out! Sheesh, you lose the color, the nutrients and the texture that way. They sautéed the white mushrooms in a pan. I figured why not let the broth cook them while you wait, instead of adding a step and having to clean another pan.

They boiled the noodles and eggs in separate pots in separate steps. Complete insanity there if you ask me. 😉 All those pots, water boiling time, and clean up. I made the eggs and the noodles best friends. The noodles had no complaints moving over to let the eggs into the hot tub. LOL. They also cooked the chicken in a separate pan on the stove top. I saved a bunch of time using chicken I already had grilled and waiting in the fridge.

The final change I was to greatly cut down on the fat. The original had bacon, skin-on chicken thighs, and sautéed everything in a lot of sesame oil. I took out all of that and was able to really lower the calories to make it reasonable for a really large bowl of ramen. The recipe was fun to Questify and it ended up tasting so much better than those cheap plastic bags of ramen bricks we all bought in college. Much better for you too.

Have at it and let me know how your version goes!

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