Especially when chilly days have come to town… or when snow comes to town… or when a Thursday comes to town…. 😜 All I want is a steaming bowl of ramen soup.
So I’ve talked a lot about comfort food this winter. I mean, come on… It’s cold outside, I’m struggling with seasonal affective disorder, and food is my therapy.
All I want is comfort food. Every day. In every form.
And ramen? Ramen is my absolute favorite comfort food.
Ever since I came up with this formula to make it simple enough for a weeknight dinner, I make ramen weekly. (Maybe twice a week if it was an especially trying week. 😉) This stuff is my medicine. And whenever I post photos online, you ask for the recipe; so today I’m going to share my drug with you!
All you need is some kind of broth, some kind of noodle (ideally curly noodles, cause… pretty), protein, and veggies.
And soft cooked eggs. Of course. Can’t forget those jammy little beauties.
Now, of course you could order ramen takeout from a local restaurant, but why?? When it’s so easy to make at home and you can save those precious pennies for ice cream! Or… healthier things….
Now, just to say it outright, this is not authentic ramen. I’m not quite sure all of what goes into authentic ramen, but this is not it. I know that authentic ramen is a time-consuming labor of love, and this is cheater’s easy weeknight ramen that touches my soul.
For the most part, my weeknight ramen looks different every time. I customize it based on the vegetables I have available, the protein I’m in the mood for, and the toppings I have in my pantry. But it always includes this formula: broth + noodles + veggies + protein + soft egg. 🍜
And it never fails to satisfy me at a deep spiritual level.
I’m maybe being dramatic… But I’m not lying.
So let’s talk about how we build this bowl.
About the noodles, these Chinese noodles are my absolute favorite. I order them online or get them at my local Whole Foods, and I keep a bag in my pantry at. all. times. You could also use spaghetti or any other long noodle you have on hand.
To prepare, just boil water and add the noodles until they’re cooked al dente. Nothing special or fancy required here. The noodles I use cook pretty quickly (and ramen is the best with al dente noodles), so I keep a very close eye on them!
Once they’re cooked, go ahead and add the noodles to the bowl from which you will enjoy your ramen. (Ideally, you want everything that needs to be cooked to be done around the same time, but it’s no big deal if the noodles are done first. We’ll pour the hot broth over them later and they’ll warm right back up.)
The broth is the easiest part. I usually defrost and warm some homemade broth from the freezer, but whatever broth you have available to you will also work wonderfully!
Then you just stir some simple flavorings into the warm broth. Add salt, black pepper, and miso paste for miso broth. Add soy sauce (or tamari), garlic powder, and sesame oil for an umami broth. Or steep a green tea bag in the hot broth and stir in some ginger powder for a ginger-green tea broth. That last one is my current favorite.
You can totally play around with your broth mix-ins. Start with a little at a time; you can always add more.
Check out this guide for making soft cooked eggs, the perfect topping for our cozy bowl of ramen noodle soup!
If you think about it early enough, I highly recommend marinating your soft cooked eggs in diluted soy sauce with a splash of vinegar and a sprinkle of salt an hour before you’re going to serve your ramen!
The protein for your ramen can be anything your sweet heart desires. Have some leftover steak or chicken? Slice that up and put it on top. Do you know the perfect way to cook crispy tofu? (Teach me your wayyss…) 👏Add it here. Have a can of tuna or chicken that’s lonely in your pantry? Sounds like it should make frands with this soup.
I’ve made ramen with pork belly, short rib, chicken, hangar steak, ribeye, and canned beans, and they were all so amazing.
In addition to protein, we’ve gotta add some vegetables! And similarly to the protein, the vegetables can be whatever you like. Some of my favorites are shiitake mushrooms, kale, thinly sliced cabbage, broccoli, shaved carrots, edamame, spinach, and snap peas. If I’m using mushrooms or edamame, I like to cook them ahead of time, but most of the other vegetables can cook themselves in the hot soup.
Of course you can certainly cook any of the vegetables separately or in the broth when you heat that up (skips a step), but if you enjoy crisp tender vegetables, they can just cook gently in the broth when you add the veggies to the bowl!
And finally, we’re going to finish this comfort food off with some lovely toppings. I usually use some combination of red pepper flakes or thinly sliced spicy peppers, seaweed, green onion or scallions, bean sprouts, hot sauce, sesame seeds, or an additional teaspoon of miso paste.
As you’re beginning to see, the sky really is the limit with your homemade ramen. Go crazy!
Alright, now let’s make some ramen noodle soup!
- 2 oz Chinese noodles or other kind of pasta
- 2 cups of bone broth or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- other mix-ins as noted in the post above
- 1 soft cooked egg, halved
- cooked protein (suggestions above)
- vegetables (suggestions above)
- sesame seeds, optional
- red pepper flakes, optional
- other toppings (suggestions above), optional
- Cook the noodles according to package directions.
- Warm the broth in a small saucepan. When the broth is warm, add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and any other desired mix-ins to flavor the broth. Taste and adjust as needed.
- Add the cooked noodles to a bowl.
- Top with the protein and vegetables.
- Pour the broth over the noodles, and add the egg on top.
- Add the remaining desired toppings. Enjoy!