Okay, so the title of this post is stupid. I don’t care. I was getting ready to leave work this evening and thought, “Boy, I could really go for some ramen noodles for dinner!” Maybe the most random craving ever, especially for me because these ten cent plastic bags of sodium are not my jam on an average day. But today was not an average day anyway, so I went with it. Now, the annoying thing about Ramen is that the best one is the Chicken flavor (I feel like everyone knows this, right?) and yet, I don’t eat chicken nor chicken broth and I’m not about to bust open nearly three years of being a pescetarian for some stupid ramen packet. I knew I could get the shrimp flavor and then I thought, “Ramen or Cup Noodles?! Oy! Decisions!” so I tweeted that dilemma out to my followers with the directive “Discuss.”
And discuss they did. The responses I got varied and I got confused. Sample responses:
“@kristelpoole Cup O’ Noodles, no contest. Easier to make well, and less dishes! #foodie“
Immediately followed by:
“@kristelpoole the shrimp in cup noodles is the unhealthiest food on the planet, I read on a blog.”
So, without being offered any conclusive evidence from my followers I decided to choose NEITHER option and instead be a rebel and make my own ramen, damnit! So I went to the Asian market and grabbed a couple things I was missing (including a ginormous jar of Kim Chee to snack on while I cooked – only 10 calories per serving, hel-LO!). Then I realized I was still missing a few things and maybe this whole idea was stupid, but it’s one of those things that you start on a whim and have to finish because you’re really stubborn. Or maybe that’s just me… anyway! I stopped by the next grocery store and picked up a few veggies and extras for later in the week.
I don’t really “do” recipes and my computer messed up when I was about to cook, so I couldn’t look up a base ramen recipe anyway, so here’s a list of all the junk I threw in there! If you don’t know what it is, please please please ask in the comments. I’ll help you find it or explain what it is!
Disclaimer: I know ramen is traditionally a Chinese dish, but frankly, I don’t care. I like Thai food better so you’ll see a weird fusion between Thai, Japanese and Chinese ingredients…sorry bout that. (Not really)
Serves 1,000,000,000 (or probably 8 but it’s a heck of a lot)
~2 handfuls Chinese style ramen noodles (medium)
4 tbs Fish sauce
3 tbs Tom Yum paste
3 tbs Chili in Oil (I love spicy food. If you don’t, scale this back a LOT.)
~2 cups Low-Sodium Veggie Stock
~4 cups water
2 tbs white miso paste
1/2 c frozen corn
1 c frozen broccoli
1 tamarind (out of the shell, added to the stock for yummerz, but don’t eat it.)
~1 tsp ginger or galanga
Cook all this together, add the pasta and when it was about halfway done, I added:
Fried fish cake (I just quickly fried one up from Trader Joe’s Mahi-Mahi Burgers and added some sweet chili sauce to it – YUM!)
Then I scooped it into my bowl, added some freshly sqeezed lime juice, some parsley (cilantro would be better), and scallions.
Fish Cake with Sweet Chili Sauce, Scallops and Shrimp
It was actually really, really delicious and I will totally make it again. I think next time I’ll be adding a soft-boiled 6-minute egg and use less spice and add Hon-dashi to the broth. I think I’ll make it a bit more “Chinese” and still get a good result.
Chinese style ramen noodles
So overall, I’m pleased with the result. It was very flavorful and satisfied my ramen noodle craving but was a zillion times more healthy and satisfying. And it still wasn’t very expensive. I think I made enough to last me until the next ice age. Lordy!