Put down that cup of instant noodles. Seriously. Why settle for mediocre when you have the real deal… from scratch? Fine, there is an extra 15-20 minutes (gasp) that will go to preparing the real deal, but in my books that is the definition of quick and easy. The extra (small) time investment is soo worth the result. Freshly made, quick and easy vegetarian ramen, get in my belly, now!
I always have a few packs of dry ramen noodles in my pantry for emergency lazy meals like this one. You know, sometimes you are just too tired to cook. I have been there and, in fact, I am there on a regular basis…. The answer is quick and easy vegetarian ramen.
And let’s set things straight. Lazy meals do not mean unhealthy meals. For some reason, ramen noodles seem to have racked up a bad reputation. I guess it’s largely due to the instant cup noodles kind. I mean, of course dinner out of a styrofoam cup is not going to be healthy. Leave the cup noodles to the college kids. Real ramen (not the 25 cent kind) is healthy and full of fresh ingredients, not dried carrots and peas that come to life when you add water… yikes. Put that stuff away and use real ingredients!
I eat this stuff as a whole meal as is because, even though it is vegetarian, it still contains lots of protein (especially with the egg). But sometimes I like to change it up and add other types of protein. So basically, this recipe should be called quick and easy choose your own protein ramen. It is the perfect base recipe for you to use and add whatever protein your heart desires! Think tofu, shredded rotisserie chicken, beef, prawns… yes the options are endless.
Now, excuse me while I go curl up my blanket and devour a bowl of this stuff. Nothing does it better on a cold day like today.
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 teaspoons ginger, grated
- 4 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin or rice wine vinegar
- 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- ½ cup fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 2 (3 oz) packs dried ramen noodles
- hot sauce, to taste (optional)
- ½ cup green onions/scallions, sliced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- sesame seeds (optional)
- Heat the sesame oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a couple minutes until soft and fragrant. Stir in the soy sauce and mirin and cook for another minute. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the eggs and cook for exactly 7 minutes for a slightly runny yoke or 8 minutes for a soft yolk. Remove eggs from the pot and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. After a few minutes, peel the shells off carefully and slice the eggs in half, lengthwise. Set aside.
- Bring another pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook for about a minute, until just wilted. Remove from pot and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
- Add ramen noodles to stock mixture and cook 2-3 minutes or according to package instructions. Add some hot sauce, to taste (optional).
- Divide the soup into 2 large bowls.
- Top with an egg, spinach, carrots and green onions. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional) and serve immediately.