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What is Ramen?
Ramen noodles are noodles that are partially cooked, then fried in unhealthy oils until they form a nice, dry brick.
Ramen itself is pretty bad for you. The seasoning packet is basically chemicals with a bit of added beef of some kind. Let's be clear, ramen is no health food, especially when eaten alone and without anything else in the mix.
You may be thinking "Why on Earth would we want to cook with it?" There are a few reasons:
1. It's a cheap food superstar. At .18 cents at my local supermarket, it's the cheapest meal around.
2. It tastes good. That's one good thing that can be said for all the artificial flavorings. :P
3. It's fast!
4. With just a little work, that lowly brick of noodles can become a somewhat healthy meal.
There are two schools of thought regarding ramen recipes. School A embraces its natural leanings. School B Tries to conceal that there is ramen in the recipe at all. I lean towards School A. It's just more zen!
Recipe: Easy A Ramen Noodle Soup
This is a recipe that turns out excellent every time I make it. Double it or even quadruple it until you have enough servings to feed everyone!
1 ramen, any flavor
1 cup green cabbage
3-4 whole carrots
In a saucepan, start bringing water up to a boil. Scrub your carrots and chop your cabbage. Make sure your cabbage is spoon-sized.
Grab a potato peeler, and start peeling your carrots over the saucepan long-ways. The strings of carrot should look like great orange noodles if you're doing it right. Peel all carrots into the pan. Then add the flavoring packet that came with the ramen and the cabbage.
When the soup base is up to a full boil, break your ramen brick into smaller pieces and add to the soup. Cook until noodles are done. Serve immediately. This yields 2 large servings, or 3 normal sized servings.
This meal is great for serving guests in a hurry, or for cold winter days. The ramen isn't all that healthy, but with the addition of the cabbage and carrot it becomes a filling soup for practically pennies!
Recipe: Just Add Water Ramen
1 Pack Ramen
Bring water to a boil. Add ramen brick and stir while cooking until noodles are broken apart. I recommend cooking for much less than the cooking time on the package. The package says 3 minutes, I go for 90 seconds-2 minutes. 3 minutes is just an overdone mess in my opinion.
Now, here is the important part. Do not use the entire seasoning packet. How do the Asians eat ramen as a part of their diet and live to tell the tale? They either:
A: Add other stuff to their ramen.
B: Use hardly any of the seasoning packet.
So add just a small bit of the poison- I mean seasoning packet and stir. Taste. If it has a nice flavor but lacks salt, either add soy sauce or salt. Keep salting until it tastes right. Then throw the seasoning packet away!
Recipe: Uh-oh! Where's the Os Tomato Ramen
1 Ramen, beef works best.
1 small can Campbell's Tomato Soup
Shredded cheese of choice
Parmesan or romano cheese
Bring tomato soup to a boil. Break ramen into smaller pieces before cooking if desired. Add noodles to soup. Add small amount of beef seasoning to soup mixture. Boil noodles until fully cooked. Remove from heat and top with parmesan and shredded cheese. Serve immediately.
This soup tastes a lot like Spaghetti Os. For added health and flavor, try adding zucchini or broccoli.
Recipe: Shrimp Scampi Ramen
4-5 good sized shrimp, frozen or fresh
Lemon for juice, bottled stuff acceptable too
Red pepper flakes
1 ramen pack, any flavor
Start bringing water up to a boil in a saucepan. In a skillet, melt butter with the oil. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add shrimp, salt and black pepper. Cook until shrimp turn a nice pink color and are firm to the touch. Remove from heat. Add lemon, red pepper, and parsley.
Cook noodles according to directions. Toss with the shrimp mixture. Do not add sauce packet. Serve immediately.
Recipe: Ramen Stroganoff
1 Pack Ramen, beef preferred
Hamburger or ground turkey, 4-8 oz.
Splash of milk
Get water boiling and cook noodles according to directions. In a skillet, saute onion until translucent. Add minced garlic clove and saute until fragrant. Add ground meat and cook until browned. Add sour cream, splash of milk, pat of butter, black pepper and a small amount of the beef seasoning packet. Keep over medium heat until mixture becomes bubbly. Toss in hot cooked noodles and serve immediately. Be sure to serve with a vegetable as a side for health and flavor. Serves 1, easily doubled or tripled to feed a crowd.
Recipe: Sweet and Savory Ramen Noodles
1 pack of ramen, any flavor. Creamy and picante flavors discouraged. Traditional is best.
Teriyaki or Asian sauce such as General Tso
Green bell pepper
Finely shredded cabbage (slaw mix is excellent!)
Shredded carrots (slaw mix is awesome for this)
Mushrooms, canned or fresh
Cooked meat, optional. Beef, chicken, pork or shrimp.
Put water on the boil for the noodles. In a saucepan, saute garlic and all other vegetables until heated. Add meat if desired. Add a half cup water and a small amount of the seasoning packet if desired. Add a pinch of cornstarch. Bring up to heat, then add your sweet sauce of choice and let it thicken. General Tso is my personal favorite. Once hot, pour the sauce over hot noodles. Serve immediately.
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