- Food and Cooking
Easy, Cheap Recipe for Cooking with Ramen Noodles
Rate my Ramenttata
Cooking with Ramen Noodles
There are times when a person just can't afford to buy anything more expensive than ramen noodles or oatmeal. There are also times when going to bed hungry is more appealing than another bowl of fatty, salty noodles or bland oatmeal. However, even ramen noodles can make a delicious meal that's anything but boring. For pennies a serving, you can turn ramen into a tasty, filling dish.
So what is this magical creation? It is the "ramenttata," a quick and easy dish you can easily adapt to use whatever is in your pantry. It is based loosely on the frittata concept and was developed, as far as I know, by a former housemate. The only mandatory ingredients are a packages of ramen noodles and an egg or two. By following this recipe, you can make a filling meal for less than 50 cents.
Ramen noodles are infamous for their high saturated fat content and out of control sodium, but I have included a couple of 'healthier' suggestions to make the meal less bad for you. It obviously is not health food, though, but the eggs give you good protein and the noodles provide an inexpensive, easy to make filler. I calculated the cost of ingredients for the ramenttata shown in the video at 36 cents. If you buy eggs on sale, you could slash this price even more. How else, without hunting or having a substantial garden, can you make a filling meal for close to a quarter?
How to Make a Ramenttata
- 1 Package Ramen-type noodles
- 1-2 Eggs
- 1-2 Teaspoons Olive oil, butter, or cooking spray/oil
- Whatever else you have
Tri-ply cookware allows heat to spread evenly across the pan's surface, eliminating hot and cold spots. You can ruin the most expensive ingredients with low-quality cookware. With a high-quality pan, even simple meals come out perfect.
At about a dollar each, these noodles are a real splurge, compared to other ramen. They are also delicious and well worth the whole dollar.
Make Your Cheap and Easy Meal
The basic ramenttata is easy to create and modify.
- Cook your ramen noodles according to the package's instructions.
- While the noodles are cooking, preheat a skillet over medium heat with enough cooking fat or oil to lightly coat the pan's bottom. I prefer to use olive oil because it is healthier than other oils or butter, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Butter, imitation butter, vegetable oil, cooking spray - you name it. If you are using a nonstick pan, you can even try the ramenttata without oil, but, depending on your pan, it may end up more like scrambled egg noodles by the time you get it off the bottom.
- Drain the noodles in a colander. To make the dish slightly more healthy, rinse the noodles with hot water. Ramen cooks so quickly because it has been deep fried. When the noodles are hot, a lot of this fat is on the surface. By washing the noodles in hot water, you can remove some of this fat. Do not use cold water or the fat will re-solidify.
- Lightly beat your eggs in a medium bowl. Add any other ingredients at this time.
- Add noodles to the egg mixture and stir to thoroughly combine. Try to coat the noodles with egg or you will end up with an eggy layer on the bottom and a bunch of noodles on top.
- Pour the noodle mixture into the hot skillet and use a spatula, or shake the pan, to spread the noodles into a uniform thickness. The noddles should sizzle. If you don't hear sizzling, your pan is too cold and you need to turn up the heat.
- Very soon, you will see the egg beginning to cook around the edges. The amount of time you should allow the ramenttata to cook before flipping it depends on your stove and pan, as well as how crunchy you want it to be. I find that about 3 minutes is usually good. Slide the edge of your spatula under the ramenttata and try to lift it. If the ramenttata will not hold together, it isn't ready to be flipped. If it looks solid enough to flip in one piece, it's ready.
- After flipping the ramenttata, allow it to cook for another 1-2 minutes. Most of the egg is already cooked by this point, so you are just trying to get a nice crust on the second side.
- Plate your ramenttata and enjoy!
How to Make Ramen More Exciting
The ramenttata is easy to modify. Basically anything that tastes good with eggs or in Asian food works well as a ramenttata ingredient or topping. In the video, I used a small amount of fresh chives from my container garden. When I made a ramenttata for the third night in a row to take pictures, I mixed things up a bit by adding onion and sofrito sauce. I simply sauteed the onion in the ramenttata skillet while the noodles boiled. Then, I mixed the onion, eggs, and sofrito before adding the noodles.
Other toppings I've seen on a ramenttata include ketchup, peanut fragments, cheese, and even salsa. You can also experiment with different herbs and spices to vary the flavor. Why not add curry powder, Italian herbs, or something even more exotic? That's the beauty of the ramenttata - virtually everything tastes good, especially if you do not include the noodle's flavor packet. Omitting the flavoring is another fantastic way to make the meal healthier because virtually all of the sodium in ramen noodles comes from these seasonings.
Inexpensive Recipe Ideas
Cheap, Easy Meal
As mentioned above, the video ramenttata cost 36 cents. It was so filling I had to take a break halfway through and come back for more later! In addition to being extraordinarily inexpensive, a ramenttata takes 10 minutes, or less, to prepare. I don't recommend you eat them all the time - they clearly aren't health food - but they are a great way to create a filling meal when you just can't afford anything else.
Thanks to everyone who has left suggestions for other toppings and ingredients below. Please leave your ideas, too - I still have lots of ramen noodles! If you don't like eggs, but have lots of ramen, consider checking out another hubber's page on how to use ramen noodles as a base for delicious, nutritious soups.