I remember when I was in college that I ate those pre-packaged ramen noodles pretty often because they were cheap and quick to make. Have you ever looked at the sodium content in those packages though? Yikes! After going to Japan and eating real ramen noodles I realized that I too could make ramen that was healthier.
So… here is it! It does take more prep work, but it really isn’t that much more difficult to make and can be done on a tight budget.
4 pkgs. Dried Chunka Soba noodles (Guess what…I buy the pre-packaged ramen from the store for about $0.20 and toss the powder packet.)
1 piece garlic (minced)
½ lb. pork or 2 pieces of chicken breast. (Cut pork in thin ½ x 1 inch slices. Cut chicken in thin bite size pieces).
1 carrot cut in thin circles
1 bamboo shoot cut diagonally in thin slices (I omit this ingredient, but you can buy canned bamboo if you can’t find it in the store or if you don’t feel like cutting up a bamboo shoot)
3 dried mushrooms cut in quarters after soaking in water to make soft (I just buy fresh shiitake)
Green beans or spinach—cut green beans in ¼ inch diagonal pieces and par-boil. If using spinach, par-boil and cut into 1 inch length.
½ kamaboko cut into 1/8 inch thick slices
Hard boiled eggs sliced in circles
6 cups cooking soup stock or water
Aji-no-moto (they make some without MSG)
Place oil in pan. Add garlic and pork. Cook until Pork browns. Add 1 Tbs. of salt and cook for another minute. Then add 6 cups of water or soup stock, carrots, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and continue cooking until carrots are cooked. Season to taste by adding additional salt (If you use soup stock this isn’t necessary), mirin, soy sauce, and aji-no-moto.
While above is cooking, boil dried noodles in a pan of boiling water, drain and divide equally in 6 bowls. Pour soup over.
Garnish with green beans or spinach, kamaboko and slices of hard-boiled egg.
Eat hot and don’t be afraid to slurp!