Melissa Elsmo

From time to time, tweaking packaged ramen is one of my favorite easy and indulgent ways to get dinner on the table. Ever since I whipped up Chef Roy Choy’s version of perfect instant ramen years ago I’ve been hooked on making the most of the dorm room meal.  The Korean American chef is known for playing a vital role in the rise of food trucks in the United States and made his mark by creating unfussy fare. His ramen hack features egg, butter, and wait for it—sliced American cheese. It is pretty amazing.

I roasted a turkey during our quarantine and the leftover meat found its way into some spur of the moment ramen bowls. The soft-boiled ramen eggs are a key ingredient to add both flavor and authenticity to the dish. Be gentle when you peel them or extend the boiling time to make them a bit sturdier.

I used up some lovely bok choy I received in my produce box from Forty Acres Fresh Market in these bowls, but sautéed spinach, broccoli or even frozen peas would work equally well in this recipe.

Next time you are starring down a few lonely packages of instant noodles on your pantry shelves engage your creative side and make a memorable meal your whole family will love.

Tweaked Ramen with Egg (Serves 4)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 packages instant chicken ramen with flavor packets
  • 7 ½ cups of water
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Cup leftover shredded chicken or turkey
  • 1 Cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 ramen eggs (recipe follows)
  • 4 cooked baby bok choy, halves-whole or chopped (recipe follows)
  • 4 slices of cooked, thick sliced bacon (optional)
  • Fresh Scallions, snipped
  • Soy sauce and sriracha or chili garlic sauce as desired

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place the water in a large stock pot with the seasoning packets and the butter. Bring to a boil. Add the noodle packets and cook for 2 minutes—using a for to separate the noodles. While the water boils, build the bowls.

Place a bok choy half in each of 4 bowls. Add ¼ C each chicken and corn to the bowls. Divide the hot noodles evenly between the bowls. Ladle the hot broth over the noodles. Carefully cut each ramen egg in half and place in the bowl. Add a bacon strip to each  bowl and sprinkle the with fresh scallions. Garnish with shredded nori, sesame seeds, soy sauce and sriracha as desired.

Enjoy with chopsticks and soup spoons.

Baby Bok Choy with Ginger

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 heads baby bok choi, halved lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup of water
  • salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat the canola oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium -high until hot, but not smoking. Add the bok choy, cut side down to the pan and allow to sear in the hot oil—about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and add the ginger.  Partially over the pan and carefully add ¼ C of water to the pan—use the lid as a splatter guard. Cover the pan fully and allow the bok choy to steam for 4 minutes. Remove lid and season with salt and pepper.

Marinated Ramen Eggs

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ Cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ Cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, gently lower the eggs into the water. After the water returns to a boil set a timer for 7 minutes. When timer goes off, remove the eggs from the water with the slotted spoon and place into an ice bath to cool. Meanwhile mix the soy sauce, water, vinegar, sugar and red pepper flakes in a storage container. Take the cooled eggs and gently peel them. Place the peeled eggs into the soy mixture. Cover the container and refrigerate for several hours or up to two days-rotate the eggs in the marinade once or twice.

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