Instant Ramen can often be cast off as an unhealthy perpetrator, usually an msg laden block of processed noodles without a healthy label in sight. While I do agree, these often sodium packed meals are not great for every day eating, it does become a lifesaver when you're looking to make something fast and cheap.
We can't win them all.
But there are steps you can take to make ramen less crappy for you, we all do our best, am I right?
1. Read the labels -- look for bad words like "partially hydrogenated oils" or "Sodium Tripolyphosphate" -- avoid buying ramen with these words listed under their ingredients. Also look for saturated fat and sodium content, the lower the number, the better.
2. Buy fresh ramen and store in the freezer -- this cuts down on preservatives and helps store fresh ramen for longer periods of time. Simply cook, drain, and place into hot broth when ready to eat.
3. Take an extra step when cooking and boil the noodles separately in a pot of water. This way, the water extracts a lot of the oils and preservatives in the noodles leaving you with a less greasy broth.
4. Don't use all of the broth packet -- growing up my mother never used the entire packet, at must she'd use 1/4 and taste with salt at the end. You can also supplement the packet entirely with chicken or vegetable broth, your arteries will thank you.
(makes 1 serving)
- 1 package of instant ramen
- 1/3 cup leftover roast/cooked chicken
- 1 package of enoki mushrooms (shiitake, cremini and oyster mushrooms work too)
- 1 green scallion, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 egg
Rinse egg gently under warm water and place into a small or medium pot of water. Set onto stove and bring to a boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes and remove egg from water, cool, peel and set aside in a bowl. Add enoki mushrooms and cook for 1 minute, drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, slice green scallion and trim ends from mushrooms. In a large soup bowl, place half a packet of ramen seasoning (or omit and season with salt) and a couple drops of soy sauce and sesame oil. Place a couple ladles of hot water into the soup bowl and stir until seasoning has dissolved.
Add ramen to remaining boiling water and cook until just softened, about 4 minutes. Drain and place into soup bowl. Slice egg in half and place on top of ramen. Garnish with scallions and enoki mushrooms.
**** You can completely omit the seasoning packet and substitute chicken broth instead. Simply heat 1 1/2 cups of broth and place into your serving bowl.