I don’t know about you, but I’m barely grocery shopping these days. Instead, I am relying on staples that I usually keep stocked in my pantry. Actually, would you want a blog post about what my staples are?? Anyways, one easy lunch or dinner that I’ve been making a lot is this ramen recipe… although to call it a ‘recipe’ is a little disingenuous. Basically, this is a twist on the classic Cup of Noodles that we all know and love. When I was in college, I was very bougie about it and added a few ingredients to make it better. Well, that practice has evolved into the ramen you see in this post. It’s got layered, nuanced flavors, real vegetables, and actually tastes like something you could get at a restaurant. So I wanted to share it with you today, plus offer a few substitutions in case your pantry isn’t as fully stocked!
I am definitely one of those people who finds comfort in a big bowl of soup and noodles. The steam always makes me feel a little bit better, while the flavors are just so comforting. This ramen recipe is literally so easy, takes less than 20 minutes to make, and is filling! I’m also used it as a way to use up produce that needs to be eaten because you can literally add whatever you want to it.
How to Make My Easy Ramen Recipe with Pantry Staples
Ingredients (serving for 2):
- 2 Cup of Noodle packages
- sesame oil
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 6 gloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons gochujang
- a few dashes of fish sauce
- handful of frozen corn
- handful of spinach
- handful of mushrooms, thinly sliced
- high protein tofu
- chicken stock
- Furikake rice seasoning
- chopped cilantro
- chopped green onion
Put a large cast iron pot on medium heat and add enough sesame oil to barely cover the bottom of the pot. Add shallot and let that soften for a few minutes or until translucent. Then add garlic, ginger, gochujang, and fish sauce. Mix together and let it all mingle. This is where you develop the flavor! Let it caramelize together for 2-3 minutes, then add the tofu, corn, and mushrooms. Stir to combine and evenly coat the veggies and tofu in the sauce. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, then add the Cup of Noodles. Add enough chicken broth to barely cover the noodles and bring to a boil. Be sure to stir a few times as it comes to a boil. After a few minutes, add the spinach so that it wilts. Remove from heat, portion into big bowls and top with garnishes.
- Noodles: if you don’t have Cup of Ramen on hand, you can also try rice stick noodles, udon or any other type of noodle you have on hand. Or make this as a soup without noodles and less broth, then serve over rice.
- Oil: you could use coconut oil or any neutral oil, really. I just love the flavor that sesame oil adds.
- Sauces: you can also use sriracha or any other chili sauce. Just make sure to adjust the amount according to your spice level preference.
- Veggies: literally you can put anything in this… kale, bok choy, carrots, green beans, peas, ANYTHING.
- Protein: I really love the high protein tofu that I’ve been finding at Trader Joe’s. You could also use pork or chicken that’s already been cooked. Also, usually I do a 6-minute egg for the ramen, but felt lazy the day I was taking photos!
- Aromatics: you can swap the shallot for any type of onion. I would definitely miss the ginger if it’s not there, but it’s not a huge dealbreaker.
- Garnishes: I really believe that garnishes are what make something homemade feel like it’s from a restaurant. If you don’t have cilantro or green onion on hand, you can try shaved carrots, chives, Thai basil, sesame seeds, galangal, lemongrass… even a squeeze of lime!
Looking for even more soup recipes? Check out these:
- Comfort Food Recipes I Highly Recommend
- Rustic Sausage, Potato & Kale Soup
- Avgolemono Soup, The Ultimate Comfort Food
- Spiced Sweet Potato Soup