D.I.Y Ramen Noodle Bowl
Craving a hot and steamy ramen noodle bowl like you might find at your local Asian noodle shop? Here are the details you need to know to make a great ramen bowl with a few shortcuts along the way.
Flavorings & Condiments
Be adventurous, but don’t add too many competing flavors. Add a splash of fish sauce for an umami-touch. Stir in rice vinegar and sesame oil into reduced-sodium soy sauce for a savory combo. Kick up the heat with chili garlic sauce. A grating of fresh ginger or thin strips of pickled ginger is a nice touch. Finish it all off with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to brighten the flavors… and then slurp away!
Pump Up the Protein
Don’t forget to include protein in your bowl. Thinly sliced meats such as beef brisket, flank steak, chicken breast or pork tenderloin are great options. For something quick, add shredded chicken, cooked shrimp or cubed tofu. A soft or hard-cooked egg is also a great finishing touch.
Traditionally, ramen is topped with nori (dried seaweed) and diced green onions, but to make a bowl your own, include ingredients with a variety of flavors and textures. Add corn kernels for sweetness, bean sprouts and bamboo shoots for crunch, a charred jalapeño for heat and shiitake or cremini mushrooms for an earthy flavor.
Just before serving, stir in some quick cooking vegetables such as baby spinach, arugula, baby kale or watercress. Longer cooking vegetables like bok choy, napa cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas or shredded carrots can be added to the noodles as they are cooking.
Bubbling Broth & Noodles
At the heart of any ramen bowl is the broth. Usually pork, chicken or seafood broth is used and then seasoned with soy sauce, miso or salt. A slightly firm, chewy noodle that allows the right amount of flavor to adhere is ideal. But if you want a quick, semi-homemade ramen bowl, start with a less-sodium chicken, beef or vegetable broth and add a package of quick-cook wavy ramen noodles.