My parents never lost their grad-school induced love of ramen. Growing up, we had ramen for lunch on the weekends. My parents still eat it for lunch on the weekends. Of course, in the years since grad school, they have started dressing up the ramen by adding vegetables, shrimp and more.
This is a bit of a guilty pleasure food. It’s not great for you, but its delicious, filling, and cheap. Also, it is great for cleaning out the refrigerator.
The classic ramen has to be Maruchan. You can get a pack of six for $1. My favorite flavor is shrimp, and shrimp flavor ramen with cheddar cheese will forever remind me of fall home football games. I grew up a few blocks from WVU’s football stadium, close enough to hear every touchdown. The excitement in the air was palpable, and always started early – we’re talking cracking open a beer at 7:30. While I grew up here, I never went to a football game until I returned for law school. Let me tell you – football Saturdays are more fun when you go to the game.
Recently, however, we’ve graduated to better ramen brands. My new favorite is Nongshim (Shin Ramen – Gourmet Spicy). It’s slightly more expensive at about $3.50 for 4 packets, but the quality is much better.
Vegetables (choose a few):
- Carrots (a handful, sliced thin)
- Cabbage, sliced thin (about a half cup)
- Broccoli, chopped small (about 1/4 cup)
- Mushrooms, sliced thin (about 1/4 cup)
- Spinach (about 1/4 cup)
- Anything else you like in soup
Other Things (whatever you want):
- 2-3 shrimp, chopped small
- Cheese (not traditional, but delicious)
- A soft-boiled egg
- Boil water in a saucepan. How much water depends on how much broth you want. My family likes a lot of noodles and less broth, so we do about a cup and a half per packet.
- Add the vegetables, and cook until soft. Add the flavorings now.
- Add the noodles, and cook until tender.
- Serve, garnishing with a soft-boiled egg, scallions, cheese, or whatever your heart desires.