If there's one current food trend that kids and parents can completely get behind, it's got to be ramen. And while you may have subsided to the store-bought, prepackaged versions during your college days, the versions taking the food world (and our office — hey, it's been a really cold Winter around here!) by storm are heartier, healthier, and a lot less salty than the kind you find in the grocery aisle! Plus it's a great way to get kids to eat their veggies in a really fun way.
But if the idea of boiling up a bowl of the tasty broth and curly noodles sounds overwhelming, you're in for a surprise. One of our favorite family-friendly chefs, Patricia Wong from Farm to Table Baby Mama says they're not only easy to make, but they're a fun way to get creative in the kitchen. "Ramen and I go way back," Wong says. "In grad school a project I worked on was to create a healthy ramen. I wanted to start a ramen truck in Berkeley, before food trucks were a thing! Today, noodles still have my heart. I make noodle soup weekly because the kids love it, the broth and veggies are nourishing, and to be honest, it's the easiest family recipe I know!"
Wong says one of the best parts of making ramen is that the broth is freezable, making it great for busy weekday nights. "I usually make fresh broth over the weekend and can freeze it if I have a big batch. Getting dinner on the table is so quick and easy," she says. "I particularly love ramen because it's so tasty, and you can get creative with the toppings. With all the possibilities, it's never a boring bowl!"
Watch the video of one of her favorite versions above — Ramen With Farm-Fresh Egg and Spring Vegetables — and see the recipe below, because the weather hasn't warmed up that much so far this Spring!
- 1 leek
- 6 pieces of ginger, freshly sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
- 1/2 cup of soy milk (optional)
- 6 cups chicken broth (fresh or store bought)
- 4 servings ramen noodles
- 2 cups corn
- 4 eggs
- Olive oil
- Sesame oil
- Pea tendrils
- Squash blossoms
- Cut 1 leek into fourths and then halves. Sauté garlic, ginger, and leeks with olive oil over medium heat until dark brown, about 20 minutes.
- Add 6 cups of chicken broth (fresh or store bought) and simmer together with the sautéed ingredients for about 1 hour. Strain broth, and add some salt to taste and 1/2 cup of soy milk.
- For a perfect medium-boiled egg, gently add eggs to a boiling pot of water and cook for 7 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath for 4 minutes, making sure it's completely cool before removing it. Peel and then slice.
- Cut scallions as desired. Or to curl scallions as we did in the video, cut lengthwise into very thin strips. Add to an ice bath and refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until they begin to curl.
- Sauté two cups of corn (or your favorite vegetables!) with olive oil and a little sea salt. Other vegetables that we like to use are spinach, pea tendrils, sliced onions, and bean sprouts.
- Cook ramen noodles until they are slightly firmer than the final consistency you want, since they will continue cooking after you remove them from the water. Final texture should be not too hard and not too soft.
- Assemble bowl! Add noodles and broth, and finish with toppings.
- Main Dishes, Soup
- 4 servings