Thursday, April 24, 2014

Semi-homemade Ramen Soup

When you make the broth yourself, Ramen is still delicious, and it won't kill you!
Do you ever have a crystal clear partial memory?  Where you remember a certain detail vividly and you remember exactly 0% of the context?  That happens to me a lot.  I have no idea why my brain latches on to certain minutia, but it does, and today you will get learn about a detail that I remember from seven years ago.

I was in my Freshman Residence Hall, but in the basement.  I smelled something funny (this is not unusual since it was a male hall with no natural ventilation) and I followed my nose to an athlete whose name/sport I never knew, and I told him "Your room smells atrocious." 

He looked at me and said, "I made ramen with Gatorade for the carbs and electrolytes, but it was gross, so I poured it down the sink."

I glanced into his sink from across the room, saw a pile of ramen noodles and some yellowish residue (probably the gatorade powder).

That's the end of my memory, but this incident had such a profound effect on me that I did not eat ramen for my entire college career. Why would you put Gatorade powder in your Ramen, are you really that desperate for electrolytes, or just dumb?

After college, I didn't eat Ramen either because I became independently wealthy and can afford to spend more than $.12 per meal.

However, a few weeks back I saw this blog post from Buttered Side Up, and I was inspired to give Homemade Ramen a try. The soup has to be called Semi-homemade because I didn't make the noodles, I don't think I would ever attempt that sort of thing.  I was hoping to be fancy and use soba noodles, but Food Lion and Aldi don't carry those things, so plain ramen it was.

Now, you can eat Ramen any way you please, but if you don't want to kill yourself, repeat this mantra, "I will throw away the seasoning packet."

The reason that this Ramen Soup is so flavorful and delicious is that I substitute high quality homemade chicken broth for MSG.  The components of this soup are extremely easy, chicken broth (spiked with fish sauce), vegetables, chicken (in Penzey's Sate Seasoning) and boiled eggs, but the flavor will blow you away. Combining both chicken broth and fish sauce makes this almost a mock pho (not quite that deep of a flavor, but close), and I wish I would have had jalapenos, thai basil, and bean sprouts to throw in.  Almost any broth would work, and I hope to make this again soon with a pork based broth.

Typically when I eat broth based soups, I think, "Good appetizer, where's dinner?" But this soup is so full of goodies (and protein) that it actually filled me up. Going forward, I won't think of this a soup but as warm hug for my belly. It's the perfect antidote to spring rain, and almost delicious enough to make me forget about Gatorade Ramen... almost.

print recipe

Semi-homemade Ramen Soup
This ramen soup is a delicious way to get your noodle fix, and as a bonus, it won't kill you :)
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 White onion thinly sliced
  • 3 Stalks Celery julienned
  • 2 Carrot juilenned
  • Chicken Thighs diced
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Penzey's Sate Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Kale sliced into bite size pieces, stalks removed
  • 2 Packages Ramen Noodles
  • 3 (or 6) Boiled Eggs
  • 1/8 bunch Cilantro
1.Add chicken broth, fish sauce, sriracha, celery, carrots and onion to a pot with plenty of extra room. Bring pot to a slow boil. If you haven't boiled your eggs yet, you can actually do it in this pot if you want.2. Cover chicken in seasoning then heat olive oil in a large frying pan and cook chicken over high heat until chicken is completely cooked (5-7 minutes)3. When the chicken is done cooking, add ramen noodles and kale to your broth and allow broth to continue to boil for 3 minutes.4. Serve ramen in a bowl and top with chicken, boiled eggs and cilantro.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 3 Servings


  1. OK seriously, Gatorade ramen? Somebody who makes Gatorade ramen was allowed into college at all? That is ridiculous.

    I definitely overdosed on ramen in college and haven't been interested in it since, until recently. I've seen so many great "gourmet" versions of it that now I'm starting to crave it again. I love what you've made here. And kale means it super healthy so I can eat all I want, right? :)

    1. Kale makes this health food for sure ;) There are so many great ways to make homemade ramen, so I hopr you give it a try soon.

    2. hopr=hope. My son is learning to type.

  2. Gatorade and Ramen? Ewww!! I do not even want to imagine how that would taste!
    Normal ramen on the other hand I love, but have never attempted at home, I'll have to give it a go!

    1. I never thought that I would be a ramen eater after the Gatorade+Ramen incident, but this homemade ramen has converted me. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. 'Crystal clear partial memory' should be an official scientific concept. I have a lot of examples of that, though I can't remember any of them offhand because--partial memory. :)

    1. I'm so glad that I'm not the only person who has this problem. The memory is so vivid, and I have no context. Worst of all is when I try to piece together the context the whole thing just seems so strange and wrong.