Weeknight Cooking

I Love Instant Ramen Noodles but Hate the Flavor Packs. Help!

A bulk-buy staple forms the backbone for this quick weeknight supper.

Published Mar. 3, 2020.

My ramen memories go back nearly 40 years to a time when, as a grade school latchkey kid, I had all afternoon to “stay out of trouble” at home before anyone adult got home from work. I spent most of my time in the kitchen, making snacks and baking cookies and watching General Hospital on the old black-and-white TV. (Anyone else remember Luke and Laura?)

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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.

Ramen was always there as an after-school treat mostly because it was so cheap, but I always loved the slithery noodles and warm broth. To this day, I keep a few packets of ramen noodles in the cupboard. But I don’t mess with the flavor packets. Instead, I use that block of ramen as a canvas—something to build on.

This recipe for ramen with meaty shiitake mushrooms, gorgeous soft-cooked eggs, and the lively flavors of fresh ginger and Asian chili-garlic sauce comes together in just a few minutes and is deeply satisfying. It can be served on a cool evening or in front of your favorite soap opera. Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up a packet of noodles. You never know when the mood might strike to doctor it up into something special.


Vegetarian Ramen with Shiitakes and Soft Eggs

The key to this Japanese vegetarian dinner is balancing the savory broth with vibrant ingredients.
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