Do you love a cup of soup and instant ramen as much as we do? Here’s a DIY way to get your noodles fix while also upgrading it to be more delicious and packed with fresh ingredients.
Serious Eats’ J. Kenji López-Alt shows us it’s easier than you might think:
The idea is simple and genius: combine par-cooked noodles, a bit of vegetable base, some raw sliced veggies, and a few seasonings inside a jar. Add boiling water, wait a few minutes, and you’ve got yourself a lunch with all the appeal of instant noodles, but with actual flavour and freshness trapped under that lid.
We get all the benefits of instant noodles when it comes time to eat (convenience and portability), and we can also control exactly what goes into our lunches, avoiding too-salty or overly MSG-packed broth, and getting bigger bits of vegetables.
Kenji offers several examples to get you started (Spicy kimchi beef flavour instant noodles! Thai coconut curry shrimp flavour instant noodles!), but more important are his tips for making your own flavours.
Two tips stood out to me: Better Than Bouillon makes for a great soup base, and select specific noodles to make this work. Uncooked ramen or Italian pasta will come up mushy and gummy, but rice noodles, par-cooked noodles and no-cook noodle alternatives will do well. You can find these in Asian supermarkets. Alternatively, you can cook other noodles such as ramen until slightly underdone.
Check out the Serious Eats post for more details and ideas.