The week before we left for Vancouver, the Pie, poor thing, got tonsillitis. After the fever went down and he’d rested a bit (read: slept all day and all night for two days), he still had a raging sore throat and came home from the doctor’s with an enormous jar of amoxycillin pills (sorry folks, when you’re grown up, they don’t give you the banana-flavoured liquid anymore).
To tempt his appetite (hard to be hungry when every swallow is like eating razors), I made him all sorts of his favourite soft foods, and this was one of them. Ramen is the sort of thing we eat when one of us is out for the evening and the other doesn’t want to be bothered with really cooking.
Of course, the ramen as it comes in packages with salty broth and dried noodles cooked in coconut or palm kernel oil is an unhealthy choice, and I haven’t yet learned to make it from scratch. So we try to add a few things to it in the hopes that it will be nutritionally redeemed — somewhat.
This means that there’s a bit of prep work involved in making what is normally an almost instant meal, but it’s totally worth it. Just remember that any vegetable or meat or anything you put in the ramen must be fully cooked or sliced super dooper thin, because it will only be in the boiling water for a very short time.
Accordingly, tonight I thinly sliced up a small onion, an Italian sausage, and about six mushrooms.
I’m trying to get more protein in small packages into the Pie’s stomach (when you’re a large man and you’re barely eating, you tend to get very tired), so I’m also adding two eggs to this mix. Beat those up and let them wait in a bowl until you’re ready. Other things that work well in ramen are things like thinly sliced roast beef, green onions, pre-cooked baby shrimp, chopped hard-boiled eggs, red peppers, alfalfa sprouts, spinach … anything small, pretty much, will work.
So the first thing I do when cooking packaged ramen is I measure the water into a pot and I add the powdered broth. I like to give it a chance to simmer a bit. I also add a healthy dollop of minced garlic.
When the water is boiling, I slide in the blocks of noodles and cook them for about a minute.
Then I pour in the vegetables and sausage and give them a stir (cooking chopsticks are very handy here, but a regular pasta spoon will work as well), and let that cook for another minute.
Then carefully pour your egg in, in a thin stream, so it cooks and forms strings on the surface of the soup. Give that a stir as well, and then you’re ready to serve.
Garnish with fresh herbs if you like, or chili flakes or whatever floats your boat. Smooth and simple!