Ramen is everywhere—its popularity illustrated by the long lines extending from some ramen restaurants. And, no, it’s not those packets of dried noodles from the supermarket fueling this food’s moment. It’s a complex dish: a delicious broth stocked with healthy ingredients. Basically, it’s a winter warmer that’s right even on a spring evening. Homemade ramen is a joy.
Many chefs and restaurants lard up these bowls of Japanese comfort with fatty cuts of meat, overly salty ingredients, and even a dose of oil that the soup doesn’t need. And the broth can take days to make: start with this piece of pork, add these bits of chicken, add these bits of dried seaweed, on and on and on.
We’ve figured out how to streamline the process with either a super-fast ramen broth or one that takes a little more effort but is much more sophisticated, so you can make healthy, hearty ramen anytime. Use the following ways to enjoy ramen sans lines.
Super-fast ramen broth for two
- Pour 3 cups reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth in a medium saucepan set over high heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons mirin (a sweetened Japanese rice wine that you can find in the Asian aisle of almost every supermarket), and 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger.
- Bring this mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer slowly for 20 minutes. (Double, triple, or even quadruple this recipe at will.) Now create your bowl of ramen with the suggestion below.
Slightly more complicated ramen broth for two
- Make the same broth mixture as above but use 4 cups of reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth and also add 1 kombu sheet (that is, dried kelp, found in most health food stores and from lots of online outlets) and 2 smoked turkey wings.
- Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to very low. Cover and simmer very slowly for 1 hour. Remove and discard the kombu and turkey. (Again, double, triple, or even quadruple this recipe at will.)
Create your bowl of ramen
When the broth is ready, stir in zucchini noodles and simmer slowly for 2 minutes. Then place some or all of the following (all of which have zero SmartPoints® value) into two serving bowls:
- 2 ounces sliced smoked skinless turkey breast
- 2 ounces enoki mushrooms or thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 2 medium scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 hard-cooked egg, halved
- And/or 1/4 cup baby spinach or baby kale leaves
Finally, ladle half the broth and noodles into each bowl. Enjoy every last slurp!
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