Ramen Noodle Upgrade

Oh, ramen.  The stuff that self-pitying colds and collegiate dreams are made of.  I can’t say ramen is something I normally have in my house, but I need it for a summertime slaw that I’m completely obsessed with (a recipe I’ll get around to posting SOMEtime, promise) and you can only buy it in 6 packs in my grocery store, so in the summer it’s more of a staple than I’d like to admit, I guess.  Not exactly health food.

Ramen Upgrade

But you can make it so much better with just a few quick and easy upgrades!

If/when (let’s be real, if.  If if if if if.) I become less lazy, I will find a way to make my own ramen spices and avoid having to use that super-salty pack it comes with.  But today is not that day.  Today is the day I tell you to suck it up and drink lots of water to compensate.  Problem solved.

Ramen Upgrade

All these photos look the same. I’m sorry. But they’re also all of delicious food, so maybe I’m not that sorry?

Ramen Noodle Upgrade (adapted from Martha Stewart/Mad Hungry)

  • 1 package Ramen Noodles
  • 1 Oriental Flavoring Packet
  • 1 t. Soy Sauce (I don’t like the saltiness of soy sauce so I try to use it super-sparingly– you could put more in if you’re into that)
  • 2 T. Chunky Peanut Butter (the chunky should really go without saying.  I know you aren’t kind of monster that buys smooth peanut butter)
  • 2 t. Sriracha, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 Zucchini, peeled and sliced into ribbons
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Scallion, sliced

If you don’t like raw zucchini, cook zucchini ribbons in a bit of olive oil over medium heat for just a few minutes to soften them up.  Fry an egg whichever way you prefer it– though sunny side up is definitely the way to go here– and set aside.  Prepare ramen according to package directions, then drain off most of the liquid.  Stir in soy sauce, peanut butter, and sriracha.  Plate (well, put it in a bowl), top with zucchini strips, fried egg, and sliced scallions, plus however much additional sriracha your sinuses can handle.  Eat immediately.  You probably think you should eat this immediately so it will be hot and not separated and gross.  But in truth I mostly say eat immediately because it’s delicious and you shouldn’t deprive your tastebuds of this longer than you have to.  Potayto, Potahto.

Ramen UpgradeI was probably way prouder of this than I should have been, but I see tons of potential for easy experimentation with this recipe, and that’s so exciting.  Want to add some sliced carrots?  Do it.  Want to make this with shirataki noodles and your own spice mix?  Go for it (and then send me the recipe, please)!

This recipe also felt like a good compromise between my urge to dive into fall head first and my resistance to letting go of summer.  As tempting as brussels sprouts and butternut squash are, I’m not quite ready to leave my summer produce behind, and this kind of cozy, noodly dish feels like a good way to ease into that whole autumn thing.  Then again, I did go to a beer festival this weekend wearing burnt orange and a vest, and basically only drank pumpkin beers.  So maybe I’m more ready than I thought.

Fall Colors and Beer!

Also, it rained. A lot. See ya, summer!

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