Did you know that Japanese ramen soup can be a perfect deconstructed family meal that allows everyone in the find something to eat and reduce mealtime battles? Read more on why and how to deconstruct meals here.
This variation of the recipe is probably not the most authentic but it is simple enough to put together on a busy night and exciting enough even for a Japanese food lover like my husband.
Unlike most soups, ramen is designed to be assembled in a bowl before the aromatic broth is poured on top. This makes is so great for family meals and easy to enjoy even if your kids are intimidated by some of the ingredients. And you can adapt the recipe to your family’s preferences and your fridge contents.
Easy Deconstructed Ramen (adapted from www.damndelicious.net)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1-2 tablespoon soy sauce
chopped chives or spring onions, to garnish
– cooked chicken or meat
– cooked fish or seafood
– pieces of tofu, raw or sautéed
– boiled egg (cut in half) or pieces of omelet.
– shredded carrot
– mushrooms (can be cooked in the broth or sautéed)
– tender greens like spinach (can be added to the bowl right before pouring the hot broth)
– kale, bock choy or other greens that can be sautéed or steamed
– bean sprouts (can be added right to the bowls)
– kimchi (can be added to the bowl and makes a nice upgrade for foodies in your family)
– your favorite chili peppers, sliced
– any roasted vegetables (eggplant, peppers, zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots).
– classic ramen cooked according to the package instructions
– instant rice noodles that can be crumbled right into bowls (a hit with my kids)
– any leftover pasta sitting in your fridge
– Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
– Whisk in chicken broth, mushrooms and carrots (if using), soy sauce and 3 cups water.
– Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until mushrooms have softened about 10 minutes.
– Set the table with the noodles and toppings.
– Allow each family member to assemble their own bowl using the toppings they like.
– Pour the hot stock in the bowls.
– Sprinkle with chives or green onions, if using.
Let me know if you try it and what is your favorite combination of toppings!