Saturday, May 3, 2014

Ramen Noodles Every Night

I know you've all see the Allstate commercial about Emily and her ramen noodle every night budget. In case you haven't:

Ramen noodles aren't a bad thing . . . especially if you are on a budget and somewhat kitchen challenged. They are about the easiest thing in the world to cook at $.17-$.20 a package, they are also almost the cheapest thing to eat. It is, however, possible to make your ramen experience more enjoyable.

I recommend a trip to an Asian grocery store. You can get the basics for a much more reasonable cost than at a regular grocery--and in much larger sizes.
Asian Grocery Shopping List:
Soy Sauce
Fish Sauce
Sambal (ground chili paste)
Hoisin Sauce
Lemon Grass
Bean Sprouts
Shrimp flavored ramen

Other things you may want to add:
Basil/Thai Basil
Green Onions

I've already got most of those ingredients on hand, so this week I left out the bean sprouts and picked up the ginger, mushrooms and lemon grass at the regular grocery. I also bought frozen salad size shrimp. I managed to find some at the dollar store, but you can usually buy the really tiny shrimp in large size bags at Walmart--the big bag will last you a couple of weeks because you only need to add a couple of them!

Boil two cups of water on the stove and grate (or slice really finely) your ginger and lemon grass into the pot. Add four or five shrimp--remember you bought tiny ones! Then add your mushrooms. Add a dash of soy, fish sauce, sambal and hoisin sauce. Let the mixture boil for about two to three minutes and then add your ramen noodles and cook them according to the package directions. You may want to use only half of the seasoning packet because the sauces all have salt in them.  After your noodles are cooked you can add your fresh herbs and a squeeze of lime.

"Fixing" chicken flavored ramen is pretty easy as well. I just add small amounts of whatever frozen veggies I have in the freezer, some fresh onion, carrot and garlic as well as the soy and sambal.

I don't usually add sriracha to my ramen, unless I've got a stuffy noise, but feel free to add as little or as much as you like before serving!

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