Whether it’s the dish’s colorful display or the seamless blending of savoriness and spice, there’s always something to love about ramen. It has been a pillar of my Japanese culture for centuries, and familiar to most Americans as instant ramen. Although instant ramen is quick, easy and undoubtedly delicious, it contains numerous preservatives and too much sodium for one meal. Instead, here is my family recipe to a healthier alternative that still packs the flavorful punch of comfort food while providing a vibrant presentation. 

Yuriko Chavez / Daily Nexus

Ingredients

For the broth:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • ½ cup of soy sauce 
  • ¼ cup of rice vinegar 
  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 cups of chicken broth 
  • 5 sliced mushrooms
  • 12 slices of deli meat 
  • 3-4 packages of dried ramen/yakisoba noodles
  • Chili garlic sauce (optional, to taste)

For the toppings (Optional):

  • Sliced fish cake 
  • Sliced carrots 
  • Egg
  • Sliced green onion

Yuriko Chavez / Daily Nexus

Directions

Preparing broth:

  1. In a large pot over high heat, stir-fry the onions in olive oil. After occasionally stirring the onion slices for about 5 minutes, add in mushrooms and stir for another 3 minutes. Then, add in garlic and ginger and saute for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add chicken broth, water, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce and optionally chili garlic sauce. Stir, then simmer. After 2 minutes, taste; if it is too salty, add more water. 
  3. Once the broth is ready, add slices of deli meat. If serving for numerous people, I suggest slicing the meat into quarters. Stir for another 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and serve. 

Preparing the egg:

  1. Boil water in a small pot, add an egg and cover pot with a lid.
  2. Remove the egg from the water after exactly 6 minutes. 
  3. Transfer the egg into a bowl of ice. After the egg cools, peel the shell then slice in half.

This recipe is perfect to make when serving your friends or family. One of the most fun parts of making this with my family is adding toppings to the dish. You can use cookie cutters on the fish cake or vegetables to give this comfort food an added sense of warmth. 

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