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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ramen Skillet

 Times are tough all over.  It's a fact.  Food and gas prices are rising like crazy - it cost me $100 to fill up my Suburban this week.  That means that we home chefs need to get a little creative with ingredients.  Now, I am not a regular ramen fan.  I just cannot get pass the flavor envelopes full of sodium and other weird flavors.  This recipe, however only uses the noodles (toss the packet in the garbage).  With as little or as much meat as you want (use chicken, pork, or beef), fresh or frozen vegetables of your choosing and a couple of packets of cheap noodles, you can make a pretty frugal meal.  The nice thing?  It was absolutely delicious and passed all of the kids' taste test.
 This recipe came from the cookbook Best Skillet Recipes by Cook's Illustrated.  It originally called for cabbage, but that wasn't what I had.  I grabbed a package of frozen broccoli and use that instead.  It also called for using a 14 inch nonstick skillet.  My biggest is only 12 inches, so I cooked the meat mixture in a separate pan than the noodles, then combined them all at the end.  This served my family once for dinner, with a few servings left over....maybe 10-12 servings.
Ramen Skillet (Originally called Ramen with Pork, Scallions, and Cabbage from Best Skillet Recipes)
1 pound boneless meat (pork, chicken or beef)(or maybe tofu for the non meat eaters?)
8 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2-3 green onions, chopped (or use regular onion, diced,  if that's what you have)
6 medium garlic cloves, minced fine
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 14 ounce cans chicken broth (or beef or vegetable)
4 3 ounce packages ramen noodles (discard seasoning)
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 16 ounce package chopped broccoli (or the equivalent amount of a preferred vegetable....maybe not beets)
Cube the meat into bite sized pieces, pat them dry and then toss them with 2 tsp of the soy sauce.  Heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil in a skillet over high heat until just smoking.  Add the meat, break up any clumps, and cook without stirring until it begins to brown.  Flip over the cubes and let it cook on the other side, too.  Stir, make sure it's cooked all the way through and then transfer it to a bowl, cover it to keep it warm and set aside.  Cook the onion in skillet until soft, add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and heat through, turn off the heat to keep from burning.  Meanwhile,in a separate pan, heat the broth and add the ramen, broken into small chunks.  Simmer until ramen is just tender, about 2 minutes.  Add the remaining 2 Tbsp soy sauce and the oyster sauce, stirring to mix well.  Add the vegetables (if you are using something that takes a long time to cook, like carrots, you would want to cook them with the onion/ginger mixture to soften them up) and cook until done and sauce thickens a bit.  Add in the meat and the onion mixture, heat through and serve.




25 comments:

danasfoodforthought said...

What a creative idea! those little packets freak me out too, but using just the noodles is the perfect solution!

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

Gas is CRAZY right now! Looks like you did of great job of stretching the budget!

Lyndsey said...

I am so glad I drive a small Honda, and work at a school only 3 block from my house!

My daughter discovered ramen noodles lately and we always discard the "sodium packets". I did a simular dish last night, but with rice sticks...they don't take long to cook either. I had some leftover chicken and cooked up what veggies I had on hand. I like to add tahini too, gives a nice nutty flavor. My daughter had her friend over and they both liked it, her friend said she's never had anything like that before. They also had tofu to snack on before dinner. :D

I will have to come back often and get more of your great ideas!

Emily Malloy said...

This has gotten my tummy to growl!

Evan B said...

This is our go-to "I'm not in the mood to cook but I don't want to eat out so let's do something easy" meal :) I love ramen.

ryann2 said...

That is an awesome idea! You're braver than I am, I have yet to totally fill up my Suburban. Just the half a tank, somehow makes it less painful. :)

Belinda said...

It's crazy isn't it? I adore ramen and this is definitely the way to go!

Delishhh said...

What an awesome recipe. I love ramen noodles and never use the packaging with it. It's really good if you boil them in chicken stock and then add some veggies. Very easy dinner.

Drick said...

reminds me of an article in Men's Health a year or so ago, chefs doing entrees using ramen noodles... very appealing if I remember, and so is this recipe, thanks

Kim Kelly said...

This is something that my kids would like... they have recently learned that they like nearly everything with an Asian flair! I have to admit that I've never had ramen.
$100... whew... I have a Tahoe and thought my $82 was bad! Hang in there!

Miz Helen said...

This looks like a wonderful recipe and very frugal. I love Ramon Noodles and everything you can do with them. Thank you for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and please come back!

Monet said...

Smile. Whenever I make ramen, I always throw out the spice pack too. Too salty! Your recipe looks delicious. Yum! Thanks for sharing, sweet friend. I hope you have a great Friday. I need a loong and relaxing weekend, and I'm sure you do too!

Katerina said...

Tell me about it! I am stretching my budget and stretching it and sometimes it looks like an old rag. You made something beautiful with minimum cost!

Rosemary said...

I wish the word *thrifty* didn't connote *cheap* to many people -- it's just a good way to be. No one can afford to be frivolous with money! (I always throw away the flavor packets too -- but I've fried the noodles for salad crunch!)

The Country Cook said...

I could have sworn I left a comment yesterday but apparently not. I got so excited about seeing this recipe, I must have not hit "enter"...lol.
I had something sorta like this years ago at a picnic and I never got a recipe. So I was doing a major happy dance when I saw yours! Thank you, thank you for posting this one!!
Brandie

Susi said...

It's been forever since I had a bowl of Ramen, but this does sound good. Great job stretching the budget, which we all need these days.

gingerbreadcake said...

Oh this looks sooo good. It's been a while since I've had ramen but now I'm craving it. :)

Toby said...

I have to admit... I keep a hugemongous box of ramen noodles around for quick lunches. But I usually discard the "flavor" pack and just add veggies and soy. I love the adaptation!

as a side note.... I keep a couple of the "flavor" packs around for other things... I make my own rice a roni - they work perfect in seasoning when you're in a pinch

Joanne said...

This ramen is so much of a step above the way it is traditionally served that I don't think these dishes even deserve to share the same name! Love this.

ButterYum said...

Somehow I missed out on the Ramen craze when I was in my teens and 20s, but my teens introduced me to them in my 40s. We love the chicken flavor... can't believe you throw away the packed - as unhealthy as they must be, that's what keeps us going back for more ;).

Love the recipe you shared - sounds like a great weeknight meal.

Have a good weekend.
ButterYum

Lizzy said...

Great recipe!!! We all can use a few bargain meals these days...and you've made a delicious one :)

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

Hey, do you want to submit this to Presto Pasta Nights this week? I am hosting and there are details on my blog. I'd love to add it to the round up on Friday, thanks!

thejoyofcaking said...

This sounds like a win-win to me. New recipe, saves money. You go girl!

Kita said...

I am not showing this to my boyfriend. He will have us living on this 24/7. His love of ramen is a little weird...
I will make it for him some day and let him be in awe of me though :)

Krista Jorstad said...

I'm a college student living in a college group house, so i inevitably have an entire box of ramen sitting on the shelf. I'm a vegetarian and had no idea what to do with it, but this has given me a little push to start getting creative with it. Thanks!

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