How to Ditch the Instant Noodles and Make the Easiest Homemade Ramen
Homemade ramen is not only possible, it’s easy enough for a busy weeknight.
If instant noodles and sodium-filled seasoning packets are the first things that come to mind when someone says “ramen,” your life is about to change for the better. And the time to learn is now.
Homemade ramen is not only possible, it’s easy enough for a busy weeknight. At least, our version is. There are a number of ways to make ramen, including beginning with homemade tonkotsu (creamy pork broth) or dashi (a Japanese broth made with dried seaweed called kombu). But our favorite DIY version, while perhaps less traditional, is a vegetarian miso ramen made with store-bought broth that gets a boost from white miso paste. Think of it as a beginner's ramen: Once you master it, you can elevate it as you see fit.
Our recipe is endlessly adaptable, but there are a few key moments you need to hit every time. I've broken them down for you below:
1. Begin by browning your protein/meat-y vegetable in the pot to give it a nice sear. We opted for mushrooms in the recipe above, but this is where you'd cook your tofu, chicken, pork, etc. Remove from the pot and set aside before continuing.
2. Next, you'll cook your aromatics until fragrant. Ginger, garlic, and scallion whites are your friends, but so are shallots or leeks if that’s what you have. But maybe don’t skip the ginger. You’ll miss it if it’s gone.
3. Next comes the broth (either chicken or vegetable is fine) and the miso. You'll have a hard time incorporating the miso if you attempt to add it straight to the pot, so instead, remove a ladleful of broth and transfer it to a small bowl. Whisk in the miso until combined, then return the mixture to the pot. If you want deeper, earthier miso flavor, opt for red miso instead of white.
4. You'll now season the broth with tamari (or soy sauce) and sesame oil. But don't stress about following our measurements exactly. Taste your broth and adjust as necessary: The amount of tamari or oil you'll want to add will depend on which brand of broth you used and the type of miso you added, etc.
5. Now for the best part—the noodles! We tasted all the ramen noodles out there and determined Nona Lim Tokyo Ramen Noodles are the absolute best choice for fresh ramen noodles. But even the dried noodles from the pouches will do—just ditch the salty flavor packet.
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We like to finish our bowls with 6-minute eggs and a veggie that can cook alongside the noodles in boiling water, such as bok choy. Top each bowl with Sriracha, red pepper flakes, toasted sesame seeds, crumbled nori, togarashi, scallion greens, etc. Now isn't the time to be shy.