I mean, I can cook, I just don't want to. I am not one of those people that can just eat PB & J , or mac 'n cheese from the box, or frozen meals for dinner. Lunch, yes, but dinner? No. Something in the rule book of motherhood has prevented me from doing this because I'm afraid I will lose all love for myself. On those nights, instead, we just go to Taco Bell.
I actually do make ramen or udon bowls sometimes, and I make everything but the noodles from scratch. Yesterday, I did not want to do even that. So I made everything a little easier on myself, but I was still happy with the results. And so was my daughter. I remember my mom making me bowls like this after cold afternoons and camping trips.
First I had a little help from my friends:
I think the key for picking a good packet of ramen is to get one that looks at least semi-Japanese. I know, Top Ramen is cheaper, but splurge the whole dollar and get one with some Japanese characters on it. Sapporo Ichiban is one that is very common in supermarkets around the country. I usually like one that's even a little more high end at my grocery store ($3 a packet) but I wanted to show you this one because I know it's so common. Anything other than Top Ramen please, which I really think is disgusting. I have some values left, people. I only let Amaya eat Top Ramen dry as a snack. Ha.
Frozen Gyoza is so common these days. I've definitely seen big bags of them at costco. Sometimes they are labeled "pot stickers" but they're the same thing. I like them from scratch better, but if I'd rather not spend an hour making them, these babies are ready in 3 minutes.
And then I used just a little of this:
And I had a passable dinner, or lunch.
Semi-Homemade Ramen Bowl
(Serves 1 mom and 1 kid)
1 packet of Japanese Ramen
1 packet of frozen gyoza (only need 3 or 4 from the packet)
1 leaf of napa or Chinese cabbage, chopped
1 handful of soy or mung bean sprouts
1 handful frozen peas
1 egg (you may also prefer it boiled instead of my poaching method)
1 green onion, chopped
Other possible garnishes: edamame, shelled; sliced white onion; sliced ham or turkey; nori strips
1. Cook 3-4 gyoza according to package directions. Heat one tablespoon oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Toss gyoza in and "saute" until browned on 2 sides. Now here's the scary part, but trust me: toss in 1/2 C of water into the pan and immediately cover. Let sit for about 3 minutes and then take the cover off and turn down the heat. Let sit in pan until ready to serve. Alternately, you can just boil the gyoza-- I just like it this way because it has that crispy edge.
2. Boil 2 C of water in a sauce pan over high heat. When it reaches a boil, put the block of ramen and the greens into the pan. Turn down the heat to a simmer. After one minute stir it around. Make a little room on the side and crack open the raw egg into the water, carefully so it stays together. If you don't like a runny yolk, you can just stir it all together and it will be more like egg-drop soup consistency, or keep it together if you like the poached style.
3. After 1 more minute (you want to make sure the noodles are not overcooked. If they're too soft the ramen doesn't taste as good) take the pot off the heat source, stir in the packet of soup seasoning, and put it in a large bowl. Serve while hot.