Ode to thee, oh wondrous ramen noodle! Ye noble instant morsel, champion of the cheap and hungry, how I adoreth thine warm and salty nourishment. Oh ye of easy preparation, of indomitable value, of scarce nutritional and flavor content, ode to thee!
I have a long and storied history with instant ramen noodles. From the Cup Noodles of my childhood to the Maruchan packs of my college years, ramen have been a loyal companion through the various chapters of my life. But familiarity has a tendency to erode appeal, and after a while those little flavoring packets weren't cutting it.
I began searching for ways to enhance the ramen experience, first with hot sauce, then with frozen vegetables, then with canned chicken, ham and tuna. Finally, the other night, I achieved what I believe to be a shining new pinnacle of ramen preparation.
- 1 pack of Maruchan instant ramen noddles
- 4oz of prime rib, diced
- 2oz frozen peas
- Worcestershire sauce
- Cabernet (don't tell my roommate)
- Crushed red pepper
- Salt and pepper
Bringing about 2.5 cups of water to a simmer, I added prime rib, a liberal quantity of Worcestershire sauce, and a purloined splash of Cabernet. I then seasoned the broth using a good bit of thyme, a sprinkling of basil, a little S&P and a dash of red pepper for a little kick.
I'm normally a mid-rare kinda guy, but I allowed the steak to cook fully to get some au jus action happening in my soup. After the broth reduced to about half its former volume, transforming into a sumptuous, meaty ambrosia, I added the peas.
Then, satisfied all the flavors were balanced, I added the noodles, crunching them, as always, to manageable pieces before opening the pack. Needless to say, I discarded the flavor packet (shrimp) realizing it could only hamper the savory tang my soup already had. The noodles, as I suspected, absorbed the majority of the broth as they cooked.
The resulting bowl of ramen was likely the best meal anyone every ate for less than a dollar (the prime rib was part of a self-apportioned severance package from my last restaurant job). The Cabernet imparted it's maroon hue to the dish, creating a pleasing visual contrast with the bright green peas. The thyme lent a nice herbal smokiness, the wine a subtle sweetness, the Worcestershire a pleasing tang. Of course prime rib (which deserves an ode of its own) works to enhance the character of any dish. I found this to be especially true of ramen noodle soup.
I doubt you have a better ramen recipie. But if you do, I'm all ears.