This post is a part of a series I call Lovely Lady Lunch–where I take time, once a week, to make myself a real lunch. On the side, I might read a book, flip through a magazine, or watch something on YouTube. The idea is to enjoy a delicious lunch and just take a minute in the middle of the day to chill. I encourage you to share your lovely lady lunches on media using the tag #lovelyladylunch!
There was a lot of instant ramen noodles for lunch in my youth. I mean, it’s super quick and hits all those salty, umami notes that we crave (hello MSG!). Most of the time it was just the basic package, almost always with an egg poached right in the “broth”. Sometimes my mom would dress it up with a heaping spoonful of gochujang* and a sprinkle of scallions. This cheater’s version of ramen is similar, but instead of using the seasoning packet that comes with the ramen noodle brick, we’re tossing it and replacing it with savory and mild white miso paste.
Besides being a total flavor bomb, this lunch comes together super quickly, in less than 10 minutes! Add whatever vegetables you have on hand, it’s a great way to use up any odds and ends in the crisper.
*Gochujang is a spicy, fermented Korean chili paste that is totally addictive. It’s sweet, spicy, salty, and a little funky. If you’ve ever ordered bibimbap, it’s the sauce that always comes on the side for mixing in. It lasts months in the refrigerator and is great as an addition to all sorts of other dishes. See how I’ve used it in the past in my Potsticker Salad with Sweet and Spicy Dressing, Simple Salmon Bibimbap, and Asian Slaw Steak Salad.
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons white miso paste
- 1-2 tablespoons gochujang*
- 1 package of instant ramen noodles, seasoning packet discarded
- about 1 cup vegetables (I used sliced mushrooms and spinach)
- 1 scallion, sliced thinly
- 1 boiled egg, peeled*
- sesame seeds or furikake*
- Pour the water into a medium saucepan. Stir in the miso paste and gochujang (add more or less gochujang to your preferred spice level). Bring to a boil, add the noodles and any heartier vegetables (this is when I would add the mushrooms). Boil for about 3 minutes, until the
are just tender. Add the spinach and continue cooking until just wilted. Pour the ramen noodles and broth into a bowl and garnish with scallions and the egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or furikake before serving. noodles
*Boil the egg to whatever doneness you like. I did a 7-minute egg, which makes for an egg with a soft, but not runny, center.
*Furikake is a seasoning mixture meant for sprinkling on top of rice and other foods.
Sugar snap peas, asparagus, carrots, or even corn are great additions to this ramen!