Eating on a budget: Asian-Style Cilantro Chicken Ramen

Chicken Ramen with Cilantro If you've ever seen a show or an ad for Chicken ramen from Asia, you know that the bowl of noodles and broth looks a lot more exciting there, and comes with sliced meat, eggs, and vegetables....

Chicken Ramen with Cilantro
Chicken Ramen with Cilantro

If you've ever seen a show or an ad for Chicken ramen from Asia, you know that the bowl of noodles and broth looks a lot more exciting there, and comes with sliced meat, eggs, and vegetables. When you look at those bowls of ramen, it totally makes sense that the dish is so popular both here and abroad.  It looks nothing like the dry cube of instant noodles and broth that can be bought cheaply at any grocery store.

In the United States, ramen has a reputation for only being eaten by kids and broke college students. If the ramen in my dorm room came out looking like the colorful and nutritious bowls from those ads, I could have eaten it every day and kept smiling.

There are a lot of reasons why the ramen in those commercials looks so different than what we're used to, including fresh ingredients and homemade noodles.

But we're trying to cook on a budget, so as long as you have a few fresh ingredients on hand, you don't have to rely on home made noodles to make a truly delicious bowl of ramen.

Here are some tips from us on jazzing up your ramen to give it that gourmet flavor and look, without making your wallet go on a diet.

Asian-Style Cilantro Chicken Ramen

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic diced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and diced
  • 2 chicken thighs, sliced thinly
  • 2 crimini mushrooms, halved and then thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 package udon or ramen noodles, with broth packet
  • 1/4 cup diced cilantro
  • 1 cup plain coleslaw mix (unsauced)
  • 2 boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
  • Water per instructions on back of packet
  • Siracha

 Directions

  1. Over medium-high heat in a large saucepan or pot, combine the oil, garlic, ginger, until it starts to sizzle, but not brown.
  2. Add in the chicken, and stir, browning it on all sides. Add the same amount of water as given on the back of your ramen packet.
  3. Turn the heat up, and allow it to come to a slow boil.
  4. Add the mushrooms and scallions, and cook until the colors brighten, but don't allow them to become soggy.
  5. If you're having trouble maintaining the slow boil, it is OK to turn the heat up slightly.
  6. Add the noodles, broth packet, and cilantro, and stir until the noodles break apart and the cilantro and broth mix are well incorporated.
  7. Just before the noodles are done, add the coleslaw mix.  You can also shred your own cabbage and carrots, but I find coleslaw mix to be the easiest and cheapest way to go.  Once you've stirred in the coleslaw mix, remove the pan from the heat.
  8. Immediately divide the noodles and broth into two deep bowls.   The broth will continue cooking the thin shreds of cabbage as you serve.
  9. On top of the noodles in each bowl, fan out and place one sliced egg, and dot with Siracha chili sauce if desired.

Now you have a bowl of ramen that is as pretty as a picture, and just as delicious.

Enjoy!

For more advice, tips, and recipes, please contact us.