Having perfected, I think, my approach to comfort ramen, I will share it now as a complete recipe. This soup is a miracle worker, and so easy and quick to make that you can (probably) even do it at work.
Ultimate chicken & egg ramen
- 1 package Maruchan ramen noodles, any flavor
- 2 cups water
- 1 egg
- Milk, small amount (about 1/8 cup)
- 2 tsp. Herb-Ox chicken bouillon (or equivalent of your preferred brand, for 2 cups liquid)
- 1 tsp. dried minced garlic (jarred will work too, but use less if you chop it fresh)
- Celery, chopped (fresh or dehydrated)
- Mushrooms, sliced (canned, jarred, or dehydrated)
- 2 tbsp. butter
Bring water to boil. If using dehydrated celery instead of fresh, add now; otherwise add it with the other ingredients later. Open ramen package and remove flavor packet (save it for another recipe); break up noodles slightly, but not too much. In a microwave-safe bowl, beat egg with a splash of milk. Microwave for 30-60 seconds, stir, and repeat until egg is just cooked—but do not overcook—then break egg into small chunks. Once water boils, add noodles, bouillon, garlic, and mushrooms. Stir, and cook for 3 minutes as per ramen package directions. Pour into a bowl, and push butter down into the middle until submerged. Add scrambled egg and stir a little to mix it in.
This meal will really warm you up. The soup comes out piping hot and stays that way for a good long while. You can of course use any brand of noodles you like; I specified Maruchan because that’s what I buy, so the recipe is calibrated to that. I use the celery for crunch, dehydrated because I never keep fresh celery on hand. Mushrooms add body and flavor, and since I use dehydrated mushrooms I can add a handful of them quickly. (You can add the mushrooms early if you want, too.) Butter adds considerable flavor and the fat makes it more satisfying; remember, butter has healthy fats! The egg, which should come out fluffy from the microwave, is sublime. And when all the noodles are gone, an incredibly flavorful broth is left.
I can throw this together in just a few minutes, which makes it perfect for the occasional lunch. If you don’t work from home yourself, and odds are you don’t, you can pre-scramble the egg the night before and let it chill in the fridge, throw your seasoning and veggies and mushrooms into a zip snack bag, put the chilled egg and butter in a different zip bag, and then just bring along your ramen package and favorite large microwave-safe soup mug (and a fork of course) for a little cooking kit. It should cook up in no time with the help of your break room microwave.
Or, you can do one better and just cook it quickly in the morning, and throw the whole batch into a pre-warmed Thermos. (It can stay with you at your desk, and Todd the lunch thief will never get it. When I become a supervillain, stealing lunches will carry the death penalty.) I know, nobody has time in the mornings, but this is worth it and won’t take you very long, especially once you’ve made it a few times. When winter comes, when the dreaded Tuesday rears its head, and you’re facing those nasty cold days of heavy snow—or worse, rain—you’ll thank me. This easy-to-assemble soup can make your day better.
And college students, this will seriously up your ramen game. Either order the dehydrated veggies and mushrooms on Amazon, or ask you-know-who send you some in the next care package. Be sure to keep a small amount of butter, milk, and eggs on hand. Bonus: you can use the leftover seasoning packet to spice up some other dorm meal.
If you end up making this, or any variations thereon, drop me a note. I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe, or any other takes on it you might try. More spices, more veggies, maybe a little grated Parmesan; the sky’s the limit.