Noodle Bowls

June 4, 2014


The swift-eyed among you will notice that these are actually UDON bowls, but for the sake of simplicity, I went with the more commonly used term 'noodle' for my soup bowls here. (See also ramen bowls.)

Hey, it's Pantry Meal time! Ramen, or udon, or spaghetti (yes! you could use spaghetti and I am not even kidding about that, says I in my very best Junie B. Jones speak) is something I am guessing that a lot of you might have in your pantry cabinets.

At any given time, we have ramen packets or udon or some combo thereof.

And some of you might think that's a pretty poor deal to be giving out for dinner. Well, as I like to do so often on my site, because it's really fun for me, is to point out why you are wrong, before you've even said that I'm wrong.

First of all, these days you can find many brands of ramen or udon which are MSG free. MSG makes me flush and makes me itchy. Andrew tells me there is no such thing as MSG allergy, and that all it is really, is delicious FLAVOR, but if I can avoid MSG, I will.

 Secondly, you can add so many things to make your noodle bowl more substantial and dinner-y. Eggs! Meat! Veggies! Tasty condiments! Noodle bowls are one of my favorite-y things ever.

Here's what I do to feed my family of 3. (You can do whatever you want, in whatever quantities you want, these are just some suggestions and guidelines for you to follow/not follow as you like.)

I get 2 packets of udon or ramen, because Julia and I share one packet because she eats like a tiny tiny baby bird who has a small fairy in her pocket. (why is there a fairy??? just because.) There are usually seasoning packets in the ramen packages that have a MILLION GRAMS OF SODIUM, at least, maybe more. So I like to divide one seasoning packet amongst two noodle packages. Andrew cheerfully informed me that this method diluted the flavor too much, but you can decide how to handle this issue yourselves.

In order to make up for the lesser amount of sodium, a.k.a. flavor, I then added rice wine (mirin), a dash of soy sauce, and some spoonfuls of hoisin sauce to the broth. (and some Shriacha sauce went into my bowl and Andrew's bowl after we served it.) I think I ended up adding more sodium than I initially subtracted by doing all this. I add things a teaspoon or so at a time and then taste. If it tastes bland, I add more until it tastes Not Bland.

While the broth was boiling, I added a few handfuls of slivered carrot and some sliced mushrooms. After the noodles were all boiled up and cooked, I added some leftover sliced chicken. You could also use pork, or BBQ pork, or leftover steak, or throw in some cooked shrimp, or tofu or WHAT-EVER-YOU-LIKE. The boiling broth heated my meat from the fridge right on up. Then I snipped some green onion because Andrew would have returned his noodle bowl to me untouched if heaven forbid it didn't have green onion on top.

I also soft boiled an egg (6 minutes) and then cut in half and added it to our bowls, but not Julia's because she hates eggs.

Noodle bowls! I really want to learn how to make my own dashi broth, because that's how traditional udon and ramen is made, but I don't know how yet. There's a sushi place near me that has amazing udon broth. I will learn how to make amazing broth and then come back and tell you, but until then we can make do with the lazy, whatever's-in-the-fridge way.




17 comments:

  1. Oh yum. And your bowls are precious!!!

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    1. the bowls are from Anthro! a wee gift to myself. i can only afford some bowls and the odd tea cup, every once in awhile. they brighten the gloomy Pacific Northwest grey!

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  2. Your photos are amazing! Everything looks so appetizing and I really want to gobble it up. Thanks for the easy recipe! I like using less of the condiment package like you do and I think getting used to the taste is a matter of habits. After doing it for a while, I don't miss the salt and over spiciness anymore. Oh I really want to make some tonight!

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    1. it really is EASY PEASY LEMON SQUEEZY! and don't forget some hot sauce. it is also Very Good for Colds. :)

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    2. Hahaha! I say that all the time too! I wonder if I got it from you... oh dear, I think you you influence my subconscious now and it comes out in my way of talking!

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    3. That extra "you" was not meant to be there! LOL

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    4. HA HA HA! I'm like a terrible virus. :)

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  3. Aji! Aji! Ajinomoto!

    in other words - msg is awesome! :-)

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    1. what you said! i'm very impressed with your foreign language skills! :)

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  4. Beautiful photos! Unfortunately, Big Sis wouldn't touch it, and I'd have to do a veggie version, which no one else would eat, but I'll pass this on to Mr. B. He and Little Sis may want a noodly treat sometime. ;)

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    1. Thank you D!!! Julia would love it if we left everything out and just gave her noodles, ha.......

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  5. That looks really good. My girls love it when I make noodle bowls Totoro style with ham & eggs. Those bowls are gorgeous too!

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    1. Totoro style!! Maybe Julia would be more willing to eat some egg if I sold it to her in that way???? :)

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  6. Ha! We just had this very thing for dinner tonight! And Shannon, we call it Ponyo Noodles at my house! Kale and frozen shrimp make excellent add-ins too!

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    1. SHRIMP! oh yes! Ponyo noodles, ok remember that scene where the mom makes the kids their little instant noodle cups??? I LOVED that!!!

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    2. Hey, if Japanese Tina Fey serves it to her kid (and a random stranger child) then it must be a good enough dinner for my family, right?

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