Although you never need a reason to enjoy comfort food, Harvey Weinstein and the potential death of the #MeToo movement is my rationale today. Years ago a co-worker told me that when in a hurry, her Vietnamese mother would sometimes use instant ramen to make a quick dish. Intrigued, I pressed her to explain. “Use the chili flavor” I recall her saying and then add tomatoes, onions, whatever vegetables you want, then add the egg right before you turn off the heat. “There’s a chili flavor?!?” I thought to myself. Yes, I went to college but I never got into subsisting on ramen. I was more the type to blow my budget on eating something indulgent that I really wanted like a guacamole smothered chimichanga or a ground chuck cheese burger and french fries. Yes, a lot of my memories are connected to food.
Anyway, I thank Linda for her mother’s advice because that ramen recipe became a staple for me in my 20’s when I was a little too social to do much home cooking. I was a vegetarian so I could whip up a beautiful noodle soup laden with the vegetables of my choice in minutes yet feel like I was enjoying something that took far more time to prepare. As I got older and began reading food labels, due to the preservatives and astronomically high levels of sodium in the seasoning packets, I had to conclude my ramen days were over. Yes, I believed I was a decent cook, but not decent enough to recreate those subtle, wonderful flavors. Robin’s Ramen was yet to be conceived.
Now that I am older and don’t socialize even a fraction as much as I used to, I have taken up cooking more in earnest. I have tried different noodles and seasonings in an effort to replicate my favorite home ramen dish. Well, after multiple attempts I have come up with something comparable and, most importantly, lacking the preservatives and sodium. A beautiful, simple soup overflowing with organic vegetables and Shirataki noodles, which lack any calories at all, one should enjoy this meal winter, spring, summer and fall. Make sure to buy the Shirataki White Yam Noodles because the others are a sham if they contain calories. Beef Spring Rolls would be amazing alongside Robin’s Ramen.
- 4 Cups Water
- 3 Eggs
- 2 packages House Foods Shirataki White Yam Noodles
- 2 Edward & Sons Not-Chick’n Bouillon Cubes
- 2 1/2 tsp. Vegetarian Beef Stock
- 1 Tbs. Megachef Premium Anchovy Sauce (omit and add a third bouillon cube for Vegans)
- 1 1/2 Cup chopped Broccoli
- 1 Cup sliced Mushrooms
- 1/4 Cup diced Turnips
- 1/4 Cup diced Tomatoes
- 1/8 Cup diced Red Onions
- Couple of Dashes of Shichimi Togaroshi
- Cilantro Garnish (Optional)
- Jalapeno slices as Garnish (Optional)
Bring the water to a rapid boil in a large saucepan. Add bouillon cubes, stock and anchovy sauce then all vegetables except the onions and tomatoes. After a few minutes, crack the duck eggs directly into the soup and gently stir. Add the noodles and once eggs are cooked, remove the pot from heat and then add the onions and tomatoes. Garnish with cilantro, jalapenos, a drizzle of sesame oil and a squeeze of lime if desired. Serves 4 to 6.