Cheater Weeknight Ramen
Ramen is one of those meals that can be very intimidating. You hear stories about a chef who has trained for years just to perfect a noodle or a stock. People take ramen very seriously.
But, I’m a believer that the perfect can be the enemy of the cook and this is especially true in the kitchen. Do I wish I had a huge container of perfectly simmered stock in my fridge? Absolutely. Do I wish I knew how to make fresh Udon noodles from scratch. Definitely.
But, I don’t and I don’t and I still want to eat ramen that I make. And I want it to be done in about 45 minutes so I can do it on a weekday!
This cheater weeknight ramen is my answer. It’s relatively easy to make, but it has a few tricks that make it better than out-of-the-box ramen.
Compromise can be a good thing. A really good thing.
- For cheater stock, combine beef stock, miso, butter, and soy sauce in a pot and warm over low heat. It should never boil, but a light simmer is okay.
- For pork loin (optional, but good), mix together all ingredients in a bowl and pour over pork loin. Ideally, do this a few hours in advance or the night before so pork can marinate.
- Place pork in a roasting pan and roast at 400 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes until the thickest part of the pork loin registers at least 145 degrees F. Flip the pork every 10 minutes and baste with any marinade in the pan.
- Remove pork and let rest.
- Meanwhile, prep other ramen ingredients including cooking the noodles according to package, grating carrot, and chopping herbs, and making Soft Boiled Eggs.
- Slice pork thin into coins. Divide noodles between bowls and pour in warmed ramen stock. Top each bowl with some pork, an egg, veggies, and a drizzle of sesame oil and sesame seeds. You can also add soy sauce and chili oil if you want!
Cheater Weekday Ramen
Three important pieces of ramen: Stock, noodles, toppings. Let’s handle all of them in turn.
First, stock. Ideally you would have homemade, but we can amp up store-bought stock with this stuff.
I add a few spoonfuls of miso paste to my stock with some butter (for fat) and soy sauce and gently heat it. No need to boil it. It’s surprisingly delicious for something that takes just a few minutes.
I wanted some pork for my ramen bowl so I worked up a quick Hoisin pork loin. I know this might look hard, but it’s actually easy. You marinate the pork loin the night before, and then it roasts for about 20-25 minutes while you work on the other stuff.
As it roasts (at 400 degrees F.) flip the pork loin a few times as it roasts and please be sure to use a meat thermometer. When it hits 145 degrees F. in the thickest part, it’s done. The worst thing is an overcooked pork loin!
After it comes out, let it rest for a few minutes and then slice it nice and thin for the bowls.
While the pork loin roasts, you can cook the noodles and prep the veggies. I also like to make a few soft-boiled eggs which takes about 10 minutes.
So everything kind of comes together at the same time which is nice.
If you wanted to leave out the pork or the egg, that would be just fine. It’s a great bowl of food no matter what. I also added some sesame oil and sesame seeds to mine.
There’s a happy medium in the homecook’s world between cooking projects and easy dinners. This weeknight ramen is a nice middle ground and I think you’ll love it.