So, maybe the last time you had ramen noodle soup you were a poor college student and you sprinkled “flavor” (aka salt) on hard noodles, covered with water and zapped in the micro? I’m not judging – I definitely feel the love for pre-packaged ramen soup.
But, guess what? You can buy plain ol’ ramen noodles and create an extremely healthy meal with real vegetables and real flavorings. Yes. You. Can. And although I really hope you don’t get the flu or a cold this season, this soup is totally calling out for some cold season love – not just to make you feel better, but to prevent yucky colds in the first place. Garlic, lemongrass, and ginger are known to pack a punch against nasty colds and they give this soup some serious flavor. Two for one.
You should be able to find the noodles in the Asian section of your grocer – sometimes called “Chinese noodles.” Vegans can omit the fish sauce and add a bit more soy sauce in its place. If you can’t find fresh lemongrass, sometimes the produce section has it in a tube and it’s a good substitute. Buying cubed tofu makes this recipe even quicker. Some tips for getting crispy, golden tofu: drain well and press dry (see this recipe for instructions), then cook in skillet that is not nonstick. Nonstick makes it much more difficult to get a good crust on anything. I swear by my cast-iron skillet. Feel free to swap out the vegetables for your favorites and create all kinds of ramen soups. Let me know if you create something wonderful. 🙂
- 1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained, patted (very) dry, and cubed
- 2 tbsp. canola or olive oil
- 3 scallions, sliced, whites and green separated
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. fresh chopped lemongrass
- 32 oz. low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. Mirin (rice wine)
- 1/2 pound green beans, snow or snap peas
- 1 8 oz. pkg. ramen noodles (sometimes called “Chinese noodles)
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- Lime wedges, optional to serve
- Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a large skillet and cook the tofu over medium-high. Season with S/P and turn occasionally until a golden crust forms, about 10 minutes. Set aside off heat.
- Heat the remaining tbsp. of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the scallion whites, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. Cook about 2-3 minutes until fragrant and tender. Add the broth, fish sauce, soy sauce, and Mirin and bring to a low boil. Add the green beans and cook until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the noodles to the pot with 2 cups water. Cook until the noodles are tender, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Divide the soup among bowls, add the cooked tofu and tomato, and serve with lime wedges.