One of the reasons I love instant ramen lunches is that it only takes 5 minutes to make, even with a bunch of fresh ingredients. How do I make it so quickly? The secret is my ramen kit.
A ramen kit is a container of fresh ingredients that I always keep stocked in my fridge. The specific ingredients change from week to week, based on what’s on sale and on what I feel like eating that week. Keeping the kit together helps me remember to use up all the bits, and it makes the preparation much faster. I can pull out the kit, slice up some veg, and ✨ PRESTO ✨, have a hot bowl of soup 5 minutes later.
My kit this week looks something like this:
It’s Anaheim peppers, green onions, lime, and cabbage (not shown). This combination goes well with Tom Yum. The peppers add a tiny amount of heat, the onions some savoury goodness, the cabbage some ruffage (and vitamin C / K). And the lime adds a sharpness that makes it all taste fresh.
A handy side-effect of keeping all the greenery together is that the lime helps preserve the other veg, as once cut it loses a bit of ascorbic acid (which is good at preventing the oxidation that causes browning).
With the kit, getting to mise-en-place is quick:
Mise en place is the French culinary term for getting your ingredients together. In this step, you slice, dice, and set aside the ingredients before starting the actual cooking. I find that one of my small cutting boards fits approximately 1 bowl’s worth of ingredients. This rule of thumb is a great way to avoid measuring (or wasting) ingredients, and reduces the number of dishes you have to do later.
This recipe is especially quick and simple, but packs a savoury punch.
- Boil water.
- Mise en place. Slice the green onion, julienne the cabbage, and chop the pepper.
- Prepare noodles. Add the noodle brick the bowl with soup base/chilis. Add the red curry paste package, boiling water, and stir until combined.
- Add condiments. Add the sliced cabbage and onion (but don’t stir yet, to let the noodles soften). Wait a few minutes and stir. Repeat until noodles are soft and cabbage has softened a bit too. Add the protein squeeze the lime.