3 EASY Ramen Recipes That Are Next-Level Yummy

Ramen is more than just the crown jewel of Japanese cuisine — it's practically an art form. Eating the signature dish is a sensory experience in itself: The steaming medley of broth, noodles, and toppings is so engaging, your undivided attention is required to fully immerse yourself in the complex textures and flavors. No wonder individual ramen booths are such a common sight in Japan. Despite the culinary world's never-ending stream of trendy product extensions (and the many proclamations that the noodle soup is "dead"), ramen — in its OG form — will forever live on in our hearts. As an ode to this satisfying winter staple, we've commissioned Hannah Kirshner of Sweets & Bitters to create three recipes inspired by regional styles of the dish, using artisanal Sun Noodles you can find at local Asian supermarkets (and some Whole Foods locations). The rest of the toppings are no-brainer ingredients you can find around the kitchen. These delicious interpretations might not have broths that took hours to simmer or noodles made from scratch, but trust us, they taste pretty close.
Photography by Eric Helgas.
Tokyo Soy Sauce Ramen
Serves 2

In the country's capital, the preferred variety is the shoyu ramen, featuring a soy sauce-based broth and Cantonese-style roast pork, also known as char siu. You'll be able to find these pork slices at your local Chinese-takeout places (at least, the ones that hang roasted ducks and chickens by the window). To give the elixir extra punch, add a pinch of Shichimi Togarashi — a popular, spicy powder that can be found in practically every Japanese restaurant.
Cooking Time
20 minutes Ingredients
1 package (2 servings) of Sun Noodle ramen, shoyu flavor
2 eggs
2 scallions, cleaned and ends trimmed
1/2 bunch spinach, washed
1 sheet sushi nori
6 slices takeout Chinese BBQ pork, room temperature
Sesame oil, optional
Shichimi togarashi, optional
Grated fresh ginger, optional
Photography by Eric Helgas.
1. Place the eggs in a small pan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer, not a boil (you want consistent little bubbles, never big rollicking ones). Simmer for 6 minutes, then submerge the eggs in cold water, changing the water a few times until the eggs are cool. 2. Peel the eggs and place them in a small bowl. Chop one of the scallions into 2-inch pieces and add it to the bowl. Add both the soup-base packets from the ramen package and 1/4 cup boiling water, or a little more, to cover the eggs. Set aside. 3. Thinly slice the other scallion and place it in a small bowl of ice water to make it mellow and crisp; set aside. Cut the nori into sixths; set aside. 4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and put a big bowl of cold water in the sink. Using a strainer or tongs, dunk the spinach (try to keep the spinach in a bundle) into the boiling water for 20 seconds, until it barely looks cooked (save the pot of hot water). Immediately submerge the spinach in the cold water to stop cooking. 5. Drain the spinach, divide the bunch, and put it back together so half the ends face left and half face right; roll it up in a clean dish towel to make a tight bundle. Trim the ends, then cut in half; set aside. 6. Bring the large pot of water back to a boil. Meanwhile, boil a kettle of water, too. Pour some boiling water from the kettle into two soup bowls to heat them. Take the eggs out of the soup mix (reserve the liquid) and cut them in half; set aside. 7. Empty the soup bowls and divide the soup mix between them; discard the scallion pieces. Blanch the noodles in the big pot of boiling water for 1.5 to 2 minutes, stirring to untangle, until very al dente (they will continue to cook in the soup). 8. Divide the noodles between the soup bowls. Place the toppings in each bowl: egg, sliced scallion, blanched spinach, pork, and nori. Serve immediately, with seasonings of your choice.
Photography by Eric Helgas.
Miso Butter Ramen With Corn And Pork
Serves 2 This recipes takes its cues from a ramen style that originated in Hokkaido, the northernmost island in Japan. The dish contains a hearty portion of miso and butter, making it perfect for the freezing climate most Americans are living in right now. This version can be made vegetarian-friendly by omitting the ground pork. Cooking Time
20 minutes Ingredients
1 package (2 servings) of Sun Noodle ramen, miso flavor
1 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 lb ground pork
2 pinches kosher salt
1/2 cup frozen roasted corn
1/4 to 1 tsp toban djan (fermented bean-and-chili paste), to taste, optional
1 scallion, thinly sliced on a diagonal
2 handfuls bean sprouts, optional
2 tbsp butter, divided into single-tbsp pats
Photography by Eric Helgas.
1. Heat a large skillet on medium-high. Add the sesame oil, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Add the ground pork and salt. Sauté, breaking the meat up with a spatula, until browned, about 7 to 10 minutes; transfer to a bowl. 2. Return the skillet to medium heat. Put the corn in the skillet with 2 tablespoons of water. Sauté until warmed through, about 1 minute, then turn off the heat. 3. Bring a large pot of water and also a tea kettle to a boil. Rinse two soup bowls with a little boiling water from the kettle to heat them up. Put one packet of soup base from the ramen package, plus toban djan (if using) to taste, in each bowl, and add 1 1/2 cups hot water from the kettle. 4. In the pot of boiling water, blanch the noodles for 2 minutes, stirring them to untangle, until very al dente (they will continue to cook in the soup). Divide them between the soup bowls. 5. Add the toppings: ground pork, corn, sliced scallion, bean sprouts (if using), and a butter pat in each bowl. Serve immediately.
Photography by Eric Helgas.
Cold Ramen Salad
Serves 2 This refreshing salad is an American iteration of hiyashi chuka a common summer menu item in Japan. But, it doesn't have to be limited to warmer months: The dry, fresh veggies pack well for an office lunch, and you can create your own sauce from scratch in a matter of seconds. There's a bit of leeway when it comes to the noodles for this dish — just use an instant-ramen pack (tossing the seasoning packet) if you don't have Sun Noodles lying around. Cooking Time
15 minutes

1 package (2 servings) of Sun Noodle Kaedama, or 2 packages instant ramen (flavor packets discarded)
1/3 cup juice of Meyer lemon
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp rice-wine vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
3 tsp sesame oil, plus more for greasing a skillet
2 eggs
2 slices deli ham (optional)
6 cherry tomatoes
1 Persian cucumber
2 lemon wedges
1 scallion, thinly sliced, soaked in cold water
Mesclun salad greens, washed and dried
Photography by Eric Helgas.
1. Boil the noodles to al dente, then plunge them into cold water to chill. Drain and toss with 1 teaspoon sesame oil; set aside. 2. Prepare the eggs. Use a paper towel to grease an omelet pan or small skillet with sesame oil. Heat it well over medium heat. Beat one egg with 1/4 teaspoon of water until completely mixed. Pour the beaten egg into the pan and swirl the pan to spread the egg to the edges. 3. Cook until the underside is golden brown and easily releases from the pan. Flip it to cook the other side (hint: If you are nervous about flipping, flip it onto another hot pan). Repeat with the other egg, stacking the finished omelets. Slice them into 1/2-inch strips; set aside. 4. Cut the ham into 1/2-inch strips; set aside. Cut the cucumbers into long, diagonal slices, about 1/4 inch thick, and then into 1/4-inch-wide strips; set aside. 5. Halve the tomatoes; set aside. Combine the Meyer-lemon juice, soy sauce, rice-wine vinegar, sugar, and 2 teaspoons sesame oil in a small jar. Shake to mix well. (At this point, everything can be chilled to serve later, if desired.) 6. Divide the noodles into two bowls. Arrange the toppings on the noodles. Pour about 1/4 cup dressing over each bowl (save the rest for another batch of hiyashi chuka, or to use as a light salad dressing).
Photography by Eric Helgas.

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