The Magic of Maruchin
Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the noodle
So you say you want it cheap and simple. Well it don't get much cheaper and simpler than this. I buy a 12 pack of them from WalMart for $2.24. That
makes 12 meals for me for, in most cases, for under .20 cents plus the minimal cost of a few other ingredients. I don't think any meal I make from
them goes over $1.00.
Basic ingredient - Maruchin brand Ramen noodle packets.
NOTE: - If you are on a low sodium diet you can toss the flavor packet and substitute a packet of Herb Ox brand sodium free chicken base. If you like
beef, Herb Ox makes a sodium free beef base too.
NOTE: - This method is expandable to feed more than one by simply using two or more Ramen packages and adding more of the ingredients. Scallions,
otherwise known as green onions, are a great flavor enhancer for almost all of the dishes listed below.
Cook the noodles and toss the water. Then add some butter and the flavor packet. Voila, you have a quick and simple buttered noodle dish for one. And
I can cook the noodles in my microwave in 6 minutes while preparing other ingredients.
When you have your chicken flavored buttered noodles you can add other things to make it more interesting. Try "Little Smokies" brand cocktail
sausages cut into 4 or 5 pieces each. Now you have a dish with both carbs, flavor and meat. Any other cooked meat will work just as well. Got some
leftover pork roast or chicken, just cut it up into appropriate size pieces and use them instead of the Little Smokies.
OK, I know; its not a well rounded meal yet. well bippy, there is nothing stopping you from adding some veggies too. Any pre cooked vegetable can be
added to the noodles after they are cooked. The same goes for raw vegetables that you like to stay raw. But, you can also cook some vegetables right
along with the noodles. Green bell peppers, onions, celery and much more can be cooked in the water with the noodles.
I made a quick cheesy version the other day with the sausages and a serving of southwest vegetable and cheese sauce from a frozen steam in the bag
Another of my favorites is to use pre cooked maple flavor sausage patties cut into pieces along with some poached eggs done just until the whites are
firm but the yolks are still a little runny. I add them to the basic buttered chicken flavor noodles and VOILA again; you now have a breakfast dish.
Cut the eggs up with your fork to get that golden goodness of the runny yolks into your noodles.
NOTE AGAIN: - This method can be expanded to feed as many as you need to by simply adding more Ramen packages. While some of the ingredients will make
this a little more expensive, it is still a very tasty and low cost "quick fix" dish.
The Ramen noodles also make a super good soup starter. The simplest, of course, is just to have the noodles and flavor packet.
But then what fun is that? So now, lets get creative again. You can get some very creative ideas by cruising your local oriental market or, if you
have one nearby, Trader Joe's. Some large supermarkets also have a good selection of ethnic foods.
An extremely good recipe is to make as many Ramen packets as needed to feed your family and add any or all of the following ingredients to your
1 - Fresh ginger root and/or garlic. Like garlic, ginger root can be used in many ways from whole slivered slices to grated and anything in
2 - Small oriental dumplings. You may need to visit an oriental market to find these.
3 - Fresh 48 ton 60 count peeled and cleaned shrimp. Be sure not to add them too early as they will become tough and tasteless if overcooked.
4 - Bok Choy - This one also needs to be added late to avoid overcooking.
5 - Scallions, or green onions (yes, I know they are the same thing). Cut them on the bias for an authentic look. These can be cooked right along with
the other ingredients but I like them best added raw just before serving. For a milder flavor use just the white and light green portions. For a
stronger flavor use more, or all, of the dark green parts.
6 - Mushrooms, cut any way you like them; or not cut at all. Don't forget that there are other tasty mushrooms like $hitakes, enokies and tree ears,
just to name a few.
7 - There are many non oriental vegetables that can also be used.
Now it is up to you grasshopper, experiment for yourself and surprise your whole family with your ability to cook cheap and tasty meals on a tight
edit on 31-1-2013 by happykat39 because: (no reason given)