Ramen Recipe Challenge: Fancy vs Simple

Ramen Challenge

Yum, ramen! It’s such a great dinner. I love its versatility and that you can throw in any veg you’ve got left over, just to use it up. This week, I decided to do a little ramen experiment – to follow a fancy recipe one day and a simple recipe a few days later, to see which was the best. So, here goes – the ramen recipe challenge!

My husband loves watching Bon Appetit recipes on YouTube so I decided to treat him by making the veggie ramen they make. It’s a fairly complex recipe, it calls for lots of ingredients that I wouldn’t usually buy and am unlikely to use again, and uses approximately 247 pots, pans and other utensils that I didn’t know I had. But I decided to stick with it, it’s from Bon Appetit so it must be delicious, right?

Wrong. This ramen, in my opinion, seemed to be missing something. Despite the (what felt like) hundreds of ingredients, it didn’t really taste like anything. It looked great but the taste didn’t live up to the look unfortunately.

Bon Appetit Ramen

So, feeling a bit bruised from the time, effort and washing up, I dusted myself off and looked for a simple ramen recipe. I wanted to do a taste test and figure out which is best – fancy or simple.

I found one on BBC Good Food “Super-quick sesame ramen” – exactly what I was looking for. The ingredients for this were much more simple, I added a couple of extras (see recipe below) but it only actually needed 6 things. That’s more like it! It was really easy to make too, using only two pans, no need to blend anything, no need for obscure ingredients I’d never heard of.

It. Was. Delicious. So tasty. A little bit on the salty side, if I’m being fussy (probably something to do with those instant noodles) but it tasted great!

Simple Ramen

You’ve probably already guessed the verdict. The winner, by a country mile, in the fancy vs simple ramen cook off, for taste and simplicity, has to be simple.It. Was. Delicious. So tasty. A little bit on the salty side, if I’m being fussy (probably something to do with those instant noodles) but it tasted great!

If you fancy cooking ramen, don’t bother with the fancy ingredients and the complicated recipe. Keep it super simple and you won’t be disappointed.

I’ve included the BBC Good Food recipe below with the extras I added and a few notes too. And, just in case you’ve got a couple of hours to spare and you want to test my theory, here’s a link to the Bon Appetit version.

Super Quick Sesame Ramen

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 packs of instant noodles Go to your world food aisle and find an Asian brand. I went for sesame flavour but that’s chef’s choice!

2 spring onions 

2 heads pak choi

2 eggs 

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Optional extras 

Sriracha 

Soy sauce  

Itsu vegetable gyoza (the frozen ones) 

Itsu dried seaweed 

Ramend ingredients

Preparation

  1. Finely slice the spring onions and quarter the pak choi lengthways
  2. Put a pan of water on to boil, cook the eggs for 6 minutes (timing is key here), plunge them into a bowl of cold water when your timer hits 6 minutes
  3. Cook the noodles following the packet instructions, add the spring onions and pak choi for the final minute 
  4. Peel the eggs and slice them in half
  5. Add the noodle flavouring from the packet and tip the noodles, water, pak choi and spring onions into a deep bowl
  6. Place the eggs on top and any other toppings you’re having (you’ll need to fry the gyoza first)
  7. Drizzle with Sriracha or soy sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds

That’s it, done! 

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