a peek inside the fishbowl

24 Apr, 2013

Kicking up the ramen!

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

April 18 #dailylunches #287 - Combat soup

I know it’s not good for me but I have a weakness for ramen noodle soup. This has been the case since my university days. Unfortunately it contains all kinds of crap that I try to avoid: namely palm oil, hydrogenated stuff, and sometimes MSG. Also: it is SODIUM CITY, and I like to limit my visits there. But, but, but … every once in awhile I get a craving for it, and that time came last week when I found myself knocked out by a cold.

Now that I’m older and wiser I’ve kicked it up a notch and turned it into a healthier meal.

1) I only use half of the flavouring in the package. (This is where all the salt and MSG is anyway!) I started doing this awhile back and honestly, I can’t tell the difference.

2) I try to add a few healthy ingredients in order to improve its nutritional value. Last time I made a bowl (pictured above) I added some leftover diced chicken, some sliced carrots, and some green onions. I would have liked to add some sliced mushrooms, boy choy, and maybe drop an egg in there but I really didn’t feel like jumping into the car. Plus, they say that you’re not supposed to operate heavy machinery when heavily medicated. And I was. Medicated.

By adding some veg and protein you are really kicking it up a notch, and making this university dinner into something a little more grown up… and a heck of a lot better for you too!

Do you love ramen noodles too? Do you eat ’em plain or add something to it? Share your ramen secrets!

3 Responses to "Kicking up the ramen!"

1 | Lenny

April 24th, 2013 at 11:46 am


We also used to rely on the packages of ramen noodle soup with all its additives until we realized we could essentially make the same soup by buying the noodles separately (available in the Chinese food section of the grocery store – much less junk in them) along with low sodium boxes of chicken stock.

We then add any leftover grilled chicken, pork, or beef, the shredded broccoli slaw you can buy at the grocery store (which you can freeze if you don’t use it all) and any of the available flavourings we have on hand like oyster and hot sauce. It’s both tasty and easy and healthier.

Since then we have also discovered that at the T&T super
market you can buy frozen flavour packages containing real lemongrass, sliced galangal, chiles and lime leaves. You just add as much as you need when you are heating up the broth and voila – delicious noodle soup. We also like to throw in some of their frozen wontons or dumplings as well.

It’s quick and delicious and there’s nothing better on a rainy day or when you are under the weather.

Hope you are on your way to recovery.

2 | HollyStar

April 24th, 2013 at 3:34 pm


We also have a weak spot for ramen in our house. My amazing mum fed it to us as a treat when we were little and the fridge was a little empty. My boys LOVE it. I always add frozen peas, a few eggs and whatever else we have in the fridge (leftover meat, cooked carrots, etc.). We also use about half the packet of seasonings and I don’t taste the difference either.

LOVE the suggestions from Lenny above re: frozen flavour packets and dumplings. We are big T&T fans; that place is like a giant onion where there are always more layers to discover. The half-price dim sum on weekdays between 9-10 AM is a family favourite for rare days off.

Embrace your love of ramen and run with it!

3 | Stephanie

April 26th, 2013 at 8:00 am


Ramen was a staple back in university days for me as well. Eggs were a must-add as it gives the soup that delicious savory taste. To make it more nutritious I also added canned tuna chunks to the noodles. Have you tried the dry variety? Essentially still instant ramen, but you would drain off the water and sprinkle the flavorings onto the noodles, stirring it in, the end result is something like stir fried noodles without the oiliness.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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