As a working mom, you want a weeknight meal that is easy to make and quick to arrive on the kitchen table. Nothing is worse than your stomach growling and hungry whiny kids! Let's talk about one of the easiest meals you can make, regardless of how empty your stomach is.
Ramen noodles are way more than a dish you at in college. It's the base of your new favorite weeknight meal! This meal is also something the kids can help you with to help them get their minds off their grumbling stomachs.
Here's how you and your kids can make this meal so it gets on the table even quicker!
Measure and Boil the Right Amount of Water
First, while you unpack everyone's stuff from their day, have a kid grab a large pot and the measuring cup. Keep these cooking items in low drawers for easy kid access. Have your child fill up the pot with 7 cups of water. Yes, the package says two cups package but it's not enough to really cook the noodles (trust me!).
Have Your Kid Play with the Ramen Noodles
While you put the pot on the stove to boil, give your kid the Ramen noodles. You could just dump the block of Ramen noodles in the boiling water but it's better when the block is broken up a bit. Give your child your unopened package and have them break up the Ramen noodles (yup, lots of fun!).
Cooking the Noodle the Right Way
Because you are using more water than the instructions said you'll need to cook the noodles longer, Set the timer for five minutes and then dare your kids to set the table before the timer goes off.
At the three-minute mark, stir up the noodles to help break them up. After the timer goes off, remove the pot from the heat and drain the noodles.
Select the Right Topping
One of the best meal shortcuts is cooking up ramen noodles and then topping it with whatever leftovers you have in the fridge. This could be chicken, pork, beef, frozen shrimp and bacon, sausage, tofu for protein. Then add frozen vegetables (or skip the meat and just do vegetables) you can use water chestnuts, snap peas, broccoli, peppers, onions, green onions and even sliced boiled egg.
Make This Gluten-Free
If you can't eat wheat, you can't eat Ramen noodles (I know, it's a real bummer). But there are alternatives ways to cook this meal gluten-free! Buy rice noodles and cook them in chicken broth, a few gluten-free chicken bouillon cubes and instant Dashi (found in the Asian section of your local supermarket). You can opt to buy the chicken bouillon in powdered form and in this instance, boil the noodles in the chicken broth, then when stir frying sprinkle the powder until the desired taste.
Please be weary if the bouillon is gluten-free or not. We use the brand Herbox by Hormel.
Another stir fry option is to add gluten-free soy sauce and a splash of chili oil to add some heat.
A Great Large Meal Made Fast
This meal, regardless if you make it gluten-free or not, should take you about fifteen minutes to make. The recipe below will serve three adult-sized appetites, or two adults and two children.
Updated by Elizabeth McGrory
- 7 cups of water
- 2 packets of Ramen noodles
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 6 oz. chicken (cooked, strips or cubes; tuna, or other meat)
- 1 cup frozen vegetables of your choice
- 2 eggs
Boil the ramen noodles in 7 cups of water for 5 minutes. Drain well.
Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium heat, add the Ramen noodles, vegetables, and chicken or fish, if desired.
Sprinkle one seasoning packet (or one of the gluten-free options mentioned above) over the top of the mixture. Cook until the vegetables are warm through and the skillet is sizzling.
Crack eggs over the noodle mixture and stir fry vigorously until the egg is well cooked. Serve.