Elevate ramen noodles with fresh ingredients and flavorful toppings for an easy and nutritious take on a favorite weeknight staple.

Ramen noodle soup is a quick, inexpensive, and filling meal, but the kind you buy in the store is loaded with salt and preservatives—and not as good as homemade! You can buy plain noodles and jazz them up with your own ingredients for a healthy version that tastes better than the packaged one. Makes 2 servings.

Photo © Carl Tremblay

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame or vegetable oil
  • 2–4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1–2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 4 cups miso or chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 6–10 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 carrot, cut into rounds
  • ¾ cup diced firm tofu or cooked shrimp, beef, or chicken
  • 2 (3-ounce) packages ramen or other Asian noodles
  • 2 scallions, chopped

Here’s what you do:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for about 3 minutes.

    Photo © Carl Tremblay

  2. Pour the broth and water into the pot. Add the soy sauce and turn up the heat to high.

    Photo © Carl Tremblay

  3. Add the mushrooms, carrot, and tofu, and cook for 5 minutes.

    Photo © Carl Tremblay

  4. Add the noodles and let the soup cook for about 3 minutes, or until the noodles are soft.

    Photo © Carl Tremblay

  5. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with the scallions and any of the suggested stir-ins (see below) for extra flavor.

    Photo © Carl Tremblay

Extra flavor:

Stir any of these into your ramen noodle soup, tasting as you go. A little goes a long way with most of these!

  • Mirin (rice wine)
  • Miso paste
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Nori (seaweed)
  • Bean sprouts
Excerpted and adapted from Kids Cook Dinner © Deanna F. Cook.

Deanna F. Cook

Deanna F. Cook is the award-winning author of cookbooks for kids, including the best-selling Cooking ClassBaking Class,and Cooking Class Global Feast! She served as the creative development director at FamilyFun magazine… See Bio

Articles of Interest

Kids Cook Dinner

by Deanna F. Cook

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