Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's Better Than Ramen?

Like many students, I survived my college days by stocking up on ramen noodles ($$ I saved meant more $$ for drinking!) I would gussie up a bowl of ramen by adding eggs, veggies and whatever meat I could find for a well-balanced meal. Rachel Ray has that travel show called $40 a Day, well I could've hosted $5 a Day! However, I wouldn't be going on such exotic adventures. It would just be me digging through the cupboards and leftovers for ingredients to add to my ramen. Not as exciting.
Last time I went grocery shopping, I got a value pack of chicken thighs, napa cabbage, spinach, fish balls, shrimp balls, and package of dried scallop egg noodles (the thin kind). With the exception of the vegetables, everything could be stored either in the freezer or cupboards for a quick and easy noodle bowl.

Ghetto Fab Noodle Bowl (enough for 2 bowls of noodles)
1 chicken thigh ($0.50 from the family value pack that was on sale)
4 fish or shrimp balls (about $0.30)
napa cabbage or spinach (about $0.10)
2 bunches dried scallop egg noodles (about $0.40)
fish sauce or salt to taste (have on hand)

Boil chicken thigh and fish/shrimp balls until chicken is cooked all the way through. It helps to make cuts on the fish/shrimp balls to speed up the process. The chicken water will be the base for your broth. Add napa cabbage/spinach and noodles when the chicken is done cooking. Stir a little to loosen up the noodles. Shred the chicken and divide between two bowls. Season the broth with either fish sauce or salt. I personally prefer fish sauce, it adds more depth to the broth. I have Squid brand fish sauce, which is MSG free and all natural. Divide everything up between the two bowls. Not bad for $0.65 a meal, eh? A smidgen more than a pack of ramen, but ya gotta class it up and treat yourself once in a while.

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