Those 10 cent packages of ramen noodles are sooo college. We are adults now! Or at least, that’s what people keep telling me. I may have been forced into adulthood but I still eat ramen at least once a week. Fortunately, it is a MAJOR upgrade. This Homemade Ramen recipe is still inexpensive and so so easy to make, but is also much more nutritious and WAY more delicious!
I am not kidding when I say we make this once a week at my house. It takes 15 minutes, uses convenient ingredients that we always have on hand, and is seriously sooo good. Plus, you can put an egg on it. Anything that gives me an excuse to “put an egg on it” is my kinda meal. Soft boiled, over easy, hard boiled, semi scrambled… I’ve done it all with my ramen and it all works. (If this egg obsessed life is also your life, then I highly recommend you check out #putaneggonit on instagram… food porn for dayssss).
Speaking of…. this is me and my egg/ramen obsession in action last week.
Perrrrrfection! I only recently accomplished the soft boiled egg and have been obsessed ever since. The amount of joy I get from watching that gorgeous yoke spill out is embarrassing. I was super intimidated at first but come to find out, it’s not so hard! Big shout out to Ali at Gimme Some Oven who helped me over my fear with this blog post.
Full of veggies and lacking that packet of sodium and MSG… there’s still major flavor and way more variety in every bite. Not only can you change up the veg, but you can add dumplings, rice cakes, tofu, avocado… Is it making sense why we make this ramen so much yet? Am I validated yet? It’s near impossible to get bored of. Our go-to is egg and a few of Trader Joe’s Thai Vegetable Gyozas– which I highly recommend. They are super delicious and easy- just throw into the broth and gently boil for a few minutes. Explore your local Asian market for all kinds of goodness to add. We buy our ramen noodles there instead of using the traditional curly noodles, but the 10 cent packages are fine- as long as you throw away the seasoning!
The ramen trend is in full force at our house with no intention of slowing down. I know there are plentyy of ways to make ramen and this one is probably a less authentic, more convenience version, so pleaase send me all your expert knowledge on all things noodles, veggies, and broth! Oh, and of course, any runny yolk food porn pics
Homemade Ramen is so simple and so delicious, it will quickly become one of your favorite go-to recipes. Packed with veggies and topped with a runny egg, this is a major upgrade from the ramen you lived off of in college!
Heat sesame oil (or olive oil) in a large pot over medium heat. (Boil water or heat separate pan for soft boiling/cooking any eggs at this time too.)
Add minced garlic and ginger to the oil and stir to coat for a minute or two, cooking just until fragrant without browning.
Add broccoli, carrots, and mushroom to the pot and stir to coat with the oil, garlic, and ginger. Let cook for 2-4 minutes.
Add 4 cups of broth and 2 cups of water to the pot and bring to a slow rolling boil. Once boiling, let the veggies cook and flavors develop for about 3-4 minutes.
Add noodles and kale and let boil for just a few minutes, until cooked through. (Add dumplings, rice cakes, etc per instructions.)
Finally, scoop lots of veggies and noodles into your serving bowl, ladle broth over top, and add all the toppings of your choosing! Enjoy!
So I have some pretty cool best friends. Like way cool. And I’m kind of obsessed with them. We have “one of those” group messages that people make memes about. And where I have to keep it on do not disturb to avoid my phone buzzing literally all day. The impressive part is that we graduated college 2 and 3 years ago, we live all over the world and country, and yet, the eight of us still talk every. single. day. That group chat is my lifeline on days when big girl life is hitting me hard.
Back to why they’re so cool… My BFF Samantha is currently traveling SE Asia (she has the most cool points) and was living in Bangkok when three of my other best gal pals took a flight across the world to visit her this past winter. Which is pretty neat too. They went to the full moon party, played with elephants, visited the temples, and did all the other amazing things Thailand has to offer. BUT THEN they took a cooking class in Chaing Mai and brought back a recipe for massaman curry which (to me) made them even more super cool. Because there is nothing more COOL than saying you’re making Massaman Curry for dinner that you learned how to make by a little Thai man in actual Thailand. I just pretend to be cool because they taught me when they got back……
But in true Flex Your Fork fashion, I ruined everything traditional that we all know and love and turned it into a meatless, healthy, and delicious spin-off: “Authentic” Massaman Curry. Authentic because the recipe is based off of a recipe book from a cooking school in real life Thailand. (It flew all the way here FROM THAILAND people.) “Quotations” because I changed the brown potatoes to sweet potatoes, took out the tofu/chicken, added garbanzo beans, and made life easier by using brown sugar instead of coconut sugar. Everything else is straight from the real-life-from-Thailand-authentic book, I swear! I even deciphered the grams and cms into cups and inches for you. You. are. welcome.
After many trial and errors of making curry to perfection at home, I went to Charlotte for a girl’s weekend where the main event of the weekend was cooking curry using their Thai skillz. (Check out @flexyourfork on insta to see how it turned out then!)
And I am now officially curry obsessed.
Tips and tricks: You might have to go to an oriental market to get the curry paste because most grocery stores don’t carry massaman, but that just adds to the authentic experience! You can make multiple curry dishes with one can of paste and freeze the leftover coconut cream until next time because it just feels wrong to throw away something so so good. The rest of the ingredients are mostly pantry staples so then you can throw whatever veg you have leftover in the fridge into that wok! It’s a super versatile recipe. I like my curry more thick and less soupy but YOU DO YOU.
Speaking of “you doing you”, I apologize for the loooong hiatus from posts but I was “me doing me”. I had been spending so much time and so many months nit picking at every page on this blog, constantly fixing the most minor details, that I honestly couldn’t see the big picture anymore. So I consciously took a few weeks off to be able to come back with a fresh perspective. But then I unconsciously took a few more weeks off becauuuuse… I GOT A FULL TIME RD JOB IN ASHEVILLE. (Insert all the celebratory emojis!!!!) And for the past few weeks I have been celebrating and training and working on other people’s schedules so it’s been quite hectic. But I can’t wait to share more about my new J-O-B in another post and get back to cooking and creating and sharing. Thanks to everyone who told me they missed me in their inbox!
"Authentic" Massaman Curry
Start the rice first, it usually takes awhile!
Add the oil and curry paste to your wok (or large pot) over low/medium heat
Fry the curry paste until it becomes fragrant
Add the sweet potato, onion, snap peas, and chickpeas (or whatever veg of your choosing) and fry for one minute
Add the thick coconut cream and salt. Stir until the veg and beans are coated and fry for one minute
Add the thin coconut milk, coconut sugar, peanuts, and soy sauce. Turn gas to medium/high
Stir until boiling then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through
Add the lime juice and stir
Serve over rice or, as the authentic cookbook says, with steamed buns or chapatti bread
I’ve only even considered vegetarianism for a few years now but I have been a protester of hot dogs for over a decade. I’m not even going to lie to you, it all started with an episode of Newlyweds and Jessica Simpson calling them out on national television for what they truly are. No shame in my 90s kid game! I loved that show and still love J-Simps. And I still hate hot dogs.
So this past summer, after a beautiful day of tubing on the French Broad River, we ended at this local bar where I discovered a mind blowing thing. A Hot Carrot Dog. The even more mind blowing thing was that this carrot dog was prepared by a food busker. Now in Asheville, there are buskers (people who play music, stand as statues, etc on the side of the street for tips) everywhere, but these people were literally making food for tips. I was amazed! The concept was so incredible to me that I had no idea what to do for a few minutes but stand there with my roommate questioning their motives and their business model. We finally accepted that this was not a scam and “tipped” these generous people what we would pay in a restaurant for such a meal… and then went back and paid them more when we were done eating because the food was just so damn good.
Back to the carrot dog… It was amazing! It was marinated, grilled, and topped with spicy mustard and a red pepper relish. It totally satisfied the idea of eating a hot dog without eating the junk. And the variety of complimentary fixins that could work with a carrot dog are endless! I am still unsure about putting ketchup on a carrot (maybe that’s just a mental thing), but some sriracha could easily and deliciously take the place of ketchup. Or smother that carrot in veggie chili! This time, I went with an Asian inspired teriyaki marinade and coleslaw route because that’s what the flavors of my very first carrot dog reminded me of.
This carrot dog was marinated in teriyaki sauce overnight, then topped with a cabbage coleslaw made Asian style with edamame and a dressing of yum yum sauce (shrimp sauce? white sauce? Do any of those ring a bell?!) There’s so many different names but it’s a replica of the wildly delicious, light orange sauce that comes with hibachi meals at Japanese restaurants. It’s one of my favorite sauces of all time and since it is made with mayo, it just seemed natural as a slaw dressing. You could make this vegan by simply changing the dressing out for a vegan mayo or another Asian dressing, like this one! The cold crunch of the cabbage is just perfect with the tangy, warm, and flavorful carrot. Add a bit of sriracha and you’ll never go back to regular *cough-nasty-cough-cough* hot dogs again.
Usually hot dogs are a summer staple, but carrot dogs are totally in season in the fall. Carrots and cabbage are plentiful at fall farmer’s markets and these are perfect to throw on the grill at football tailgate. I definitely want to keep playing around with this idea and try other marinades and toppings, so I’m sure this won’t be the last hot carrot dog post- I’m hooked! What would you put on your carrot dog??
*Calculated with regular ingredients. Use less sodium teriyaki to minimize sodium and low fat mayo to minimize fat. Bread is also a big contributor to sodium so always check your labels!!
Hot Carrot Dog
Prep time: 12 hours
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 12 hours 10 mins
Cut ends of carrots so the carrot is similar in length to that of your hot dog bun and peel.
Cook carrots in boiling water until fork tender but still firm, about 10 minutes. Strain the carrots and place in ice water to stop the cooking process.
Put carrots into a ziplock bag with enough Teriyaki sauce to thoroughly coat each carrot. Let marinate overnight.
For the Asian Slaw, chop your cabbage, grate the carrots, thinly slice the green onions, and steam your edamame. Mix together.
For the Asian dressing, mix together the mayonnaise, rice vinegar, melted butter, sugar, paprika, and minced garlic until well combined. Cover and allow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours so that the vinegar will mellow and the flavors combine.
Add the dressing to the cabbage mixture and toss until evenly coated.
Cook carrots in a saute pan or on the grill just until it has some char on the outside and is heated through on the inside, about 10 minutes.
Assemble ingredients as you would a hot dog! Place a hot carrot in a bun and top with the Asian slaw and sriracha as desired.