Lets face it, deciding what to eat is usually the hardest part of dinner prep. You want something satisfying, healthful and delicious but also easy. You can achieve this with some everyday kitchen ingredients. This one-pot dish is inspired by my love for ramen.

Ramen is one of my favorite foods. The umami flavor, the broth, the slurp of the noodle. I could eat ramen everyday. In fact I did! I got an amazing opportunity to go to Japan for work. We were given tickets to eat at the company’s cafeteria. They had a ramen station. I was in heaven. Ramen Every. Single. Day. I was there for a month, and I ate ramen for lunch 85% of the time. The broth was so simple yet fragrant. The only issue: It was hot outside. I was sweating by the end of lunch, only to go back to a factory and walk around some more.

Sometimes it’s too hot for ramen, and getting a broth that rich takes time. An alternative is slurpable and delicious ramen stir-fry. You can stuff it with as many vegetables as you want. It’s an easy way to get rid of leftover vegetables and protein. Not to mention, this dish includes my favorite way to eat tofu. Crispy tofu with yummy noodles and vegetables. You can’t go wrong!

Ramen Stir Fry

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2-3

Ingredients for stir fry:

Vegetables: Use whatever you have in your fridge (I’ll be using 1 broccoli stalk and 2 medium carrots; other suggestions: asparagus, green beans, squash, kale)
3 tablespoons neutral oil
2 eggs (optional)
1 medium onion, cut into strips
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 tablespoons chili crunch (or red pepper flakes), adjust for spice level
½ lime, juiced
2 packages instant ramen and all the contents inside

Tofu:
1 package extra firm tofu
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil (or any neutral oil)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili crunch (optional, but gives the tofu a little kick)
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Press and season your tofu before baking, which will give it maximum crunch. (Detria Turner)

Instructions for tofu:

I bake my tofu, for ease and maximum crunch. To achieve this, pressing your tofu before cooking is highly recommended.

  1. Place paper towels on both the top and bottom of the tofu brick. Set a heavy skillet on top. Press for 15 minutes, flip tofu and press for another 15 minutes. You can prep the vegetables during this time.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Once tofu is pressed, cut into bite-size cubes.
  4. In a large bowl, mix soy sauce, oil, garlic powder and chili crunch. Add cubed tofu to soy sauce mixture and gently toss with a rubber spatula. Be sure to coat the tofu evenly.
  5. If there seems to be excess liquid, pour it out. Sprinkle tofu with cornstarch a little at a time, and coat the tofu evenly.
  6. Place cubes on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake 30-35 minutes, flipping tofu halfway through.
Cut vegetables into bite-size pieces. (Detria Turner)

Stir fry:

  1. When preparing vegetables for stir-fry, it is important to make all of them bite-size. Broccoli florets should be cut into smaller poppable pieces. Carrots, green beans and asparagus should be cut into strips. To reduce food waste, I like to cut up the broccoli stalk similar to the carrots. This adds a nice crunch to the stir-fry as well. Once the vegetables are cut, set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet or wok on medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons neutral oil.
  3. If using eggs, scramble and fry in wok. Use spatula to chop up. Cook until firm. Set aside.
  4. Add broccoli and carrots (or other veggies), cook for about 4 minutes, or until broccoli starts to become a vibrant green. Different cook time may be warranted for your particular vegetables. Be sure not to cook all the way through.
  5. Add onion and broccoli stalks (if using) and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Then add garlic and ginger.
  6. Reduce heat to medium. Season mixture generously with salt and pepper. Cook another 4 minutes.
  7. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, chili crunch, lime juice and ramen seasoning packet. If your ramen package comes with oil, you can either add it here or use it to finish the completed dish. Set aside. This mixture may appear thick. That’s OK! We’ll thin it out later.
  8. Cook ramen noodles in boiling water for 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons of the hot water to the soy sauce mixture.
  9. Add noodles and soy sauce mixture to wok (plus eggs, if using); mix until noodles and vegetables are coated. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  10. You can toss the finished tofu in your stir-fry, however the crunch may not be preserved. For this reason, I like to serve them on top of my stir-fry.
  11. Add more chili crunch, red pepper flakes or hot sauce for additional spice. Enjoy!