Ramen gets a a spicy makeover! This flavor-packed, stir-fried kimchi ramen bowl is loaded with pan-fried tofu, crunchy peanuts and hot chili paste.
I love it when people give me ideas on what to blog. Seriously, I owe my boyfriend big time, because he's the one that really got me started. He was excited to be dating a vegetarian cook, and frequently presented me with kitchen challenges, which I was always thrilled to take him up on. I got carried away with the kitchen challenges and eventually started blogging them, and here I am today, blogging, and a few of you are actually reading. :)
I still get ideas from my boyfriend. I get ideas from other people as well. I had some friends over for brunch a few weeks ago and threw it out there to them that I was happy to take requests. What I got was more like a bunch of ideas, many of which were ingredient-focused ideas, and the two ingredients I repeatedly heard were kimchi and ramen. Fine with me. I combined the two.
Let's talk about the ramen part of this dish. I just realized ramen and I have come full circle. I ate ramen growing up. Actually, somewhere around the age of ten, a friend taught me to crush up the noodles, uncooked, mix the seasoning packet right in, and eat the mixture out of the bag. When I was a little older I started cooking the stuff, because it's cheap, but also because it takes three minutes! I'm not proud of either of those phases, and at some point in my teens I dismissed the stuff altogether. It wasn't cool anymore.
Ramen and I are back together and this dish is our reunion tour. Unlike NKOTBSB however, we're better than ever.
Getting serious. This dish kimchi ramen is almost as easy as throwing your noodles into a pot for three minutes. There's just a few more steps, and the awesome thing about kimchi is that all your garlic, ginger and spicy yumminess is packed into one jar of fermented goodness. If you want to go super lazy on this dish, you can skip cooking the tofu, or skip the tofu altogether. It might be a little carby that way, but it's not like it wasn't when I ate it as a kid. This dish is delicious. The deliciousness to work ratio is like, infinity. Thanks friends, for making the suggestion.
Incidentally, I'm always taking suggestions. I aim to please, so never hesitate to email or comment on anything you'd like to see on this blog. Well, okay, not steak, but if I did get that request I'd probably make a portobello steak. So maybe steak's fine.
Stir-Fried Kimchi Ramen with Tofu and Peanuts
- 8 oz. package ramen noodles
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Asian chili paste or to taste
- 1 ½ tbsp. vegetable oil divided
- 1 lb. extra firm tofu pressed for at least 20 minutes and cut into 1-2 inch cubes or triangles.
- 2 cups kimchi vegan store bought or homemade, sliced into thin strips, juice reserved
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts
- 2 scallions sliced
Prepare ramen noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Whisk soy sauce, vinegar and chili paste together in small bowl.
Heat ½ tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook until browned on top and bottom sides, about 5 minutes per side.
Remove tofu from skillet and transfer to plate.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to skillet. Add kimchi and stir-fry for 1 minute.
Add ramen, any reserved kimchi juice, and half of soy sauce mixture to skillet. Stir-fry unit noodles begin to crisp up and brown in spots, about 3-4 minutes. You may want to use a fork to toss the noodles during stir frying.
Add remaining soy sauce mixture. Stir to blend and remove from heat.
Divide onto plates or bowls and top with peanuts and scallions.