To-Go Lunch Ramen
If you’re anything like me, you’re totally into the ramen trend. I’d blame it on winter, but honestly I could eat ramen every day year-round. For such a simple meal, to-go ramen soup cups have a hefty price tag. What’s more is they lack real nutritional value; their macro-nutrients typically are heavy on carbohydrates and light on fats and proteins. What’s more is the jam-packed with excessive sodium. In this post, I talk about how to pack a balanced and delicious mason-jar ramen that will keep you full for hours.
The key to packing ramen to-go is the container that you store it in as well as the order that you pack your ingredients into the container. I have created an infographic below to help you pack your ingredients and avoid soggy noodles and protein.
A reusable, glass container such as a mason jar should be used. I find it best to use wide-bottomed containers (pictured here is actually a reused 24 oz. pickle jar). This will give you plenty of room for ingredients and will keep your liquid isolated to the bottom portion of the jar.
Make sure that you leave enough room at the top to add near-boiling water when ready to eat!
The base includes your liquid ingredients and seasonings. The base is arguably the most important element of the ramen; it’s the equivalent to a ramen noodle flavor packet. Options here include your favorite broth, soy sauce, chili paste, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, umami, miso paste, garlic powder, ginger powder, sweet rice wine (mirin), etc.
For my base, I used a 1/2 cup of chicken bone broth to really amp up the nutrients. I then added a 1/2 tsp of ginger powder, 1 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of gochujang sauce, 1 tsp of garlic powder, and red pepper flakes to season.
Fresh veggies should be added on top of the base, divide your veggies into hard veggies (cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, etc.) and soft veggies (zucchini, bok choy, etc.). The harder veggies can be placed in the liquid. The veggies will not be at risk of becoming soggy. The softer vegetables won’t last for very long in this liquid if you’re meal-prepping these at the beginning of the week.
My fresh veggies in the ramen pictured above include cabbage, purple onion, and carrot.
Cook your noodles before adding to jar! Although you’ll add near-boiling water to your ramen cup when you’re ready to eat it, it likely won’t be sufficient to cook the noodle through and you might have issues digesting the grains. The noodles should be placed on top of the fresh veggies (as a buffer from the liquid); if you place noodles in liquid, they may become soggy.
I use Lotus Foods rice noodles, which are gluten-free, cook within 5 minutes, and store well. I also mixed Zoodles into my noodles here, and seasoned them with spicy sesame oil and sesame seeds.
Place your cooked protein on top of the noodles. Again, you don’t want these idling in the liquid.
I used air-fried sesame tofu in the ramen pictured above.
As mentioned above, when ready to eat add nearly boiling water. Make sure you leave ~1 inch of room at the top for mixing and adding toppings. To mix, you can use a spoon or chopsticks or, if you used a mason jar, you can simple put the lid back on and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
Toppings: I’m all about toppings so I typically add a soft-boiled egg, avocado slices, and kimchi after adding hot water and preparing.
Happy lunching! I’d love to hear about your experience with To-Go Ramen here or on my social media platforms!
One Hangry Millennial