I’m pretty excited to share this zoodle ramen recipe, as I honestly think it’s one of the most satisfying and best-tasting meal preps I’ve ever made. That’s right, the fresh, delicious-looking bowl of red miso broth, ramen and zoodles came from this:
A jar! Yep, not only can you have this flavorful soup for lunch, you can even make a whole batch of it ahead of time and take it with you, with no fear of spilling broth or soggy noodles. Aside from the soup base sitting on the bottom of the jar, all the ingredients are transported dry. There’s no need to add water until you’re ready to eat.
The idea for this meal prep came from this post on DIY instant noodles from the Kitchn and this recipe for miso-sesame broth instant noodles from Serious Eats. Both of these recipes look great, but I will always try to cram more vegetables into a dish whenever possible. For a lightened-up noodle bowl, I downsized the amount of real noodles and bulked up the soup with zoodles for volume with fewer calories, and added mushrooms and spinach; I also ramped up the protein by incorporating both chicken thighs (the best part of the chicken, IMO) and soft-boiled eggs marinated in a soy sauce mixture. The end result has more than 30(!) grams of protein per serving.
Speaking of those eggs, this recipe includes another: Momofuku’s Soy Sauce eggs. You can read the original on Food52 at the link, but I’ve included it in my instructions for the sake of convenience. If you’re a runny yolk fiend like I am, these eggs are amazing and really transform this lunch into something special. (Even if you’re not a fan of runny eggs, this would still work fine with hard-boiled ones.) They’re savory and flavorful, and have a long shelf life. Commenters on the recipe suggest you can keep the soy sauce eggs in the fridge in their brine for weeks, which would be completely impossible with poached or regular soft-boiled eggs. I’ve never kept them around for more than a week, but it’s nice to know there’s some wiggle room.
The eggs are the only part of the soup that don’t get stored in the jar. Keep them in their brine and remove only when ready to eat (or, in the morning the day-of). Once your soup is nice and steamy, just nestle that egg into the broth. The heat of the soup will warm it, restoring the yolk to warm, gooey goodness.
A final note: While you could just use the brick of Top Ramen noodles for this recipe, I recommend tracking down actual dried ramen or using the best dried noodles you can get. I bought these noodles at an international grocery store. They come conveniently packaged in 4-oz bundles; for this recipe, I used just one of these bundles, equivalent to two servings. You could also try other kinds of noodles like soba, udon or spaghetti. Just undercook them a bit, rinse with cold water and toss with the oil and you should be good to go.
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- 5 eggs
- 3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 6 tbsp warm water
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 lb chicken thighs
- 4 oz dry ramen noodles
- 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 5 tbsp red miso paste
- 5 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1/2 cup sliced green onion
- sambal oelek to taste, optional
- 2 medium zucchini, spiralized on the finest setting
- 8 oz sliced white mushrooms
- 5 cups packed spinach
- Make the eggs: Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil and lower in the eggs. Cook for 6 minutes and 50 seconds, stirring gently for the first minute or so to distribute the heat. Immediately lower the cooked eggs into an ice bath; when cool enough to handle, peel them. Meanwhile, prepare the brine by combining the soy sauce, water, vinegar and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the peeled eggs to the brine and refrigerate at least 2 hours before using.
- Make the chicken: Preheat the oven to 375F. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet. Bake until internal temperature registers 165F, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool, then slice into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Make the noodles: Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the noodles. Cook according to the package instructions, but remove them before fully cooked (my package recommended 4 minutes, so I removed the noodles after 3 minutes). Drain and immediately rinse with cold water. Toss with the sesame oil.
- Make the soup base: In a small bowl, combine the miso, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, green onion and sambal oelek, if using, with a fork until smooth.
- To assemble: In each of five quart-sized jars, layer the soup base, chicken, mushrooms, ramen, zoodles and spinach. Store in the fridge. Keep the eggs separate, in their brine, until ready to use.
- To serve: Add about 2 cups water to the soup jar and microwave for about 3 minutes. Pour it into a bowl and check the temperature. You may need to microwave again at this point, especially if the jar came right out of the fridge; microwave in 30-second intervals, being careful not to let the soup boil (which will make the miso gritty). Remove a soy sauce egg from the brine and nestle it into the soup; it will warm after a few minutes. Slice in and eat!