Garlic ramen noodles is a side dish that should be in your recipe rotation all year long. Fast, flavorful and only a few simple ingredients required. I keep instant ramen noodles in my pantry at all times for my cabbage salad, which is a family favorite. Those same noodles, minus the seasoning packets, are the base for this tasty noodle dish I could eat the entire bowl of myself.
Packets of instant ramen are actually super versatile and health-wise, they are not all that bad for you once you ditch the flavor packet. The noodles themselves are actually neutral, so you have a blank canvas to create something wonderful. These garlic ramen noodles are almost effortless to make and if you are a noodle lover like I am, they don’t disappoint.
Momofuku Ando, is the man who invented ramen instant noodles and in doing so, has become an unlikely hero to foodies around the globe. In addition to inspiring a plethora of trendy restaurants, Ando has earned the adoration of a nation. In a 2000 poll, Japanese respondents said instant ramen was the country’s top invention of the 20th century. And I think we all would agree about that.
Instant Noodle Invention
Momofuku Ando was born as Wu Baifu in Taiwan in 1910, and after World War II he emigrated to Japan and took his new name. It was not until his 40’s that ramen inspiration struck. Ando claimed he was inspired by seeing people huddled around a ramen stall in postwar Osaka. With food shortages rampant, he believed noodles could possibly be the cure to world hunger.
Ando found Nissin around 1958, and his product got its start as a relatively luxurious convenience food, since the first “Chicken Ramen” sold in Japan cost more than fresh noodles did. Regardless of how the story began, it was Ando who invented flash-frying noodles so they could be quickly cooked in boiling water. Ando followed that with the 1971 invention of Cup Noodles, inspired by customers who reused coffee cups as ramen bowls. Instant noodles took off, and instant noodles became world-famous. Ando passed away in 2007 at the age of 96, with an estimated net worth of $300 million dollars and an everlasting legacy.
This quick ramen dish has become a favorite of my younger son and one he request often. I like to serve this with fish or tofu, but left to his own, my son likes them as is and claims they are just as delicious served hot or cold.
Garlic Ramen Noodles
- three (3-ounce) packages instant ramen noodles, flavor packets discarded
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon garlic chili sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 6 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
- Step 1 Fill a large stock pot of water, place over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the ramen and cook according to package, about 3-4 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
- Step 2 In a small bowl add the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, garlic chili sauce and water, whisk well to blend.
- Step 3 In a large skillet, add the sesame oil and place over medium-high heat. When hot, but not smoking, add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the sauce and simmer for 2-3minutes. Add the cooked ramen noodles and gently toss to coat. Cook until the noodles are heated, about 3 minutes.
- Step 4 Garnish the warm noodles with the sliced scallions and sesame seeds.