5 Ingredients or Fewer

Instant Ramyun "Carbonara"

by:
February 10, 2021
1 Rating
Photo by MARK WEINBERG. PROP STYLIST: AMANDA WIDIS. FOOD STYLIST: ANNA BILLINGSKOG.
Author Notes

There is one dish that I think lies at the heart of Korean cuisine: instant ramyun. A fried noodle cake, one packet of soup powder, another of dried vegetables—it’s perfection in a package.

Where you take instant ramyun is a window into your culinary soul. It is a blank canvas, ready to embrace any aromatic, condiment, vegetable, or protein you want to throw at it.

This is one of my favorite ways to prepare instant ramyun. It’s easy, incredibly flavorful, and best of all— fast. With a kettle of hot water ready, it’s possible to make this in about four minutes flat.

It’s a “dry” preparation of instant ramyun in the sense that there is no soup. Instead, egg yolk, American cheese, the seasoning packet, and noodle water combine to make a spicy, luscious, carbonara-like sauce that perfectly clings to the springy noodles. My personal pièce de résistance is to reserve the dried vegetables and any stray noodle bits as a topping. They make for a nice textural contrast.

Careful, though: without the broth, it’s easy to eat this dish in just about three slurps.

This recipe was featured on our new podcast, Counterjam—a show that explores culture through food and music. Host Peter J. Kim asked chef Roy Choi about his favorite ways to "hack" an packet of instant ramyun—check out the episode here. peterjkim

  • Prep time 3 minutes
  • Cook time 3 minutes
  • Serves 1
Ingredients
  • 1 packet instant ramen, such as Shin Ramyun
  • 1 slice American cheese
  • 1 large egg, divided
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Put half of the ramen seasoning packet in a bowl; top with the cheese and then the egg yolk. Reserve the dried veggies and bottom-of-the-package crunchy noodle bits.
  2. Simmer the "cake" of dried noodles, in a small saucepan of boiling water, until it just starts to unravel, about 1 minutes. Drop in the egg white and swirl with chopsticks, encouraging the noodles to further unravel.
  3. Once the noodles are al dente (not soft!), drain and add them to the bowl. With chopsticks, mix the noodles with the yolk, cheese, and seasoning powder. The water on the noodles should help turn this all into a creamy, clingy sauce.
  4. And, the pièce de résistance: garnish with the crunchy noodles and veggies for texture.

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