Ramen – from addictive to surprising 

 November 21, 2020

By  Tatiana

In the past, as people so often say, everything was better. But I don’t always agree. I used to work in the hospitality industry almost twelve hours a day, six days a week and sometimes more. I drank six cups of coffee a day, sometimes two more red bulls, ate irregularly and never had time to really live. After work I was always partying or bar hopping. I never really had time to sleep. So I used to be really unhealthy.

These times weren’t very good for me either. But I really learned a lot from the hospitality industry. I grew from filling bottles to head waiter and then from kitchen worker to creative in catering companies. Over fifteen years, I have worked everywhere and nowhere. That is how the hospitality industry works, or at least that is how it worked ten years ago. You enjoy yourself in the workplace or not at all. I’ve been a real job hopper, always looking for the best place to hangout, and eventually I found it, in my own kitchen.

But like I said, I also had an unhealthy lifestyle. In very busy times I had a to-go quick way to get ‘food’ in: instant ramen noodles. I ate so much of it that it probably couldn’t have been good for my body at all. I also started to lose a lot of weight. I developed a severe case of anemia and lost about 10 pounds in less than two months. And then I was already a baby! I became depressed and my body was lifeless. And then I just knew that at work I had to pay more attention to my coffee and eating habits as well as my lifestyle. At the time, I briefly quit the catering industry at that time and I took on a different challenge. I will certainly come back to that in other blogs.

Instant windows were completely banned from my life. That sounds drastic, but I could no longer see or eat them, it immediately made me nauseous. So I stopped buying them, I started to eat more salads, or wraps or smoked sausages, but I quickly learned that too.

I don’t remember why, but a few years ago I felt like a pack of instant ramen again. I bought them and already had frozen vegetables at home. I started to prepare the ramen like soup. I really liked it, I had put so many Chinese flavors and ingredients in it that I thought, ‘Hey look at it, I made healthy ramen!’

And then a bell started ringing in my head. What are they actually putting in those plastic bags from the windows? Is that healthy? After searching the internet for a while and reading facts about those packs, I decided not to use these herbal packs anymore but to keep buying the noodles. What is in the small packages of herbs and spice pastes is unpredictable and impossible to control, but the noodles themselves are just dough. There could be a lot less wrong with that.

This Windows experience taught me a lot. Now I can make delicious ramen in 20 minutes from scratch with all the ingredients I have at home. Recently Luis found a pack of those freeze-dried noodles and made me happy as a kid, because these kind of noodles remain my favorite after all! I immediately had a number of recipes in mind. Usually I make them to whatever I feel like that day. At home I have miso paste, hot pepper paste and almost all kinds of Asian flavors and sauces you can imagine.

I never finished talking about unhealthy food, just like about my work in the hospitality industry, so I will of course tell more about it in the following posts. This blog is about food, but also about the person behind the dishes. I think it is important to also show the face behind the dishes.

And now the recipe!

In Spain it is not that easy to find certain Asian products. Fortunately, I have large Chinese toko’s in the area that sell everything, but it is always a good idea to look and look, otherwise I would be really sad. I am not a fan of endless ordering on Amazon or other websites. I am someone who likes to do research in stores and I also like to support my locals, although not many are open anymore due to the corona measures in my neighbourhood.


for 2 large bowls or 3 smaller bowls

  • freeze-dried noodles
  • 1 onion, cut into half moons
  • olive oil
  • 1 garlic, chopped
  • Bacon, in chopped thick strips or steak into strips
  • 1 cup frozen vegetables
  • 1 cup frozen mushroom mix

Asian ingredients for the stock

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce manis
  • tablespoon paprika powder < / li>


  • freshly ground pepper
  • chili oil, for the spiciness
  • half a boiled egg per person


Cook the eggs however you like them. Heat oil in a stockpot, fry the onion and garlic together until soft. Add the bacon or meat of your choice and fry for 2 minutes. Add the frozen vegetables and mushrooms along with the Asian ingredients and stir well. Then add about 1 liter of water and bring it to a gentle boil, while adding the paprika powder.

Keep stirring, taste every now and then and consider if you want more flavor in your soup. I always add more sesame oil and soy sauce for an extra flavor. And sometimes it’s a little too sweet, so then I add lemon juice. That may sound crazy, I know, but it often binds flavors together in dishes.

First pour the liquid into a large bowl and then spoon the ramen in the center of the bowl so that they are above the stock in the center. Top the bowl with freshly ground pepper, half an egg and chili oil. And enjoy!

The result

Delicious noodles and ready in no time. As an experienced cook you are of course used to always have many ingredients at hand. Even if you say you don’t have any groceries at home, you always have something to make a delicious bowl of noodles.

And that is often what I do at home for everyone. I pull out all the stops and I make noodles, or since a while often quick, easy and healthy bowls.

This is a delicious bite. Even my dad says he could have breakfast like this every day, and these ramen taste so good that he feels like he’s really in Asia. For me this is a really sweet compliment, perhaps one of the best I have ever received when it comes to my cooking skills.

I always cook with feeling. Eighty percent of the time that goes well, but sometimes really badly. So I will never forget what I once cooked in 2010 with three ready-made packages.

Have you overcome an addiction to an unhealthy dish, or an educational experience with a fast food dish? Or maybe you also have your own recipes to upgrade instant ramen? Let me know!

Tatiana Tor

I hope you enjoyed this blogpost and if you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

Wishing you a great day, love Tatiana.

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