This ramen stir fry doctors up packaged ramen noodles with a rainbow of fresh vegetables and an easy stir fry sauce made from pantry staples. This recipe is super adaptable to whatever veggies you have on hand and makes a great 20-minute weeknight dinner.
We all know that ramen noodles are the meal of choice for students, anyone on a tight budget or just lazy with cooking like I used to be (and sometimes still am).
If you’re vegan then you know that there are very few vegan ramen options available and after a while you get bored of eating the same flavour over and over again.
So I’m always looking for ways to doctor up my instant ramen and, of course, make it somewhat healthier (the noodles are never gonna be healthy, let’s be real) by adding tofu, veggies or whatever else I happen to have in the fridge.
If you’ve seen my vegetable Singapore noodles recipe then you’ll know that I’m a big fan of stir fried noodles. While that recipe has a wonderful curry flavour profile, for this ramen noodle stir fry recipe I wanted to come up with a simple Chinese-style stir fry sauce that can be made with simple pantry staples.
Oftentimes, Chinese-style stir fried noodles get their wonderful dark colour from specialty sauces like dark soy sauce or oyster sauce that you may not have on hand in your kitchen. My secret ingredient to avoid a trip to the Asian market is molasses.
Not only does molasses give the noodles the right colour, it also adds sweetness so you don’t need to add additional sugar. What you end up with is a super-easy, 5-ingredient vegan stir fry sauce!
You need to approach this ramen noodle stir fry the same way that you approach any stir fry and that means by having all your ingredients prepped beforehand.
Start by putting a pot of water on to boil for your ramen. I used standard ramen noodles from the supermarket but if you’re looking for a healthier alternative, check out King Soba for organic buckwheat, brown rice or black rice ramen noodles.
While the water is heating, chop all your veggies.
The vegetables that I used here can absolutely be swapped out for anything that you prefer or if you’ve got something going bad that needs to be used up quickly. Consider baby corn, bok choy, mushrooms, peas, cabbage, bean sprouts, etc. You can also use frozen veggies to reduce the cost of this recipe even more.
As well, combine all the ingredients for your stir fry sauce. I used 1 tablespoon of sriracha but if you don’t like it spicy you can leave it out or you can add more if you like it really spicy!
When the water boils for you ramen, you need to give it all your attention. Ramen cooks quickly and in order for your stir fry to be successful, you need to first undercook the noodles so that they can finish cooking in the pan with the sauce.
So cook the noodles just until they separate but are still chewy – this takes only about a minute. Drain them into a strainer and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process. It’s really important that they’re not fully cooked at this point or else you’ll end up with a mushy stir fry!
Now you’re ready to start cooking! Turn the heat on medium high under a wok or large pan. Heat up the oil and add the ginger, garlic and white parts of the green onion. They only need a few seconds and you don’t want to burn them so quickly add in your vegetables.
I like to start with the “tougher” veggies like the broccoli and carrot. Give them a couple of minutes until the are beginning to soften then add your “softer” veggies. I also like to keep a glass of water beside the stove in case I’ve got the heat too high I can quickly cool it down, or if things are taking too long, a splash of water will help to steam the veggies through.
When the veggies are crisp-tender, toss in the noodles and pour in the sauce. A couple more minutes is all that’s necessary for the sauce to thicken and coat the noodles and veggies.
Garnish your noodles as you like. I used the green tops of the green onions this time but a sprinkling of sesame seeds or a light drizzle of toasted sesame oil are good too. If it’s not spicy enough for you, add another squeeze of sriracha.
That’s it, ramen noodle stir fry from start to finish in only 20 minutes!
Ramen Stir Fry
- 2 packages of dried ramen noodles – $1.40
- 2 tablespoons neutral-flavoured oil – $0.24
- 1 heaping tablespoon of finely chopped ginger -$0.10
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped – $0.16
- 2 green onions chopped and white and green parts separated – $0.13
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced into rounds – $0.17
- 1/2 head of broccoli cut into florets – $0.65
- 1/2 a red pepper cubed – $0.58
- 1/2 a zucchini chopped – $0.33
For the stir fry sauce
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable stock – $0.11
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce – $0.15
- 1 ½ tablespoons molasses – $0.26
- 1 tablespoon sriracha – $0.08
- 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch – $0.06
- Put a pot of water on to boil for the noodles. Meanwhile, chop all your veggies and combine the ingredients for the stir fry sauce.
- When the water is boiling, add the noodles and boil just until the noodles separate but are still chewy – just a minute or so. It’s important to undercook the noodles as they will continue cooking in the sauce. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking processes. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a wok or large pan over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic, and white and light green parts of the green onions. Fry, stirring constantly, for 10-15 seconds or until soft and fragrant but not browning.
- Add the carrots and broccoli. Stir fry until beginning to soften. Add the red pepper and zucchini and continue stir frying until all the veggies are crisp-tender.
- Add the noodles to the pan and pour in the sauce. Simmer, stirring, until the sauce is thick and covers the noodles and veggies. Stir in the green tops of the green onions and serve.