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Tailgate Ramen

Trail Snacks With Lentine

It’s easier than you think to serve ramen on your tailgate, no matter what equipment you have in tow. The recipe below gives you options—based on your cooking equipment—for pulling together foolproof, simple ramen bowls (with some fancy additions, too.)

The gucciest setup is a portable grill so you can grill bok choi (and meat, if you choose). But, if you’re flying solo, keeping it simple, or bringing a pre-prepped noodle bowl, an individual portable stove is still enough to make ramen magic.

In this humble ramen-eater’s opinion, the only must-haves to bring from home are a few pre-cooked and peeled soft-boiled eggs … because peeling eggs on a tailgate is the opposite of fun, but having them in your noodle bowl is worth the prep ahead of time. (I share my secret for perfect jammy eggs below!)

 

Tailgate Ramen Recipe

serves two

Ingredients

For The Broth

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 .6-ounce packet instant miso soup mix OR 1 heaping Tbsp white miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp butter or ghee
  • 2 Tbsp teaspoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, tamari sauce, or soy sauce

 

For The Noodle Bowls

  • 1 four-ounce package of your favorite instant ramen noodles, dried or fresh
  • 2 perfectly jammy soft-boiled eggs (see recipe below)
  • 2 baby bok choi, sliced in half or washed fresh spinach, dried completely
  • Sesame oil (for sauteéing greens and finishing bowls – optional)
  • Optional garnishes: sliced scallions, cilantro, sesame oil, sesame seeds, furikake

Note: To cook noodles for 4, simply double the recipe. Logically, if you want to cook for 6, triple it. If you do scale up, be sure to scale up your cooking setup as well—you’ll need a 2-qt pot to cook for 4, and for 6-8, you’ll want a 5-qt pot.

Do Ahead: Prep the Jammy Soft-Boiled Eggs

  1. Before you leave the house, bring 2 quarts of water to a gentle simmer over medium high heat. Use a slotted spoon to lower the eggs into the pot and immediately start a timer. If you live at sea level, set your timer for 6 minutes. If you live at altitude (say, 5280ft), set your timer for 7:30 minutes.
  2. While your eggs are simmering, fill a large bowl with ice and water—you’ll place your eggs in the ice bath as soon as they leave the boiling water. This is important because the eggs will continue to cook after you remove them if you don’t cool them down! When your timer goes off, remove your eggs carefully and transfer them to the ice bath. Allow them to sit in the ice bath until they’re body temperature.
  3. It’s time to peel your eggs! Gently roll each egg on the countertop to crack the shell entirely. Don’t press too hard as you don’t want to squish the egg! Then, place the egg under running cold water and gently peel away the shell. The water will sneak under the shell and help to loosen it.
  4. Place the peeled eggs in a jar and store in the fridge until you’re ready to head out for your ramen tailgate! Eggs can be made 3 days ahead.

Day-Of Equipment

  • A camp stove, portable grill, or personal stove
  • Fuel for your stove
  • Your ramen ingredients & garnishes
  • Your soft-boiled eggs
  • A 2-qt saucepan to make broth and noodles
  • 2 pairs of chopsticks (or forks) – for turning, stirring, and slurping!
  • 2 bowls
  • A small cutting board and sharp knife
  • A ladle for pouring broth (optional)

Directions

Your process will be about the same regardless of whether you’re using a portable grill or a camp stove with two burners. The only difference is that with a portable grill, you have the power to grill your veggies (as well as meat and anything else you like) and your broth will take a bit longer to boil. That’s okay—you’re tailgating, right? With a camp stove, you’ll be sauteéing your greens and veggies. Still excellent and very fancy. Here we go!

Portable Grill

  1. Make your broth: in a 2-quart saucepan, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to simmer. Add the instant miso soup packet (or  miso paste,) the butter or ghee and the Liquid Aminos or tamari sauce. Simmer gently for 2-3 minutes until the miso dissolves. 
  2. Grill or sauté your veggies: While your broth is simmering, prepare the grill grate or warm a skillet over medium high heat. Slice the baby bok choi in half and brush with a bit of sesame oil, then place cut side down on the grill grate or skillet and cook until the edges of the leaves start to brown and the sliced sides gain a nice char. If you’re sautéing greens, drizzle a bit of sesame oil in the prepared pan and stir the greens until they wilt. Regardless of whether you’re grilling or sautéing, this will only take 2-3 minutes. Divide the greens between two bowls and set aside. 
  3. Cook your noodles: Add your dry ramen noodles to the simmering broth, omitting the seasoning packet, and cook according to package directions (usually 4-5 minutes on medium high heat.) While your noodles are cooking, slice scallions thinly.
  4. Serve your ramen: Divide the cooked noodles and broth between the bowls over the greens. Slice the jammy eggs in half and place two halves in each bowl. Top with sliced scallions, sesame seeds, cilantro, and furikake if you wish.

Individual Stove

  1.  Make your broth: Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to simmer. Add the instant miso soup packet (or the miso paste,) the butter or ghee, and the Liquid Aminos or tamari sauce. Allow to simmer gently for 2-3 minutes until the miso dissolves. 
  2. Prep your veggies: If you’ll be transferring your noodles and broth to a bowl, chop your fresh spinach into small pieces and place in the bowl that you’ll be eating your ramen out of. If you plan to eat it out of the stove itself, set aside—you’ll stir it into the noodles after they’re cooked. 
  3. Cook your noodles: Remove your noodles from the package and add to the simmering broth. Turn heat to low and cook according to package directions (usually 4-5 minutes at a simmer.) Likewise, you can turn off the heat on the stove at this point to conserve fuel and cover the stove. Allow the noodles to stand in the broth for 10 minutes, then stir—your noodles are ready to enjoy! 
  4. Serve your ramen: Divide the cooked noodles and broth between the bowls (if using) and stir in the greens. Slice the jammy eggs in half and place two halves in each bowl (or into your stove cup.) Top with sliced scallions, sesame seeds, cilantro, and furikake if you wish.

To Make Ahead

Wanting to save time at the tailgate? Prep everything ahead of time and simply assemble at your destination.

  1. Make your broth & store it: Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to simmer. Add the instant miso soup packet (or the miso paste,) the butter or ghee, and the Liquid Aminos or tamari sauce. Simmer gently for 2-3 minutes until the miso dissolves. Transfer broth to a large thermos and seal tightly.
  2. Chop some greens: Chop a few handfuls spinach and place in a plastic or reusable bag. Greens can be chopped up to 3 hours ahead. 
  3. Cook your noodles: Cook your noodles according to package directions, omitting the seasoning packet, then drain the noodles under cool water and transfer to an airtight container. You can also place them in the thermos with the broth.
  4. Assemble your other ingredients: You’ll want to bring small jars of chopped scallions, sesame seeds, furikake, and sesame oil to assemble your bowls. 
  5. Put your ramen together: When you arrive at your destination, divide your noodles and broth between bowls, top with an egg, stir in the greens and add scallions, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and furikake to your liking. Enjoy!

Lentine Alexis is a former professional endurance athlete & classically trained chef. The former Culinary Director at Skratch Labs, she uses a real-food philosophy to create recipes for athletes and everyone looking to eat well and adventure better. Find more recipes and info on her upcoming cookbook for athletes at lentinealexis.com, or follow her @lentinealexis.