Eating a cup of instant ramen is a roller caster ride of emotions. It starts with the giddy anticipation as you boil the water and let the noodles cook. Then, of course, there’s the elation as you take your first bite. Finally, and sadly, there’s the bittersweet emptiness when you realize you’ve eaten all the noodles, and have none left.
Recently, though, we found out about a way to turn that end of ramen frown upside-down by using your leftover broth to make chawanmushi, Japanese savory egg custard. What’s more, the recipe comes from the highest authority, Nissin, makers of Cup Noodle.
Don’t worry, since this is an instant ramen-related recipe, the list of ingredients, equipment, and steps are short and simple. All you need is:
● A cup of instant ramen
● An egg
● A microwave-safe coffee mug or teacup
● Plastic wrap
Make and eat the cup of instant ramen like you ordinarily would (i.e. add boiling water, slurp up the noodles). However, make sure to leave some broth, and if you can resist the urge to eat the shrimp, it’ll make your chawanmushi even tastier.
Once you’re done with the noodles, crack the egg and pour it into the leftover broth.
Stir the egg and broth together. We suppose you could use a whisk if you want to get fancy, but whatever chopsticks you were using to eat the ramen with should work fine too.
Pour the broth and egg (and shrimp, if you saved them) into your microwavable cup. Again, if you’re feeling classy or want your egg tart to have a super smooth texture, you can use a tea strainer, but it’s not a must.
Cover the cup with plastic wrap and pop it in the microwave. At 200 watts, two minutes and 45 seconds should do the trick, and that’s all there is to it!
The result is a soft, fluffy, and surprisingly visually appealing chawanmushi, and it tastes even better than it looks. Compared to the egg tart you might be served as part of an expensive multi-course kaiseki meal, the flavors are stronger, but this is a delicious and accessible take on the dish, with plenty of creamy, savory flavor.
Of course, if you want a milder flavor, or just for the egg to take more of a lead role in the flavor department, all you have to do is use less broth, which is easy to do by pouring however much of the liquid you want to use into your microwavable cup and then adding the egg to it. We did two Cup Noodle trials, one with about 150 milliliters and one with 100 milliliters, and both had their own unique appeal.
Since we’d bought a six-pack of eggs, we had four left, so we decided to experiment with four other kinds of instant noodles. We can report that this super easy chawanmushi recipe also works well with Cup Noodle Seafood and Nissin Chicken Ramen, both of which added their marque flavors to the mix. Things got extra special, though, when we used some Donbei instant udon, since the dashi (bonito stock) used for udon is also a key ingredient in classical chawanmushi, resulting in an elegant, refined flavor.
▼ The udon dashi chawanmushi also had a more delicate color to it.
And on the other end of the spectrum, Cup Noodle Curry made for a filling and fantastic fusion chawanmushi, especially after we added in some cheese.
So that’s five for five in our taste tests, and really, it looks like this ramen remix chawanmushi recipe will work amazingly with pretty much any kind of instant noodle broth, and with so many varieties out there, we see ourselves eating a lot of egg custards in the future.
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