Hanoi Ramen: A Healthy Ramen Soup

A bowl of the healthy ramen soup, Hanoi Ramen.

A bowl of the healthy ramen soup, Hanoi Ramen.

About Ramen Soup

This Hanoi Ramen recipe is definitely not your old roomate's ramen, but it's almost as easy to prepare! Times have changed, because when I was in college, the very affordable little packages of just-add-hot-water was the ramen we ate. Sometimes we got fancy and added an egg to our ramen noodle soup.

Today, whether you’re looking for Pho or ramen, inexpensive Asian noodle soup restaurants dot college towns, big cities, and even the suburbs. In other words, affordable ramen noodle soups are easy to find.

Ramen vs Pho

There’s actually quite a bit of difference between pho and ramen. The main ingredients for the Vietnamese soup, Pho, are broth, rice noodles, and sliced meat, usually beef. Bean sprouts, lime, and fresh herbs like cilantro and scallions are served on the side to top your Vietnamese noodle soup. It is popular throughout Vietnam, with some minor regional dishes that you would expect between the the food of Hanoi and that of Saigon.

The Vietnamese soup, Pho.

The Vietnamese soup, Pho.

Ramen is a popular Japanese dish that was imported from China, and varies much more. Popular bases for the ramen broth include Miso, Shoyu (Soy Sauce), Shio (Salt), and Tonkotsu (Pork). Ramen noodles can be curly or flat and vary in thickness, but are thinner than udon noodles. Ramen noodles are made of wheat more like a typical noodle whereas pho noodles are clear and translucent. Also a ramen will also usually have an egg and a seaweed component.

So, ramen vs pho? I love them both, but when you eat them in a restaurant, they can be quite fatty, high carb, and high in calories. So, I combined the two noodle soups and made some adjustments to create a healthy ramen soup: Hanoi Ramen!

And the best part is it’s will take less than an hour from start to finish! With an easy ramen broth and easy to find ingredients, homemade ramen is a winner!

A bowl of traditional ramen soup.

A bowl of traditional ramen soup.

What makes Hanoi Ramen a healthy ramen soup?

The biggest difference is the fat content. In both traditional ramen recipes and pho recipes, fatty meats are most often used. This healthy ramen recipe uses ground turkey, but you can substitute shrimp, chicken breast, or even lean steak (I do it all the time) and still have a lower fat content.

What could be better than low calorie ramen?

I also add more vegetables to the soup and cut down the portion of ramen noodles to help balance the meal. In the ramen vs Pho debate, I do pick ramen noodles over pho noodles. But for really healthy ramen noodles, you can substitute soba noodles or even whole grain spaghetti. If you require gluten free ramen, look for gluten free soba noodles, or brown rice pasta will work as gluten free ramen noodles.

In regards to the soft boiled egg in some traditional ramen dishes, I prefer to use just half an egg cutting down on the fat and cholesterol, but still adding to the texture, flavor, and presentation.

Ingredients to prep for the healthy ramen soup, Hanoi Ramen.

Ingredients to prep for the healthy ramen soup, Hanoi Ramen.

Hanoi Healthy Ramen Soup Recipe

Servings: 8

2 pound lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
12 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
6-8 baby bok choy, cut in 1” slices
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
4 large carrot, sliced thin
1 pound ramen noodles
4 eggs (optional)
1/2 cup scallion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Making-Hanoi Ramen-noodle-soup.JPG

1. Mix the ginger powder and garlic powder into the ground turkey.
2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and cook the ground turkey.
3. When the turkey is about halfway cooked through, add the chicken broth, red onion, minced garlic, minced ginger, and Chinese 5-spice.
4. Bring the broth to a boil and add baby bok choy, mushrooms, and carrots. Bring soup back to a boil, then simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes.
5. While simmering, bring a separate pot of water to a boil for the eggs.
5. Add eggs when water boils and cook for 8 minutes. Then run under cold water and peel.
6. Add ramen noodles about the same time as you put the eggs in water.
7. Gently stir the soup until the ramen noodles are cooked.
8. Plate Healthy Ramen Soup in bowls with 1/2 of an egg on top.
9. Top with scallions and cilantro.

Tips for making Healthy Ramen Soup

1. Any type of noodle (udon, soba, etc.) or pasta (spaghetti, bucatini, etc.) can substitute for ramen noodles.
2. If you don’t have Chinese 5 spice, you can substitute all spice.
3. If you do substitute lean steak for the ground turkey, I substitute beef broth for chicken broth.

Meal Prep for Hanoi Ramen Soup

1. Preparing this soup ahead of time is a no-brainer. If preferred, you can also cook your ingredients separately, and then add your broth and seasoning when ready to eat.
2. Like most soups, this one freezes well, so don't be afraid to make a big pot.

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