My Quest for Homemade Spicy Ramen

If you have been wondering why I havent posted much this week it is because I’ve been eating the same thing every night – Spicy Ramen. I probably should have taken the same amount of time to monitor my sodium intake but life is too short to not invest a too much time into something silly. I put total blame on my friend Tim.

For about a year now I’ve been obsessed with the Spicy Ramen at Don on Tate Street in Greensboro, NC. It is nothing like the ramen that you heated up in your college microfridge (we’ve come along way since the days of the microfridge). Their spicy ramen includes shiitake mushrooms, beef and chilies and is so spicy it practically makes you sweat. I’ve taken many of friends to Don to enjoy the spicy ramen and promised that it would be “life changing.” 

Spicy Ramen at Don has been a life changing experience for all my friends – except Tim.  Tim is more of an expert on Asian cuisine than any of my friends so I had inquire. He told me that I could easily make this dish at home using ingredients from the Super G Mart and I took him up on the challenge. It has been quite the adventure. Since that day at lunch I’ve been annoying him with emails, texts, and phone calls. I even interrupted his Sunday supper a couple weeks ago while I was wondering the aisles of the Super G.

There are many varieties of Spicy Ramen at Super G Mart – Yeul Ramyon, Nong Shim Neoguri (highly recommended by Tim’s mom), Jin Ramen (Tim uses this kind although it isnt as spicy) and many more. I tried both Yeul Ramyon and Jin Ramen and preferred Yuel Ramyon for the spice. I also tried several techniques of rehydrating the shiitake mushrooms and cooking the beef. To be honest, I don’t remember the exact taste of Don’s Life Changing Spicy Ramen anymore. It has been confused along the way – and I warn you –  this process may have ruined the real deal. In any case, here is my best attempt.

Tim, don’t judge.

Mendenhall’s Best Attempt of Life Changing Spicy Ramen  (serves one)

Ingredients:

  • Spicy Ramen Mix (Yeul Ramyon, Nong Shim Neoguri or Jin Ramen)
  • 5 or 6 dehydrated shiitake Mushrooms
  • scallions, chopped
  • bean sprouts, small handful
  • small bit of flank steak, very thinly sliced
  • teriyaki sauce, a splash
  • Chinese five spice powder, one pinch

Assembly: Cover shiitake mushrooms with very hot water and let sit for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cut flank steak into very thin slices (I freeze mine a few minutes to make this easier). Cover the meat with a splash of teriyaki sauce (I’m sure you could use soy) and a pinch of Chinese five spice powder (I’m sure this isn’t authentic). After meat has marinated and mushrooms have rehydrated about 20 minutes (I took the dog for a walk), add the meat to a dry very hot skillet and cook until very quickly on both sides to sear. Slice hydrated mushrooms. Bring designated amount of water to boil (2 and 3/4 cup for mine) and add ramen spice mix and noodles. Cook for about 3 minutes or until noodles are just tender. Pour broth and noodles into a bowl and add scallions, meat, mushrooms, and bean sprouts. Enjoy!

9 comments

  1. There is no sub for the vegetarian udon soup at Don. Order it very spicy & enjoy…

    I am an excellent cook but I defer on Asian cuisine…it’s easier, cheaper, and with the plethora of restaurants in Greensboro, quicker & much tastier to eat there or take out! Taste of Thai, Saigon, Don, Pad Thai, PHVong…enjoy & support. I’ll cook Italian, Greek, French etc. at home…but I’ll see you out at these fine places!

    • You say it well, Frank! I totally agree with you. I’m giving up and headed back to the places that do it so well. Geoff Wall turned me on to this great place on High Point Road. Of course I don’t remember the name – it is super small and in the “DP Shopping Center.” Have you been?

  2. since leaving the GSO, i have been on a quest to find a mad-town replacement for my beloved Pad Thai’s Tom Yum soup. thus far, no luck.

    i hadn’t really considered trying to make it myself until i got the March 2010 issue “Everyday Food.” pg 116 “scallion-ginger broth” caught my eye and i decided to give it a go. while it’s no Pad Thai Tom Yum, it IS delicious and very quick & easy and versatile too.

    and it would be the perfect compliment to my dad’s thoroughly midwesternized egg rolls. 😉

    but my heart still belongs to Pad Thai’s Tom Yum.

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