Office Ramen: A delicious and healthy dumpling soup you can make in the microwave!

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Super noodles just got a serious make-over. This is my crowing glory for a fast, tasty lunch time, a discovery I made last week. It’s a delicious ‘home made’ fast food for dumpling noodle soup fans who work in an office!

For the last few years I’ve freelanced from home but I’m working from the office more at the moment. The one thing I miss desperately from my London days are the Vietnamese and Japanese take-away lunches available in Soho, London. I love a dumpling noodle soup but how on earth can you enjoy something as exotic as this when you’re in the office in the depths of Norfolk? Easy. Here’s my simple and quick yet restaurant-standard dumpling ramen soup. It was a big success in terms of flavour, extremely satisfying and full of natural goodness. It would also make a wonderful quick evening meal – literally ready in ten minutes!

There are a few cheats involved but then, hey, who’s going to make their own soup stock base and freshly made dumplings on a bi-weekly basis just for the office.

What you’ll need:

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  1. Soup base and noodles: Clearspring Organic Japanese Shoyu Ramen with Soy Sauce Soup. These are non-fried semi wholewheat and brown rice noodles. They’re low in fat 100% veggie and don’t contain any MSG. This is the secret ingredient. The soup base is superior quality for an instant noodle.
  2. Dumplings: Cheat and buy a packet of good-quality frozen dumplings from your Asian supermarket. We have a very impressive oriental section on Norwich Market who sell around 50 different varieties of dumplings, some are better for soup than others, usually the ones with a thicker dumpling skin. Ask at your local store. These ones are vegetarian dumplings for steaming, pan-frying or soups.
  3. Vegetables: The things that work best are vegetables that are finely sliced. Here I’ve spiralized a courgette and very finely sliced some tiny button mushrooms. I’ve then finely chopped some coriander and some fresh red chillies. You don’t need to cook these, the boiling water will soften them, leaving them ever so slightly al dente
  4. Sauce: In a small jar, decant your favourite Asian sauce: Plum, sweet chilli, garlic chilli, teriyaki. And if you didn’t use fresh red chillies, some dried chilli flakes!

Method:

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Step 1: Pour some boiling water over your dumplings in microwaveable Tupperware – loosely place the lid on and microwave for 4-5 minutes. Keep an eye on them and turn and stir them half way through making sure the water doesn’t bubble over.

Step 2: Place your vegetables in a large bowl (I took one into work with me. And, um, yep, chopsticks too. Office douche. I work in a foodie environment, they more than understand.) Or use your tupperware as your bowl!

Step 3: Remove your dumplings from the microwave and pour the dumplings and cooking water over your vegetables.

Step 4: Now cook your noodles in some boiling water, also in the microwave. This takes around 4-5 minutes. Stir half way through.

Step 5: Once cooked, remove and add the soya sauce seasoning sachet provided. Pour the noodles with cooking stock also into your vegetable bowl.

Step 6: Stir altogether and allow vegetables to rest and ‘cook’ in the hot stock for 2-3 minutes. Mix everything up.

You now have a delicious dumpling noodle soup! Just add a dollop of spicy sweet chilli sauce on your noodles and dumplings.

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