It’s 6.25pm. You’re still in traffic. The kids are in the back seat, hangry.
Your partner calls and says, “Why don’t we just get takeaway for dinner?” and you’re SOOOO tempted.
But if you’re hesitating, it’s ok. There’s a halfway point between killing yourself making ‘real’ food and giving up and eating crap, and that’s a little neighbourhood we like to call Fakeaway Town.
Won’t you take me to – Fakeaway Town?
So tell your partner to grab a BBQ chook from the supermarket or corner shop (and resist the urge to add hot chips!) because we’re doing a dinner that sounds fresh and fancy, but in reality means a few minutes hands-on and a single saucepan.
You’re going to get some decent protein into those kiddos, use up some scraps from your vegetable drawer, and turn snack food into a main course fit for company. (Or, what the hey: actually put it into your meal plan and make it a regular weeknight treat).
That’s right! It’s
2 minute noodles BBQ Chicken and Egg Ramen!
Kids in the Kitchen Tips
- what a great chance to talk about ‘building’ a meal for better balance and nutrition
- send the kids to the vegetable drawer: what other ingredients could be added to the ramen tonight?
- peeling (cooled) boiled eggs can be a lot of fun. Some families have traditions like competing to see who can take the largest piece of shell in one go, or who can peel fastest.
- here’s a chance to pull out the chopsticks and soup spoons and explore the best and neatest ways to get noodles from your bowl to your mouth – is slurping allowed at your place? Experimenting with slippery food might sound like a nightmare but can be lots of fun with both little and big kids and encourages problem solving and more adventurous attitudes to food.
- got a reluctant eater? Put a little soup, chicken and noodles in their bowl and the eggs and other toppings on a central platter with some tongs and give them control over what goes along with their noodles. Be patient – in time they’ll add more and more new foods if you keep providing and letting them decide.
Fast Weeknights BBQ Chicken and Egg Ramen
- medium-large saucepan
- cutting board
- ladle or large spoon
- small bowl cold water (for eggs)
- 1 litre water add more if this doesn't cover the eggs
- ⅓ cup soy sauce (light or dark)
- 4 eggs more or less depending on your family taste
- 2-4 packets instant ramen noodles any '2 minute' type noodles are fine
- seasoning sachets from the noodle packets or a stock cube or 200ml liquid stock
- 1 cooked BBQ chicken, breast and thigh meat pull into bite sized pieces
- 1 tbsp sesame oil (optional)
- 1 tbsp mirin (optional, enhances flavour)
- 1 handful bean sprouts or finely shredded capsicum, choy sum, bok choy, or green beans raid your vegetable drawer!
- 2 stalks spring onions sliced on diagonal
- Set water and soy sauce to boil in med-large saucepan. Add eggs and set timer to hard boil (at least 8 minutes as water is not boiling when added).
- Reduce water/soy to a high simmer and remove eggs – place in a small bowl of cold water until needed.
- Break each pack of noodles into halves or quarters while still dry. Add to saucepan with the contents of seasoning packets.
- When noodles soften after a minute or two, add the cooked chicken pieces and sesame oil and mix well. Taste soup at this point and add more soy or mirin if needed. You can also add other condiments to taste like a dash of fish sauce, squeeze of lime juice or rice wine vinegar.
- Allow noodles and chicken to simmer on low for a couple of minutes while you shell and halve the boiled eggs.
- Place four serving bowls close to stove (see Notes). Ladle soup, noodles, chicken into bowls. Top each with two boiled egg halves and a share of the bean sprouts and spring onions.
- Save the drumsticks and wings from the BBQ chook and share them out in lunchboxes the next day or make a simple salad with some bread sticks and eat them for dinner the following night.
- Once you’ve got the hang of this approach, you’ll find the variations are endless and you may never eat plain ramen again.
- Variations you can try include store-bought Chinese BBQ pork, or add frozen king prawns or fish balls to the soup ahead of the noodles.
- Make this a meat-free dish with tofu or tempeh cubes – and go vegan by leaving off the egg.
- You can also use plain noodles such as soba or udon, or even spaghetti (the noodle doesn’t know what country it’s supposed to be from!)