Ramen noodles are Japanese noodles traditionally cooked with broth and extras such as sliced pork, seaweed, chopped green onions or other vegetables. Small, inexpensive packets of instant ramen noodles and broth are a traditional mainstay for college students and other budget-conscious cooks, but while instant ramen is convenient, it lacks substance and nutrition. A variety of add-ins and vegetables improve the flavor and nutritional content of ramen without adding excessive expense. Mix the ingredients in your slow cooker, then let the dish simmer all day.
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Place about 4 cups of water in your crockpot. If you prefer more flavor, or if you choose not to use the packet that came with your ramen noodles, use chicken or vegetable broth in place of water.
Put four or five boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the slow cooker. Alternatively, cut one or two chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks, then place the chunks in the slow cooker. You can also use about 1 cup of diced, cooked ham or add protein in the form of two or three sliced boiled eggs. Meat and eggs are optional, so omit them entirely if you prefer a vegetarian ramen dish.
Slice or chop your favorite vegetables, then add the vegetables to the slow cooker. Use a combination of vegetables such as chopped onion or celery, sliced baby carrots, sliced fresh or canned mushrooms, fresh pea pods, green beans, asparagus or shredded cabbage. You can also stir in canned Asian vegetables such as water chestnuts or bamboo shoots.
Add the contents of the ramen seasoning packet. If you prefer not to use the seasoning packet, season the mixture with salt and pepper, then add seasonings of your choice, such as garlic powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne, rosemary, thyme or basil.
Turn your slow cooker on low. Cook the mixture for seven to eight hours.
Add the ramen noodles to the slow cooker about 10 minutes before serving time. Allow the mixture to cook until the noodles are tender and soft, then serve hot.