Eat Better, Spend Less: Uncommon Ramen

by Julie Davis

One thing I miss about my pre-frugal eating out days is dining at Chinese restaurants. I therefore decided to try my hand at Chinese cooking. Unfortunately many of the recipes I found require expensive and frequently hard to find items and require a lot of preparation work. I am beginning to think that Chinese restaurant meals were a real bargain!

I will not claim that the following recipe is authentic Chinese cuisine. It does, however, satisfy the occasional Chinese food craving. It is also inexpensive to prepare and simple, simple, simple!

Uncommon Ramen

2 cups water
2 (3 oz) packages of ramen noodles, 1 creamy chicken flavor and 1 any other flavor
1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts
1 3/4 cup cooked shredded or finely chopped chicken
4 oz fresh or frozen pea pods (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium carrot, grated

Place seasoning packet from creamy chicken flavor ramen noodles and water in medium pot. Discard other flavoring packet (or save for seasoning other dishes). Place remaining ingredients in medium pot, breaking up ramen noodles. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Serve immediately. Serve with reduced sodium soy sauce, if desired. Makes 4 servings.


  • To stretch this recipe, add an additional packet of creamy chicken flavored ramen, the seasoning packet that comes with it, and one cup water.

  • Cooking a whole chicken on the weekend, for use during the coming week's recipes, is a great way to save time and money. Remove chicken meat, chop or shred, and refrigerate or freeze in 2 cup portions. Pull out your pre-cooked chicken to use in casseroles, stir-fries and soups. Otherwise microwave a boneless chicken breast or thigh for use in recipes that require pre-cooked chicken.

  • Water chestnut prices vary a great deal. I assure you that the $1.50 cans are no better than the . .38 cent cans, buy the cheapest!
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