By Betsy Cook
This pandemic-influenced dish isn't meant to be fancy. The challenge was that all items had to come from stocked-up items in our pantry or freezer.
My one daughter liked it so much she asked to take the recipe to college. It forced me to measure everything and I've put any notes about substitutes in parentheses. I like it because it tastes fresher than supermarket sauces, which have a preservative flavor to them that always tastes bottled.
You can add meats to your liking, we make it as a veggie stir fry.
Stir Fry Ingredients:
4 three ounce packs of ramen noodles
(you aren't using the flavor packets, so any flavor)
Bagged frozen vegetables, thawed, about a pound. Peppers, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, asian mixes, etc. are all fine and we change it up. If you're lucky to have fresh veggies, use them of course.
One 20 oz can of pineapple chunks in juice—drain the juice from the can, keep pineapple for the stir fry and set aside the juice for the sauce.
Vegetable oil for the noodles and stir frying
Peanuts for topping the servings
Optional hot sauce of your own choosing for serving
Juice drained from that 20 oz can of pineapple mentioned above
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp packed brown sugar (substitute: 1 tsp molasses. These sugars impart their dark flavor, so if you don't have them, just leave out)
2 teaspoons corn starch (substitute: flour)
1/4 cup peanut butter (any kind)
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar (substitute: apple cider vinegar)
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Prep the ramen:
Cook 4 packages of ramen noodles just ahead of everything else, drain and put in a bowl with a little veg oil so it doesn’t stick.
Use instructions on package, careful not to overcook, it should not break apart when tossing with fork.
Make the sauce:
Separate the pineapple chunks from the juice. The juice goes into the sauce. The chunks will go into the stir fry.
Whisk together all sauce ingredients until well blended.
Tip: To keep the cornstarch from clumping in the liquids, mix it into the peanut butter before mixing everything else together.
Make the stir fry:
Heat 2 tbsp. oil in hot skillet and quickly stir fry the veggies until hot (make sure you don’t over cook, frozen veggies come already a little cooked, and color and crunch should stay bright and crisp)
Pour in the sauce and simmer until it thickens.
Add the reserved pineapple chunks last, simmer just a little longer to heat it all through.
Serve in bowls over the cooked ramen. Sprinkle with peanut toppings for crunch and optional hot sauce.
Have you made edits based on your own pantry or preferences? Let us know.