Totally Customizable Deconstructed Ramen

This may not be the most authentic ramen recipe, but it is simple enough to put together on a busy night, tasty enough for my kids’ approval and exciting enough for my Japanese-food-loving husband.

Unlike most soups, ramen is designed to be assembled in a bowl before the aromatic broth is poured on top. This makes it great for family meals because you can customize each person’s bowl if your kids are intimidated by some of the ingredients. Plus, you can adapt the recipe to your family’s preferences and your fridge contents.

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Recipe by Natalia Stasenko, MS, RD, CDN


  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • Chopped chives or spring onions, to garnish

(Use according to your family’s preferences)

  • Cooked chicken, pork or beef
  • Cooked seafood
  • Tofu, raw or sautéed
  • Boiled or scrambled eggs

(Use according to your family’s preferences)

  • Shredded carrots
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Tender greens such as spinach
  • Sautéed or steamed kale or bok choy
  • Bean spouts
  • Kimchi
  • Chili peppers, sliced
  • Roasted vegetables such as eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, sweet potatoes or carrots

(Use according to your family’s preferenced)

  • Classic ramen noodles, cooked according to the package instructions
  • Instant rice noodles that can be crumbled right into bowls (these are a big hit with my kids)
  • Leftover pasta


  1. Set a table with any combination of proteins, vegetables and noodles listed above. Allow each person to create his or her own bowl according to preference.
  2. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Whisk in chicken broth, soy sauce and water.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes.
  5. Pour the hot soup into each bowl.
  6. Sprinkle bowls with chives or green onions.

Cooking Notes

  • Substitute low-sodium versions of the chicken or vegetable broth and soy sauce, if preferred.
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Natalia Stasenko
Natalia Stasenko, MS, RD, is a U.S.-credentialed pediatric dietitian based in London and New York and the owner of Feeding Bytes. She blogs at Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.