Recipe: Easy Noodle Bowl

Easy Noodle Bowl

When Cook's Illustrated emailed this recipe, I was intrigued because I'm always looking for mix-and-match recipes, where I can sub in various protein, veggies and sauces to work with mood / on-hand ingredients.
What intrigued me the most was their suggestion to use cheap ramen noodles (sans the seasoning packet) for an easy, perfect noodle base - and then to not toss the seasoning because it's great on popcorn, salad, etc.
This recipe was exactly what I was looking for. It could easily be a quick weeknight meal, with the protein prepped in a batch and a ready-made sauce. I plan on trying this a million different ways! (see my notes at the end)
Prep Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Calories: 600kcal


  • 1/4 cup

    hoisin sauce

  • 3 tbsp

    soy sauce

  • 2 tsp


  • 12 oz

    pork tenderloin

    trimmed, halved lengthwise, and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick

  • 2 ¼


    chicken broth

  • 2 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil
  • 4 oz mushrooms sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated/minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 3-oz packages

    ramen noodles

    seasoning packets reserved for another use

  • 12 oz

    broccoli florets

    cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 3


    sliced thin on bias


    It doesn’t matter which flavor of ramen noodles you buy since you won’t be using the seasoning packets sold with the noodles. Don’t discard the packets; you can use them to flavor freshly popped popcorn. Serve the noodle bowls with Sriracha hot sauce.
  • Whisk 1 tablespoon hoisin, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and cornstarch together in bowl. Add pork and toss to coat; set aside. Whisk broth, remaining 3 tablespoons hoisin, and remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce together in second bowl; set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  • After you start the first pan cooking, get the protein cooking. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in another 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add pork in single layer, breaking up any clumps, and cook without stirring until browned on bottom, about 1 minute. Stir and continue to cook until pork is no longer pink, about 1 minute longer. Once cooked, pull off heat as you continue to work through the remaining steps.
  • Back in the mushroom pan, add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth mixture and bring to boil. Arrange noodles in skillet in single layer; cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook until noodles have softened on bottoms (tops will still be dry), about 3 minutes.
  • Uncover skillet and, using tongs, flip noodles and stir to separate. Spread noodles in even layer and scatter broccoli over top. Cover and cook until noodles and broccoli are tender, about 3 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking. 
  • Build your noodle bowls! Divide noodle mixture evenly among individual bowls, then top with pork, and serve with scallions and sriracha.


  • The hoisen-sauce base is a nice one I've used before, but I always add sriracha into the sauce from the beginning to give it some amount of heat.
  • I'm not a big fan of using cornstarch on protein to get that classic Chinese-food "slipperiness" and browning. I'll skip that ingredient in the future.
  • I'll definitely try this with the batch-cooked smoked & shredded chicken I make, but it was really great with thinly sliced pork tenderloin. I'll probably also try tempeh.
  • This is a dish I see changing with seasonal veggies from the garden - snow peas, kohlrabi, parsnips, serranos, asparagus, Chinese cabbage, etc. It's also great for left-over veggies. I had broccoli, cauliflower and carrots from a veggie platter that went into this first round. I'd probably limit it to 2 veggies.
  • Sauces...oh the possibilities! I'm sure I'll rotate through every conceivable Thai and Vietnamese sauce. I might skip making the sauce in favor of a store-bought Szechuan. By eliminating the fuss of prepping the protein and sauce, I think this could easily be a 20-min weekday meal.

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