We should all have ramen noodles in our repertoire. They take only minutes to whip up and can be made on a tight budget. Adapt this recipe as you wish. I have made them with both raw and cooked beef and both are equally good.

Serves 2


  • 1 quart beef stock (chicken or vegetable will also work fine)
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 red chilies, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 3 ounces noodles of your choice (I recommend egg, udon or glass noodles)
  • 11 ounces beef, cooked and shredded or raw, thinly sliced (such as skirt or flank steak)
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 cups baby-or big-leaf spinach
  • 3 scallions
To serve:
  • A few sprigs of fresh coriander
  • 2 lime wedges


Pour the stock into a saucepan, put it over a low heat and add the ginger, chilies and soy sauce. Bring to a boil.

Add the noodles and cook according to the packet instructions—4 to 6 minutes will usually do the trick.

Now add the beef and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. If you're using raw beef, cook it gently until it is just cooked and still slightly rare.

Finally, add the bean sprouts, spinach and scallions. Heat through until the spinach has wilted before serving in large bowls, garnished with coriander sprigs and a lime wedge to squeeze over, if you wish.

From Cook on a Shoestring: Easy, inspiring recipes on a budget by Sophie Wright © 2013 Kyle Books.

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