When I left home to pursue my dream of becoming Andy Warhol with a vagina, my life got a little easier once I found four-for-a-dollar ramen. But this dorm-room staple has come a long way since then. With different broths and a huge range of toppings, you can make endless takes on this simple Japanese noodle soup—the easiest meal for the season’s coldest days. 

Ramen 

Prep time: 10 to 30 minutes
(feeds 4-6 people)

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Here are three tasty bases to get you started:

  • Miso Soup:

Bring 4 coffee cups of water to a simmer and stir in 2 plops of miso paste (add more to taste). Simmer until ready to serve. 

  • Chicken Soup:

Boil 4 coffee cups of chicken broth; add a good pinch of sugar and a good drizzle or two of soy sauce. Simmer until ready to serve.

  • Sake Soup:

Boil 6 coffee cups of vegetable broth, 1 plop of peeled and sliced fresh ginger, 2 cloves of skinned garlic, and 1 handful of sliced scallions for 20 minutes to get all the flavor. Strain to remove the solids and return broth to the stove. Add 2 or 3 drizzles of soy sauce, 1 drizzle of sake, 1 drizzle of sesame oil, and salt to taste. (You can also add a plop or two of white miso if you’re a fan.) Simmer until ready to serve. 

To finish:

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When ready to chow down, boil one package of ramen noodles according to instructions (3 minutes is average) and strain. (Gluten-free babes can use rice noodles.) Put a heap of noodles in the bottom of each soup bowl, cover with simmering soup, and go to town with your toppings! Serve within 5 minutes.

Top it off:

Prepare whatever toppings you want in advance. Here are a few of my favorites: sliced shitake mushrooms, cubed tofu, sliced cooked chicken, fresh bean sprouts, sliced hard-boiled eggs, chopped bell pepper, dried seaweed, blanched snow peas, pulled barbecued pork, quick-boiled sweet corn kernels, blanched spinach or bok choy, sautéed shredded cabbage, and Korean barbecued beef. Embrace your inner Warhol and get creative!

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Recipe by Chef Rossi

Photography by Vanessa Rees

This originally appeared in the December/January print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today

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