Who doesn’t like a bowl of ramen? Even the word itself brings a warm, comforting feeling. It’s perfect for curling up with a hot bowl on a cold day. Better yet, you can enjoy it for any meal. While most people think of it as a midnight snack or a dinner, it’s also a great choice for breakfast and lunch.
Today, we want to talk about one of our favorite lunch ramen recipes: pepper lunch ramen. It’s savory and spicy, with just enough sweetness and tang to make things interesting.
Of course, you’ll also need to make delicious noodles if you want to make a good recipe. Here’s how to prepare pepper lunch ramen, along with a guide to preparing your noodles. Let’s begin!
What is Pepper Lunch and What Does it Have to do with my Ramen?
Pepper Lunch is a popular Japanese restaurant chain with almost 600 locations – including five in the USA. They’re famous for the unique way they serve your food. Instead of bringing prepared food to your table, the server brings out an electric hot plate that’s heated to a searing hot 500 degrees.
They put the raw meat, vegetables, and other ingredients onto the plate, and you do the rest. You can cook your food as long or as short as you like, and the recipes are meant to be eaten easily with chopsticks.
We decided to create a ramen recipe inspired by Pepper Lunch. It uses generous amounts of meat, and you cook everything together in the same pan. We like to think that if Pepper Lunch created a ramen recipe, this is what it would look like.
Pepper Lunch Ramen Recipe
Before you begin, start by gathering your ingredients. There are really two parts to this recipe – the sauce and everything else. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp honey (or sugar)
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 grated garlic cloves
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Pepper to taste
- 1 Mike’s Mighty Good ramen noodle pillow pack (any flavor)
- ¾ cup corn
- Green onions
- Thinly-sliced beef or pork
- 1 tbsp butter
Start by preparing your Mike’s Mighty Good noodle pack. You can throw out the flavor packet – you won’t be needing it. Or you can save the flavor for later. You never can have too much seasoning!
While you’re waiting for the water to boil, get a small bowl and mix together everything included in the sauce. You can add as much pepper as you like. We prefer ours to be nice and spicy.
When your noodles are done, set them aside. Then put a frying pan on high heat and add your meat, noodles, corn, sauce, butter, cheese, and green onions. Mix it thoroughly, and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Note that for this to work, the meat needs to be sliced very thinly. If you have thicker chunks of meat, you should cook it partway before adding your other ingredients. Regardless, make sure the meat is 100% cooked before serving.
When you serve the bowl, top it with more cheese and green onions. While you’re at it, crack some more pepper over the top. After all, pepper is in the name of the recipe!
How to Prepare Your Ramen Noodles
As you can see, there are plenty of delicious ingredients in this recipe. But if you don’t start with properly-cooked noodles, you’ll probably be unsatisfied with the results.
Thankfully, making noodles is simple; all you do is add water and boil them. You just need to use the right technique. Here’s how to reliably prepare chewy, bouncy ramen noodles.
Boil Your Water!
One of the easiest mistakes to make is adding your noodles too early. After all, the water will start to bubble as it starts to heat up. Surely this is an indication that you’re ready to start cooking! Why wait around for the water to come to a rolling boil? You’d just be wasting time.
While this technique makes sense on the surface, there’s a major problem. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, but it starts to bubble at only 176 degrees. That’s a 36-degree discrepancy! Imagine if your recipe said to use ice (32 degrees), but you instead used lukewarm 68-degree water. You’d expect to get different results.
So what happens when you put noodles into less-than-boiling water, and why is it bad for your ramen?
The problem is that the noodles won’t cook evenly at lower temperatures. The outer layers will cook faster than the insides, leading to one of two results. Either the outside is properly cooked and the middle of the noodles are crunchy, or the inside is properly cooked and the outside is too soft. Either way, it’s a less-than-ideal situation.
When you add your noodles to boiling water, they cook more quickly, and the insides and outsides are the same texture.
A lot of people intentionally add their noodles early because they like them to be undercooked. The stiffer noodle has a texture that appeals to them. If that sounds like you, don’t be afraid to use boiling water! Instead of adding your noodles early, remove them early. They’ll still be stiff, but they’ll be consistently stiff throughout. You won’t have soft outsides and crunchy insides.
Boiling your water completely is even more important for noodle cups. The moment you pour the water into the cup, it starts cooling out. Noodle cooking times are meant to account for this, but adding sub-boiling water will throw everything off. Instead, it’s best to do everything possible to retain heat. Keep the noodle cup covered and in a warm location while it’s cooking.
Set a Timer
Bringing your water to a boil is just the first part of the equation. It’s equally important to cook your noodles for the right amount of time. Too little time or not enough, and they won’t come out right.
Every noodle brand will have their own specific cooking requirements. Here’s how to get the most out of Mike’s Mighty Good.
Preparing the Perfect Pillow Pack
To boil a Mike’s Mighty Good pillow pack, put 1 ¾ cups of water into a pot and turn the burner to high. If this seems like too much water, remember that some will boil off, and even more will soak into the noodles.
When the water comes to a boil, add your noodles and leave them on the heat for three minutes. You can turn the burner down some if your water is at risk of boiling over. When your timer runs down, take the pot off the burner and mix in your flavor packet. That’s all there is to it!
Cooking in the microwave is a bit different. Break your noodle block in half and put it in a microwave-safe bowl. Then pour 1 ½ cups of water over the top, and arrange the noodles so they’re fully covered. Run your microwave for as long as it take so fully boil the water. Shut it off, remove your noodles, and stir in that flavor packet. Now you’re ready to add your toppings.
Making the Best Noodle Cup
Preparing a noodle cup only requires 1 ¼ cup of water. Bring it to a boil, then open the lid of the noodle cup halfway and pour the boiling water inside. Close the lid immediately and cover the cup with a saucer or coaster if you want to. Wait for six minutes, and
Start With Mike’s Mighty Good Noodles
The best ramen starts with the best noodles – that’s where Mike’s Mighty Good comes in. We like to think that our noodles are a cut above the competition. To begin with, we use simple ingredients. Look at our nutrition labels, and you won’t see anything you can’t pronounce.
We also steam our noodles instead of flash-frying them. This takes longer and costs a bit more. But it provides an authentic texture matched only by fresh noodles from a restaurant. Organic ramen noodles with simple ingredients? Say less.
Check out our blog for more information, follow us on Instagram to stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest in the fabulous world of ramen noodles, and watch our TikTok videos for recipe inspiration and visual walkthroughs. Find more instant ramen recipes on our website, plus a few steak ramen recipes below: