Before discussing how to use up some of your leftover turkey (or chicken! Or even steak!) in this seriously yummy ramen soup recipe, I just have to say how amazing it was to be able to spend time with family: celebrating the holidays, laughing, eating too much, and drinking wine for hours. The weather was perfect. Cool but not cold, with an amazing breeze blowing the orange, yellow, and red leaves through the rows in the vineyard. There were great conversations, tons of laughter, and we were able to celebrate one birthday and the memory of an amazing man who recently passed away. My guy’s uncle plays a mean trumpet, so after a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” that nearly sent the poodle puppy into a full-blown fit of confusion and excitement, we went out onto the patio, overlooking the vines, and he played “Amazing Grace,” the notes echoing through the mountain.
It was beautiful.
Though we had ten hungry people, we still had loads of leftovers that dad sent home with everyone who would take them. More than anything, we had leftover turkey, which was the inspiration for this ramen soup! I will definitely be making the tacos from a few days ago, and leftover turkey is always amazing added to quesadillas, but since I have extra, here’s another option for what to do with your leftover turkey. Now, if what you have is chicken, you can prepare it in exactly the same way! If it’s steak, I’d suggest that you slice it thinly and then let the hot soup heat it through right before you serve it.
I should mention that I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that most of you out there don’t have some of these ingredients. Don’t worry about it! Everything here is optional. Seriously. This is supposed to be quick and simple ramen soup! If you don’t have seaweed (much less two kinds!), just don’t worry about it! Out of rice vinegar? No problem! Don’t use it! All that matters is making a fun soup that will make you happy and not drive you crazy. Today is for relaxing! You can stress over the details another day.
Remember, even though this ramen soup recipe might look complicated, you are totally free to include or exclude anything that you want! This is a fun and delicious way to use up leftover protein, so relax, have some fun, and make some great food!
Quick and Easy Leftover Protein Ramen Soup!
- 6 cups turkey stock (or chicken broth)
- 1 piece kombu (about 4" wide)
- 2 Tbs Tamari (or soy sauce)
- 1 2" piece ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled and grated
- 1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp to 1 Tbs sambal olek (chili garlic paste) depending on your tolerance for spice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp fish sauce (I love Red Boat always)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 Tbs duck fat (or butter)
- 4 eggs (or as many as you want)
- 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 lime, juice
- 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 piece of nori
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp duck fat (or oil)
- 1 cup leftover turkey, shredded
- 1 package cellophane noodles
- Bring the turkey stock to a boil, and turn down to a very low simmer.
- Quickly rinse the kombu and add it to the stock.
- Leave for 15-30 minutes.
- Remove, cool, and slice thinly.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (except the butter if using) to the stock and let sit over a low heat until you are ready to eat, at least 15 minutes.
- Prepare the cellophane noodles according to package directions (or cover with very hot water and let sit for 5 minutes.) Drain and rinse well in cool water. Toss with a little olive or sesame oil.
- In separate bowls, toss the red cabbage and cucumber with a hefty pinch of salt and the lime juice. Massage the salt and lime juice into the cabbage well. Let sit for at least 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 300
- Place a sheet of nori on a baking tray with parchment paper,
- Brush with sesame oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Cook 10 minutes, or until crisp and shiny.
- Let cool and julienne.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil (large enough to hold the eggs completely covered with water.
- Gently lower the eggs into the boiling water.
- Immediately set a timer for 5 minutes. Prepare an ice bath (Ice water, enough to cover the eggs well.)
- As soon as the timer goes off, place the eggs into the ice bath and let cool.
- Incredibly gently, peel the eggs. This will be difficult! Roll them gently first to crack the shells and rinse frequently in cool water. If you know this will be too tough, cook the eggs for precisely 6 minutes to allow them to be a bit more firm. (7 minutes will be easier still, as will 8. If you hate runny eggs, go for 10 minutes. They'll be hard boiled at that point.)
- Heat the duck fat (or oil) in a sauté pan on medium-high heat until almost smoking.
- Add the turkey carefully and toss, sprinkle with salt.
- Let sit until the turkey begins to color.
- Toss, let sit to color.
- Continue until all of the turkey pieces are golden and crispy.
- When you are ready to plate, sprinkle a little salt over the egg.
- Bring the broth to a boil (if using butter, stir it in after it boils).
- Plate the noodles in the bowl.
- Ladle soup over.
- Garnish and serve! (If you have it, I used Hawaiian Red Salt on my egg, but any salt will be great. Just don't forget to salt your egg!
Looking for more healthy soup ideas? You might really like this pho-style soup with lighter-than-air chicken meatballs!
Or, if you do happen to have a good supply of interesting seaweed, this unbelievably healthy “salmon tartare” kale salad is crazy delicious!
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a ridiculously delicious soup with rice noodles, you might want to check out this coconut soup with mussels and rice noodles.
Then again, since you already have cellophane noodles, you might want to take a look at this bright and fresh cellophane noodle salad with calamari and herbs.
(I’m including this picture to explain why so many of my photographs are such extreme closeups. This is what’s lurking just outside most frames.)