This Quick Asian Skillet dish with it’s sweet blended honey sauce coating tender bits of meat, assorted veggies, and noodles has become a weekly favorite at our house since I first whipped it up about two months ago. I always seem to have everything I need on hand, especially considering the ease of substituting in this, and it can be thrown together using only one skillet and a few minutes of my time.
My son, a teenager growing at warp speed, relies on ramen to supplement his daily diet. I serve him three meals a day, he is still starving to death (he’s at that age where you can’t get food into him fast enough) so he supplements by making ramen.
I used to not be huge on ramen myself. I could take it or leave it but never found myself just having to have it until I started watching Korean Dramas.
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
~For those not interested in hearing me talk about Korean Dramas and make amazingly insightful analogies (if I do say so myself) between today’s failed relationships and trees, scroll down to the next line of smilies to jump straight to the recipe~
Korean dramas aren’t like American dramas, where two folks meet, go out on a date, and wake up together the next morning. Pulleeze. Those are Bradford Pear relationships, Korean dramas are more like oaks.
Did I lose you?
You see, Bradford Pears are these gorgeous trees that are often planted in new subdivisions and such because they spring up fast and are really pretty above ground.
The thing about Bradford Pears, though, is that they are all prettified on the top but their roots are about as deep as…well as a relationship of two people who spent their first night getting to know each other and their next morning learning how they liked their eggs.
Come the first big storm or strike of lighting, that tree is severed in half. The Alabama Extension Service even warns against planting Bradford Pears for this very reason: “Despite their standing as one of the most popular landscape trees in the Southeast, Bradford pears aren’t what they’re cracked up to be. For despite all the beauty they lend to thousands of landscapes throughout the region, the trees are plagued with one fatal flaw: due to their combination of vigorous growth, weak wood and poor branch structure, they often begin falling apart…” Sound Familiar?
In K-dramas, we plant an acorn because we aren’t seeking a Bradford Pear, we want an Oak. Oaks are slow growth trees, taking much longer than Bradford Pears to grow, but while doing so establishing a deep root system strong enough to support the tallest growth. Oak trees are a long held symbol of strength and endurance, and that there have been oaks documented to have lived for over 1,000 years.
So many people want Bradford Pears, and are perfectly happy with that, but then they’re shocked when theirs crumbles and the Oak in the neighbor’s yard survives. It’s like planting a tomato seed and not understanding why it doesn’t grow into a tulip.
So Korean Drama…No Bradford Pears in anything I’ve watched yet. In an entire season, say 20 or more episodes, we may build to the grand finale ….a kiss. Some of the best ones are when it ends in a hug. Not just any hug, though, a hug with meaning – an embrace.
Relationships build over time and life experiences. There is a lifetime of fixing eggs for each other to come but we actually start by developing a root system that can sustain any storm.
So if you’ve hung with me past these metaphors, by this point you know that a big part of what I just wrote has absolutely nothing to do with Korean Drama and is more of a plea for us to look for the acorns and nourish them in our lives rather than the quick-to-sprout and quick-to-die off saplings. Just a thought.
Moving back to Korean Drama though, some of you are probably wondering where to start so here are my top three along with things I’ve loved and things that unnerved me about them.
1. Faith – A female surgeon is transported back in time over 600 years and a whole lot of other stuff.
Things to get past: The leading character has a medical degree and is a noted surgeon but during the first four episodes she has so little sense that if it were to come a hard rain she’d drown to death looking up at it trying to figure out what it was.
Hang in there though because – Her character suddenly becomes intelligent around episode 3 or 4 and Lee Min Ho. Yup, Lee Min Ho. Those three words make any drama worth watching. I love his character in this. This becomes an incredibly fulfilling drama.
2. City Hunter – An action based drama about a young man who sets out to right some wrongs from his past, untangles quite the web in doing so, gets a great girlfriend and she rescues a tomato shortly before he rescues her in a really cool scene somewhere mid-season, and a bunch of other stuff.
Things to get past : The leading female character is chosen as a member of Korea’s secret service to guard the presidential family – but outside of her work, again she has so little sense that if it were to come a hard rain she’d drown to death looking up at it trying to figure out what it was.
Hang in there because – Lee Min Ho. I know, but seriously. Love him in this. The waters of this drama don’t run too deep but it still rates above and beyond anything this side of english subtitles.
3. Boys over Flowers – Basically, there is this private school and 4 incredibly wealthy guys (practically quadruplet Prince William’s to see the response to them) go there. Through a series of events, a dry cleaner’s daughter is given a full scholarship and one of the 4 guys sets out to make her life miserable – taking it to an extreme. And this is where it gets really good… By the way, this all happens in like, the first half of the first episode. No one can complain that Boys of Flowers drags on and on, I think they pack a few lifetimes of events into an hour of their character’s lives in each and every episode you watch. Definitely an A.D.H.D. Friendly KDrama. P.S. ADHD is my super power, more about that here.
Things to get past : Wondering how on earth Jan Di survived all those years of her life without the fab 4 to save her every single day. Also, the continual string of highly unlikely events. Just sit back, check your brain at the door, and enjoy it. I imagine that is how folks watch American reality tv but the big difference here is that you are at the very least honing your reading skills with the subtitles 🙂 There really isn’t a point in this drama where you are left unsatisfied and it is the one I find myself watching again and again.
Things to watch for in all Korean dramas:
You’re gonna need a stockpile of Ramen because they pretty much eat it in every single episode of every single drama I’ve ever seen and they make eating it look REALLY good. They don’t eat like we do, they dig in and make noises and scarf it down like it’s the best thing they’ve ever had. So you end up wanting ramen – a LOT. If we had drama actors doing ramen commercials here we’d have to devote half of our grocery store aisles just to keeping it stocked.
Things that take you aback –
Respect for elders. Wow. Seriously. The head of major corporation could be in a room and if an elder who works as a street vendor walks in, the CEO bows and stops what he is doing out of respect to see if he can be of service to the elder. I only wish our young people (or middle aged people) had a tenth of this respect for our elders.
The courtesy – it will hurt your heart to see how discourteous we are in our culture compared to how courteous they are in Korean culture – at least in the dramas. I’ve never been to Korea but I know our tv is a pretty good reflection of our culture so I have to assume the same about theirs.
Also, How much you want ramen noodles – I’m not kidding about this.
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
So lets make a delicious Quick Asian Skillet supper out of them, shall we?
For this Quick Asian Skillet you’ll need: Honey, Soy Sauce, 2 packages of Ramen*, and a 16 ounce bag of frozen mixed vegetables – any variety you want.
*You can use Ramen in the cups or in the little square packages and it doesn’t matter if it is Chicken or Beef flavored.
You will also need about 1 pound pork tenderloin
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Note: This is a two pack of pork tenderloins but I’m only using one in this tutorial and I often use the chicken breasts in it’s place.
To begin, mix up your ramen according to package directions and set aside.
Put about a tablespoon of oil or butter or margarine (whatever you have) in a large nonstick skillet and place over medium high heat. Add veggies and cook, stirring often, until just tender, about 7-8 minutes.
Set veggies aside.
Add meat (remember, pork tenderloin or boneless skinless chicken breasts) to the same skillet and cook until browned on both sides over medium high heat, 5-7 minutes. Note: Meat will not be cooked through but just browned at this point.
Remove meat and slice into medallions if you’re using pork tenderloin.
Slice into strips if you’re using boneless skinless chicken breasts.
Place the medallions or chicken strips into the skillet.
Place honey and soy sauce in a measuring cup together and stir it with a spoon until well blended. This sauce really makes this Quick Asian Skillet!
Pour honey soy sauce over meat and reduce heat to medium.
Cook until meat is cooked through, flipping once, about ten minutes.
At this point if you want to put your meat on top of your Quick Asian Skillet all prettified like I did in the final photo, remove it to a plate while you do the last step. BUT you can leave it in the skillet if you are just going to stir it all together.
LEAVE YOUR SAUCE in the skillet.
DRAIN the ramen noodles and then add them to the sauce.
Stir well to coat.
Add in veggies and stir again.
Cook this for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until nice and warmed through.
Place cooked veggies and ramen in your serving dish.
Top with your meat.
Serve hot and ENJOY your quick, easy and delicious Asian Skillet!
- 2 packages of chicken or beef flavored ramen
- 16 ounce frozen vegetable blend of your choice
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1 pound pork tenderloin
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- Prepare Ramen noodles according to package directions and set aside. Pour one tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet and place over medium high heat. Add frozen vegetables and cook, stirring often, until tender - about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
- In same skillet, place meat. Cook until just browned on both sides, 6-8 minutes. Meat will not be fully cooked, but just browned on the outside.
- While meat is browning, stir honey and soy sauce together until well combined.
- Remove meat from skillet and slice into strips or medallions. Return to skillet and pour honey soy sauce over. Lower heat to medium and cook, flipping once or twice, until meat is no longer pink in the center and sauce is reduced slightly, about ten minutes.
- Add noodles and vegetables back to skillet and stir to coat well with sauce. Serve hot.
“If you wake up tired, you’ve been chasing dreams. If you go to bed tired, your making your dreams happen.”
~ Benny Bellamacina
Submitted by Jenny. Thanks so much Jenny! Submit yours by clicking here.