Most are designed for two servings and can be made in less than an hour. For the more ambitious, there’s a small section in the back with instructions — some illustrated — for making basic ramen noodles, gyoza skins, stocks and pickles.
I followed the shortcuts to prepare Kimchee Shrimp Ramen. I marinated the raw shrimp from my freezer in a four-ingredient Chili Katsu Sauce, gave them a quick stir-fry, then arranged the seafood in bowls with a fish sauce-spiked vegetable broth, soba noodles, bean sprouts, cilantro, scallions, spoonfuls of prepared kimchee and lime wedges for garnish.
I pulled out the soup spoons and never-used chopsticks hiding in the back of the silverware drawer, then tucked into these invigorating bowls of goodness that looked and tasted exactly as the recipe promised. I also took note of how I felt afterward: neither exhausted nor sluggish, but energized.
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.
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