What’s For Dinner: Easy Asian Casserole

Local News

Easy Asian Casserole

Submitted By: Marian Darnay, Mandan

Welcome to the first of what will be a daily, web-only feature.

The goal is to provide an answer to that daily question you often ask around 3:30 p.m. or 4:00 p.m.: “What am I going to make for dinner tonight?”

The idea is to offer meals that require only a handful of ingredients and are easy and quick to make. You should be able to leave work, stop in the grocery store and quickly pick up what you need, get home and have dinner ready in no more than 30 to 45 minutes — ideally, in less time than that.

I get to compile and annotate this daily feature because, in all honesty, I’m cooking impaired. I never learned how to cook for myself (and believe me, my mom and others tried what they could to get me to learn).

I can write web code in a dozen or more of the “alphabet soup” coding languages (PHP, C, C+, HTML, CSS, JScript and more).

I create formulas and identify numerical relationships in magic squares for relaxation. I dabble in statistics, permutations, factorials, bell curve applications for fun.

I get Sheldon Cooper’s jokes and Pictionary drawings on “The Big Bang Theory.”

But I can’t cook to save my soul.

Oh, I can do Minute Rice as a meal just fine and, if I’m feeling daring, I might add beef or chicken flavor to the rice just to shake things up.

But I can’t cook a decent grilled cheese sandwich.

I once tried making Hamburger Helper without the hamburger (hint: It really doesn’t work that way or taste good).

To her credit and my eternal debt, my wife created a black book of recipes just for me: Cooking instructions for easy meals I can make with the ingredients and directions written out in excruciatingly simple details.

That seems to be working for me — I have been able to replicate some of the meals — and they actually tasted good.

So, if I can make the meals presented in this daily feature, then it should be a breeze for the rest of the world.

And if you have some easy, quick meals that would work here, please send them in and I’ll feature them in a future post.

It’s a win-win, really. Everyone gets a daily suggestion on what to make for dinner and I learn how to make new dishes and spare my wife and family from the same three meals I already know how to make.

The one featured today, Easy Asian Casserole, is one of my favorites.

Total prep and cooking time: 20 – 30 minutes.


  • 1/2 pound to 1 pound of hamburger
  • 2 packages of ramen noodles, crushed in the pack
  • 1 bag of frozen broccoli
  • soy sauce
  1. Brown the hamburger in a skillet
  2. Add frozen broccoli and cook until they lose their crispness
  3. Add the crushed ramen noodles and the flavor packet
  4. Add enough water to just barely cover the noodles
  5. Cook and stir until all the water is gone
  6. Add soy sauce to taste

Download a printable PDF recipe card of this meal to add to your recipe collection.

Do you have a quick, go-to meal that you can make in minutes? Make it, take a photo and share it with “What’s For Dinner.” Submit your recipe and photo to: kdarnay@kxnet.com and we’ll include it in a future post.

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