Bamboo & Chicken Ramen + Plum & Fig Salad
It’s not always easy to get kids to try new foods. That’s why we created our newest series, “Eat Like An Animal.” This series encourages children to try the diets of their favorite zoo animals, which are often loaded with nutritious produce items. It’s our sneaky little way to “panda” to the picky eaters out there.
We started the series with the Mighty Brown Bear and today we’re sharing a meal that is red panda approved! If you’re feeling a little bamboozled about what to feed your pack, this recipe is for you.
Eat like a red panda
Red pandas are native to Asia’s high forests. They are excellent climbers and spend most of their time foraging for food (that sounds a lot like our little ones at home, amirite?).
In the wild, they are voracious bamboo eaters, chowing down on up to 20 to 30% of their body weight every day! Additionally, red pandas will snack on flowers, berries, acorns, and opportunistically eggs, birds and small mammals.
In the wild they eat mostly bamboo, but they will snack on flowers, berries, acorns, and opportunistically eggs, birds, and small mammals.
Red pandas aren’t the only mammals who love variety in their meals. That’s why we often include a wide range of textures, tastes, and treats in our recipes like the one below.
At the zoo, red pandas are fed a diet of bamboo, cherries, figs, plums, and eggs. They also enjoy bananas, apples, acorns, and other greens from time to time.
For our red panda meal, we created a ramen dish that features their favorite treat: bamboo! It also includes green onions and baby bok choy. We’ve topped all this off with a panda-sized portion of protein with soft-boiled eggs and grilled chicken breast.
The side salad is a sweet treat with figs and plums. Crumbled goat cheese and a drizzle of Sweet Cherry Vinaigrette really completes the dish! If red pandas knew how to use a salad fork, they’d be starting every meal with it!
How to make a red panda dinner
Let’s get this red panda party started! Follow the steps for each part of the recipe below.
Bamboo & Chicken Ramen
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup dried shitake mushrooms
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 pads dried ramen noodles
- 1 8 ounce can bamboo shoots
- 1 baby bok choy chopped
- 1/2 cup Green Onions sliced thin
- 4 eggs soft boiled
Plum, Fig, & Cherry Salad
- 8 oz mixed greens
- 4-6 dried figs
- 2 Plums canned or fresh
- 1/4 cup goat cheese
- Cherry Vinaigrette optional
- Season the chicken with Kosher salt and black pepper. Grill over medium heat for 5-7 minutes each side or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap and set aside.
- Heat sesame oil in a medium sauce pan. Toss in the minced garlic and grated ginger and cook for 1 minute until highly fragrant. Remove from heat briefly and add the following: soy sauce, dried shitake mushrooms, chicken stock, sea salt, and bamboo shoots. Return to heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes, adding the chopped baby bok choy for the last minute.
- While the broth is simmering, cook the ramen according to package instructions, typically 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Assemble ramen bowls by adding a ladle of broth to each bowl, putting in a serving of noodles, arranging a serving of sliced chicken breast and soft boiled egg, and topping with sliced green onion.
- Combine all the salad ingredients in a serving bowl, top with dressing.
We’d love to hear what your pack thinks of this recipe. Tell us how your red panda-inspired meal went in the comments below or tag us in your dinner photos on Instagram @theproducemoms.
Thanks to the Indianapolis Zoo for sharing their red panda diets with us.