Ramen easily ranks in the top five staple foods for IMSA students (the other four being chips, rice, Easy Mac, and Domino’s, not necessarily in that order). But whether you want to spice up your ramen or just need a way to pretend that eating half a pound of noodles at midnight is healthy, here are some hacks to make that bowl of microwaveable oiled carbohydrates taste a lot better.
- Add soy sauce for some extra sodium and a burst of flavor.
- Alternatively, make chicken and/or miso ramen broth. Mix chicken bouillon and/or miso paste into boiling water, then add noodles. Again, both of these options add sodium, although miso is more of an acquired taste. (Chef’s recommendation: Mix both chicken bouillon and miso paste into a bowl of Maruchan Oriental-flavor ramen).
- Add eggs. Finally, something that increases the nutrient value in a bowl of ramen without adding significant amounts of sodium! It makes your meal more filling overall, as the yolk has high fat/protein content, and just tastes really awesome paired with ramen. As 06C-wing resident Athena Zheng (’20) put it, “Egg egg egg.”
- Douse the ramen in sriracha sauce. Don’t have nuclear ramen but want that spicy fix? Add pepper flakes (you can find these for free at some of the restaurants on Orchard Road) or sriracha sauce.
- Drain the water from the ramen to get a primarily-noodle dish, rather than noodle soup. In hot weather, sometimes you’d rather have the noodles but not the “soup” (water plus seasoning packet). To fix this, microwave ramen in a mug of water, mix in seasoning, and let it cool for a few minutes (you can put it in the freezer to speed this up). Then hold a paper plate over the mouth of the mug and turn it upside-down over the sink.
- Ramen salad. This is probably the healthiest option on the list. Drain the water from the ramen as described in #5 above, then mix the noodles with lettuce, tomatoes, croutons (though this is a bit redundant), and whatever else you like in your salad. Not recommended for fruit salads.
- Ra-mac & cheese. Midway through microwaving the ramen, break up the noodles with a fork and mix in shredded cheese. Combine this with recipe #3 to make a ramen “omelet” – with eggs and cheese.
We hope our advice will help make that repetitive instant meal more appetizing going into AP exams and finals!