Instant ramen is a very popular staple meal for college students – it’s cheap, it’s good, and most obviously, it’s instant. Whether it be Cup Noodles or Top Ramen, normal ramen can get boring quickly, and sometimes you find yourself wanting more than just the regular flavor pack that’s provided. Luckily, instant ramen is super versatile and you can add just about anything you want into it to make it even better. If you want to know how you can elevate your meal, here are 10 super simple hacks you can use to up your instant ramen game!
1. Sprinkle Some Soy Sauce
This simple, but effective hack enhances the flavor in your noodles. Start getting out of your ramen comfort zone with this one-ingredient hack. Just sprinkle some soy sauce for that extra kick of flavor, and you’re good to go. It’s also a great way to use those extra packets of soy sauce you got from that take-out you had a couple weeks ago.
2. Add An Egg
Adding a soft/hard-boiled or poached egg to your ramen is a great and simple way to add flavor and protein. My personal favorite way to add an egg is by cracking one right into the pot as the noodles are cooking and stirring it in just a little bit to create my own version of the egg-drop soup.
3. Make It Spicy
Just a simple addition of spice into your ramen will elevate its flavor beyond belief. Sriracha, red pepper flakes, curry, habanero, you name it. Adding some spice into your ramen is vital for that instant kick that you never knew you needed.
Achieve the ultimate level of spiciness and mix all the spicy ingredients you have in your kitchen, or just add a couple drops of hot sauce – trust me, it changes the entire ramen game. So easy, so quick, so yummy!
4. Pour In Some Coconut Milk
Coconut milk gives your ramen that super-rich and creamy broth that’s to die for. Just prepare your ramen the normal way you would, add 1/2 cup of coconut milk into the soup, and let it cook until it’s thoroughly heated. Voila! Enjoy your super easy, flavor enriched, upgraded ramen like the true adult you are.
5. Cheese It Up
Who knew cheese and ramen paired so well together? American cheese melts perfectly into ramen, and it’s a hack that brings flavor and creaminess into your soup. You can even drain the water after cooking your noodles and mix it with some melted cheese as an alternative to mac and cheese. You literally can’t go wrong with cheese (unless you’re lactose intolerant) so load it up and make it cheesy!
6. Lemon Garlic Ramen
Squeeze a lemon and chop some garlic, this ramen hack is packed with flavor. Simply adding these two ingredients will immediately transform your meal. You can choose to opt-out of using the flavor pack that’s provided, but if you decide to add it with the lemon and garlic ingredients, your tastebuds are in for a wonderful and flavorful journey.
7. Ramen, But Make It Breakfast
Ramen for breakfast? It may not be healthy, but it’s a super cheap and easy option if you’re looking into trying new ways to eat ramen. If you’ve got a good 15 minutes to spare in the morning, this hack is a great way to upgrade your ramen and your breakfast game. Cook your noodles regularly without the flavor pack, drain the water and toss it with a little oil to keep from sticking together.
Chop and cook some bacon until its crispy, and then add your noodles into the pan. Add a beaten egg, sprinkle some cheese, and toss it all together for a delicious breakfast.
8. Pump Up the Flavor With Peanut Butter
Yes, you read that right. Up your instant ramen game with the simple, creamy, and delicious ingredient that is peanut butter. It sounds a little weird at first, but hear me out.
Noodles and peanuts go so well together, e.g. pad thai. Stir a couple tablespoons of peanut butter into a freshly cooked bowl of ramen, and you’re in for a rich, flavorful, creamy, and nutty meal.
9. Add Some Vegetables
If you’re constantly thinking about how unhealthy ramen is for you, add some vegetables to make it a little more beneficial for your body. They can be frozen or fresh, it’s up to you. Fresh ingredients obviously make any meal better, but frozen vegetables are great for college students because they usually come in bulk and are super affordable.
Toss in a few vegetables to your soup while it’s cooking to give yourself the nutrients and vitamins that regular instant ramen isn’t going to give you.
10. Ramen Salad
It literally doesn’t get any easier or more instant than this. All you need is uncooked ramen noodles and a salad kit from your local grocery store. Crush the noodles inside the bag, discard the flavor pack, toss in the crushed noodles with your salad, drizzle your desired dressing, and done.
It works as an alternative to croutons as it adds a great crunch into your meal. It’s also a super healthier way to eat ramen since you’re not using the flavor packet, and well, it’s a salad.