How to Make Instant Ramen Taste Gourmet

Elevating Instant Ramen

How to Make Instant Ramen Taste Gourmet

My love of ramen began as a little girl. It was one of the few “instant” foods that my mom would cook for us. I could probably count on one hand the times that Mom fixed it. She even tried to re-create it from scratch, but we couldn’t be fooled. It was the instant packets or nothing for us. The MSG-laden broth was just so satisfying to our young taste buds.

After I became more health-conscious as a teen, I turned up my nose at the thought of ramen. No highly processed food for me, thank you very much! But then I saw recipes for gourmet ramen made from scratch. And I finally broke down after watching characters slurping down ramen in Korean TV shows. I had to revisit my childhood food obsession.

And of course, I discovered that when you put a little more effort and fresh ingredients into instant ramen, it takes on deeper and more satisfying flavors than those found in the junk food version. It can actually be a nourishing, balanced meal!

Here are three ways to take your instant ramen noodles from boring to sensational.

Thai-Inspired Tom Kha Soup

This is a totally unexpected direction to take your ramen noodles. It completely transforms them into a super flavorful, Thai-inspired coconut soup.

Here are the ingredients that I to use to get that Thai flair: coconut milk and chicken broth for the cooking liquid, shiitake mushrooms, onions, garlic, lemongrass (I used dried from my garden, but you can also use fresh), and cilantro for the veggies, chicken (not shown) for the protein, and ginger, sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice to spice up the flavor.

I recommend tossing or repurposing the flavor packet that comes with the noodles, since it will interfere with the flavors. If you don’t have any chicken broth on hand, you can use water and half of a flavor packet instead.

Start by sautéing some onions, shiitake mushrooms, and garlic. Add the ginger and lemongrass. Pour in the coconut milk, chicken broth, sugar, and fish sauce and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and cook about 4 minutes. Stir in some cooked shredded or diced chicken. Squeeze in the lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Serve with fresh cilantro and spicy peppers (optional).

If you’re a fan of Thai food I am, you definitely need to give this one a try!

Ramen Noodle Stir-Fry

Instead of making your ramen noodles into a soup, why not throw them into a stir-fry?

This way you can add loads of veggies. I personally mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, and garlic. But you can use whatever you have lying around!

You’ll also need a few ingredients for a sauce. I whisking together soy sauce, honey, toasted sesame oil, hot sauce (I used gochujang), and ginger. Or you can follow Joann’s recipe for stir-fry sauce. You do you.

By the way, you can stir the flavor packet into the sauce if you wish. I find it gives the dish a good flavor, but a different texture.

Start by sautéing your veggies and cooking any meat (I used chicken here, but steak is also amazing). Boil your noodles, but make sure to undercook them by a minute or two. Throw them into the sauté pan along with the sauce. Stir it all together well, let it cook for a minute or two, and you’re done!

Sprinkle on some sliced scallions (bias cut if you’re feeling fancy). I also serve mine with butter because … I put butter on (almost) everything.

Shut up and cook this for supper!

Korean-Inspired Kimchi Ramen

Okay, okay. I saved the best for last. I told Reuben that I put a lot of heart into this one because it’s Korean. He was pretty excited when he got home from work and saw me photographing this bowl.

And that was after having had ramen the two previous nights!

Here are my add-in recommendations. You certainly don’t have to use all of these ingredients at once. But if you do, it makes for one crazy-awesome meal.

But even if you only have a few of the ingredients on hand it will still be delicious.

I green onions, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, and chopped kimchi for the produce, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, doenjang (Korean miso), toasted sesame seeds, and gochugaru (spicy pepper flakes) for the flavor boosters, and eggs, steak, and cheese for the protein. Yes, cheese! I thought it was crazy at first, too, but trust me: it’s amazing.

As always, begin by sautéing your veggies. Add the broth (I used homemade beef broth), kimchi, soy sauce, and gochugaru and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for 3–4 minutes. Stir in the toasted sesame oil and doenjang. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Meanwhile, boil the eggs for 7 minutes or to preferred doneness (check out Jessica’s post to learn how to make perfect soft-boiled eggs). Cook the steak, rest, and slice.

Serve with chopped green onions, extra kimchi, toasted sesame seeds, and a slice or two of Colby cheese.

Uuugh. Can I eat this for supper every night?

So there you have it: 3 ways to elevate your instant ramen noodles! Here’s a handy list of the add-ins that I recommend to get these signature flavors:

 
Thai-Inspired Ramen Noodles:

  • coconut milk
  • chicken broth
  • onions
  • shiitake mushrooms
  • garlic
  • lemongrass
  • ginger
  • fish sauce
  • lime juice
  • cilantro
  • cooked chicken
  • spicy peppers

 
Ramen Noodle Stir-Fry:

  • mushrooms
  • zucchini
  • carrots
  • garlic
  • stir-fry sauce
  • green onions

 
Korean-Inspired Kimchi Ramen:

  • shiitake mushrooms
  • garlic
  • green onions
  • kimchi
  • beef broth
  • soy sauce
  • toasted sesame oil
  • gochugaru
  • doenjang
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • soft-boiled eggs
  • thinly sliced steak
  • cheese slices

 
Which one are you most interested in making first? If you have any favorite ramen add-ins of your own, make sure to tell us about them in the comments. Share the ramen love!

Source: https://thepioneerwoman.com/food-and-friends/elevating-instant-ramen/

14 instant ramen hacks that will make it taste even better

How to Make Instant Ramen Taste Gourmet

Instant ramen consists of fried, dehydrated noodles and a flavor packet, and that's pretty much it. But there are a number of ways you can elevate the college-staple to make it a more exciting and filling meal.

Here are some ways to hack instant ramen.

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Boil instant ramen noodles, drain them, and then fry them up with the veggies, protein, and sauce of your choosing. You can also use the ramen flavor packet to season the fried noodle dish.

This is both an instant ramen and yakisoba hack, as traditional yakisoba noodles tend to be slightly more expensive than instant ramen.

Get the full recipe here.

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Adding Sriracha, the popular hot sauce made with red chili and garlic, to a bowl of instant ramen is a classic, low-cost hack because it's easy, affordable, and gives the noodles a nice spice.

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Eggs are a great way to add protein and flavor to instant ramen in order to make it a more filling meal.

Some people prefer whisking an egg into the ramen for a creamier texture, but others to poach the egg by cracking it right into the bowl.

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For a nutty, Thai-inspired ramen hack, cook the noodles according to the instructions but ditch the flavor packet.

Instead, whisk together sesame oil, peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger and pour it over the hot noodles. Add chopped scallions and sesame seeds for even more flavor.

Get the full recipe here.

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Try beefing up the flavor of instant ramen with a sprinkle of furikake, a common Japanese seasoning that contains seaweed, sesame seeds, and fish flakes.

You can also try adding togarashi, a spicy seasoning that is made of mostly dried pepper flakes with a dash of dried seaweed and sesame seeds.

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Proper Tonkotsu ramen (a popular pork-bone-based dish) comes with chashu, which is a braised pork belly. The pork belly marinade only requires a handful of ingredients (most of which you might already have on hand), so cook up a batch of pork and slice off pieces for a few nights worth of ramen.

Check out this recipe for chashu pork.

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Toward the end of the boiling process, add some leafy greens spinach, bok choy, or cabbage to the broth. The veggies should wilt in the boiling water with the ramen, so you won't have to use a second pot.

You can also run some frozen veggies ( corn, peas, or carrots) under running water until they defrost and then toss them in the pot when the noodles are almost done cooking.

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Try swapping the seasoning pack that comes with instant ramen for a scoop of miso paste (which is made from fermented soybeans) instead.

According to Healthline, miso contains probiotics, which can help with digestion and improve one's gut health.

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Ramen restaurants often serve a gourmet bowl of noodles with a sheet of dried seaweed, called nori, on the top. Try crumbling some seaweed sheets on your own bowl for an added salty crunch.

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Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish that's usually made from pickled and fermented vegetables. Simply top your prepared bowl of ramen with some kimchi for a spicy and salty boost of flavor.

You should be able to find premade kimchi at the grocery store – especially cabbage kimchi, which is the most common variety – but a Korean supermarket will ly have more options.

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Make instant ramen as usual, and then top it with diced scallions and toasted sesame seeds. You'll be surprised how flavorful these tiny toppings are.

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Some people find the instant ramen flavor packet to be too salty, but still want a bit of the salty flavor with their noodles. If that's the case for you, try cutting the seasoning packet in half and throwing in a dash of soy sauce.

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