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Make Ramen Noodles More Awesome

Ramen Noodles are the quintessential cheap food. They are incredibly cheap, tasty, but almost entirely devoid of nutrients aside from calories. While it would be a very bad idea to live entirely off of Ramen, every meal you can make out of it is more money you’re saving. The primary goal of this section is to make ramen less boring, so you can eat more of it without hating it. But additionally, some of the recipes listed may also make your ramen more nutritious. For those of you with MSG sensitivities, there will be a list of alternative seasoning methods at the end of the section.

Eggs

One of the main issues with ramen being its lack of a considerable amount of protein, a good way to make ramen healthier, tastier, and more filling, is of course to add some protein. The cheapest way to do this is by adding eggs, which themselves are also very versatile, so feel free to experiment with adding boiled, fried, or scrambled eggs to your ramen, but I’m only going to cover using an egg-drop soup method as well as poaching an egg along with your ramen.

Egg-Drop Ramen: Ingredients:

1 package ramen noodles, any flavor 1)

1 or 2 eggs

Directions:

First, cook your ramen as usual, but before you would normally pour out any excess water, lightly beat your eggs in a small bowl. While swirling the noodles and water around in the pot, slowly pour in your eggs. they should solidify almost instantly, after which you are free to pour out as much of the water as you would like before adding the flavor packet. Alternatively, if you took the time to measure the perfect amount of water, you can add the flavor packet before adding the eggs so it can soak into the noodles and eggs a bit more.

Poached Egg Ramen:

Ingredients are the same as above. Begin cooking your ramen as normal, but once it begins to soften and separate, turn the heat down and wait for the water to be just below a simmer, then crack an egg directly into the middle of your pot. Then, put the lid on it and wait 3-4 minutes, after which both your ramen and your egg should be ready.

Meat

While adding eggs to ramen is usually cheaper than meat, ramen is still a cheaper filler to go alongside meat than any alternative I know of. Frozen chicken breasts can often be bought in bulk and cooked ahead of time to make a wide variety of dishes, and adding half a chicken breast to a bowl of ramen makes for a much better meal. Thin slices of cheap cuts of beef also go great with ramen. In general, I would try to match the type of meat to the flavor of the ramen to maximize tastiness.

Vegetables

Vegetables are a much cheaper alternative to meat. Cabbage, spinach, and kale can all easily be added to ramen after it has finished cooking and they will wilt rapidly. Diced tomatoes, either fresh or out of a can, also make a great addition to ramen that makes it seem more soup-like. Other vegetables are better cooked on the side before being added to the ramen, but I often find myself avoiding this to keep the dishes I use to a minimum. The easiest way to do this is to just use canned vegetables.

Ramen w/ Canned Veggie Mix:

Ingredients:

1 pack of ramen, any flavor

2oz canned corn

2oz canned carrots, sliced

2oz canned peas

2oz canned green beans

Directions:

First, simply open a can of each of the veggies and mix them together in a large bowl, then remove the excess liquid either by straining it or carefully pouring it. Then get 1 cup of the mixture and add it to your ramen right after adding the noodles. Just continue preparing the ramen as usual, and when you are done you will have a much healthier and tastier version of your favorite ramen.

Alternative Flavorings

Bouillon cubes - this is the easiest and most similar to the included flavor packets

Soy Sauce

Chili paste (I usually use 1-2 teaspoons)

Cayenne Pepper

Chili powder

Sesame Oil

Vinegar

Kimchi

Sriracha

Red pepper flakes

lemon or lime juice

Jimmy’s Ultimate Ramen

Ingredients:

1 pack of chicken ramen

1 egg

4oz mushrooms, fresh and sliced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 cup chopped kale

For the adventurous: cayenne pepper

Directions:

First begin to cook your ramen as usual. As it begins to soften and separate, add the fresh mushrooms. Then, lightly beat an egg. After its finished, add the egg first by slowly pouring into the ramen while swirling it around in the pot. Then, add the kale and the soy sauce, and if you’d like you can add some cayenne pepper, I usually like about ¼ to ½ a teaspoon, but that depends entirely on how spicy you want it to be. That’s it! Just don’t get too excited and go eating it right out of the pot like some kind of barbarian. You might burn yourself that way, too. Just let it cool for a minute or two and its ready to serve.

Recipes

1) Personally I like this the best with chicken or oriental flavors, but it goes well in basically any of them

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