Ramen: the college student’s staple, low-budget food. As a resourceful chef, the way I make food in the kitchen (or in some cases, dorm room) is to check out what’s in the fridge and combine flavors, sometimes unconventionally, until I get a pile of food that tastes heavenly despite possibly getting judged by loved ones. That is basically how to amp up your Ramen, believe it or not. Who knew how flexible deep fried noodles and powdered soup base could actually be?
Ramen, more specifically instant Ramen, is precooked (wet and ready to eat straight from the packet) or dried noodles that can be cooked with boiling water in a few minutes (what you are probably more familiar with).
Adding ingredients that don’t come with the Ramen pack that you have laying around in the pantry/fridge is the main thing to spice up your noodles.
- chili flakes
- miso paste
- peanut butter
- curry paste/powder
- lemon/lime juice
- Eggs! (Boiled eggs and ramen are fantastic.)
- Sardines (I personally like canned sardines … to each their own.)
- Vienna sausages or spam (Midnight snack heaven.)
- canned/frozen mixed vegetables (My go to: corn)
- canned tomato sauce (To make spaghetti)
Just keep in mind that when you decide to experiment with your ramen noodles, you need to realize that some recipes will taste a thousand times better if you take away the broth part of it. You could flavor the noodles with the broth but if you’re adding something like peanut butter to make a sort of Thai peanut noodle.
Also, instant ramen isn’t exactly the healthiest option out there, although it’s better than many fast food options, especially if you’re going to use the flavor packet it comes with. I won’t say the specific nutrition facts, but there are many articles on Google detailing the ugly side of ramen. If you just use the noodles or even less of the flavor packet they provide you (I found that half of the flavor packet, even 1/3 of the flavor packet, doesn’t really do much to the overall flavor), then you can eat it more often without destroying your body internally.
Here is a cool infographic telling you about some facts on Ramen thanks to Hack College:
As always, happy eating ~
Catherine Wong is a senior studying microbiology and immunology, born and raised in Fort Lauderdale. After growing up in the restaurant business as well as being an avid watcher of the travel channel and food network, she would like to share her love of gastronomy to the average broke college student. Her hobbies/interests include books, music and, of course, food.
Inebriation and Gluttony is about making smart food choices within the boundaries of a college student, like transforming that sad microwave ramen or taking advantage of cheap local fare, all while not breaking the bank and not busting your gut. Join the foodie movement and get cultured, learn some cool things about food, and most importantly practice gluttony at its full potential.