10 Quick Hacks to Upgrade Instant Ramen

published Oct 13, 2016
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Here’s what we love about instant ramen: You add hot water and, boom, you’re done. It’s a hot and satisfying meal that takes as long as waiting for the water to boil. But sometimes you want to mix it up; with some choice picks, one or two ingredients added to the bowl is enough to make your fast meal of noodles and broth feel a little fancy. From a swirl of peanut butter to the requisite egg on top, here are 1o simple hacks to help you upgrade instant ramen.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

One-Ingredient Additions That Bring the Flavor

Reach for kimchi to bring an intensely funky, spicy twist to a simple bowl of ramen. Love Thai coconut soup? Instant noodle soup and coconut milk is an ingenious way to have the creamy soup you crave in no time flat. You like peanut butter, don’t you? The rich and creamy nutty broth just might remind you of pad Thai.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Ramen to Fill You Up

It doesn’t take much to turn a simple bowl of ramen into a satisfying meal. Cubes of baked tofu not only bring a boost of protein, but also a nice contrast to the chewy noodles. Of course, when it doubt, put an egg on it. Fried, poached, even hard-boiled eggs all have a place in ramen.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Unexpected and Definitely Amazing

These are the one-ingredient upgrades that have a welcome place in other meals, yet you probably wouldn’t think to include them with ramen — until now! A bit of American cheese sprinkled over the noodles almost instantly melts into the soup for a creamy broth. It’s probably the best use of American cheese since grilled cheese. If what you crave is crunch, look to the pantry for a container of crispy fried onions. Yeah, the same ones you use to top green bean casserole.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Spice It Up

It doesn’t take a lot to bring the heat to salty ramen broth. Toss a few slices of fresh ginger into the noodles as they cook and the broth gets a zippy boost. Opt for minced or grated ginger, and you’ll get more of a fiery punch. For a combo that brings fragrant heat and a crunch factor, look to red curry paste and bagged broccoli slaw. Butter and chile flakes are the balanced duo that are spicy and a little rich.

Doctor Up Instant Ramen

This series shows you just how easy it can be to doctor up instant ramen for a new spin on this everyday comfort food. With a packet of ramen in hand, we’ll show you how to give this noodle soup an instant upgrade using no more than two common pantry ingredients.