Ramen! Everybody loves those packages of instant ramen noodles. Well, not everybody. I'm sure there's a few picky eaters out there who are blind to the myriad charms of ramen. But for the rest of us, there's just something irresistible about those squiggly little curly noodles in that briny broth.
Sure, you could heat up some water, toss in that flavor pack, and enjoy your ramen straight-up. But consider all the other places you can take that noodle package. Here are 11 tasty twists on instant ramen.
- Use your own broth. Throw out the seasoning packet and cook your noodles either in your own homemade or store-bought broth. Add soy sauce, lime juice, sriracha, miso paste, or whatever else you like.
- Add fresh ingredients. Try cooked chicken or shrimp or diced veggies. Authentic ramen often includes a boiled egg cut in half.
- Add frozen ingredients. Try frozen corn niblets, peas, snow peas, broccoli, or carrots.
- Just butter. Boil noodles, drain, and toss with butter. The end. (Maybe a squirt of lemon juice and some salt.)
- Mac and ramen. Take the cheese powder from a box of mac and cheese and stir that into your cooked noodles. I'm not saying it's a good idea, I'm just saying that is something you could do.
- Ramen salad. Toss cooked noodles with shredded cabbage and carrots. Dress with rice vinegar and sesame or vegetable oil.
- Ramen stir fry. Make your favorite stir fry (here are several recipes). Add drained, cooked ramen noodles at the very end of cooking.
- Ramen fritata. Add cooked and drained noodles to egg batter. Fry it all up together.
- Cold "sesame" noodles. Stir together soy sauce, a spoonful of peanut butter, and a little bit of sesame or vegetable oil for a sauce. Toss with cooked and drained ramen noodles and chopped scallions.
- Crunchy salad topping. Crumble dried noodles over your salad -- or over anything else you think could use some extra crunch.
- Ramen sketti. You know that Honey Boo Boo recipe? You could make the same thing with ramen noodles. Just saying.
Rasmussen College lists a dizzying array of ramen noodle recipes and ideas as part of its "College Survival Guide." Quite the impressive list!
How do you cook your ramen?
Image via iStock/GMVozd