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instant ramen mods?

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So now that spring has arrived and some of us might be tired from finally starting to do things outside... we reach for ramen noodles if we are too tired to cook, or simply are a little bored from cooking if it was used to get through the winter. Only using the water kettle and a bowl and being done in 3 minutes without even a microwave has an appeal to it.

What are good ramen noodle hacks ?

Cheesy ramen bits (time sensitive):
So if you prepare ramen from the square packages (not the instant cups, which have their own merit), you have the option of breaking them into chunks. I found one thing that worked well is to crack up the ramen block into maybe 6 pieces, flood with water so they are like ice bergs that are partially submerged, and then blanket with grated extra sharp cheddar (you want a cheese that melts into the ramen but stays intact to act like a fake fat layer in meat, not too liquidy, so I would say the 'extra sharp' is important in this recipe if you want a 'meat stew' simulant). The cheddar actually adheres to the ramen like a coating, it quickly melts on the top while the noddles absorb water. If you enjoy eating something a little chewy, they are great so long you don't let it sit for too long. it's kind of a unique time sensitive food that I think gives the satisfaction of meat, since its somewhat chewy/fiberous (like strands of muscle) but also fatty.. it reminds me of lamb for some reason. You toss the cheese shreds on top in immediately after pouring the water in a cereal bowl. Don't pour too much though, because having a large excess cheese in the bowl is a little funky to eat, unless you have a slice of bread or something to clean it up at the end. It's all about the process.. hot sauce on top makes it better though

If you prepare ramen so its not very liquidy and put cheese in it, its good, but you don't get that 'meaty' satisfaction that can end hunger IMO... this makes a simple dish more like pasta with meatballs then just pasta with sauce. It might even benefit from partially dehydrated cheese and also hitting it with a real strong flame broiler from up top to brown it a bit.. but I think it would make the cheese melt too much..

If you want Mac & Cheese, make Mac and Cheese, (even if you use an 'instant' mix) don't try to 'fusion cuisine' bastardize Ramen.

OTOH ramen* bowls/pots *can* be enhanced by selective additions without offending the sacred Kami of Ramen, further than your existing transgression of possessing instant ramen in the first place!

* Chopped spring onions added before the boiling water goes well with most flavors.
* Mushrooms and/or Pak Choi can be sliced, drizzled with sesame oil and microwaved for one minute.  This can be done in the bottom of the pot or bowl if you lift out the ramen block, and do so *before* opening the soup sachet.
* Got any leftover roast meat, or (preferably slow cooked) barbecue in the fridge?  Thinly sliced roast or thicker sliced or pulled barbecue can be laid on top of the ramen as a garnish, and allowed to warm through from the boiling water.  You may need to zap thicker sliced or chunky pulled meat briefly in the microwave to preheat it.

* although  technically similar to Ramen, I'm *NOT* including westernized pot noodles and instant noodle packs, as the choice of supplements is very dependent on the cuisine they claim to be flavored from.  Sliced thin air-dried or smoked sausage may well be appropriate, e.g. Kabanos or finger-thin Peperoni

Only thing I got, is that it's good, to reduce that powder flavor-mix, maybe salt content in there, but I often just use 1/3 pack of the seasoning pack.

(Groceries today, up now to $34 per big bag, average...)

Back when we lived on home-made chili and instant ramen, I would make "Octopus Soup" for our kids.  Take a couple of hot dogs, cut them in half, slice the cut ends into 4, 6, or 8 "tentacles" (4 is easy, 8 is pretty tricky) and throw them into the boiling ramen noodles.  We usually used the chicken flavor powder.  The tentacles would curl up very nicely.


--- Quote from: Ian.M on March 01, 2022, 02:20:40 pm ---* although  technically similar to Ramen, I'm *NOT* including westernized pot noodles and instant noodle packs, as the choice of supplements is very dependent on the cuisine they claim to be flavored from.

--- End quote ---

I'm glad someone else cares enough to notice this.  I was born in Japan and later moved to US.  What typical grocery stores carry as ramen noodles are nothing like similarly named Japanese domestic variety.  It's probably unfair to compare because they are SO cheap (6 packs for $1.29US?)  Even though it was decades ago, even back then in Japan, they weren't that inexpensive.


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