Ah, yes. Instant ramen. For many college students, including yours truly, these red and orange square packages have become a staple on the grocery list. It’s cheap, it’s quick, and it tastes pretty good. What else could we ask for?
Well, as the school year trudges along, you may be finding yourself in need of a change in flavor. While the classic chicken and beef broth options are always a great go-to, here are three ways to change up this class college delicacy.
What You’ll Need
To recreate the following recipes, you’ll need a few simple ingredients.
- Ramen (Any Flavor Will Do!)
- An Egg/Alternative Protein Source
- Peanut Butter
- Soy Sauce
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Salt & Pepper
1. Add Some Protein!
This is probably the easiest way that I have found to rejuvenate the classic taste of instant ramen and yet it doesn’t always come to mind. Consider adding an egg!
Cook the ramen noodles just as you would normally and simply crack an egg into the pot and continue cooking until the yolk reaches your desired consistency. If you’re using a microwave, I would recommend cooking the soup then adding the egg and continuing to microwave in 30-second increments, checking as you go.
With a runny egg yolk, the soup will have a richer broth and achieve a taste similar to egg drop soup. In addition to this, you’ll be gaining about six grams of protein, making the meal overall heartier and a tad more balanced.
2. Consider Alternative Protein Options!
For this option, I decided to forgo the seasoning packet included and try my hand at making a peanut sauce. Like many other students, I already had most of the ingredients necessary to make the sauce and it only took me a few minutes to whip up.
For the peanut sauce, I followed a recipe from The Cozy Cook, scaling down the portions to suit the amount of noodles I had. For this recipe, I only needed peanut butter, sugar, water, garlic, and a splash of soy sauce.
As suggested by the recipe I found, I chilled my noodles after cooking them and combined them with the sauce. This made for a really creamy and refreshing meal.
Similar to the egg, the addition of the peanut will get you about eight grams of protein in your meal. This is a great option if you’re looking for that addition of protein but don’t want to consume animal-based protein.
3. Spice it Up!
For this third iteration, I decided to try something a little different. Once again, I cooked the ramen and drained it. Then, I sauteed it in some garlic, honey, crushed red pepper, and a bit of soy sauce.
The result was a fun sweet and spicy noodle dish that was a good change from the typical saltiness that you get from the traditional instant ramen. Again, if you don’t have access to a stove, you can achieve the same result by cooking the ramen in a microwave, draining it, and combining the same ingredients and microwaving it once more.
Give it a Go!
These three recipes were made with ingredients that I had in my dorm, with the exception of a few things that I borrowed from friends. Of course, if you’d like to recreate these recipes, all of these ingredients can be found in local grocery stores for fairly cheap.
I encourage you to take a look at what you might have on hand and see what kind of concoctions you can think up. The possibilities are endless!