How to Improve Instant Ramen
Instant ramen is my go-to lunch when I don't want to cook. It's quick, easy, cheap, and filling. However, it gets flack for being high in preservatives, sodium, and refined carbs. I discuss how to improve instant ramen using only the microwave. This post is inspired by Serious Eats "make your own just-add-hot-water instant noodles."
First, start with noodles. This is the brand of instant noodles we have at work. It comes with noodles and broth. I like this brand because the serving size of noodles is smaller (100 calories worth). As a note, I don't like to count calories, but it's a convenient way of comparing portion sizes.
Alternatively, you can use fresh noodles. Pictured above is leftover noodles from a ramen place. If you're cooking your own, you can add baking soda to the pasta cooking water to get ramen. For the broth, I used Better than Bouillon reduced sodium chicken base and added hot water later. Wait until serving before adding the liquid so that the noodles don't get too soft.
Next, I like to add 3 additional components: protein/fat, vegetables, and flavor. Pictured above is instant ramen with beef jerky (protein/fat), tomatoes + spinach (vegetables), and a package of seaweed (flavor).
Protein/fat make the meal more filling and satisfying. Stick with already cooked components. I suggest beef jerky, ham, salami, cooked shrimp, and hard-boiled egg. I tried canned tuna, but found it too overwhelmingly fishy for my taste.
Vegetables add color and nutrition. Use vegetables that require little to no cooking, such as chopped tomatoes, a handful of pre-washed spinach, sliced mushrooms, and frozen peas/corn. Depending on how soft you want your vegetables, you can microwave them separately for additional time, or you can add them straight to the ramen.
Finally, additional flavor components make the bowl less overwhelmingly salty. I usually add a package of seaweed. Herbs/garnishes, such as 1 chopped scallion or a squirt of lemon/lime, would also be good.
I hope these tips help improve your instant ramen, and I'd love to see your photos of your creations.
|Amount Per Serving|
% Daily Value
Total Fat 7.6g
Saturated Fat 2.9g
Trans Fat 0g
Total Carbohydrates 0.0g
Dietary Fiber 4.1g
Vitamin A 362%
Vitamin C 70%
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