14 ways to hack instant ramen to make it taste even better

ShutterstockInstant ramen can taste even better with a few quick modifications.

An inexpensive processed version of the Japanese delicacy, instant ramen consists of deep-fried noodles and a flavour packet. That’s pretty much it.

But there are a number of ways you could elevate the college staple to make it a more exciting meal. From simple hacks like adding sauces like Sriracha to slightly involved add-ons like traditional chashu pork, here are some of our favourite ways to hack instant ramen.


Use ramen noodles as the base for a yakisoba stir-fry.

Boil instant ramen noodles, drain them, and then fry them up with veggies, protein, and sauce of your choosing. This is both an instant ramen and yakisoba hack, as traditional yakisoba noodles tend to be a tad more expensive than instant ramen. You can also use the ramen spice pack to season the fried noodle dish. Get a full recipe here.

Read more: 4 genius stir-fry hacks you should know


Simply add Sriracha.

Adding Sriracha, the iconic spicy sauce made with red chilli and garlic, to a bowl of instant ramen is an age-old college dorm food hack because it’s easy, affordable, and tastes great.


Crack an egg into the water for a creamier broth.

iStockAdding egg can give extra flavour and texture.

One Redditor says they prefer to crack an egg in the boiling water for a creamier broth.

Bring two cups water to boil, put in pack of Ramen, spice pack, and crack two eggs in on either side. Set timer 2:30-2:45. Do not overcook egg, cooked whites with runny yolk is ideal,” RealJohnLennon writes. “


Add peanut butter for a Thai-inspired taste.

Scott Olson / Getty ImagesPeanut butter.

For a nutty, Thai-inspired ramen, cook the noodles according to instruction, but ditch the flavour packet. Whisk together sesame oil, peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger and pour over the hot noodles. Add chopped scallions and sesame seeds for even more flavour. Get a full recipe here.


Add Japanese seasoning like furikake and togarashi.

yasuhiro amano/ShutterstockFurikake, a common Japanese seasoning that contains seaweed, sesame seeds, and fish flakes.

Try beefing up the flavour with a sprinkle of furikake, a common Japanese seasoning that contains seaweed, sesame seeds, and fish flakes. You can also try togarashi – a spicy seasoning that is mostly dried pepper flakes with a dash of dried seaweed and sesame seeds – or thinly sliced fish cakes.


Throw some chashu pork on top.

Artit Wongpradu/ShutterstockChashu pork.

Proper Tonkotsu ramen comes with chashu pork which is braised pork belly. The pork belly marinade only requires a handful of ingredients (most of which you might already have on hand), so cook up a batch of pork and slice off pieces for a few nights worth of ramen. Get a recipe for chashu pork here.


Add bacon and a soft-boiled egg.

ShutterstockBacon is a simpler alternative to slow-roasted pork.

If you don’t want to commit to slow roasting some pork belly, simply add some thick-cut bacon and a soft-boiled egg to your basic ramen recipe to instantly add more flavour. If you want to be extra authentic, you can make a traditional ramen egg which involves soft-boiling an egg and then marinating it in soy sauce and mirin (a kind of rice wine that’s sweeter than sake, but contains less alcohol). Get the ramen egg recipe here.


Add veggies for a homemade ramen soup.

Christopher Furlong/Getty ImagesYou can use fresh or frozen veggies to spruce up your ramen.

Towards the end of the boiling process, add some leafy greens like spinach, bok choy, or cabbage to the broth. The veggies should wilt in the boiling water with the ramen, so you won’t have to use a second pot. You can also run some frozen veggies (like corn, peas, or carrots) under running water until they defrost and then toss them in the pot towards the end as you’re cooking.


Add miso paste instead of the flavour pack.

jazz3311/ShutterstockMiso paste is made from fermented soybeans.

Try swapping the seasoning pack that comes with instant ramen for a scoop of miso paste (which is made from fermented soybeans) instead. As a BBC article points out, although miso is high in sodium, it is said to be beneficial for your health and contains probiotics that are good for your gut.


Add butter, egg, and American cheese like chef Roy Choi.

Tasting Table/YouTubeAmerican cheese on ramen.

Celebrated chef Roy Choi adds butter, American cheese, and an egg to his instant ramen and calls it the “Perfect Instant Ramen.” You can get the full recipe on The New York Times.


Top off your ramen with dried seaweed.

Food_asia/ShutterstockDried seaweed is also called nori.

Ramen restaurants often serve a gourmet bowl of noodles with a sheet of dried seaweed, called nori, on the top. Try crumbling some seaweed sheets on your own bowl for an added salty crunch.


Throw in some kimchi for a salty and spicy flavour.

Wikimedia CommonsKimchi are spicy pickled vegetables.

While you should be able to find premade kimchi (spicy pickled vegetables) at the grocery store – the most common kind is cabbage kimchi – a Korean supermarket should have more options. Simply top your bowl of ramen with some kimchi for a spicy and salty boost of flavour.


Add scallions and sesame seeds for extra flavour and crunch.

Gorlov-KV/ShutterstockThese tiny toppings are surprisingly flavorful.

Make instant ramen as it is, and then top it with diced scallions and toasted sesame seeds. You’ll be surprised how flavorful these tiny toppings are.


Add soy sauce for a saltier taste.

ffolas/ShutterstockSoy sauce can supplement the flavour packet.

Some people find the instant ramen flavour packet to be too salty to begin with, so they throw it out entirely but want something in its place. Try cutting the sauce packet in half, then throw in a dash of soy sauce.

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