Recession Eats: Four Ways to Turn a Boring Pack of Ramen into an Amazing Meal

June 14, 2012 11:53 AM EDT
Ramen
You don't have to go to Japan to enjoy an elegant bowl of ramen noodles. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

It happened again: you're broke, you forgot to go to the supermarket, your belly is grumbling, and there's nothing in your pantry-- other than that package of ramen you still don't want. Or maybe you're in college and you've been eating those infamous soup noodles all day and you're just sick of it. Or just on a budget, given the economic climate. At FoodNRecipe, we've got you covered. Here are four ways to make that next bowl of instant soup feel like the first time you've ever had it.

1. Add Frozen Dumplings 

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Most frozen dumplings boil perfectly in about six minutes. Ramen boils in about two-to-three. Boil four frozen dumplings in two cups of water until they're done. Take them out, and immediately add your dried ramen noodles to the water. Cook till done. Add the flavor packet, add the cooked dumplings, and drizzle just a touch of hot oil on the top. Serve immediately.

2. Cold Ramen Noodles with Hot Broth

This is my favorite way to do it, especially in the summer, when the prospect of hot soup in an air-conditioner free zone is less than appealing. Cook the noodles according to the packet. Take them out and pour them in a strainer placed over a bowl. Reserve that hot water and add your flavoring packet to it.

Run the cooked noodles under cold water until they're ice cold. Add soy sauce, Thai chili sauce, and a drizzle of sesame oil to taste. Serve on a plate alongside a bowl of the hot broth, taking alternating bites and spoonfuls.

3. Egg Drop Ramen

This isn't an egg drop soup proper, but it's the best you'll be able to do on short notice. Boil your dried noodles in one and three-fourths cups water. While this is happening, beat an egg. Add it to the water, and watch as it solidifies and flowers in the pan. Cook until the noodles are done and the egg is firm (should be about same time). Add flavor packet (pork, chicken, oriental, and shrimp are best for this). Serve immediately.

4. Pork Belly and Kimchi Ramen

Fry up some chopped pork belly (one-half inch wide pieces) in a pan with some sesame oil. You don't need to add a lot, as the pork belly will render its own fat. After five minutes over medium high heat, remove from heat and add some kimchi.

Cook Pork-flavored ramen according to instructions on packet. Using a fork, remove the pork belly and kimchi from the pan and add it to your bowl. Do not simply pour the contents of the pan into your bowl, as it will make your soup way too greasy.

Enjoy!



 

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