Easy Upgrades: Take Your Ramen From Drab To Fab
Life is too short for bad ramen. Check out these tips to make ramen that Kylie Jenner would approve of.
Try making it yourself
While the pre-packaged ramen is great in a pinch, it doesn't take much time or effort to make it yourself.
- splash sesame or vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (low-sodium is fine)
- 2 tablespoons mirin (a staple in Japanese kitchens, it's a rice wine, similar to sake)
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt to taste
- 2 packs (3oz) of dried ramen noodles
- In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and soft, about 3 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce and mirin, stir and cook for another minute.
- Add the stock and cover the pot. Once you've reached a rolling boil, remove the lid and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Season with salt to taste
- Add the ramen noodles to your soup and cook for 2-3 minutes, right before you're ready to serve.
Your ramen will do a better job keeping you full if you add some protein. Try:
- Chicken breasts
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Melt a bit of butter in an oven-safe pan and add the chicken, cooking for about 5 minutes or until golden-brown (leaving the skin on will give better results). Flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Place the pan into the oven and cook for another 15-20 minutes. When ready to serve, slice the chicken into thin pieces.
Mix together 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger (or 1/4 teaspoon dried), 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon chili flakes, and juice from 3 limes in a resealable bag. Place 2 pounds of flank steak in the bag and allow to marinate for 4-8 hours. Heat a skillet or grill pan to medium-high heat and cook steak to desired done-ness (~3-5 minutes per side for rare, ~5-8 minutes for medium rare, for a 1 1/12 inch steak). Allow to rest for a few minutes and cut into thin slices when ready to serve.
Slice tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices and cut each slice into thirds. Dredge them in flour (seasoned with salt and pepper). In a pan, heat vegetable oil on high. Add tofu and brown on both sides.
A soft-boiled egg is essential
Another way to add protein, a soft-boiled egg can also add some delicious creamy richness to your ramen. #nomnom
- Bring a pot of water to boil (make sure it's enough to fully cover the eggs)
- Gently lower eggs (cold and directly from the fridge) into the water.
- Simmer for 7 minutes for a runny yoke or 8 minutes for a firmer yolk.
- Slice in half and place on top of your beautiful bowl of ramen.
Toppings are key to a prime ramen experience
Because variety is the spice of life.
- Bok Choy
- Dried seaweed, or nori
- Bean sprouts
- Pickled ginger
- Pickled red onions
- Green onions
- Fresh herbs, like basil or cilantro
- Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce
- Hoisin sauce