Easy Upgrades: Take Your Ramen From Drab To Fab

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Life is too short for bad ramen. Check out these tips to make ramen that Kylie Jenner would approve of.

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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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and soft, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the soy sauce and mirin, stir and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the stock and cover the pot. Once you've reached a rolling boil, remove the lid and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Season with salt to taste
  5. Add the ramen noodles to your soup and cook for 2-3 minutes, right before you're ready to serve.
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Add protein

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.
  • Steak
    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.
  • Tofu
    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.

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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

How to:

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil (make sure it's enough to fully cover the eggs)
  2. Gently lower eggs (cold and directly from the fridge) into the water.
  3. Simmer for 7 minutes for a runny yoke or 8 minutes for a firmer yolk.
  4. Slice in half and place on top of your beautiful bowl of ramen.
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Toppings are key to a prime ramen experience

Because variety is the spice of life.

  • Mushrooms
  • Avocado
  • Bok Choy
  • Dried seaweed, or nori
  • Bean sprouts
  • Pickled ginger
  • Pickled red onions
  • Green onions
  • Jalapenos
  • Fresh herbs, like basil or cilantro
  • Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce
  • Hoisin sauce

Check out these recipes to get you started
Chicken Ramen
Steak Ramen
Tofu Ramen

SHARE with your friends that LOVE ramen!