Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Because instant ramen gets old...

Instant Ramen

We have all been there. Nothing else to eat in your house, you might be feeling particularly lazy at that time, or because you cannot afford anything else. Whatever it is ramen is most likely food you are going to grab.

Please for the sake of my sanity do not just cook with the MSG loaded chicken flavor unless you have a serious salt malnutrition.

First thing first. Throw away packet of seasonings.
The easiest way to quickly upgrade a bowl of instant noodles is with ingredients that require no extra cooking. I'm talking simple sauces and condiments like:
  • Miso paste
  • Peanut sauce
  • Catsup...
  • Chili bean sauce
  • Thai curry paste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fish sauce
  • Vinegar
  • Ponzu
These are my personal favorites but most people don't have their pantry stuffed with sauces.
  • Keep it simple. Bear in mind that if you're using a salty condiment, you should omit some of the seasoning packet. You can also add:
    • Spices like white pepper, sichuan pepper, or chili flakes to the finished dish, or try adding a cinnamon stick, star anise, and coriander seeds to the simmering broth (remove 'em before serving!)
    • Fats like toasted sesame oil, chili oil, or an animal fat (pork, chicken, or duck are all awesome)
    • Citrus juices—a quick squeeze of lemon or lime right before serving can go a long way to brightening flavors.



Ramen are pretty much all starch and fat (with most inexpensive ramen brands, the noodles are dehydrated by deep-frying them!). What about adding some extra protein? Eggs
 are cheap, delicious, and in most cases, can be cooked directly in the same pot with the noodles or the broth. 

Don't forget the hot sauce!

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