Upgrade your instant ramen or noodles

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Have you had cravings for ramen but only have instant ramen in your kitchen? Or maybe you are a broke student who only have budget for those cheap packaged noodles? We have all gone through the phase of cooking these convenient meals whether to put food in our stomach or just to satisfy a random craving.

However, these little packets are very unhealthy. Flip the package and look at the nutritional information. See sodium? Usually it soars from three to four digits of milligrams. Clearly, it is packed with salt and if consumed excessively, you can be a candidate for kidney stones. There are really trade-offs when eating these tasty meals.

But say you had a craving for real ramen but only have nissin instant tonkotsu at home. Or maybe your regular beef or chicken noodles. Make it a whole meal by adding protein and fiber. We've thought of this one night when we craved for instant ramen.

I've thought of several ideas in what to add to the bowl of ramen. Here are some ingredients that can level up your meal:

  1. Chinese cabbage or bok choy. This is certainly not expensive nor rare to come by. The nearby public market has these as well as the supermarket. Boil it separately then blanch in cold water before topping it onto the ramen.
  2. Mushrooms. Be it fresh or canned, you can add these fibrous vegetables in your ramen. Add sliced button mushrooms or even shiitake and enoki mushrooms - these are already available as canned! If you can buy fresh, all the better.
  3. Boiled egg. Most ramen joints offer tamago, often soft boiled. Boil your own Ajitsuke Tamago - follow this recipe http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/03/ajitsuke-tamago-japanese-marinated-soft-boiled-egg-recipe.html or if you're feeling lazy, simply place the egg in continuous boil for 10 mins for hard-boiled egg or 6 minutes for soft-boiled egg. Submerge the eggs in cold water afterwards.
  4. Braised pork or any leftover meat. I was feeling lazy so I chucked in soy sauce, sugar, and water with the pork, covered it, and let it dry. It tasted okay, but the sort of chashu pork that comes in ramen joints. If you want to make it yourself, you can follow this recipe - http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/03/chashu-pork-marinated-braised-pork-belly-for-tonkotsu-ramen-recipe.html I think any meat can do, maybe leftover roast chicken or lechon kawali - why not.
  5. Sesame seeds and oil for garnish. Toast your sesame seeds and add it on the top of your ramen. Drizzle some sesame oil to taste as well.

Experiment and add onto it as you like!

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