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How do you dress up a bowl of Top Ramen?

anniediaz Oct 25, 2006 07:29 PM

I just had a great bowl of Top Ramen. I used the oriental flavor ramen and crumbled in some tofu and a little jarred chili/garlic sauce at the end. It hit the spot! Any other ideas?

  1. s
    sugarbuzz Oct 25, 2006 07:51 PM

    I heat some coconut milk with a little chicken stock,add about half of the flavor packet & some sriracha hot chili sauce sauce. Cook the noodles in that & I'm good.

    1. vicki_vale Oct 25, 2006 07:58 PM


      Poached egg, or fried egg over-medium.
      Wakame seaweed (sprinkle while cooking, no need to re-hydrate separately).
      Frozen peas or sugar snap peas.
      Diced ham.
      Minced fresh scallion (green onion).
      Pinch of chopped cilantro.
      Slice of fresh ginger (into the broth).

      1. frenetica Oct 25, 2006 07:58 PM

        Shelled edamame beans & little pieces of crumbled bacon.

        1. n
          niki rothman Oct 25, 2006 08:12 PM

          My signature ramen - cube some tofu into 1/2", chop some broccoli into small pieces, start your ramen and add both. When cooked add some full fat yogurt to which you have added curry powder and a little soy sauce.
          Also - it's good with sour cream.

          1 Reply
          1. re: niki rothman
            niki rothman Oct 25, 2006 11:26 PM

            note to the above: I also drain off the water before adding the yogurt (which I prefer to the sour cream), and use half a flavor packet mixed in at the end - chicken

          2. m
            MalinDC Oct 25, 2006 08:39 PM

            Add a can of chicken and right before it's done cooking stir in an egg or two (like egg drop soup).

            1. sunshinedrop Oct 25, 2006 08:42 PM

              I cook the noodles, drain off all the water, blanch some sliced bell pepper, thaw some shrimp and mix the noodles, bell pepper, shrimp and a full seasoning packet...I prefer beef. Quick, healthy and yummy!

              2 Replies
              1. re: sunshinedrop
                frenetica Oct 25, 2006 09:36 PM

                I do love Top Ramen but I don't think I could ever call it "healthy", regardless of toppings...

                1. re: frenetica
                  sunshinedrop Oct 26, 2006 06:49 PM

                  Agreed.....we'll call it healthier!

              2. s
                sugarbuzz Oct 25, 2006 09:55 PM

                I only use half of the flavor packet because of all the sodium in it. So I wouldn't call it exactly healthy to use the whole thing.

                1. Terrie H. Oct 25, 2006 11:37 PM

                  I add a slice of fresh ginger to the simmering water (which I remove after it is cooked), then add hot chile/garlic paste, green onion, and a hefty squeeze of lime juice at the end. Gives a sort of hot and sour boost.

                  1. a
                    ade333 Oct 25, 2006 11:43 PM

                    I like putting in my cooked homemade Asian style turkey meatballs(soy sauce, scallions,sesame oil, garlic, pepper,steak seasonings)and Napa cabbage (I use a lot since it shrinks down). Once the ramen is done and the heat is off, I stir in 1 beaten egg and slowly swirl it around until the egg is done.

                    1. b
                      bbc Oct 26, 2006 09:26 AM

                      I have a soft spot for ramen, with no expectations of it being "healthy," but additions help me psychologically...and to clean out my fridge sometimes.

                      I also skimp on the package b/c of sodium & msg, and add:

                      an egg (stir or it will be a big cooked egg, which isn't bad) mushrooms (any kind, but i prefer shitake)
                      any kind of green (i've done asparagus or any leafy green)
                      meat or tofu
                      green onions at the very end

                      For the meat, if you can get to a chinatown that has a store or restaurant that sells bbq pork or duck, this is the best addition (look for hanging ducks). You can buy it by the 1/2 lb or full lb (or more...), and have them cut it up for you. Then you can throw it in a ziploc and have it in your freezer for months. Or use other leftovers of meat/stock.

                      1. Cynsa Oct 26, 2006 10:26 AM

                        this is too simple: chopped green onions and a raw egg over the ramen noodles/broth - break the yolk with your chopsticks and lift noodles to mouth; the yolk coats the noodles as you eat and the hot broth cooks the egg whites... add a splash of hot chili sesame oil if you like.

                        1. u
                          UptownKevin Oct 26, 2006 12:21 PM

                          Discard the flavor packet! Here's my recipe that I created. It only takes about 5 minutes of prep and 10 minutes to cook (the ramen cooks so fast). You can also substitute shrimp for the chicken. It can be very spicy, so beware, and it's easier than it looks:

                          Spicy Oriental Chicken and Noodles, version 1.0

                          Courtesy of Kevin Lacassin

                          Serves 2

                          1⁄2 lb. Chicken Thighs, boneless, sliced into bite sized pieces
                          2 packages Ramen noodles
                          1⁄2 bunch Green Onions, chopped
                          2 Shallots, minced
                          4 cloves Garlic, minced
                          2 tbsp. Sambal Chili Paste (can use Siracha
                          )2 tbsp. Butter
                          Rice Wine Vinegar
                          Soy Sauce
                          Sesame Oil
                          Olive Oil
                          Oyster Sauce
                          Black Pepper
                          Kosher Salt

                          Coat a large (12”) non-stick skillet with a bit of olive oil and sweat the shallots and garlic for five to ten minutes, until soft. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook on a medium heat until done. Make sure not to burn the garlic! Add dashes of sesame oil, soy sauce and oyster sauce to pan and make sure chicken is coated evenly. Pour contents of the pan into a bowl or on a cutting board and reserve for later.

                          To make the chili sauce, add two tablespoons of butter and the green onions to the skillet. Cook for a minute or two until all of the butter is melted. Add two tablespoons of Sambal chili sauce and about a teaspoon of rice wine vinegar. Continue to cook the sauce on low heat for several minutes (until noodles are done).

                          While the sauce is cooking, open two packages of Ramen noodles and discard the seasoning packet. Put the noodles into boiling water (have the water boiling throughout the cooking process) and cook according to instructions on the package (generally 3 minutes).

                          When the noodles are finished cooking, drain and add to the skillet along with the chicken. Toss all ingredients together and serve in a bowl with chopsticks. Garnish with green onion.

                          Notes: You will have to eyeball each of the liquid ingredients. The Sambal chili sauce is spicy! If the end result is too spicy, you can cut the heat with extra butter.

                          1. Sam Fujisaka Oct 26, 2006 01:38 PM

                            Cook the noodles in about a half cup of water. You have to stir and get the noodles to evenly cook. Add any of the additions suggested above. The result has flavor, texture, and mouth feel of fried--without being fried.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                              DGresh Oct 26, 2006 01:44 PM

                              I'm pretty sure (don't have a package in front of me though) that ramen noodles have a significant amount of oil in them before you even open the package.

                              1. re: DGresh
                                Sam Fujisaka Oct 26, 2006 06:05 PM

                                Exactly. But you're left with the same by either cooking the Ramen as a soup or cooking off the water. Might as well get the fried style if you're going to ingest that oil anyway.

                            2. frenetica Oct 26, 2006 01:52 PM

                              What I don't understand is, if you are going to all this fantastic trouble to add all these lovely things, why not just go 0.0001 step further and buy some "real" noodles and a can of chicken stock, which work out to be cheaper per ounce and don't really take any longer to cook - instant ramen is kind of a scam because rice noodles, egg noodles, udon and soba all take the same couple minutes of boiling to cook, but don't have all those hydrogenated oils in them.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: frenetica
                                chocolatetartguy Nov 7, 2006 06:47 PM

                                That's what I had last night. Fresh noodles, chicken broth, Chinese mustard greens and some roast pork. But when you're out of noodles and broth, top ramen comes in mighty handy.

                                1. re: frenetica
                                  Chowrin Jan 28, 2011 12:57 PM

                                  and because of that, they're less healthy. ymmv.

                                2. jupiter Oct 26, 2006 06:54 PM

                                  i stirfry/saute frozen corn and fresh bean sprouts in sesame oil and dump them on top.

                                  1. applehome Oct 26, 2006 07:22 PM

                                    I agree with Frenetica - open packets, throw away the flavor packets, then throw away the noodles.

                                    Who needs dried noodles that have been fried in oil? Making a quick and easy ramen is every bit as easy as using the packets - it's not anywhere as good as a real, cook-all-day-broth ramen, but at least you can get the noodles right by buying something better.

                                    Buy real ramen noodles - preferably fresh - at your local asian store. Look for chuka style noodles or others that have kansui in them - usually some potassium carbonate and sodium carbonate as well as a small amount of phosphoric acid. Some ramen noodles have egg instead, but they're not as good - and plain wheat (or buckwheat or any ther grain) flour noodles should never be used for ramen. Check the calorie content - if it's close to 200, with the fat calories at 70 or so, it's fried.

                                    Some of the best noodles I've found come in the fresh yakisoba packs (three servings to a package). Throw away the flavor packs and use the noodles. The fresh ramen packs also have decent noodles, but the yakisoba brand that I can get locally are better.

                                    Whatever you decide to add, remember that it's the broth and the noodles that make or break the dish - if you can't take the time to get the broth right, at least get the noodles closer to right. Asking about ways to make Top Ramen better is like asking how to improve a McD's cheeseburger - most answers fall into the category of creating a Big Mac. Why not start with a better burger? Then maybe you don't have to add all that junk!

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: applehome
                                      cornflower55 Nov 5, 2006 03:07 PM

                                      I think both fresh and instant ramen noodles taste better than soba or udon. I like soba or somen sometimes, but it's a different experience and should have a different kind of broth. I think instant ramen noodles are being unfairly disparaged. But having said that, I've recently started buying fresh ramen noodles instead.

                                      Where I live you can get Japanese fresh ramen in 2- or 3-packs for about $1.20 per serving. In those packages the soup base is better too than with instant (it's liquid and has a deeper taste). What's best is you can freeze the packages to stock up, and you can cook the noodles from frozen with no loss of flavor or texture.

                                      1. re: cornflower55
                                        applehome Nov 5, 2006 06:11 PM

                                        The traditional Japanese noodles, buckwheat soba, udon, and somen are completely different, altogether. Ramen is the more recent Chinese import - not that all noodles weren't originated in China, but that Ramen in Japan has a different history than the traditional noodles. Ramen only became popular in Japan much later than the others, in the Meiji era. The fried noodle packs have been around since the early 60's. While the traditional noodles use a dashi (fish) base as the primary soup or sauce flavor agent, ramen uses pork and chicken.

                                        The confusion comes from the penchant for Japanese to use the same word for both something specific and the generic. Soba means noodle, in general, but it also refers to the specific buckwheat noodle - you have to figure it out in context. The fresh yakisoba packs I was referring to are just like the fresh ramen packs, and include 3 packs of noodles and flavor packets - but they are definitely ramen noodles, and not buckwheat soba noodles. Yakisoba can be made from virtually any noodle, but ramen noodles are probably the most utilized.

                                        Simply put, Ramen noodles have Kansui, the other noodles do not. Ramen noodles are stretchier, and when made and cooked right, have just the right bite - kind of al dente, with some resistance, but also with a slurpy texture.

                                        As to instant ramen noodles being disparaged, it's a relative thing - as you have found out. It's only bad when compared to the real thing. Once you get used to having the real thing, you really don't want to go back. Of course - there's the money issue - 3 packs for $3-4 is certainly not as cheap as a box of Nissin ramen for $5.00. I hear folks talking about their college days where both the money and the cooking facilities are limited, and I certainly understand that instant ramen can be a good fit. I myself got into lots of Quaker Oats quick grits, and pasta with bottled ragu. But today, I have stone-ground grits and make my own gravy for spaghetti. I can't imagine going back to the quick grits, and while there are much better bottled sauces out there today, I would only buy them for convenience, not when actually preparing a meal.

                                        I understand that this thread is about making the cheap stuff more edible. But many of these recipes are taking the cost of a bowl of instant ramen well beyond the cost of the fresh noodles. My only point was that, from a chowhound perspective, one may wish to get into a higher quality noodle, rather than to keep enhancing the instant stuff.

                                      2. re: applehome
                                        mamachef Jan 28, 2011 02:35 PM

                                        While I totally agree about the fresh/dry issue, that's not what this post is about!
                                        When I crave ramen - and sometimes I do - I like the chili flavored one, with a good dose of salsa, a squeeze of lime, and a dash of green tabasco. And I top it with crumbled tortilla chips. Shredded chicken is goood in this also; bastard sopa de tortilla. Otherwise, beaten egg, chopped green onion, a little cubed ham if it's on hand, and a dash of sesame oil, w/ the Oriental (?) ramen.

                                      3. Scrapironchef Oct 26, 2006 09:45 PM

                                        Real ramen noodles are easy if you can get them, low salt chicken stock instead of water and the flavor packet if you can't.

                                        Add some white miso to the broth, much richer mouth feel and better nutrition to boot.

                                        Green onions, reconstituted shitake mushrooms, tree ear mushrooms, leftover chicken, a few slices of char siu and some hot mustard, frozen corn, edamame, a spoonful of curry powder, some cannelini beans, Thai red or green curry paste, lime or lemo juice, cilantro, parsley, red onion, What's in your fridge?

                                        The easiest finish of all is a few drops of good toasted sesame oil around the bowl just before serving.

                                        1. Dommy Oct 26, 2006 11:26 PM

                                          Old College trick...

                                          Shredded Cabbage...


                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Dommy
                                            Sebby Oct 27, 2006 08:14 PM

                                            Second this, shredded cabbage adds a nice crunch. Just throw it in the same time you put in the noodles.

                                          2. w
                                            wayne keyser Oct 27, 2006 01:38 AM

                                            Throw away packet.

                                            1 tb Peanut Butter
                                            Splash of Soy Sauce
                                            Squirt of Sriracha
                                            Chopped (or paste or powder) Garlic
                                            Ginger (paste or powder)
                                            No-calorie sweetener (you're already doing badly enough) to taste
                                            Chopped Scallions

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: wayne keyser
                                              IndyGirl Jan 25, 2007 11:42 PM

                                              oh yes, I just did something like this this morning with soba noodles. Also threw in some cilantro and rice vinegar for tang. YUM!

                                              1. re: wayne keyser
                                                shanagain Jun 29, 2011 05:22 PM

                                                This (plus spice packet) and a dash of fish sauce, lime juice and cilantro.

                                              2. augustiner Oct 27, 2006 02:38 AM

                                                kimchi and an egg.

                                                1. lunchbox Oct 27, 2006 04:46 AM

                                                  All of these ramens sound so good!

                                                  I love ramen for camping- when you cant have a lot of fresh produce, but have all the condements you can handle!

                                                  My buddy from college used to make his ramen in the coffe maker, then jazz it up with a simple drizzle of sesame and chili oils- toss in ane egg-drop style egg and some scallions and it actually seems like a real soup.

                                                  Not really, but good for a dorm room!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: lunchbox
                                                    linlinchan Nov 6, 2006 02:49 PM

                                                    Actually, that's exactly how I used to make mine... In the coffee maker, and with similar ingredients, except I'd poach the egg. And sometimes peanut butter and whatever chicken tenders I just happened to have left over would find their way in too. XD

                                                  2. trolley Oct 27, 2006 05:25 AM

                                                    my college favorite was to boil the noodles minus the flavor packet. once done sprinkle about 1/4 to 1/2 of the packet, a big pat of butter, and a generous sprinkle of S&B curry powder. add more butter if needed and mix. yum!!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: trolley
                                                      niki rothman Oct 27, 2006 07:50 PM

                                                      You have got my suggestion except I add yogurt, broccoli chopped into small pieces, and cubed tofu - it is indeed a "yum!"

                                                    2. l
                                                      lvecch Oct 27, 2006 08:03 PM

                                                      Cook ramen in water, add flavor packet, then drain off all the liquid. Add chili oil and chopped scallion.

                                                      But this only tastes right if cooked in a hot pot plugged in next to your bed.

                                                      1. bitsubeats Oct 27, 2006 08:39 PM

                                                        I only eat Korean spicy kimchi flavored ramen.

                                                        cook it according to package directions and add the following:

                                                        kimchi (cabbage or even radish)
                                                        dttok (horrible spelling) - preferably oval shapes
                                                        sliced kamaboko - pink with white middle
                                                        baby bok choy
                                                        sliced raw green onion - for garnish
                                                        and last but not least: garnish with a raw egg yolk

                                                        omg, this is the ultimate ramen.

                                                        when I was little, my mom used to make me chicken flavoured top ramen with sliced up hot dogs and kimchi mixed it (the kimchi was rinsed off under water because it was too spicy for me) - uber ghetto

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: bitsubeats
                                                          michaelyu Nov 6, 2006 06:47 AM

                                                          Wow. I agree, this is definitely the ultimate ramen. Except for the bok choy - the Kimchi is enought veggies. Minus the bok choy, plus the spam (pan fried or raw - have it cook in the soup).

                                                          For some reason, when I eat Korean style ramen (ramyun), I like to take out all of the noodles from the bowl and eat it separately with a POT of kimchi, and then eat the remaining soup (and Spam), along with a good dollop of rice. Wow you just triggered this child-hood memory - I have to go find some ramyun now.

                                                          1. re: bitsubeats
                                                            augustiner Jan 9, 2007 10:24 AM

                                                            yum. but i just remembered the weirdness of cheese ramyun. a kraft single or other similar cheese product placed on top of a hot bowl of kimchi ramyun. sounds gross but it's good.

                                                            1. re: bitsubeats
                                                              SkinnyChef Jan 30, 2007 09:43 PM

                                                              The kimchi & raw egg yolk definetly makes for an ultimate ramen.. Additional old college trick, add in some cheap frozen seafood mix (shrimp, mussels, calamari..) and some frozen mixed vegetables for a complete meal!

                                                            2. s
                                                              sfkusinera Nov 1, 2006 06:24 AM

                                                              add half the seasoning packet...

                                                              then stir in beaten egg
                                                              and top with:
                                                              strips of crispy, pan fried spam
                                                              or quartered vienna sausages
                                                              shot of sriracha
                                                              shot of sesame oil

                                                              ahhhh...brings back memories of afterschool afternoons.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: sfkusinera
                                                                billjriv Nov 5, 2006 07:23 AM

                                                                Vienna sausage and fried spam lol your speaking my language now.

                                                              2. s
                                                                silverlakelisa Nov 1, 2006 06:44 AM

                                                                Wow everyone's ideas are so sophisticated!

                                                                I used to make the noodles, drain off most of the water, mix in the sauce packet (it will be very salty) then add parmesan cheese. I think it's quite good that way!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: silverlakelisa
                                                                  soypower Jan 9, 2007 06:50 AM

                                                                  i like this way too! i thought i was the only one. :o)

                                                                2. s0memale Nov 1, 2006 06:50 AM

                                                                  simple just add some bean sprouts!

                                                                  1. c
                                                                    carolle217 Nov 6, 2006 03:01 AM

                                                                    I cook as directed and then add: Ham, bacon or pork, a hard boiled egg, green onions, oyster sauce and a little soy sauce.

                                                                    1. mochi mochi Nov 6, 2006 06:27 AM

                                                                      I like gyoza(freshly made is best, but the frozen in a pinch is fine) in my instant ramen. I also like kamaboko-fish cake, seasoned age, egg and any pickled vegetables that I have on hand.

                                                                      1. cristina Nov 6, 2006 01:11 PM

                                                                        Add to water (along with flavor packet):
                                                                        Thinly sliced celery
                                                                        Minced green onion
                                                                        Minced chile serrano
                                                                        Whole egg beaten with a dribble of sesame oil and stirred into soup as for egg drop soup

                                                                        Simmer until vegetables and egg are done. Add:
                                                                        Shredded chicken breast
                                                                        Coarsely chopped cilantro

                                                                        Mmmmm...for a quicky supper a few times a year, delicious.

                                                                        1. c
                                                                          claire de lunacy Nov 6, 2006 09:48 PM

                                                                          i'm assuming you don't want that much prep! some coconut milk and some thai red or green curry paste, and can of bamboo shoots or baby corn. Chopped veggies great too. makes a yummy noodle curry. don't use the packet though, the curry paste has tons of salt and flavor (and no msg).

                                                                          1. k
                                                                            kelseypoo Jan 9, 2007 04:50 AM

                                                                            I have eaten Top Ramen faithfully since I was very little, and my favorite toppings are polish sausage and broccoli (for beef flavor). Or pieces of a rotisserie chicken with broccoli (for chicken flavor).

                                                                            1. soypower Jan 9, 2007 06:49 AM

                                                                              this may sound gross, but it actually tastes good. cook ramen as directed, drain off soup and grate some parmesan cheese on top. stir until the cheese is melted.

                                                                              more traditionally, i add an egg, some bok choy and some leftover meat. kimchee is also a good addition.

                                                                              1. e
                                                                                epay Jan 9, 2007 08:16 AM

                                                                                whatever veggies are sitting around in the fridge: carrot slices, any kind of cabbage/bok choi/leafy vegetables, broccoli or cauliflower. napa cabbage and green peas (in the pod) are my favorite add.

                                                                                my boyfriend always cringes when i throw in some expensive but delicious dried mushrooms. fresh works too of course. a few drops of sesame oil...

                                                                                and a fried egg on top.

                                                                                for the record, if you get your ramen at an asian grocery, there is more selection. pay a little extra (oooh, $2 ramen) to try out some of the "fancy" ones.

                                                                                1. jbyoga Jan 12, 2007 06:25 PM

                                                                                  I make it hot and sour by adding a bit of apple cider vinegar and sucanat (dried cane juice) you could use sugar....

                                                                                  And of course, a bunch of garlic and a hit of sriacha and chopped green onions...mmmm

                                                                                  1. jen kalb Jan 12, 2007 06:46 PM

                                                                                    poach an egg (lightly so its runny) in it; garnish with chopped scallions and sesame oil. If you have bean sprouts around, nice to further freshen it up.

                                                                                    1. a
                                                                                      amyvc Jan 12, 2007 06:51 PM

                                                                                      I make a cabbage salad where I brown the ramen noodles in butter w/sesame seeds and slivered almonds. You mix the flavor packet with sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, vegetable oil, and a few other things. Let ramen noodles cool completely, then mix the ramen 1 bag cole slaw cabbage and toss with dressing. Yum - great for a bbq!

                                                                                      Other than that, I never buy ramen noodles. Much prefer "real."

                                                                                      1. revsharkie Jan 12, 2007 08:55 PM

                                                                                        Here's a recipe I came up with. It's based loosely on one in the BH&G New Dieter's Cookbook, but when I wanted to make that I didn't have a pretty substantial number of the ingredients it called for, so I improvised, and it turned out pretty good.

                                                                                        Thai-inspired Chicken & Noodle Soup

                                                                                        1 t. sesame oil
                                                                                        2 t. chile oil
                                                                                        11⁄2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
                                                                                        1⁄2 onion, sliced thinly
                                                                                        2 cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise
                                                                                        1 rib celery, sliced thin
                                                                                        2 pkg. ramen noodle soup mix, chicken flavor
                                                                                        1 c. sliced bell peppers (green, red, yellow, or preferably a combination)
                                                                                        1 t. dried or 1 T. minced fresh basil
                                                                                        1 T. fresh cilantro, minced
                                                                                        1 T. soy sauce
                                                                                        2 T. lime juice

                                                                                        Heat oils in soup pot; add onion, garlic & celery and sauté for 2 minutes. Add chicken; sauté briefly, until white all around. Add just enough water to cover chicken, along with the seasoning packets from the ramen noodles (and basil, if dried). Bring to boil; reduce heat & simmer, covered, 10 minutes.

                                                                                        Add soy sauce and 1 cup or so additional water. Return to boil. Break up noodles and add to pot with peppers; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add lime juice and fresh herbs.

                                                                                        1. operagirl Jan 12, 2007 09:26 PM

                                                                                          I always use the "Oriental" flavor (since It's the only vegetarian one), and add toasted sesame seeds and a couple drops of sesame oil.

                                                                                          1. jbyoga Jan 25, 2007 09:22 PM

                                                                                            You can dress it up all you want but you still can't take it anywhere...

                                                                                            1. IndyGirl Jan 25, 2007 11:39 PM

                                                                                              from my grad school days.....
                                                                                              Ramen Corn Chowder (http://busycooks.about.com/od/hotsoup...


                                                                                              Ramen fried "Rice"--one of our favorites, even now!
                                                                                              1 (3 ounce) package pork-flavored ramen noodles (or smoked ham flavor or oriental flavor)
                                                                                              1/2 cup frozen peas
                                                                                              2 eggs, beaten
                                                                                              1 teaspoon sesame oil
                                                                                              1 pinch white pepper
                                                                                              1 tablespoon peanut oil
                                                                                              4 green onions, finely chopped
                                                                                              1 teaspoon chopped garlic
                                                                                              1/2-1 cup diced roast pork (optional) or cooked chicken (optional) or shrimp (I use tofu if I include this at all, optional) (optional) or tofu (I use tofu if I include this at all) (optional)
                                                                                              1 tablespoon soy sauce
                                                                                              Break the noodles into about 6 pieces into a bowl, sprinkle with the contents of the seasoning packet and pour boiling water over to cover.
                                                                                              Stir a bit and let soak while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
                                                                                              Rinse peas with hot water in a colander to defrost.
                                                                                              Mix together the eggs, sesame oil, and pepper and set aside.
                                                                                              Heat a wok or large skillet and add the oil.
                                                                                              Add the garlic and green onions and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
                                                                                              Add optional meat and peas and stir fry until hot, about 1 minutes.
                                                                                              Drain the noodles well, add to the skillet and stir fry for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
                                                                                              Stir in the soy sauce until well distributed.
                                                                                              Pour the eggs into the skillet and continue to cook and stir, until the bits of egg are cooked.
                                                                                              Serve at once.

                                                                                              1. m
                                                                                                Mister F. Jan 26, 2007 11:42 AM

                                                                                                Go to the icebox, grab some cold fried chicken, chop it up, and put it in some oriental flavored ramen noodles. Quick and good.

                                                                                                1. b
                                                                                                  BellaDonna Jan 27, 2007 05:30 PM

                                                                                                  Something about veggies and ramen just doesn't seem right (the healthy-ness of the veggies and the bad from the ramen). When we were chidren, my mother would add fried spam, some sort of greens, and my father would top with tortilla chips.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: BellaDonna
                                                                                                    Chowrin Jan 28, 2011 01:01 PM

                                                                                                    ramen is oiled wheat. nothing too bad about that. tch. for somepeople, it's better than the multigrain pasta.

                                                                                                  2. k
                                                                                                    k_d Jan 27, 2007 05:40 PM

                                                                                                    It kills me how all these people on CH who don't like a particular food (ramen, packaged ramen, the flavor packet, w/e) jump onto these threads, where someone is asking for help, and just disparage the heck out of the food in question. Quit it! I don't think anyone on this thread is figuring to live off instant ramen exclusively. So stop acting like they are.

                                                                                                    Give your suggestions .. but not "OMG, don't eat that!!" .. or move on, and don't read the thread.

                                                                                                    I mean, I hate liver, but I don't jump on the pate threads and tell them not to eat it!!!

                                                                                                    1. Veggietales Jan 27, 2007 07:23 PM

                                                                                                      Cook noodles, drain water, add flavor packet (shrimp being the best!), add pat of butter, parm. cheese from the can, and a heaping tablespoon of cottage cheese. Mix vigorously over med. flame to desired creamy goodness. Toast 2 pcs. of Wonder bread to extra crispy. Spread creamy noodle concoction over toast... I liked mine open face.

                                                                                                      Give it a try, you'll like it, I promise.

                                                                                                      1. chef chicklet Jan 28, 2007 07:38 PM

                                                                                                        My ramen of choice is the the Thai Kitchen " Thai Curry" and I add green onion, cilantro, red curry paste, chicken or thinly slice ham, and then tiny cubed fresh tomatoes right before eating, but not before I add a good swish of sesame seed oil to the top,

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                                          revsharkie Jan 28, 2007 08:12 PM

                                                                                                          I like their Spring Onion one! I usually just add a little crushed red pepper to it. They're a way lot better and better for you than Top Ramen--just as easy to cook, although considerably more expensive.

                                                                                                          They have essentially the same thing in "noodle bowls," but unless you're going to be somewhere that doesn't have any dishes, you're just as well off getting the package instead of the bowl b/c you pay more for the bowl.

                                                                                                        2. chowmeow Jan 28, 2007 08:26 PM

                                                                                                          Saturday lunch when I was growing up was instant ramen (bought by the crate from Chinatown) with hot dogs and iceburg lettuce thrown in. If there is an Asian equivalent to trailer park food, this was it! Some times my mom made a beautiful pot of beef stewed in soy sauce, star anise, and dried peppers, and this was the best addition to instant ramen. (discarding the flavor packet.)

                                                                                                          1. hitachino Jan 29, 2007 07:07 AM

                                                                                                            i have a finicky 9 yr old that LOVES ramen (chicken flavor) and i was trying to think of a way to at least make it a tad more healthy (alas, he would flip if i added veggies or fresh herbs) -- tried it without the packet and used penzey's chicken soup base (generous tsp.) and dash of penzey's foxpoint seasoning (gotta get the one without salt for this in the future) and held my breath when the picky eater went at it......

                                                                                                            "hey, this tastes different." but he ate it all, and i've been making it this way ever since.

                                                                                                            1. SkinnyChef Jan 30, 2007 09:46 PM

                                                                                                              Another old college trick - cook ramen, drain water & add a can of cream of mushroom soup Bake if you wish - mushroom tetrazzini!

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: SkinnyChef
                                                                                                                revsharkie Jul 31, 2007 05:07 PM

                                                                                                                Friend of mine in the dorms in college used to cook ramen in a hot pot, drain it, and mix it with tomato sauce.

                                                                                                              2. r
                                                                                                                rikrak080857 Apr 10, 2007 08:13 AM

                                                                                                                Does anyone know where I can buy FRESH RAMEN NOODLES, in the Brampton, Mississauga or Toronto area? I live in Brampton but visit Japan quite frequently. I now have this relentless craving for Ramen (Japanese Noodle House Style) and really want to buy it fresh, NOT instant!!!!! Can anyone provide a name and address of where I can acquire this item...PLEASE ??????

                                                                                                                1. r
                                                                                                                  Raeviola Apr 10, 2007 08:17 AM

                                                                                                                  This is a great thread. I have always wanted to compile a cookbook of recipes using Ramen (though I'm sure someone already has...).

                                                                                                                  My dad suggested I call it: "Everybody Loves Ramen." :)

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Raeviola
                                                                                                                    Chowrin Jan 28, 2011 01:02 PM

                                                                                                                    put cornflakes on them! [no, this isn't my idea. saw it in an anime.]

                                                                                                                  2. n
                                                                                                                    noodle89 Jun 14, 2007 10:37 AM

                                                                                                                    this is my recipie for Top Ramen:
                                                                                                                    1.first, you follow the directions by boiling the water, then sticking the noodles in.
                                                                                                                    2.then, while the noodles are cooking, sprinkle about two or three teaspoons of brown sugar in. Mix it in with the noodles.
                                                                                                                    3.Then, when the noodles are done to your preference, soft noodles or hard, put in the flaver packet.
                                                                                                                    4.Then, take out a bowl, and drain the broth, using a strainer, into the bowl. then put the noodles back in the pot.
                                                                                                                    5.Now, take some butter out, and put about 1 or two teaspoons of butter onto the noodles and sir the butter into the noodles.
                                                                                                                    6.Lastly, the final ingredient. Take some garlic salt, and sprinkle a little bit onto the noodles.
                                                                                                                    7.After that, pour the broth back into the pot with the noodles, then pour the whole thing into a bowl, then enjoy.

                                                                                                                    1. d
                                                                                                                      diddiz Jul 31, 2007 03:37 PM

                                                                                                                      I craved this when I was pregnant. I made the noodles, drained the water (don't use the packet), added sour cream and salsa.

                                                                                                                      1. p
                                                                                                                        pie22 Aug 12, 2009 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                        cooked ramen (i loved the chili ramen which is so hard to find now), half the seasoning packet, egg, frozen veggies, greens if available, dash of sesame oil, huge squirt of sriracha, sometimes a little lime, so good!

                                                                                                                        1. c
                                                                                                                          CookingWithTruffles Dec 31, 2010 09:19 AM

                                                                                                                          I like it with marinated tofu, broccoli, chili paste, and soy sauce. (I marinate the tofu in chili paste and soy sauce too.)
                                                                                                                          Eggs are always good.
                                                                                                                          Can't really go wrong with shredded pork, beef, or chicken.
                                                                                                                          Scallions, nori, fish cake.

                                                                                                                          1. j
                                                                                                                            joonjoon Jan 28, 2011 12:33 PM

                                                                                                                            If you can add just one thing to ramen to significantly enhance its flavor it would be scallions. Everything else seems to be secondary, but here's my list of things I like to add:

                                                                                                                            Fresh or cured Pork
                                                                                                                            Thinly sliced raw beef, added at the end of cooking
                                                                                                                            Curry Powder
                                                                                                                            Sesame oil
                                                                                                                            Rice cakes/balls
                                                                                                                            Fish cake/balls
                                                                                                                            Any type of cabbage/choy/winter green veggie
                                                                                                                            Corn or Peas
                                                                                                                            Hot peppers (fresh or dried)

                                                                                                                            1. g
                                                                                                                              gracie22 Mar 28, 2011 02:23 PM

                                                                                                                              I keep it real quick and simple:

                                                                                                                              i add lots of frozen mixed vegetables when i put the noodles in, then plate it, squeeze in some lime, plenty of salsa Tapatio, maybe even some cilantro.

                                                                                                                              1. m
                                                                                                                                MellieMag Mar 28, 2011 05:00 PM

                                                                                                                                I add chopped cabbage,sliced carrots, some onion or green onion, soy sauce and plenty of Louisiana Hot Sauce. When my kids were little, I served them with cooked carrots and boiled eggs because that was the illustration on the package. Ramen noodles, mac and cheese, and American Beauty Dumplets Dinners made up a lot of my kids' lunches, with veggies, meat or eggs added.
                                                                                                                                I read the posts about buying real noodles in an Asian market. Never seen one of those, made me wonder where the closest might be. We've got the hillbilly and Mexican foods aplenty here.

                                                                                                                                1. EWSflash Apr 2, 2011 07:09 PM

                                                                                                                                  Shredded black fungus, and wakame (a type of seaweed). Sometimes shrimp, thin-sliced carrot and/or fresh mushroom are good too, often VERY thinly sliced cabbage added at the end, and i just got a package of frozen squid pieces that're crossshatched on one side for a really pretty look and I plan to try some of that next. Don't know if I'll saute the outward side first, but maybe. Sometimes the juice of a lime and/or some fish sauce. I don't use soy sauce.
                                                                                                                                  Peas are good, too, a handful thrown in at the end (sorry if it's already been suggested a million times)

                                                                                                                                  1. b
                                                                                                                                    Billy33 Apr 2, 2011 11:44 PM

                                                                                                                                    If I have a green salad or some lettuce in the fridge that is on its last legs, I stir that into my ramen at the very end (chop the lettuce into bits or slice it thinly)
                                                                                                                                    Or, I add some frozen spinach while it is cooking and then top it off with some tinned tuna or bacon bits.

                                                                                                                                    1. Popkin Jun 29, 2011 08:04 AM

                                                                                                                                      LMAO, for whatever reason I did a google search for top ramen ideas, and this thread was within the first three hits. WHY I didn't just initially look here I don't know, because almost every food-related google search I do brings up a chowhound thread within the first five hits.

                                                                                                                                      That said, these are the various ways I do instant ramen...... :)

                                                                                                                                      Chicken or beef ramen packet, crush up the dry noodles a bit, sprinkle and shake with the seasoning packet, and consume dry (the shrimp Maruchan cup noodles is great this way too)

                                                                                                                                      When I was little I would make the pork one by cooking the noodles, draining off most of the water, add packet, add handful of cheddar cheese and some cayenne, and stir until it makes a nice sauce (works great if everything is at the right temperature). Surprisingly good.

                                                                                                                                      Pork or oriental-flavoured ramen, cooked and mostly drained, add seasoning packet (half or all depending on how much of a salt tooth I have at the moment), add cayenne, soy sauce, garlic, honey, a hit of worchestershire sauce, and pulled pork.

                                                                                                                                      Cooked ramen noodles, STRONG beef broth, sliced (mmmm, raw) beef, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, honey, and sautee'd spinach

                                                                                                                                      1. Antilope Jun 29, 2011 08:10 AM

                                                                                                                                        Ramen Chicken Salad

                                                                                                                                        1. n
                                                                                                                                          nitepflyer Jun 30, 2011 03:49 PM


                                                                                                                                          2 Medium Poached Eggs
                                                                                                                                          Chile-Garlic Paste
                                                                                                                                          Fish Sauce
                                                                                                                                          Soy Sauce

                                                                                                                                          1. a
                                                                                                                                            alitria Jun 30, 2011 11:54 PM

                                                                                                                                            My husband loves the spicy shrimp ramen. I send a baggie of shredded cabbage, carrots, cilantro, frozen baby shrimp, and a lime wedge to work with him. He heats up the ramen and dumps everything in once it's hot. The water is enough to cook the veggies just enough and it makes it feel more like soup. The shrimp adds a kick of protein. It's ingredients we typically have on hand all the time and it's great for when we don't really have lunch ready to go. We only get about a 25 minute lunch break so there's not time to go out.

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: alitria
                                                                                                                                              joonjoon Jul 1, 2011 09:05 AM

                                                                                                                                              that sounds like an amazing lunch!

                                                                                                                                            2. d
                                                                                                                                              Dinaparks Jan 23, 2014 03:37 AM

                                                                                                                                              I made my chicken top ramen with sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, and garlic salt. It was absolutely amazing!!

                                                                                                                                              I cook mine in the microwave because I'm not all picky about it lol
                                                                                                                                              Drained most of the water so there's just enough to mix the seasoning in with, added about a teaspoon or two of sesame oil, about two tablespoons of the soy sauce, a dash of garlic powder and a squirt or two of honey.
                                                                                                                                              I figured it was going to be a little too salty because of the garlic salt and seasoning packet but the honey evened it out perfectly!

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Dinaparks
                                                                                                                                                sammy22whoa Apr 14, 2014 08:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                I loved this!!! I added siraracha sauce to mine I never thought of making it Asiany :)

                                                                                                                                              2. c
                                                                                                                                                cstout Apr 14, 2014 09:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                Shin Ramyun noodle soup - gourmet spicy

                                                                                                                                                Best ramen there is !!

                                                                                                                                                Got a package several months ago at Wal Mart & just now got around to trying it. Hope they have a lot more, don't know if there are different flavors, but this one is super spicy & has all kinds of things in it.

                                                                                                                                                Seems to me it was not where the other ramen soups were, but on the Asian isle.

                                                                                                                                                1. s
                                                                                                                                                  scoyart Apr 14, 2014 03:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Couple mushrooms
                                                                                                                                                  diced tomato
                                                                                                                                                  few shrimp
                                                                                                                                                  a sprig of green (cilantro, parsley, scallion)
                                                                                                                                                  splash vinegar
                                                                                                                                                  pinch of sugar
                                                                                                                                                  lime juice
                                                                                                                                                  chile sauce or flakes


                                                                                                                                                  Tom Yum Ramen

                                                                                                                                                  (P.S. You can shortcut for some of those things with half a can of Lime and Cilantro Ro-Tel tomatoes!)

                                                                                                                                                  1. m
                                                                                                                                                    Markgold123 Apr 14, 2014 07:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Easy Spaghetti
                                                                                                                                                    -Boil noodles
                                                                                                                                                    -add spaghetti sauce
                                                                                                                                                    -top with grated parmesan

                                                                                                                                                    1. EWSflash Apr 14, 2014 07:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Peas, cilantro, chiffonaded raw spinach, a couple of key limes, fish sauce, maybe some shredded homegrown kale, and some shrimp if you like or any letover meat you might have lying around, like the meat out of half a leftover burger. Ramen is awesome for absorbing that which is already in the refrigerator.

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