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Instant Ramen/Noodle Bowl eaters, what's your fave mix-in's?

My hubby picked up a few Nong Shim Noodle bowls from the Asian grocery... I was never a fan of "ramen noodles" with all the ingredients on the list that are unknown to me, but today I broke down and brought one to work (Spicy chicken noodle flavor

In a baggie I brought lime quarters, cilantro, sliced fresno chiles, the little bit of leftover pork loin and green onion

hey' it's pretty good!

I"m thinking this is not a bad way to use up 'bits and pieces' of leftovers in my fridge.

so what are CH'ers adding to their Instant Ramen Noodle Bowls?

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  1. Fake crab, chopped cilantro and green onions and a little sriracha.

    1. I like to cook ground pork with some soy sauce and sambal obleek (spelling? garlic chili paste) add that with some cilantro, green onions, bean sprouts and a squirt of lime.

      That or with a slice or two of american cheese. Don't knock it til you try it.

      1. Scallions, leeks, thai basil, cilantro.
        Any protein - pork, shrimp, spam, hot dogs, ham, bacon, clams, chicken, whatever.
        Rice cakes
        Bean sprouts
        Garlic, onions.
        Fish cakes
        Seaweed (wakame or nori)
        Sesame oil
        Any vegetable, fresh or frozen.

        6 Replies
        1. re: joonjoon

          Have you tired the kimchee flavored noodle bowl? I LOVE Kimchee and have been tempted to pick it up on several occasions but was fearful of what “Kimchee flavored” noodle bowl would taste like (except that I could throw a bunch of the real stuff in there and it would help, huh?)

          1. re: cgarner

            I've never had a Nong Shim noodle bowl I didn't like, and the kimchi one is fantastic as well! If I recall correctly the kimchi bowl comes with dried kimchi in it.

            1. re: cgarner

              The Nong Shim "Bowl Noodle Soup"/"Cabbage Kimchi Flavor" [Bar code 3114625030] doesn't have significant visible dried kimchee in it; just a pack of red-orange-colored spicy seasoning that does contain dehydrated veggie bits (spring onions etc). This one is fairly spicy and also pretty salty.

            2. re: joonjoon

              Pretty much what I do too, except for the cheese, rice cakes, corn and butter.

              The "any protein..." and "any vegetable..." is particularly relevant, within taste sensibilities. I use both "leftovers" as well as fresh stuff, both wrt meat and veggies.

              The ramen can be either those in bowls (pour hot water & cover) or those in packages (needs to be cooked in a pot). I do the add-ins more with the packaged varieties, and with these the eggs I add (when I do) are poached in the stock together with the other stuff.

              1. re: huiray

                We have a hot water dispenser on the coffee maker... So I'd probably have to skip dropping a raw egg into the mix here at work

                1. re: cgarner

                  You could pop the bowl-with-stock-and-raw-egg into the microwave... But yes, more trouble than it is worth - at work. Sliced hard-boiled eggs would be more practical in this case.

            3. Eggs, scallion, kimchi

              1. Most instant noodles go great with Cantonese BBQ/roasties (roast duck, bbq pork/cha siu for example).

                1. An occasional egg for an egg drop version is the only item I will cook with the noodles. Otherwise, the following will sit in a bowl waiting for the cooked noodles to be added at the end.

                  Dash of Dave's Total Insanity hot sauce

                  Diced tomatoes and diced jalapenos - a couple of spoonfuls of Ro-Tel will do in a pinch

                  When in need of some variety - or when trying to use up leftovers:
                  Shredded cabbage
                  Cooked pork or chicken pieces
                  Slice of lemon
                  Diced onion

                  1. Poached egg, scallions, sometimes cilantro, a squeeze of lime or lemon, and a squeeze of sriracha or spoonful of garlic sambal usually. Kimchi on the side. :)

                    1. stir-fried or sauteed onions and peppers, and broccoli if I have it; Gardein fake beef; scrambled eggs. NOM.

                      1. Peanut butter & chopped peanuts, sriracha, ginger paste, lime juice, fish sauce.

                        Fresh jalapenos (or Huy Fong chili paste), lime juice, cilantro.

                        Frozen peas - always!

                        1. These are all such great ideas, and lots of the ingredients I generally have on hand. Thanks!

                          1. Thin sliced beef--lightly smoked, fish ,shrimp ,pork loin again sliced thin, bok choy, GINGER,spinach,carrots,peanut butter,eggs,hoy sin, sriracha, soy and or fish sauce,green onion,FRIED SHALLOTS, leeks cilantro---so on . economical and good if you buy the good brands. See ramenrater.com---he's good

                            1. Silly question, perhaps, but when y'all are adding all these things, do you still use the seasoning packet? Seems to me that some of this stuff would be overkill if you also used the packet.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                Depends on what I add in - but generally, yes.

                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                  I usually keep the seasoning packet, but maybe hold back just a bit. Most additions don't really interfere with the packet, but rather work to enhance it.

                                  1. re: joonjoon

                                    In fact, in my case after I add a couple of eggs, fistfuls of fresh veggies, this and that other ingredient, the additional water needed as broth to "carry" the additional stuff – I need every bit of that seasoning packet.

                                2. Pretty much whatever veggies I have on hand - bok choy, broccoli, gai lan (Chinese broccoli), fresh baby corn, mushrooms, scallions, etc., etc. Also condiments - which I ALWAYS have on hand - Black Bean Sauce & Chili-Garlic sauce in particular.

                                  1. I usually don't add anything or add an egg. To me, I usually cook instant noodle when I am pressed for time. So cracking an egg in a bowl of instant ramen works well for me. I do enjoy adding other things as well. It is just that it won't make too much sense for me to cook an entire dish just to add to instant ramen. In that case, I rather use more traditional noodle.

                                    1. Just made me a bowl of ramen with a handful of shredded bbq beef brisket thrown in...GLORY!

                                      1. I usually eat this on a weekend for lunch:

                                        Ichiban brand noodles (a must). Boil water, add noodles then add the season packet. Cook. Drain the water, add butter and S&P to noodles. Mix. Serve with a side dish of steamed peas. :)

                                        I've never liked ramen is soup fashion..

                                        1. I haven't seen tofu mentioned but it works well with the spicy broths.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: jadec

                                            I love tofu in spicy ramen, it works really well


                                            eggs (already boiled or poached in the ramen)
                                            Green onion sluces
                                            Fish cake, shrimp, or chunks of cod
                                            Cooked meat, like leftover roast, diced or cut into matchscticks
                                            Just about any veggie can be lightly poached in the ramen

                                          2. A bit surprised nobody's mentioned bamboo shoots. They are my favorite "Chinese" vegetable. Love that crunchy texture.

                                            1. I like the Dosirac instant bowls, chicken and mushroom, but it looks like the mushroom may have been d/sec. That was young son's and my favorite . I add shredded black fungus and wakame.

                                              1. Korean noodle packs tend to be quite good not sure of the brand but one I buy is hot mushroom. Very spicy but good. KImchee is good as well. I normally add a few bits to my instant noodles. Shredded chinese cabbage, sweet corn, spring onions, chilli oil and egg.

                                                I will check the brand name next time I am in store.

                                                  1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                    Thanks for the link, Graydon, i hadn't seen it.

                                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                                      cheese? like a slice of cheddar?
                                                      i like kamaboko japanese fish cake, egg, a few frozen peas, maybe some meme soup base instead of flavor packet. there used to be a brand that included a little packet of sesame oil but i havent seen those in a long time.

                                                      1. re: divadmas

                                                        for me it's a slice (plastic covered) american cheese. My ex brought this idea back from his time living on the DMZ. I mocked him until I tried it.

                                                  2. peanut butter, hot sauce, hot peppers, and pickles

                                                    i toss the seasoning packet

                                                    1. peas, ginger, red pepper flakes and pb...maybe a few shrimp, too

                                                      1. To those who buy ramen noodles and throw away the seasoning packet to make their own broth and add-ins, have you considered buying regular egg noodles? They are usually dried in a single serve "nest" and the thin egg noodles cook in 3 minutes just like ramen noodles but are dried rather than fried and (to me) are a much more wholesome product. They are cheap too and widely available.

                                                        Or bean thread noodles (aka glass noodles, cellophane noodles). Those are usually dried in little single serving nests and also cook in no time at all (less than three minutes).

                                                        If you don't like them, go back to ramen noodles and send all your seasoning packets to me! I love all the varieties of Nong-shim brand flavoring packets! spicy, salty, savory! yummy!

                                                        1. I found that the wonton soup base mix you can buy is a good starting point for the soup bases then just add some shoyu, rice wine and then whatever you have around at the time. Usually for me it is any of the following chinese cabbage, bean sprouts, boiled egg, chilli oil, dried pre soaked mushrooms, carrot, bamboo, corriander, chicken, duck. That's the good thing about noodles it's hard to really mess them up unless of course you over cook them.

                                                          The instant noodles are okay for me I normally buy the korean the spicy ones tend to be my choice.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: dryrain

                                                            i like ramen though its deep fried, considers pack to be 2 servings (so double salt and other things). it is always in pantry and is quick. i was going to make some last night but my mom had made some sort of instant dashi miso broth with watercress and other greens, tofu, egg, kamaboko fishcake. it was almost as fast, much better for you and satisfying. if you have ingredients on hand.

                                                            1. re: divadmas

                                                              Some instant ramen made in Japan is not deep-fried, and these are usually pretty good. But, you have to look for them and check that they are "non-fry" (ノン フライ)

                                                          2. I used to eat ramen noodles. Then I read the fat content. Sheesh! It's a killer! So I switched to frozen packets of udon noodles. For some reason of (probably) Japanese logic, they seem to always come in bundles of five individual packets. Really easy to mix a broth. I always have things like shoyu (several kinds), sesame oil, sake, mirin, shao xing wine, fish sauce, Chinese vinegars, beef stock, chicken stock, all sorts of things to make an instant delicious broth. For add-ins, I use everything from finely shredded cabbage to small peeled shrimp that cook in the broth. Frozen peas and frozen corn are obvious. Thinly sliced fresh bell pepper is good too. Ocassionally a touch of Sriracha, or I also have hot sesame oil and/or freshly ground Sichuan pepper corns. Oh, and for fun on the hot side of things, Tasmanian pepper corns are interesting because they start off as "Oh, that's not so hot," then "bloom" after you've swallowed. They grow on you! I just can't handle the fat content of regular ramen. Poor baby! '-)

                                                            Oh! Ajinomoto (Japan's ichiban of frozen food) also makes individual packs of vegetable chow mein that are quite good and "no brainers" to prepare. It comes packed with a hefty layer of frozen veggies on top that include mushrooms, water chestnuts, red bell peppers, snow peas, onion, all sorts of good stuff that is NEVER in a ramen pack. Including all of the veggies, it's only 9 grams of fat and 290 calories. Ramen is 12 grams of fat, the same amount of calories, and NO frozen veggies! And then there's sodium content: From the label on Maruchan Instant Lunch, 1,190mg; from the label on Ajinomoto Chow Mein, 680mg. Over a lifetime, these things add up! For you guys out there in the 35 and under crowd, if you keep eating the heavy salt and fat stuff, by the time you get to be my age, you'll probably be dead! '-)

                                                            1. an egg poached in the broth, cilantro, sambal oelek. yum!