Life

7 Different Ways To Make Ramen Taste Better — Because Your Noodles Have Been Looking A Little Boring Lately

The best part about your favorite cup o' noodles is that it never has to be boring — there are countless different ways to make ramen ridiculously good. I remember my first cup of ramen. It was freshman year of college, and I'd just returned from a particularly rambunctious evening in Allston, Massachusetts. And while I might not remember the night's preceding activities, I remember that life-altering bite: Salty... filling... that flavor you can't quite describe, but instantly leaves you wanting more.

But now that I'm four years out of college, people expect me to class things up — my frequent choice of late night noodles suddenly came under fire. So I developed these seven simple hacks — like adding crushed peanuts or tortilla soup toppings — to help transition this beloved dish into adulthood.

The best part? Not one of these hacks will take more than five minutes, so it stays as convenient as always.

*I was diagnosed with Celiacs in 2010, and now use soba noodles in chicken broth instead of instant ramen. It's an incredibly simple gluten-free adjustment.

Image: Steamy Kitchen

Create Some Mexican Fusion

Adding avocado is not only healthy, but also gives the dish a hint of Mexican flavor. This fantastic fusion can be taken even further if you add the traditional toppings from Tortilla Soup: Queso blanco, sliced tomatoes, and cilantro.

Image: Joy the Baker

Go Native With Seaweed

Seaweed can upgrade your noodles in one of two ways. Either soak raw seaweed in water until it’s soft and ready to eat, or buy pre-processed seaweed chips to give the dish some crunch.

Image: How Sweet It Is

Spice It Up

A pinch of this stuff can satisfy any spice lover. You can also use cayenne, crushed red pepper, or even freshly diced chills if you’re feeling fancy!

Image: The Kitchn

Add A DUCK Egg

Anyone can tell you eggs make an excellent ramen hack. Duck eggs, however, are richer, fattier, and more flavorful than their poultry counterpart. Add your raw egg to the pot while noodles are boiling, so it cooks along with the rest of the dish.

Image: I Am A Food Blog

Sprinkle With Crushed Nuts

Many Asian dishes feature nuts — especially peanuts. So, once your noodles are ready to serve, give it an authentic twist with crushed nuts (cashews and almonds will also work).

Image: The Kitchn

Toss In Hearty Protein

I like to fry tofu in olive oil, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Once it’s crispy on both sides, I’ll toss it into the bowl.

Those who don’t love tofu can mirror the same preparation with chicken, pork, or even shrimp. Just make sure to keep pieces small.

Image: The Healthy Foodie

Work In The Flavor Of Sesame

I love the taste of sesame seeds, so I’ll add it to my noodles often. After the noodles are cooked, I’ll spoon in a thimble-sized serving of sesame oil. Then sprinkle sesame seeds on top immediately before serving.

Image: The Kitchn

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