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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

How do you add zest to ramen noodles?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (34906points) August 1st, 2012

In my ongoing quest to find good, cheap food, I’ve turned to ramen noodles several times. However, I don’t want to eat them plain and boring.

I’ve added chopped green onions, an egg, and other spices, and I’m wondering if any of you have ingredients you’d be willing to share that enliven plain ramen.

How do you make ramen more appealing?

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31 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Thick yakisoba sauce?

RandomMrAdam's avatar

I’m with you on the “egg” idea. Adding an egg definitely adds some zest. If you like spicy, you could add some peppers (jalapenos, green, etc) and maybe even chop up some grilled chicken and add small pieces of that in there. Adding the chicken definitely up’s the price though.

jrpowell's avatar

I add parmesan cheese to mine. Sounds gross but it is actually really good.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Sriracha is the only solution.
You can also try adding baby spinach or duck fat.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I sprinkle Zatarain’s Creole seasoning on it. It’s just what you need – more salt.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

Mint is a great thing to add. Realy adds to the depth of the flavor. At least for me.

geeky_mama's avatar

When I can I throw in:
-shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice powder) to taste,
-bean sprouts,
-chopped green onions
– shiitake or enoki
– sliced (cooked) fatty breast of duck (skin on),
...and sometimes even fresh picked basil leaves from the garden. (I treat my ramen like it’s Pho)

I am also very picky about my ramen and only ever start with my favorite miso ramen.

Here’s an idea from HuffPo that seconds @Michael_Huntington‘s idea with the Sriracha.

Buttonstc's avatar

Ha ha. When I first read this Q, I thought you literally meant the zest of one or a other citrus fruits.

But adding lime juice and lime zest would definitely boost the Fla or profile. And tho there are various tools to accomplish this, the one that gets it the finest is called, oddly enough, a. Zester. Its a a rasp with very fine teeth and originally part of a woodwork toolset. But they have ones specifically designed for kitchen use.

You want one that is open on the opposite side rather than crimped over. Much more efficientand easier to clean.

Another delicious ingredient found in Asian markets (if you don’t mind the calories) is fried onions or fried garlic or both. A small palm full of each is a great flavor bomb. And they come in fairly largish containers and pretty cheap. Just be sure to buy from a busy store with good product turnover. Sitting too long on shelves can turn them off flavor when they start getting rancid.

Another great ingredient is dark toasted sesame oil. But a little goes a long way also needs to be refrigerated once opened.

marinelife's avatar

Have you tried them with a peanut sauce made with peanut butter? They are surprisingly good.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Some nice wasabe paste in the bottom of the bowl works wonders.

gailcalled's avatar

Disclaimer; I am not a Ramen noodle eater. For cheap and delicious and easy, how about cooking some angel hair pasta (cooks really fast) and add chopped garlic, a little EVOO and some fresh parsley and basil?

You can drain the pasta by using the pot lid, then add the other ingredients and eat out of the pot.

YARNLADY's avatar

I often open a can of Chili to serve over the drained noodles.I make gravy out of the liquid to have with mashed potatoes, which are also a very quick, cheap meal.

Pierce potatoes with a fork, microwave on high for 3 minutes, mash or eat as is with a ham, cheese lettuce and tomato sandwich.

GracieT's avatar

A friend of mine that recently graduated law school says that Dave’s Insanity Sauce is a great idea, as is any hot sauce actually.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Here’s a whole list of suggestions from reddit.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake I’ve got a book for you: Oodles & Oodles of Ramen Noodles. G&R Publishing Co. If you have trouble finding it let me know.

ccrow's avatar

@marinelife I was going to suggest that:-)
Another thing I like is a sauce made of soy, toasted sesame oil, and chili garlic sauce(which I like better than sambal oelek, but that would also work). You could add toasted sesame seeds, too.

2davidc8's avatar

Sometimes I add frozen potstickers or frozen wonton (you can get these at Asian markets, nowadays even regular supermarkets and Costco have them), plus packaged fresh spinach. Also bean sprouts, cilantro and chopped green onions. This makes it really quick.

Oh, also some drops of sesame-flavored oil really help.

Sunny2's avatar

Bits of any kind of leftover meat; a raw egg stirred into it (the soup will cook it); chopped parsley or cilantro; a few frozen peas; any leftover salad on hand, chopped finely; thinly sliced radishes, mushrooms or green onion, pickled ginger. Sounds good to me. How long ‘til dinner?

gailcalled's avatar

Compost the noodles. Sauté the box.

josie's avatar

Ketchup is the universal food enhancement

rooeytoo's avatar

I like broccoli, egg, tofu or some left over chicken, soy sauce and sprinkle those crunchy fried up onions that come in a jar. But actually I prefer rice noodles, which are just as cheap and you buy them in a bag at the asian grocery. They don’t have flavor packets or anything like that, they are just rice which makes them better for you. You dip them in hot water for a minute or two and then stir fry or add to broth and throw in whatever you want! You can probably get cheap fish, make stock and use that with them. Asian cooking is cheap and healthy and yes by all means add srichacha!!!

JLeslie's avatar

I make it a few ways.

In chicken ramen I add mushrooms and egg, sometimes both, sometimes just one. I add the flavor packet and mushrooms from the very beginning, so the mushrooms absorb some flavor and cook a little.

To oriental ramen I add diced tomato and frozen corn. I like the tomato to cook in the broth a little, and I kind of squish them so the tomato adds into the flavor of the broth.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Sour cream is a good addition too, if your doctor doesn’ prohibit it.

nyboy718's avatar

I add chopped up potatoes, onions, pieces of sliced Turkey and ketchup or tomato sauce and cook it in boiling water. Makes a great soup.

zensky's avatar

I’m with @marinelife on the peanut sauce buddy.

gailcalled's avatar

Is there anything you can not add to Ramen noodles? Hot fudge sauce, sardines, mascarpone, edamame beans?

WestRiverrat's avatar

@gailcalled linguini. I guess you could, but it wouldn’t add much to the flavor.

gailcalled's avatar

@WestRiverrat: Isn’t that just another way of saying “noodles with noodles”?

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AshlynM's avatar

You could try frying the noodles after cooking them.
Maybe you could add Worcestershire sauce or fish sauce, not sure how good it’ll taste. What about chopped hot dogs? Or shredded cheese? Nothing wrong with experimenting.
You can also make ramen noodle salads.

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