Instant noodles are a staple of the college diet. It’s cheap, easy and quick to make. But that brothy goodness isn’t the most nutritional meal. Don’t throw away your Maruchan just yet; here are some simple ways to spice up ramen noodles and make it better for you.
1. Low sodium ramen
When purchasing instant noodles, opt for a low sodium option. Don’t worry about it being less flavorful. The add-ins below will take care of that.
Traditional Japanese ramen is typically topped with a raw egg. The yoke provides great flavor for the soup base. If your ramen is hot enough, the egg will cook in it. Another option is hard-boiled eggs. The flavor is similar, but a hard-boiled egg will add a new texture to your ramen. Eggs are also a good source of protein, so don’t be shy about putting them in ramen.
3. Meat or Meat Alternatives
Sautéed meats will add a savory element to ramen while also providing protein. As with raw egg, the meat will continue to cook inside your ramen if it is hot enough. Use lean cuts with little fat for your ramen. Seafood can also be used. Omega-rich salmon creates a unique flavor when paired with the broth, and ahi tuna will give the dish a savory taste. Just remember to cook everything before adding it to ramen. If you are a vegetarian, try putting tofu cubes or strips in. Tofu should be extra firm and baked beforehand.
4. Spices and Sauces
An easy fix for flavor is to add spices and sauces. Low fat sea salt will give your ramen a kick without dramatically changing the flavor. Low sodium teriyaki, soy or fish sauce bring an authentic Japanese taste. For those who like it hot, try low sodium hot sauce, wasabi or sriracha.