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Making Ramen Noodles Into a Tasty Meal

Patty collects recipes and gadgets from the past and is interested in early American history, the Civil War, and the 19th century.

Does Your Ramen Taste Like Yarn - or Rope?

You can learn some easy tips to make ramen noodles tasty.

You can learn some easy tips to make ramen noodles tasty.

What is Real Ramen?

With just a few minutes and a few additional ingredients, ramen style noodles can be changed into a substantial meal in a number of ways. They can be transformed into a breakfast dish or a dessert.

In some part of Asia, rice and noodles by the bowl appear at every meal, including breakfast, but they are not made from an instant pack and a packet of high-salt ingredients. Ramen style noodles are popular particularly in Japan, but also in China, where they reportedly began, and in Korea as well as nearby countries.

Insatant noodles for sale in Taiwan at My Friend Grocery.

Insatant noodles for sale in Taiwan at My Friend Grocery.

Ramen is Real Food

While often considered a joke-type of food or "toy food" by many people in the USA, these noodles are inexpensive and can be prepared with additional ingredients besides the inner pack of seasonings and the smaller pack of spicy oil that accompanies some flavors and brands.

Ramen noodles are a staple in China and Japan, where egg noodles and flour noodles (wider and softer) are enjoyed at many meals and were fast food type ramen diners are popular. Moreover, there are the common diners and the boutique diners, which offer higher priced toppings.

ramen-noodle-miracles

Traditional Asian Flavors

In Japan particularly, we find the following flavors:

  • Ice Cream flavors like vanilla and strawberry.
  • Chocolate and Hot Cocoa
  • Green Tea ramen - I like this one!
  • Kimchi ramen -- I like this one best!
  • Coffee ramen (kohii gyunyu ramen)
  • White: Using milk or yoghurt
  • Red ramen (tomato)
  • Black Bean ramen
  • Miso ramen
Japanese Ramen Shop Shinjuku, Tokyo

Japanese Ramen Shop Shinjuku, Tokyo

How to Prepare Traditional Ramen

Stock up on packages of ramen style noodles, any brand or flavor, when they are on sale. In our area, they go on sale about 3-4 times a year in packs of 6 for 50 cents or a case of 12 for $1.00 in the local grocery stores. Prices and flavors vary in Asian markets, but these are higher-quality and more expensive. Many American chains and Asian markets are offering larger packages of the noodles without seasonings and these are sometimes more economical.

During non-Sale times, ramen packs sell for 10 cents to 39 cents each in my city. A variety of brands are available, some produced in America and some manufactured overseas. Try to stock up when they are on sale, otherwise they may be more expensive than purchasing a 1- or 2-pound box of pasta.

You can also save unused packets of seasonings to use with boxed pasta; however, the packets contain salts and sometimes MSG, to which some people are allergic). If and when I do use ramen style noodles, I use only a third to a half of a seasoning packet.

Ramen style noodles in a single pack are convenient, because they do not require opening a larger box of noodles and keeping bottles of several spices and seasoning salts on hand. Just recycle as much of the packaging as possible. Increased convenience often leads to increased waste and packaging is one of the costliest wastes in American business. So, please recycle.

One upon a time in America, college students lost weight, because they had little money for food. Then came instant macaroni and cheese and the super-easy Ramen Noodle- and weight gain!

Ramen in Paris -- This cold dish is of noodles, pork, omelette shreds, wakame seaweed and cucumber in a vinegar base sauce or soup. (public domain)

Ramen in Paris -- This cold dish is of noodles, pork, omelette shreds, wakame seaweed and cucumber in a vinegar base sauce or soup. (public domain)

Drop "The Freshman 15"

Ramen Noodles are on a par with Macaroni and Cheese for college students as an inexpensive and fast meal. However, since college students have begun gaining an average of 15 pounds during the freshmen year since the 1980s, all of these noodles, along with fast-food outlet meals, may have something to do with that weight gain.

As far as ramen style noodles are considered, they can be prepared in healthier ways. Even the cable TV Food Network has discussed them in the 21st century.

The following are a few of the different types of dishes that can be made quickly from ramen style noodles.

Ramen Bi Bim Bop - My Favorite

Serves 1

To please 4 people, quadruple the ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of ramen style noodles, any flavor
  • ¼ pound of chicken, beef or pork strips, stir-fried ahead of time; or use tofu.
  • ¼ cup vegetable or olive oil
  • ½ cup sliced bamboo shoots
  • ¼ white or red onion, sliced thin
  • ½ cup celery, chipped coarse
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper strips, or a combination of green, red, and yellow.
  • ½ cup bean sprouts
  • ¼ cup carrot sticks
  • Lite soy sauce
  • 1 scallion or green onion, sliced thin, the white section and about ½ of the green tail.
  • 1 large, extra large or jumbo egg; for fewer calories and cholesterol, use a medium egg or use just the egg white, saving the yolk for another dish.
  • Your favorite seasonings to taste, or use the ramen seasoning packets.

Instructions

  1. Boil 2 cups of water and add the ramen noodles to cook for 3 minutes (or cook in microwave oven for about 90 seconds.
  2. In a shallow frying pan or wok, heat the oil and stir-fry the vegetables, all except the green onion) to tender-crisp stage.
  3. Add meat strips and toss together until heated through. Remove from heat.
  4. Drain noodles, keeping about ½ cup of the cooking water and place both into a deep soup bowl. Sprinkle half of the seasoning packet (or your favorite spices) into the noodles and toss with a fork.
  5. Place heated vegetables and meat on top of noodles.
  6. Sprinkle half of the green onion slices over the mixture.
  7. Sprinkle Lite soy sauce over all.
  8. Return the frying pan to the heat, fry the egg or egg white to the soft cooked stage (sunny side up) and place egg on top of the other ingredients in the bowl.
  9. Sprinkle with remaining green onion slices and enjoy.
  10. Alternatively, hard boil an egg and slice it over the top of the dish.
Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

6 min

11 min

One Serving

Zach Style Ramen Noodles

Overnight Chicken Ramen

I first tasted this dish at a graduate student seminar. We all loved it.

Ingredients (Serves 2-4)

  • 1 pound white chicken meat, chunked - canned or fresh-cooked
  • 2 packs of ramen style noodles, any flavor
  • ½ teaspoon vinegar
  • ¼ cup vegetable or olive oil
  • ½ cup cashews
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup celery, chipped coarse
  • ¼ cup baby corn (optional)
  • Your favorite seasonings to taste (curry is nice), or use the 1 of the ramen seasoning packets.

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, break up the two blocks of noodles. Reserve seasoning packets for later.
  2. Add chicken, cashews, and sunflower seeds and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add seasoning from both seasoning packets or use your own favorites.
  4. Place the mixture, covered, in the refrigerator overnight and the noodles will soak up moisture from the chicken and produce a nice salad with a tender noodle.
  5. If the chicken is cooked too dry, the salad will not be as moist. In this case, you may want to add a small amount of mayonnaise or salad dressing.

Try These Ramen Desserts and Salad

1) Haystax Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of ramen style noodles, any flavor
  • 2 cups butterscotch chips (or any flavor you enjoy)
  • 1 T butter or margarine
  • 1 T whole milk or evaporated milk

Instructions

  1. Heat the butterscotch chips with the milk and butter over a low heat in a large cooking pan, stirring constantly until melted together and smooth.
  2. Add crumbled up ramen noodles, crumbling and breaking them as you add them to the pot.
  3. Mix well and remove form heat.
  4. Using a tablespoon, or a teaspoon for smaller haystax, spoon balls of the mixture onto waxed paper or a Teflon backing pan.
  5. Refrigerate the dessert until cold.

2) Choco-Mallow Dessert

Ingredients

  • 2 packages of ramen style noodles (keep the seasoning packets for another dish)
  • 3 cups of chocolate chips (or any flavor you like)
  • 2 cups of tiny marshmallows
  • ½ cup coconut
  • ½ cup walnuts or almonds, broken

Instructions

  1. Place the whole blocks of noodles side-bi-side in a square 8" by 8" cake pan.
  2. Cover them with layers of marshmallows and chocolate chips.
  3. Place the cake pan in the oven on low heat (250 degrees F) only until the chocolate melts.
  4. Remove pan from oven.
  5. Top the dessert in the pan with coconut and nuts.
  6. Refrigerate until cold and then cut into bars.

3) Peaches and Cream Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of ramen style noodles, any flavor
  • 1 #10 can of peaches (14 to 16 oz.)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (use the rest for coffee creamer or salad dressing) or 1 cup cream
  • ½ cup of peach juice from the can of peaches
  • ¼ cup brown sugar or honey
  • ½ cup crushed corn flakes or frosted flakes

Instructions

  1. In a baking dish, mix the milk or cream, peaches, peach juice, and brown sugar or honey together well.
  2. Add the crushed noodles and mix them so that they are all covered in the wet ingredients.
  3. Place the dish in a 350 degree F oven for just 5 minutes.
  4. Open the oven and sprinkle cereal flakes over the top of the dessert and bake an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and serve hot with ice cream.

Cheesy Noodle Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pack ramen noodles
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard
  • 1 large celery rib, chopped coarse
  • ½ cup mild cheddar or Colby jack cheese, cubed
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped. (use only one, if desired.)

Instructions

  1. For this dish, go ahead and cook the noodles in 2 cups of water and drain the water. Set aside.
  2. Mix mayo, mustard, honey, and half of the contents of the seasoning packet in a deep soup bowl.
  3. Add the cooked noodles, celery, cheese, and eggs and mix well.
  4. Refrigerate until cold if desired, or enjoy at room temperature. Add any additional garnishes you like.

Ramen Party

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS

Comments & Experiences

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on October 22, 2010:

...suggesting that nnodles are not food LOL I'm laughing!- but I know what you mean. They cook fast and are a good base.

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on October 21, 2010:

Fantastic hub! I am going to load up on noodles and mix them with food. GBY Love you forever and moreover.

sharon e dix on September 29, 2010:

Thanks for the time you spend helping others better their life.So much good on your sight,wow,thanks for all that you do ,then and know.Sharon E Dix

Loveofnight Anderson from Baltimore, Maryland on April 23, 2010:

although i am familiar with these noodles, i had no idea how many recipes someone could come up with for these noodles.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 19, 2009:

Thanks so much for all the great comments!

townart - You can have a little fun and keep form getting bored with some noodles and imagination, I've found :) Glad you like the Hub.

townart on November 19, 2009:

What a detailed and memorable essay about Ramen. I had no idea there were so many other flavors to explore - I've got to try the hot cocoa. I've been throwing out the flavor packet for years now and making my own broth for the noodles but this seems like a novel departure to think of noodles as dessert. Thanks for the info (and inspiration).

buddhkist from State of Somewhere on August 12, 2009:

I will definitely try out these recipes! I used to live on nothing but ramen back when I was a starving musician. They got old pretty fast. Wish I had access to recipes back then. heh

SanDiegoVending on May 20, 2009:

Wow, great hub! So many great Ramen recipe ideas. Thanks!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on April 17, 2008:

That sounds really goo as well. Thanks for the recipe and your visit!

dindin from Texas on April 17, 2008:

Great hub! I ate so many ramen noodles in college. I often through away the seasoning packages and made some thing healthier as well.

Here's a super easy one that I always liked.Just take a spoonful of peanut butter, some garlic powder, and a few dashes of soy sauce and stir them up in a bowl. Then toss the cooked noodles.Super easy and tasty

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on April 16, 2008:

I hope you do, debby28, and then you and your grandson can have fun food together. Or you can keep some just for yourself. :)

debby28 from WASHINGTON on April 16, 2008:

I peronally am not a fan of those noodles but my grandson loves them. And I keep them in the house all the time, I am going to try the desserts they sound yummy thanks for the info.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on April 16, 2008:

I hope you have a good time trying some of these recipes, steph, I must look at our local dollar stores and see if they, too, have mass quantities of ramen noodles on sale. Thanks!

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on April 16, 2008:

Wonderful Hub! I am thinking about our local dollar store where they sell the Ramen Noodles at times for 20 for $1 (I think). I love Ramen Noodles, but stopped eating them when I "matured" and because they were too salty. Some of these would be great to try out with the family!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on April 15, 2008:

Thanks so much! - I love adding healthy foods to these fast noodles.

Decrescendo on April 15, 2008:

Looks nutritious. Makes me feel like eating now.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on April 15, 2008:

Poached eggs sound good with ramen, jakewriter.

Mary, thanks for the kind words!

Mary K Weinhagen from Minnesota, usa, Planet Earth on April 15, 2008:

This Hub ROCKS!!! KUDOS!

;-)

jakewriter from India on April 14, 2008:

I'm going to try Ramen with poached eggs. My daughters love Ramen noodles. Thanks

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on April 14, 2008:

Makes me hungry right now too - I'm going to go make some.

Thanks for all the nice comments. I'd be a chef in another life perhaps.

Stacie Naczelnik from Seattle on April 14, 2008:

I love noodle dishes...making me hungry.

Just Passing By on April 14, 2008:

Spam is a number one treat in Hawaii, so maybe Vietname people like it too.

marisuewrites from USA on April 14, 2008:

yummm I'm trying some of these....good info and economical!! Marisue

Peter M. Lopez from Sweetwater, TX on April 14, 2008:

I remember the days of living on Ramen noodles well. I had a Vietnamese friend of mine make me what was alleged to be a Vietnamese dish: Ramen & Spam. I doubt it was authentic, but it was delicious. I'll give your recipes a try. Thanks.

daghfal from doha on April 14, 2008:

hmmm...look very interesting, I want to try it. Thanks for recipes.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on April 13, 2008:

I woderered if bacon bits would be good - thanks for the tip. I have sometimes crumbled some sausage on top and springkled romano cheese.

Frank from Montana on April 13, 2008:

I mix other engredients with mine to,such as weaners,bacon bits,eggs.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on April 13, 2008:

Hi dihoh - happy to hear that you like these recipes! I just started playing around with noodles and rice and such and remembered what some friends had shown me and came up with some interesting combinations. It's fun! Thanks for commenting. :)

dlhoh on April 13, 2008:

I don't cook but ramen sure ranks top in my list. Thanks for writing such an informative hub. The various ways of preparing ramen meal suggested by you in the hub is amazing!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on April 13, 2008:

O I am so happy about that! I hope she really likes these recipes - I have notes on others I'll put together. So glad you stopped by!!

Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on April 13, 2008:

Patty! I just e-mailed your hub to my daughter. You know to battle the 'College Student Food' blues.

Great hub as always

regards Zsuzsy

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on April 13, 2008:

Thank you solarshingles! I've lately been seeing suggestiogns for more noodle meals and coming up with many of mine own. When food gets boring, we can change it. :)

arkwriter, I'll try your recipe. Douns very different and good, Thanks for visitng!

arkwriter from Houston, Texas U.S.A. on April 13, 2008:

I'm really impressed with this hub. You have made a simple Asian food package into a "Miracle Meal". Have you read my hub on the "Healthy Popiah"? Please go to: https://discover.hubpages.com/health/popiah

solarshingles from london on April 13, 2008:

Really grat job - hub!

I love food and I love noodles. However, I haven't ever thought there are so many different sorts out there.

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