How to Turn Instant Ramen into Healthier Gourmet Meals

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When I was in college in China, instant ramen seemed to be a popular choice among students. It was cheap, convenient, and fast to serve, which worked perfectly for students who were poor, busy, and with limited cooking skills. I was one of those students.

Instant ramen can make people feel full, but it does not provide much nutrition. Using a little creativity, we can not only add more nutrition to the noodle but upgrade its taste.

Here are 4 examples:

1. Ramen Noodle Soup with Pak Choi, Mushroom and Egg

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of instant ramen
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 1-cup pak choi, separate the stems and leaves
  • 1-cup mushroom, sliced

Heat a small pot of water (2-3 cups) to boiling on high. Put the pak choi and mushroom to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.

Remove the cooked vegetables, leaving the boiling water in the pot. Put ramen and soup base in the pot, cooking for 4-5 minutes.

Pour the finished soup and noodles into a bowl. Top with the vegetables and egg.

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2. Cold Noodle with Ham and Veggies

Ingredients

Boil the noodles in a pot for 4 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse with fresh cold water.  

Add soy sauce and chili garlic sauce to the noodles and stir well.

Add ham, cucumber, and carrot to the top.

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3. Fried Noodles with Vegetables

Ingredients

Boil the noodles in a pot for 3 minutes. Drain the noodles.

Heat up 1 teaspoon cooking oil in a wok. Add cabbage and green pepper. Then add soy sauce and oyster sauce. Stir for 1-2 minutes.

Add ramen in the wok and stir well for 1 minute. Fried noodle is ready.

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4. Fried Noodles with Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of instant ramen
  • 3 pieces of fried fish cake (about 3 ounces), sliced
  • 5-ounce green lima beans (I used frozen cooked ones)

Heat a small pot of water to boiling on high. Add the fish cake and lima bean to the pot of boiling water and cook for 2 minutes (longer if the fish cake and/or beans are frozen)

Add ramen and soup base to the boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Pour the finished soup and noodles into bowls. I would also like to toss a little roasted seaweed on top. 

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You can get the ingredients listed above from a local Asian supermarket. If there is such as a store nearby, you can get those from Amazon. You can add whatever vegetables you like.

Occasionally I still eat instant ramen—not because of its cheap price or convenience anymore, but more for the flavor itself (part of the memory of my college life?). I always add some vegetables and protein to my ramen. Another quick tip—never put the whole seasoning pack in the soup; it is just too salty and too high in sodium.




2 comments

  1. great stuff here, I love ramen noodles and always add corn or peas but I’m going to try some of these especially the Fried Noodles with vegetables. That sounds delicious.

    1. Great. Thanks!

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