Baller Budget Bites: Upgrade Your Ramen

Sometimes nothing beats a classic bowl of ramen, am I right?  Whether you prefer it with eggs or chicken, or anything in between, we've got you covered for whatever suits your budget and tastebuds.

Make It a Meal

Make It a Meal

Ramen is a great snack, but it's a better meal.  Fill out your ramen by adding some protein to your bowl.

Try poaching an egg!  Cook your ramen according to the package instructions.  Remove the pot from heat, then crack a raw egg into the noodles.  Don't stir!  Cover with a lid for 1-2 minutes, then enjoy.


Cheese, Please!

Cheese, Please!

Fats can add flavor and contribute to satiety in your meals.  A good source of that?  Cheese!

This makes some seriously creamy, dreamy ramen.  Cook your ramen to package instructions, then remove it from the heat.  Add a slice or two of American cheese to the pot and cover with a lid for 1-2 minutes.  Stir to combine.


What About Veggies?

What About Veggies?

Nothing's better than eating something cheap, tasty, AND healthy.

Check your freezer and your pantry for frozen or canned veggies.  Add tough veggies, like carrots or broccoli, to the water while your noodles boil.  Some delicate veggies, like spinach or thinly sliced cabbage, can be added in just before eating!


Blah Blah Bland

Blah, Blah, Bland

Getting tired of classic chicken flavor?  Say no more, fam!  Your pantry has your back.

Improve any ramen with sauces and spices.  Candidates include hot sauces, sriracha, taco seasoning, ranch seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, vinegar, and more!  The world is your oyster...or is the kitchen your ramen?


Faux Pho

Faux Pho

Now that you know how to build on your bowl, let's work on remixing your ramen into something fresh!

Make your ramen, but only use half the flavor packet.  Add 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, and a generous pinch of pepper flakes.  Fresh cilantro, fresh jalapenos, and some lunch meat are great in this too!


Comfort Noods

Comfort Noods

Sometimes you just want something cozy.  Your humble can of cream of mushroom soup has something to say about that.

Make your ramen and drain half of the water.  Add 1/4 cup of any condensed "cream of" soup, whatever you have on hand!  Stir to combine, and then add spices to your taste.  Black pepper and a little bit of lemon juice are great for cream of chicken.


Tongue Thai'd

Tongue Thai'd

You'll need some peanut butter, soy sauce, and sriracha.  Cilantro, jalapenos, and crushed peanuts are good on top!

Make your ramen, drain, and rinse in cold water.  Mix together 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon (or more) of sriracha, and half the flavor packet.  Add just enough water to make it creamy, then toss your noodles in the sauce and add toppings.


Flamin' Hot

Flamin' Hot

How delicious these noodles are is anything but a lie.  Making your own fluorescent red ramen is easy.

Boil your ramen.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water, and drain the rest.  Return noodles and water to the pot.  Crush a 1 oz bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos (or any other Flamin' Hot variety of chip) and add it to the noodles.  Stir to combine.  Season with hot sauce, add cheese if desired.


That's Amore

That's Amore

Give your ramen a very classy makeover.  You'll need eggs, parmesan cheese, black pepper, and bacon to transform your noodles.  This requires skill, but you can do it!

Boil your noodles until done.  Drain and set aside.  In the pot you used to make your noodles, cook 2 slices of bacon and crumble it.*  Beat 1 egg in a cup. Mix 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese with the egg.  Over medium heat add your noodles to the bacon and toss.  Once the noodles are warm, add the egg-parm mixture directly onto the noodles and toss.  Season with pepper.

*If you are uncomfortable cooking bacon or don't have any, heat up your noodles in olive oil instead of the bacon fat.  Add bacon bits at the end, or enjoy your carbonara ramen meat-free.


Take It to the Next Level

Ready to step it up and take things to the next level?  We've got you fam!  Check out some of these ramen and pho cookbooks and level up your ramen game.

Book Recommendations

101 Things to Do with Ramen Noodles by Toni Patrick

Ramen is fast, easy, and filling, but what can be done to spruce it up and give it a whole new life? How about recipes like: Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup, Summer Garden Soup, Zucchini Salad, Creamy Beef and Broccoli Noodles, Ramen Burgers, Chicken Alfredo, Pork Chop Ramen, Tuna Noodle Casserole, Beer Noodles (the ultimate college crowd pleaser!), Chinese Veggie Noodles, and Corny Cheese Noodles.


Bowl:  Vegetarian Recipes for Ramen, Pho, Bibimbap, Dumplings, and Other One-Dish Meals by Lukas Volger

Flavorful vegetarian versions of America's favorite one-dish meals: ramen, pho, bibimbap, dumplings, and burrito bowls. Unlike their meatier counterparts, these dishes can be made in little time and without great expense. Volger also includes many tips, techniques, and indispensable base recipes perfected over years of cooking, including broths, handmade noodles, sauces, and garnishes.


Classic Home Cooking from Japan by Asako Yoshida

Opening with Japan's top ten favorite comfort foods, this cookbook is packed with authentic Japanese dishes. You will find all the classics you have enjoyed at restaurants and on visits to Japan. You will also discover dishes that are immensely popular in Japan, but are not commonly found on the menu in Japanese restaurants in the West. The 80 easy recipes in this book are aimed at beginners and have clear step-by-step photos and instructions along with a full-color photo of each dish.


Instant Pot Asian Pressure Cooker Meals by Patricia Tanumihardja

In this cookbook, you learn how to buy fresh ingredients, condiments and spices from your local supermarket, farmers market or health food store on a budget, then how to use them to prepare delicious and flavorful Asian dishes using an Instant Pot.


Ivan Ramen:  Love, Obsession, and Recipes from Tokyo's Most Unlikely Noodle Joint by Ivan Orkin

Guide to ramen from Ivan Orkin, the New York-born owner of Tokyo's top ramen shop. This book chronicles Orkin's journey from dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker to the chef and owner of one of Japan's most-loved ramen restaurants, Ivan Ramen. His passion for ramen is contagious, his story fascinating, and his recipes to-die-for, including master recipes for the fundamental types of ramen, and variations on each.


Japanese Cooking Made Simple by Salinas Press

Cooking a wide variety of Japanese meals doesn't have to require a lot of effort, multiple cookbooks, and guesswork. Here's the key to making delicious Japanese food at home tonight.  Learn basic techniques and recipes that unlock your ability to prepare delicious, authentic Japanese meals to enjoy with friends and family at home - without requiring significant investments in time and money to do so.  Contains more than 100 easy-to-follow authentic Japanese recipes with ingredients you can find in your local grocery store. 


The Pho Cookbook  by Andrea Quynhgiao Nguyen

Dive deep into pho’s lively past, visiting its birthplace and then teaching you how to successfully make it at home. Options range from quick weeknight cheats to impressive weekend feasts with broth and condiments from scratch, as well as other pho rice noodle favorites. Over fifty versatile recipes, including snacks, salads, companion dishes, and vegetarian and gluten-free options, welcome everyone to the pho table.


Prison Ramen:  Recipes & Stories from Behind Bars by Clifton Collins

When you’re in prison, a little money in the commissary can mean the difference between a life of flavorless misery and the pleasure of re-creating a taste of childhood. And it starts with Ramen. Filled with contributions from anonymous inmates as well as names you’ll recognize, such as guitarist Slash and actors Danny Trejo, Taryn Manning, and Shia LaBeouf, Prison Ramen is an original collection of inspired Ramen hacks: Hit Man Burritos. Sloppy Ramen Joe. Onion Tortilla Ramen Soup. Shawshank Spread. And Orange Porkies: Chile ramen + white rice + 1 bag pork skins + orange-flavored punch.  Firsthand stories of life in prison, told by each of the contributors, go a long way to explaining the joy of doctoring a bag of Ramen. A joy you can now re-create in the freedom of your own kitchen.


Ramen Fusion Cookbook by Nell Benton

Features 40 traditional and modern fusion recipes for savory ramen soups in portion sizes perfect for a family. All the latest trends are included, with recipes highlighting influences from Korea, Vietnam, China, Thailand, Mexico, and the Unites States.  Packed with full-color photography, Ramen Fusion Cookbook takes you through the entire process — from starting a broth base to making noodles to properly assembling the dishes. With recommendations for different types of spices, seasonings, and oils, and coverage on additional ingredients for ramen and preparations, Ramen Fusion Cookbook allows you to get creative in the kitchen.


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