Ramen. It’s the universal staple of college students around the world. When you just can’t make it to the Caf and you need a reliable alternative, ramen is the way to go. But when the novelty wears off, ramen can be really bland. Here are some tips to step up your ramen game and add some spice to your diet.
- Hoard condiments and invest in some spices. Hot sauce. Garlic. Chili powder. Vinegar. Marinara sauce. Onion powder. Soy sauce. Even peanut butter. The possibilities are endless. You can revolutionize your ramen’s flavor palette just by adding a few ingredients. Just make sure you pick flavors that go together; don’t add vinegar and cinnamon and expect it to go well.
- If you have access to a stove, make it in a pan. It’s a universal rule of cooking that microwave meals always taste better when they are made in anything other than a microwave. Ramen is no exception. Throw it in a pan, crank it up to medium heat, and stir constantly until all the water has evaporated out. If you see smoke, you’re doing it wrong.
- Add meat or eggs. Students are young — we need our protein to grow big and strong. Plus, meat and eggs add texture which really elevates your dish. If you’re cooking it in a pan, throw the meat in and cook it with your ramen. If you live in a dorm without a kitchen and you’re still devoted to the cause, you can get creative and smuggle already cooked food out of the Caf. It’s tough, but I believe in you.
- Take inspiration from other dishes. Make it spaghetti. Make it macaroni and cheese. Make it miso soup. Put it in a taco shell. Your imagination is the limit.
- Ask your friends how they cook it. Do you remember the first time you saw someone dip their french fry into a milkshake and you were horrified? But they convinced you to try it and it changed your life. Everyone has crazy food hacks that would never even occur to you, so ask around.
- Don’t be afraid to try things you might not like. Transforming ramen into a delicacy is an art form, and like every art, you need to practice to become an artist. You won’t like every ramen hack you try, but don’t give up. Keep trying until you find the perfect meal.