Ready to spice up store-bought ramen? 'Elevate' your ramen game with these at-home hacks for the perfect noodle bowl

·5 min read
Ramen noodles may be an inexpensive grocery item, but foodies and ramen enthusiasts say there are many ways to give store-bought ramen a boost. (Photo: Getty Creative)
Ramen noodles may be an inexpensive grocery item, but foodies and ramen enthusiasts say there are many ways to give store-bought ramen a boost. (Photo: Getty Creative)

Tiktok has become a hub for foodies, chefs and home cooks to share their latest recipes and hacks with the world. And, of the many food hacks that get uploaded to TikTok daily, store-bought packages of ramen noodles have risen to rock star status on the social media platform.

But how can you take a simple ingredient like ramen, with its comforting rectangle of noodles and savory packet of broth flavoring and create an elevated dish that's still easy and affordable to create? What are the best ways to dress up store-bought ramen? And can ramen, the unofficial budget-friendly food of college students, really taste as good in your kitchen as it does at a ramen bar?

"I am always on the lookout for a food hack that is not only quick but also delicious," says Sabrina Cacilhas, the food blogger behind Fed by Sab and a TikTok recipe creator from Ontario, Canada.

Kewpie mayonnaise ramen hack

Cacilhas' Kewpie mayo ramen hack is just one of many TikToks that show creators adding the rich and thick Japanese mayonnaise, made of egg yolks rather than whole eggs, to a standard ramen dish.

"This is my favorite ramen hack [because] it takes a store-bought budget-friendly product and transforms it into an elevated restaurant-quality ramen in minutes." Cacilhas tells Yahoo Life. "With this hack, instead of your classic instant ramen broth, you are left with a rich creamy broth."

Oliver Harris, a writer at Energy Drink Info from Queensland, Australia credits the Kewpie mayonnaise ramen hack with satisfying his ramen cravings during the pandemic.

"I love ramen," says Harris. "I have tried almost every ramen place near my house, but when the pandemic started, ramen shops had to close down and I craved it a few times."

"I tried following recipes on the internet, but most didn't fit my taste," he continues. "I used Kewpie mayo for additional creaminess and it was delicious. You have to add it to the broth while the noodles are cooking — it's easy and the best!

To execute this noodle hack at home, Cacilhas suggests using one package of instant ramen noodles, one egg, one tablespoon of Kewpie mayo and one and one-half cups of boiling water. Combine the egg and Kewpie mayo with the ramen flavor packet, then cook the ramen according to the package instructions and pour the water from the noodles straight into your bowl. Stir quickly, combining the egg, mayo, flavor packet and water. Add the noodles to the bowl and top with toppings like a hard boiled egg to enjoy.

Sour cream ramen hack

But it's not just creamy ramen hacks that are gaining attention on TikTok. In some clips, TikTokers dress up their ramen with additions like shredded cheese and sour cream. Kimberly Barnett, who lives in Orlando, Fla., says she has a ramen hack's become a staple meal in her kitchen.

"I learned my absolute favorite ramen hack on TikTok," says Barnett. "I just cook the chicken-flavored ramen according to package instructions, then strain out the water and mix the flavor packet and sour cream to taste together with the noodles."

Still, while some ramen hacks are creamy and comforting, others are bright, fresh and perfect for enjoying on-the-go.

Glass jar ramen hack

"I discovered a ramen hack on TikTok I use weekly,” shares Claire Pearson, owner of Bennett's Market and Deli in downtown Atlanta, Ga. "While we do not sell ramen, I have been considering selling this recipe hack in our grab and go coolers."

Pearson's favorite ramen hack uses a 32-ounce glass jar layered with three or four tablespoons of miso paste, one tablespoon of sesame oil, one tablespoon of sriracha, one cup of shredded cabbage, one-half cup of sliced mushrooms, one carrot peeled into ribbons, one clove of minced garlic, one diced jalapeño and one soft-boiled egg.

"When it's time to prepare, add dried ramen noodles to your jar then fill the jar with boiling water," she says. "Place a lid on your jar and shake so the miso paste dissolves, then let it sit for five minutes so the noodles soften."

"What I love about these bowls is they are customizable and keep in the refrigerator for one week," she adds. "They are so easy."

Homemade ramen broth hack

Marty Spargo is the owner of popular coffee review site Bia Coffee and lives in Perth, Australia. Spargo says he loves ramen, especially made with his favorite hack from TikTok.

"This viral ramen hack is done by ditching the seasoning packet that comes with your ramen and replacing it with a homemade mix of garlic, butter, sugar, sweet-and-spicy sauce, everything bagel seasoning and an egg," Spargo shares. "Then, top it with your other favorite toppings."

Cacilhas says ramen noodles make for a great meal because with all the recipes, toppings and flavors to choose from there's something for everyone. "Ramen is a perfect quick-an-easy meal to prepare," she says. "And the best part is you can use your favorite store-bought ramen to customize the flavor to your personal preference."

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