I Tried a TikTok Trick for More Flavorful Ramen—Then My Son Taught Me a Better Way

Leave it to Gen Z to know ramen.



My oldest son has had a huge thing for inexpensive packaged ramen noodles since he was in grade school. Back then, we attempted to ditch the flavor packet and create our own copycat flavoring using chicken broth and spices but never came close to the hard-to-resist flavor that comes in Top Ramen or Maruchen Ramen packages. Eventually, we decided to leave it up to the food manufacturers.

Now that he’s a young adult, he still loves those rectangular packets of ramen, and our fridge often has boxes of them piled on top. When I discovered Matty Matheson’s TikTok (heads up—there's some profanity), where he adds the flavor packet before adding the noodles, we decided to try it.

Does Adding the Flavor Packet Before Boiling Make Better Ramen?

Hypothesis: Adding the flavor packet to the water before boiling would produce more flavorful noodles.

Process: We took two identical packets of Maruchen Chicken Flavor Ramen Noodle Soup and cooked them in two pots. We measured out the water according to the directions.

For the "control" package, we boiled the water and put the noodles in plain boiling water. After three minutes, we added the spice packet, mixed it, and turned off the heat as per the directions.

For the "test" package, we added the spice packet to the water before boiling it. When it boiled, we added the noodles, cooked them for three minutes, mixed them, and then turned off the heat.

Then, we taste-tested.

<p>Robin Shreeves</p>

Robin Shreeves

Conclusion: There was no difference in taste. Neither was more flavorful than the other, although the noodles cooked in the boiling water with the flavoring packet were deeper in color.

Then, my son told me he does it differently and gets his ramen more flavorful.

How to Make Inexpensive Ramen More Flavorful

His method is so simple:

  1. Boil the water.

  2. Add the ramen to cook until they’re soft.

  3. Dump out half the water.

  4. Add the spice packet.

  5. Mix.

  6. Eat.

Essentially, he is concentrating the flavors in the spice packet by adding them to less water than the directions call for. It’s similar to when you’re making a soup recipe, and you allow the soup to simmer for a while. Water evaporates as it simmers, concentrating the flavors. By not having as much water as the ramen package directions call for in the pot when you add the flavor package, it’s (almost) like an instant simmer, pronouncing the flavor.

I’m not implying my son made this method up. It’s a fairly obvious way of getting more flavor from the spice packet, and I’m sure many people do it this way. However, it was a good reminder that not every cooking trick or hack on social media is going to work and that we should follow our instincts when we cook.

Read the original article on All Recipes.