Savvy Spork: My favorite ramen upgrade

11 October 2015

For part of the spring semester of my freshman year, I pretty much lived on salads and ramen. Lost a fair bit of weight that way too. But I was trying to avoid awkward/painful run-ins with my ex, so it was ramen in my dorm room for most nights. Back then I didn’t get fancy with it. Sure, one of my guy friends introduced me to my first ramen “hack” — and it was pretty amazing too, some simple veggies, coconut milk, and peanut butter… maybe some sriracha… but I never got the motivation to make anything like this myself. Probably because there wasn’t a kitchen in my dorm at the time, like his upperclassmen-only building.

Anyway. I digress.

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Upgrading your ramen is not new by any means at all. As long as there’s been instant ramen, people have been trying to improve it. A lot of times making it resemble real ramen. Hell, most people don’t know that these cheap packaged bricks aren’t real ramen at all, just an instant approximation. (Seriously, go google “authentic ramen” and look at that yummy goodness.)

Now that I’m back into a ramen phase — and without transportation to the one asian market in this area — I’ve gotten into dressing mine up a bit, mostly for flavor (rather than health — it’s packaged ramen, unless you make your own broth you’re looking at maxing out your sodium needs in one bowl). And because sharing is caring, here is one of my favorites. As per ushe with Savvy Spork recipes, this is pretty damn simple to pull off. Mostly just start off with things I already had lying around my kitchen.

Thai Curry Peanut Butter Ramen

Thai Curry Peanut Butter Ramen
My choice of ramen: chicken
Ingredients:
» Soy sauce
» Teriyaki
» True Lime
» Red curry paste
» Peanut butter

Directions:  Make the ramen as directed, only use maybe 1.5 cups or water rather than 2 cups as suggested. Go ahead and use the flavor pack. Add a tiny bit of soy sauce and teriyaki — low sodium varieties if you can. Use a teaspoon — and I’m not saying an actual measuring spoon but the smaller spoons you eat cereal with — and stir in the curry paste. I like not quite a full teaspoon, but use as much as you’d like/can handle. Clean off that same spoon and add your peanut butter. A small dash of lime powder (or juice). Stir, let it set up just a bit, and eat. The peanut butter will make the sauce thicken up and be really creamy.

Alternatives: Coconut milk, scallions, chopped peanuts, actual chicken. Basically whatever you’d find in a pad thai — this will not be exactly the same, but similar idea.

It’s got a little bit of heat, and the peanut butter thickens up the broth into a nice sauce. And the best part is that it’s crazy simple. If you don’t have the curry paste, some sriracha might work. The curry paste is easy to find, though. I get the Thai Kitchen brand from my grocery store.

What are your favorite ramen hacks? I’ll post more as I prefect some of my others.

  • My current favourite hack is to drain 99% of the water, use a sprinkle of sesame oil and half the flavour packet. Instant chow mein!

    • Hmm. I’ll have to try that! Thanks!

  • I usually just ditch the flavor packs, drain the water, & put parmesan & walnuts on top of the noodles. One of my favorite quick meals! Not exactly healthy, but definitely delicious.

    • huh, walnuts? I wouldn’t have thought of that, but it sounds pretty good.

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