The cost of food is on the rise again and if you felt the pinch last year you are bound to feel it even more this year. If you are like me and cringe every time you go to the grocery store and see the cost of food has gone up from just the week before you are likely looking for ways to make more inexpensive meals. One way to make a cheap meal is by spicing up a pack of ramen.
Near the house, we have a fancy hipster Ramen shop that charges $18 for a bowl of ramen with different add-ins. This inspired me to look for ways to make our own fancy ramen at home to help make some cheap lunches for my family.
Spice up a cheap pack of ramen with these simple ideas.
Spice up the flavor
Swap out the seasoning packet for bullion cubes and your favorite seasonings. I like to have some spice to my food and I can be found sprinkling on some red pepper flakes. Grab the store brand for these to get the best deal.
A few great ideas for adding flavor include:
- Ginger: Freshly grated ginger can add a zingy flavor.
- Garlic: Minced garlic or garlic powder can enhance the taste.
- Green Onions (Scallions): Chopped scallions make a great garnish.
- Soy Sauce: Soy Sauce is a great addition for that classic umami flavor.
- Sriracha or Hot Sauce: For some heat.
- Sesame Oil: Adds a nutty flavor.
- Fish Sauce: For a savory, complex flavor.
Toss in some leftover meats. For the bowl pictured, I used leftover meat from when we made a large batch of chicken noodle soup while everyone was sick and more interested in the broth leaving a lot at the bottom of the pot. Instead of letting it go to waste for feeding it to the animals, we put it to use in bowls of ramen for lunch. The kids felt fancy and it was a great way to cook with less meat for lunch.
Add an egg. While egg prices are down compared to last year they are still higher than they were last year they are still a cheap way to get a lot of nutrition into your family’s diet which is essential when feeding something that is low in nutrition like ramen for its frugal filling qualities. To help keep the cost low we raise chickens for eggs.
To get that classic soft boil to your chicken eggs when making ramen toss the egg into the water when you bring it to a boil to cook your ramen then let it keep cooking with the noodles until they are done.
Fill it up with vegetables.
Add in some vegetables. To help add flavor and nutrition to your ramen you can add in some vegetables. Nearly any vegetable you have in your refrigerator or garden will do the trick and help keep your family fed and help reduce food waste.
Some more popular vegetables to add to roamin include:
- Spinach: Add it towards the end of cooking, it wilts quickly.
- Mushrooms: Sliced mushrooms add an earthy flavor.
- Bean Sprouts: These can be a nice crunchy addition.
- Bok Choy: A leafy green that cooks quickly.
Add some crunch
From crunchy vegetables like celery to some fried onions you can add both flavor and some satisfying crunch using things you happen to have in the house already.
While one of my childhood friends would eat packs of ramen dry most of us need food to be a bit more interesting and substantial to be happy with a meal. These tips and tricks will help to make a cheap pack of ramen more satisfying.