How To Turn A Packet Of Ramen Noodles Into A Feast

My new home is 40% boxes. It used to be 90% which makes 40% a celebratory percentage.

We suddenly find ourselves living in St. Louis, Missouri and it feels surreal.

During our first night, a big storm hit. The dog and I hid in the basement while the tornado warnings sounded. We heard rain pour from the sky and hail bounce from cars. It sounded like God was throwing marbles at us from above. Then, our garage flooded and this is how I met our neighbors. The good news is that the flooding subsided, our landlord sent help, and our neighbors are indeed, nice.

The first meal I’m able to prepare in our new home is a big deal. It means we’re unpacked enough to use our kitchen and we’re thankful for a respite from take-out food. I’ll never forget how special that first meal of spaghetti and beef marinara sauce with ground beef tasted in our Mason City home. This time, I broke in our new kitchen by preparing ramen noodles.

It’s really easy to turn a cheap package of ramen noodles into a feast for two. Here are my favorite tips for stretching and fortifying an ordinary package of ramen into something special:

Ramen STL

  • Add extra water. The protein and veggies will bulk up your soup, so you’ll need extra broth. 
  • Just use a little bit of the seasoning packet. Everyone who has prepared ramen noodles according to instructions knows how an entire seasoning packet will make the soup inedibly salty. When the water is simmering, I sprinkle in a little bit at a time and fortify the soup with other sauces.
  • Boost the broth with Asian sauces. I season ramen with soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, chili sauce, and a little bit of something sweet and honey or brown sugar to even out the flavors. Add anything you like. As long as you keep tasting your soup as you prepare it, you won’t go wrong.
  • Toss in a raw egg. The egg is my favorite component. While the broth is simmering, crack in an egg or two. Allow the egg to simmer whole, or stir it into the broth for an egg drop soup-like effect.
  • Clean out your fridge: Add your favorite vegetables and leftover proteins to your soup. For example, I added sliced onion, kale, pea pods and leftover rotisserie chicken to our soup.
  • Enjoy your soup right away. If you let it simmer or sit for too long, the noodles will keep absorbing the liquid and become mushy and waterlogged.
  • Sometimes I ditch the soup all together. When I attended culinary school in Fargo-Moorhead, a classmate prepared a dish by cooking and draining ramen noodles and stir-frying them with a thick soy sauce, diced Chinese sausage, vegetables, and scrambled egg. I also add my own combination of favorite sauces and add-ins to this noodle dish.

To find a larger selection of ramen noodles from many countries, visit an Asian grocery store. Many brands taste much better than the two types you typically find at grocery stores. Do you have any favorite tips for doctoring up an ordinary package of ramen or a favorite brand? 


  1. Beth Ann Chiles

    Yum. I am sure it tasted wonderful in your new home! 40% is a great place to be after only a week. I hope we are that lucky.
    I have a ramen recipe that is super easy—uses ground beef and a package of frozen veggies. I may have to share—it is a go to meal when there is not much time or food in the fridge or pantry.

    • Jeni

      We didn’t realize we have less closets at our new place. Most of it’s going to have to go in the basement once we get some shelving. I’d love to try your ramen recipe!

      • Beth Ann Chiles

        That is what I am thinking about at our new place as well. I think we are going to be storing a lot of stuff in the garage. As for that ramen recipe I bet I can find it and send you a copy ! It’s not bad.

  2. Donna Hup

    I ate Ramen Noodles almost every day in college. That and grilled cheese. I never had them like this before and would even consider giving them another chance. My hubby loves them too. I’m glad you’re getting settled and your neighbors are nice. 🙂

    • Jeni

      So did I! My roomate had this amazing little cast iron sandwich press thing that I used. We also made grilled cheese with an iron in a pinch:)

  3. josh

    Great call! I haven’t had ramen since I was limited to a liquid diet. I would prepare them N would eat the noodles and I would drink the broth.

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