What are the easiest ways to make instant noodles tastier?
Shichimi, a Japanese pepper, can be added, which lends a much different flavor that traditional black pepper. It can be found in most Asian supermarkets and possible in the Asian food section are your local supermarket. It looks like this.
Sliced green onions, a little sliced cabbage, sesame seeds and soy sauce are usually in the typical refrigerator or cupboard and easily added.
Every ramen enthusiast
knows that the secret to a good bowl is not the noodles, but the broth. I like Hon Dashi in favor of those little packets included.
Of course, this is still a pretty simple meal. You could throw in a few slices of left over meats, but in my opinion, doing so takes away from any authentic taste you might be trying to achieve.
You could do lots more to jazz it up, but then the issue of cost and practicality rears its ugly head.
Practicality refers to the amount left over or effort needed to prepare it. You only need a tiny amount, but the supermarket won't sell you a tiny amount of:
kamaboko (Japanese fish cake slices)
char siu (roast pork, Asian BBQ style)
moyashi (mung bean sprouts)
takuan (daikon pickle)
I use Korean ramen with soup mix; for types that are very salty or picante, I might use less than the full packet of soup mix.
To vary the taste, ramen may or might not be cooked in the soup.
Some additions, to be used singly or in combinations, trying not to repeat other people's earlier suggestions:
-- sliced tiny hot chile
-- toasted sesame seeds
-- fresh tofu (I prefer silken soft)
-- egg (beaten, lightly cooked as flat sheet, cut into strips; or scrambled)
-- dried, re-constituted mushrooms (sliced or whole)
-- dried bonito flakes
-- dried salted tiny anchovies or shrimp
-- any shellfish, fresh, frozen or canned
-- kimchi (any variety) or other Korean side dish
-- frozen chopped spinach
-- fresh lettuce (any kind), cut in chiffonade (thinnest strips)
-- snowpeas, angle-sliced celery stalk, sliced water chestnut, mushrooms, bean sprouts, sliced bamboo shoot, western onion, in a chicken soup broth thickened with cornstarch (This was known as chop suey)
-- frozen or leftover Chinese food, including dim sum or dumplings
We usually have chicken-flavored Maruchan instant ramen on hand.
half the flavor packet
about a tablespoon of soy sauce
about a tablespoon of vinegar (rice vinegar seemed to work best)
dash of red pepper flakes
squirt of siriacha
dash of powdered ginger
about a teaspoon of sugar
a couple shakes of sesame oil for flavor