Thursday, July 11, 2013

Living on a Student Budget: Five New Ways to Eat Ramen

by Zaneta Kennedy
Ramen is known as the staple of a college student’s diet. Students find this meal-in-a-package very cost effective and filling.  
Ramen first appeared in Japan around 1910. First calledshina soba”—shina is the phonetic reading of the word China and soba is the type of buckwheat noodles that were first used—Chinese cooks who had immigrated to Japan made this noodle soup. Now, one hundred years later, ramen has been adapted to countries worldwide. Here in the United States, instant ramen can cost as little as ten cents per pack.
However, as cost effective as it may be, eating it the same way every time can be boring. Here are five different ways to eat ramen. 
Restaurant Upgrade
Of course, since ramen is a traditional Japanese dish, you can upgrade it to restaurant quality. Add ingredients like miso paste, curry powder, or sriracha (a Chinese hot sauce).  Or, you can crack an egg and stir in one direction—similar to egg flower soup, only with ramen.
Chili Cheese Ramen
You can make a sort of East meets West dish. Boil the noodles as you would usually, but don’t use the flavor packet. Instead, drain the noodles and pour some of your favorite chili and cheese over them.  Now you know another quick and easy way to eat ramen.
Photo by Nashiedatul Aziz
Ramen Noodle Casserole (pictured)  
You can also make a casserole out of ramen. Boil and drain the noodles. Next, mix an egg, some cheese, and the seasonings of your choice together with the drained ramen noodles, top with more cheese and bake in the oven at 350 degrees until golden brown. You can add meat to the recipe if you like—feel free to adjust the recipe to fit your taste.

Stir Fry Ramen
My personal favorite way to eat ramen involves stir-fry. First, mix the seasoning packet with ½ cup of water and set aside. This will be your stir-fry sauce. Next boil the noodles as usual, then drain, rinse, and pat dry. Heat a small saucepan with two tablespoons of oil, and stir fry the noodles for about two minutes. Add the sauce at the end and voila, ramen stir-fry. You can add veggies or meat as you wish.
Ramen and Meatballs
You’ve probably heard of spaghetti and meatballs, but how about ramen and meatballs? Boil the noodles, as you usually would, then drain. Ditch the flavor packet and use your favorite spaghetti sauce instead. You can opt to make the meatballs yourself, which is more cost effective.
However you choose to eat your ramen, the dish is always easy to make. “I don’t know how I’d live without it,” says former TTC student Michael Bendt.


1 comment:

  1. This took me back to times of living on a very tight budget. Here is another recipe to add to the list that works as a main dish or a side dish.

    1 pack of Ramen (with seasoning packet)
    1/4 - 1/2 chopped onion
    Mushrooms to liking ( I use either one small can or 5-6 fresh for 1 person )
    1 or 2 Tablespoons Cream Cheese to your liking as well... I use 2.

    1. Boil noodles
    2. While they boil fry onions and mushrooms
    3. Take 2 tablespoons of boiled water and put in bowl before draining noodles.
    4. Add seasoning packet to water in bowl
    5. Add Cream Cheese to bowl and mash with fork.
    6. Add noodles, onions and mushrooms.
    7. Eat and enjoy.

    This dish makes for as many people as needed.
    If main dish 1 packet per person.
    If side dish 1/2 packet per person.