Ramen Soup Hacks Feed

Ramen Soup Hack: Use the noodles as a crunchy topping on a salad

Ramen noodles in butter
Ramen noodles getting all happy in butter!

By Mike Thayer

Having a salad but don't have any croutons, crackers or other crunchy element to top it with?

Break open a bag of Ramen.

My mom taught me this one back in the day when she was looking for something different to do in putting together a quick salad.  She simply crushed up the noodles and let the salad dressing do all the flavoring.  That was good and the noodles definitely gave you the crunch factor, but I've kicked things up a couple notches since then.

Ingredients:

  • One package of Ramen noodles, crushed into small pieces
  • One tablespoon butter
  • One tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flake
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Ramen noodles turned into salad croutons
It's Another Dose of YUM!

Heat up a small non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Melt the butter, add the crushed Ramen noodles, stir to coat all the noodles in the butter.   Add the salt and pepper, stir and let cook for about 5 minutes or until the noodles start to turn a light brown.  Add the Parmesan cheese and parsley flake, stir to incorporate and when the Parmesan starts to turn golden brown the noodle croutons are done!  Place on a paper towel lined paper plate and allow to cool.  Serve on a tossed salad.  You can't buy seasoned croutons for the price of a package of Ramen!  But fair warning, these things are quite tasty, they also make a great stand alone snack and may not make it to the salad!

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Kick that ordinary Ramen Soup up a notch with Ramen Soup hacks

By Mike Thayer

Ramn Soup Hacks
Yes, you can turn instant Ramen soup into something like this...

Ramen soup, it's cheap, it's a budget food, a single-person's food, a plan 'B' food, a college dorm food, a don't-know-what-else-to-have-so-this-will-have-to-do food...

But don't just make it per the package instructions, liven things up!

There are ALL KINDS OF THINGS you can do to kick instant Ramen Soup up another notch.

With Asian flavors in mind, you can add any number of oils, sauces, pastes, etc., to deepen the flavor of the broth.  You can add additional ingredients to make the soup more hearty and robust.  And making it a lot more visually appealing while also adding some additional flavor, there's all kinds of 'toppers' you can add to the dish.

Oil, Sauces, Etc.

  • Sesame Oil (don't overdo it, a little bit goes a long way)
  • Hot Chili Oil
  • Fish Sauce
  • Hoison Sauce
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Gochujang
  • Peanut Butter
  • Curry Paste
  • Coconut Milk
  • Sriracha
  • Chicken Stock (use low sodium stocks instead of water and skip the high sodium flavor packet!)
  • Beef Stock
  • Vegetable Stock
  • Fish stock

Add-Ins

  • Any kind of deli lunch meat - sliced in strips
  • Leftover meats, roasted chicken, roast beef, oven baked ham, brisket - shredded
  • Leftover shrimp, fish (don't use anything that was breaded)
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots, diced or julienned
  • White, yellow or sweet onions, sliced thin or diced
  • Red Pepper flake
  • Garlic, minced or powder
  • Ginger powder or fresh, sliced mandolin thin
  • Bok Choy, chopped
  • Baby Spinach, fresh
  • Peas
  • Jalapeno pepper or Fresno pepper (nice red color), chopped
  • Egg (Egg Drop Soup style)

Toppers, a.k.a., Garnish

  • Egg, medium boiled, sliced
  • Bacon, chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Green onion, chopped
  • Leeks, chopped
  • Roasted Sesame Seeds
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Bean Sprouts

The options are only limited by your imagination and you don't have to stick with Asian flavors either.  I've made 'classic' chicken noodle (Ramen) soup before, vegetable beef soup and yes, even a beer cheese soup with Ramen.

You can really elevate instant Ramen, something so inexpensive, creating a comfort food with deep flavors and great textures - something you might have a dinner guest comparing it favorably to something they had in a restaurant and asking you for the recipe.  And bonus, Ramen is an excellent vehicle for not only incorporating fresh ingredients, but making smart use of leftovers.

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Ramen Soup in the Crock Pot

By Mike Thayer

Looking outside my apartment window this morning, I see ice covered vehicles, frozen fog.....

It's a work day and part of my job means spending some time outside, it's going to be a cold one....

Can you say, "Soup for lunch?"

Yes, yes you can....

Make no mistake, winter is here and there's nothing quite as satisfying in addressing both the cold and hunger, than a hearty bowl of soup.

So how do you get a good bowl of soup during a 30 minute lunch break and no restaurant nearby with soup on the menu?

Embrace the crock pot

Ramen porkThe crock pot is an easy, quick way to put a few things for a soup together before work and let those flavors simmer all morning, developing a great tasting broth.

Here's the Bachelor on the Cheap way, using a package of pork flavored Ramen.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • One package of pork flavored Ramen soup
  • 4-6 ounces of leftover ham or pork roast, roughly chopped
  • One teaspoon garlic powder
  • One Tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6-8 baby carrots
  • One stalk (rib) of celery, chopped (optional)

Directions:

Pour the water into the crock pot and put it on the high setting.  Pour in the contents of the pork flavor packet from the Ramen, set the noodles aside (these get introduced later, much later).  Add all remaining ingredients, give it a quick stir and put the lid on.  While you are at work, these flavors are going to get all happy!  Come lunch time, put those Ramen noodles in a bowl and pour that crock pot soup over the top, cover the bowl with a saucer plate for about 3-4 minutes to soften the noodles.  Enjoy! 

Taking maybe five minutes to prepare, this soup is hearty enough to hold you until dinner with all that delicious pork, and that hot broth takes the edge off the cold.  This soup is also Bachelor on the Cheap friendly, costing only about $1.25 to put together, if that!  Try getting a couple bowls of soup at a restaurant for just $1.25.......

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Always having Ramen noodles on hand

By Mike Thayer

Even if you don't like to indulge in the occasional bowl of Ramen, surely you like noodles.  

Some people eat Ramen purely for budgetary reasons.  Some people truly like it.  Most people fall into a category that includes both, they like Ramen and it's easy on the wallet.

It's all about the noodles.

RamenAnd that's why you need to keep some packages of Ramen on hand, in your pantry at all times.  The flavor doesn't matter, beef, chicken, shrimp, mushroom, whatever.....  You've got instant noodles at the ready for whatever you feel like eating.  I've written before about turning some Ramen noodles into a spaghetti dish, because that was what I was craving.  Today I'm having Chili over some Ramen noodles.

The noodles are great because they only take 3 minutes to cook and it doesn't take a pot full of water to do it.

Like the aforementioned 'spaghetti', other uses for Ramen noodles are:  Crunching up uncooked Ramen noodles to put on a salad; they work great in noodle casseroles of all types; plain, cooked Ramen noodles are fantastic in stir fry; and if you're feeling adventurous, Ramen noodles make a great hamburger bun.  For the most part, any recipe calling for some kind of noodle....  Ramen noodles can be used in a pinch or a twist!

And about those flavor packets... They aren't exclusive to making a bowl of Ramen.  I've got them in surplus in my spice cabinet for any number of uses.  I might use a chicken packet to make a quick chicken broth to braise a pan of chicken breasts with.  I'll use a beef packet to add some punch to a beef gravy.  If I'm making some kind of fish dish, a shrimp packet comes in handy to make a nice quick pan sauce with.  Adding a packet of the mushroom flavor for a cream sauce to pour over that cast iron seared steak is easy and delicious!  If you're not familiar with bouillon cubes, that's essentially what a flavor packet in the package of Ramen is.

Noodle up on some Ramen!  If you're not already a fan, you'll become one.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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Bachelor on the Cheap Challenge: Surviving on burgers for a week - Day 6 Dinner

By Mike Thayer 

Can a person get tired of eating just burgers?  HECK NO!

In a celebration of summer, yours truly is celebrating with what is THE iconic food of summer, the burger.  For a week, lunch and dinner will feature some sort of burger, starting off with a classic cheeseburger and then going on an adventure from there.  The adventure will travel through flavors from around the globe, Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian and more!  There will be a variety in spices, toppings and meats!

20170701_194755For Day 6, it's dinner in Asia!  This burger features the flavors of General Tsao and a Ramen noodle bun.  When you sink your teeth into it, it's kind of like a giant, beefy, egg roll bite! 

The Asian Burger

Ingredients:

  • One pound of ground beef
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake
  • a healthy squirt of sriracha
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • The juice of one lime
  • Two packages of Ramen noodles
  • One egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup canola oil to fry the Ramen noodles
  • One carrot, sliced julienne
  • 1/4 cup cabbage, sliced thin
  • One green onion, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 Directions:
In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, soy sauce, minced onion, minced garlic, brown sugar, pepper flake, sriracha, ginger and lime juice.  Mix until well incorporated and chill for about 2 hours.  While the ground beef is chilling, prepare your Ramen 'buns.'  Cook the noodles per the package instructions.  Pull the noodles from the liquid and chill.  Reserve the liquid for another use.  Once the noodles are cooled and it's getting close to burger readiness time, it's time to make Ramen 'buns.'  Ramen noodle packages are typically separated into two noodle blocks per package, you'll need three blocks to create 'buns' for one burger, a 3-1 ratio.  Mix three blocks with the beaten egg, form into bun size top and bottom portions, keep separated and chill.  When ready, heat up the canola oil in a shallow frying pan and fry the noodles, about two minutes per side.  And surely by now, you've formed the burger patties and grilled the burgers over direct heat, about five minutes per side.   Serve the burgers topped with the sliced carrots, cabbage and green onion (giving you that egg roll kind of bite) with salt and pepper to taste and on the Ramen bun for a FANTASTIC crunch bite!

Did you notice?  There's no cheese on this burger.  Why not?  Because cheese isn't necessary! 

This burger cost only about $1.99 to prepare.  Try spending just that at a fast food restaurant for all that Asian influence deliciousness!

Stay tuned for more great burger recipes like the "Classic," "Idaho," "Meatloaf," "Pizza," "Thanksgiving," "Cajun," "Mediterranean," "California," "Mexican," "Garlic Chicken Curry," "French Dip," "Asian" and more, it's the Bachelor on the Cheap Burger Challenge!

www.grillinggoodeats.com

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Another Ramen Soup Hack - Make your chicken Ramen into egg drop soup

By Mike Thayer

RamenRamen soup, it's cheap, it's a budget food, a single-person's food, a plan 'B' food, a college dorm food, a don't-know-what-else-to-have-so-this-will-have-to-do food...

Don't just make it per the package instructions, liven things up!

Make a quick egg drop soup.

Prepare the Ramen chicken soup as normal....   Add a dash of garlic powder, a dash of black pepper and a green onion, roughly chopped.  Beat an egg slightly and slowly pour it into the hot soup, stirring clockwise for about a minute.

And there you have it, Ramen egg drop soup.....

I like to add a bit of Louisiana Hot Sauce to mine, sometimes it's a splash of soy sauce.  Enjoy.

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Ramen Soup Hack #2,671 - Ramen Soup = Faux Pho

By Mike Thayer

OK, hopefully you already know what Pho is and appreciate the attempt at humor in the title....  For those of you who don't know what Pho (pronounced 'Fuh') is, it's a Vietnamese soup, an hours long simmering of meat bones (usually beef or chicken) and spices added to develop a really, really nice broth...  A, "Damn this sh*& tastes good!" kind of broth.  The Pho broth is served in a bowl of noodles with slim cuts of meat and a garnish of herbs and vegetables.

But after working all day, who has time to simmer meat bones for hours?

Enter, Ramen soup.....  For you too, can make Faux Pho.

Ingredients

  • One Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces of very thinly sliced beef or chicken
  • One clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • One package Ramen noodle soup (beef or chicken)
  • Generous handful of baby spinach (Thai basil is the norm here, but I prefer spinach)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hoison sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chili sauce or Sriracha
  • Small can of sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • One cup hot water
  • One lime, cut in half.  A big squeeze of lime juice in preparation, a squeeze of lime juice (reserved for serving)
  • Chop up a small handful of cilantro for garnish

Faux PhoDirections

Heat up a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the canola oil and throw in the onion and the meat, saute for a minute or two.  Add the spinach, garlic, ginger, pepper, the seasoning packet from the Ramen soup packet, the juice from half the lime and the noodles, stir and let the spinach wilt down for a minute.  Add in the remaining ingredients, adding the water last.  Stir, let it all come to a boil, then turn down to simmer for three minutes.

Serve in a big bowl, add in a squeeze of lime juice and some cilantro.  If you like it hotter, a little more hot chili sauce or Sriracha may be to your liking.

Enjoy your Faux Pho!  For something that only takes about five minutes to put together, it sure packs some flavor!

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Ramen soup hack #2,670, turn your Ramen into spaghetti

By Mike Thayer

Ramen soup beefRamen soup, it's cheap, it's a budget food, a single-person's food, a plan 'B' food, a college dorm food, a don't-know-what-else-to-have-so-this-will-have-to-do food...

Don't just make it per the package instructions, liven things up!

If you're not feeling like having another prepared per package instructions bowl of Ramen Soup, make spaghetti with it!  And the great thing about using Ramen noodles for this, it only takes 3-4 minutes!

Ingredients:

  • Two packages of beef flavored Ramen Soup (chicken works too, but beef is better)
  • One Tablespoon olive oil
  • One Tablespoon dried, minced onion
  • One teaspoon dried oregano
  • Just one cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite jar spaghetti sauce (or better yet, something you made)
  • One Tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • One small can of sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)

Directions:

Put a medium sauce pan on medium heat.  Add the olive oil, the noodles, pour in the contents of the seasoning packets, along with the minced onion, dried oregano and just one cup of water.  Let cook for three minutes, then stir.  Add the spaghetti sauce and the mushrooms (Optional.  Sliced black olives are a great add too.  Got any leftover breakfast sausage?  Another great add.).  Stir for another minute or until all noodles are coated in sauce.  Plate and top with Parmesan cheese.

It's faster to make this than it is to microwave one of those over-priced ready meals.  Enjoy!

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Ramen soup for dinner, Ramen hack #2,669

By Mike Thayer

Bachelor_on_the_cheap_newIt's a bit on the chilly side today and the weatherman has forecast local temps dropping down to 34 degrees overnight.  Brrrr!  Cover those plants!

So, soup is in order.  The following is another doctored up Ramen recipe, my go-to food when I'm not in the mood to cook.  The best thing, is this belly-filler can be done for less than $3.  Cheaper than a fast food meal and considering this is a chilly night, this quick soup is truly belly warming appropriate.

Ingredients:

  • One package of chicken flavored Ramen soup
  • 5-6 sprigs of asparagus, rough chopped
  • One can chicken breast
  • One Tablespoon soy sauce
  • One Tablespoon dried, minced onion
  • One Tablespoon canola oil
  • One teaspoon garlic powder
  • One teaspoon hot sauce
  • One teaspoon dried parsley flake (optional)
  • Two cups water

Directions:

Fire up the soup pan and once hot, add the canola oil.  Open up the can of chicken breast, drain, add to the pan, along with the asparagus.  Let things sizzle for a couple minutes, then add all remaining ingredients, water last.  Stir, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer and let things marry for about 3 minutes.  Serve with additional hot sauce.

The most expensive ingredient in this soup was the canned chicken breast, which I got at Aldi for about $1.50.  The Ramen soup goes for about 25 cents and the 5-6 sprigs of asparagus were part of a big bunch I purchased for around $2.50, also at Aldi.

Enjoy!

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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Ramen Soup For Lunch

By Mike Thayer

Ramen Soup Chicken FlavorRamen soup, it's cheap, it's a budget food, a single-person's food, a plan 'B' food, a college dorm food, a don't-know-what-else-to-have-so-this-will-have-to-do food...

Don't just make it per the package instructions, liven things up!

Fire up the stove, put a tab of butter in the pan, throw in a can of sliced mushrooms, saute for a bit, then throw in some garlic powder, a dash of black pepper, some minced onion.  Add a package of chicken ramen soup, 2 cups of water, add in some Louisiana hot sauce, a little soy sauce and simmer for 3 minutes or until the noodles are to your liking.

There you have it, a quick, very inexpensive, but satisfying soup that didn't take long at all to prepare and a soup that will hold you until dinner time.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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