17 Best Instant Ramen Hacks
Instant ramen is a kitchen staple, whether you’re on a budget or simply don’t have the time to cook an elaborate meal. After all, it’s cheap, easy to make and tastes incredibly satisfying to boot. Plus, let’s be real: It probably makes you nostalgic for your dorm room days, amiright?
We’ll admit that eating the same thing over and over again can get kind of boring, though. Luckily, there are some instant ramen hacks that can take your basic bowl of noodles to the next level. Think: butter sauce, spicy kimchi and garlic shrimp.
Without further ado, we’ve rounded up 17 of our favorite instant ramen hacks from TikTok for inspiration. Get ready to slurp and enjoy!
Related: 40 Slurp-Worthy Ramen Bowls to Eat on Repeat
Best Instant Ramen Hacks
1. Create an Easy, Cheesy Butter Sauce
Instant ramen meets cacio e pepe in this ridiculously simple recipe. All you have to do is melt butter in a pan and add the seasoning packet, a cup of milk and black pepper to create the sauce. Add your cooked ramen noodles and top with chives, a slice of American cheese and a runny egg.
2. Use Kewpie Mayo
The ingredient you didn’t know your instant ramen was missing? Kewpie mayo! Create a sauce by mixing one egg, a generous squeeze of Kewpie mayo, minced garlic and one seasoning packet. Add in your cooked noodles and a splash of hot water for creamy, garlicky deliciousness.
3. Load Up on Peanut Butter
Peanut butter on ramen noodles? You bet! Combine soy sauce, chili oil, peanut butter and a little hot water for a creamy, nutty sauce for your ramen. We think these noodles would taste amazing cold too. Leftovers, anyone?
Related: Deliciously Easy Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe
4. Spice Things Up With Kimchi
Kimchi and ramen pair perfectly together. Add cooked kimchi to your noodles for a spicy punch—that’s all there is to it. Really. You can kick up the spice further with a drizzle (or two!) of Sriracha.
5. Try Kylie Jenner’s Viral Ramen Recipe
When it comes to ramen, Kylie Jenner knows what’s good. She recently shared an instant ramen hack that went viral—it involves adding two eggs, butter, one seasoning packet and a heavy pour of garlic powder. Yum!
6. Slather Noodles in Hot Oil
Grab a pack of Shin Ramyun for this instant ramen hack. Combine the seasoning packet, sesame seeds, fresh ground pepper and minced garlic, then add in hot oil and take in the mouthwatering aroma. Finally, drop in your cooked noodles and toppings like scallions and a fried egg.
Related: Spicy Ramen With Pork Meatballs and Eggs Recipe
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7. Make a Carbonara Sauce
Bacon makes everything better, including instant ramen noodles. Chop up and fry two pieces of bacon, add your cooked noodles and a little cooking liquid, then mix in your egg and parmesan cheese. Finish with black pepper and marvel at your kitchen skills.
8. Get Your Garlic Shrimp On
Creamy, spicy, garlicky…is there any more delish combo of flavors? This hack involves mixing minced garlic, hoisin sauce, gochujang, Sriracha, heavy cream and parmesan cheese into a sauce, then adding grilled shrimp marinated in a Korean barbecue blend on top of your noodles.
9. Crack an Egg Over Your Noodles
The easiest way to create restaurant-quality ramen at home, with minimal effort? Crack an egg over your ramen. Prepare the instant ramen of your choice with soy sauce and seasonings. When it’s ready, crack in an egg and stir it until the egg is cooked for a major dose of richness.
10. Enjoy Breakfast in a Bowl
We believe breakfast is good any time of day. So, pan-fry pieces of Spam and add them to your ramen for a morning-inspired treat. Don’t forget to top off your bowl with a fried egg—and sprinkle with the seasoning packet for an extra burst of umami.
11. Celebrate Taco Tuesday
Yes, you can marry Japanese and Mexican cuisines. Now Taco Tuesday will never be the same. Add leftover ground taco beef to your instant ramen, along with shredded lettuce, tomato, cheese and tortilla chips for an inventive take on a burrito bowl.
Related: 65 Best-Ever Taco Recipes
12. Roll Your Ramen Up
You don’t have to eat your noodles out of a bowl—you can roll them up in rice paper like a spring roll. Chop up and add veggies like cabbage, cucumber and carrot for a satisfying crunch.
13. Ditch the Seasoning Packet
We know, this sounds like blasphemy, but you can get a ton of flavor without using the season packet that comes with your instant ramen noodles. Start by cooking your noodles in chicken stock, then stir in butter, parmesan cheese and parsley for a fancy finish. You won’t know the seasoning packet is gone!
14. Add Sliced Pork Belly
ICYMI: Trader Joe’s sells pre-sliced pork belly, which is pretty much the best ramen topping ever. Simply sear the meat and top your ramen noodles with the pork, egg, corn and scallions for an inexpensive, super-quick noodle dish.
15. Add American Cheese
Yes, really. American cheese: It’s not just for sandwiches anymore. You won’t taste the American cheese in this instant ramen recipe—but you’ll absolutely notice how rich the flavor is when you let it melt into your bowl of hot noodles.
16. Bake Your Ramen
No boiling required for this one! Place your instant ramen noodles and desired toppings—such as chicken, mushrooms and eggs—in a baking dish, cover with water and bake for 20 minutes. And make sure to drizzle with sriracha sauce before eating if you like spice. We love how customizable this one is!
17. Make Ramen Lasagna
College food at its finest. If you can’t afford a super swanky Italian dinner out, merge the best of both worlds—ramen with lasagna–and play chef in your dorm room. The best part? You can throw in whatever ingredients you have laying around. Pepperoni? Sautéed vegetables? Goat cheese? What will your ramen lasagna say about you?
Related: Get the Recipe for Ramen Lasagna