A Refined Taste for Ramen

by Caroline Weinberg

Ramen noodles have been around for quite some time. This efficient and tasty dish has always been a staple, especially for busy college students. It isn’t the most exquisite meal, but it cures that hunger craving within minutes, and with the endless selection of brands and flavors offered these days, consumers have the ability to create their ideal ramen bowl.

Local grocery stores like Wegmans have a huge lineup of delicious ramen and instant noodles for customers to choose from, like Mike’s Mighty Good Ramen Soup, with flavors such as spicy beef, fried garlic chicken, and vegetarian vegetable. Another popular supermarket ramen is Lotus Foods Rice Ramen with unique flavors like jade pearl, buckwheat shiitake, red miso, white miso, wakame miso, and turmeric curry. For those who prefer their noodle fix even closer to campus, CVS sells ramen flavors like Japanese shoyu and spicy miso from acclaimed brand Annie Chun’s. This wide array of worldly flavors takes consumers on a delectable journey through a flavor-filled landscape of comfort and balance. 

For some, unique flavors may be a risky experience that is too unfamiliar or avant-garde, and that’s okay! Ramen doesn’t have to be wildly creative to be a great, substantial meal. For those who enjoy their ramen in it’s full simplicity, flavors such as chicken, beef, and even soy sauce are solid choices. If you want to spice up your noodles or add a touch of fun flavor at home, add ins like dehydrated vegetables, sesame seeds, onion, sriracha, bacon bits, lime wedges, or seaweed crisps create a perfect undertone of flavor while still allowing the ramen to remain the star of the dish.. As a ramen lover myself, I love including lime wedges/juice in my ramen – it gives the noodles an extra burst of refreshing flavor that is absolutely delicious. Sesame seeds are my personal go-to as a last touch to my ramen creations, as they compliment the ramen dish as a whole and serve as the cherry on top. Crunchy additives such as bacon bits or seaweed crisps add some texture and give ramen a satisfying bite; sometimes all you need is that additional crunch of flavor to compliment the softness of the noodles. For those who enjoy a hot kick of spice in their ramen, adding classic sauces like sriracha or Truff hot sauce (which has a decadent black truffle infusion) will encase your noodles in a fiery flavor.

For those who enjoy a taste of the wild side, creating a ramen bowl packed with distinguished flavors and healthy proteins is a clever way to make an intriguing ramen recipe. As strange as it may seem, peanut butter is a popular spread to mix into ramen to give it an extra boost of creamy flavor. Ramen connaisseurs also enjoy adding different pastes to their noodles, such as Thai curry lime paste or even a chili bean sauce. Celebrities like Kylie Jenner have even inspired some to include ingredients such as eggs and everything bagel seasoning in their ramen bowls. As eccentric as it sounds, it is allegedly very yummy.

Ramen is a cheap, quick, and appetizing dish that anyone can enjoy. Just don’t get stuck in a ramen rut. Making fun ramen bowls and trying new add-ins is a perfect dorm-friendly dinner adventure. Regardless of how you consume ramen noodles, there are plenty of ways to spice it up!

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