While the ramen-restaurant revolution has brought Tokyo-worthy bowls of noodles to cities across the country, on college campuses the stuff remains the lackluster MRE of starving students. But a hearty and delicious meal is within reach. First you need to ditch that packet of freeze-dried vegetables. Then simply follow the instructions on your favorite package of ramen and top it with a few well-chosen protein-rich and flavor-packed ingredients inspired by the best of the ramen boom.
Chef David Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City was a pioneer in the stateside ramen revolution. His signature dish is the inspiration for this version made with ingredients you can get at a supermarket.
Boil an egg for seven -minutes and plunge it into ice water to stop the cooking. The yolk will be perfectly creamy.
Squares of nori
Toasted seaweed adds even more depth of flavor. Slice it into thin strips.
Chopped fresh scallions
Thinly sliced, these add flavor and crunch.
There’s no hangover cure like slow-cooked pork. Trader Joe’s sells pre-cooked carnitas you can stash in your dorm fridge.
MIX IT UP
Swap out the pork with precooked, peeled and deveined frozen shrimp that you’ve thawed under running water.
Thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms are high in glutamine, the naturally occurring compound that adds savoriness to dishes.
Spice it up
Korea’s number one condiment, kimchi, adds crunchy, tangy appeal. Roughly chop it before adding to the ramen.
A little nutrition never hurts: Use bagged prewashed baby spinach, which will wilt and cook in the hot broth.