Done with care, a simple bowl of ramen (and all its myriad of variations) is a pretty perfect creation all on its own: slippery noodles and savoury broth topped to your heart’s content with items such as nori, eggs and more. Chefs and home cooks, long before Momofuku mania, have used their noodles to experiment with dishes from weird to wonderful. Here are the best ways to change up fresh or packaged ramen noodles.
Serve It Baked
As chef David Chang (and others along the way) have pointed out, the smokiness of bacon and that of the dashi typically are pretty similar. That being said, this take on ramen is anything but traditional: tossed with cheese and mustard, the noodles take their place in an oozy macaroni and cheese.
Make a Frittata
This one may seem like a stretch, but if pasta can be used to bulk out an egg based frittata, then ramen can easily take its place. Cook the ramen somewhat al dente to avoid the noodles dissolving in the eggs while baking.
Roll With It
Fresh summer rolls typically have vermicelli as a filler to bulk out a shrimp, vegetable or pork filling. The soft texture of the roll means that ramen makes a suitable substitute for the lo mein used in this recipe (tailor the sriracha to your own spice tolerance, or leave it on the side for dipping).
Serve as a Salad Topper
The ramen seasoning becomes part of the dressing in this canned mandarin orange romaine salad that evokes memories of food court salads of days gone by. Crunchy crushed ramen adds textural interest across the top.
Upgrade Your Toppings
The most self-evident shift is to try different toppings, and subbing out frozen corn for fresh kernels keeps this dish vibrant. Kimchi adds earthy notes to balance the sweetness of the corn.
Make Curry In a Hurry
Prepared curry mixes, served over rice or noodles such as udon, is a popular dish in Japan and other parts of Asia. Try spicing up your ramen with a Thai-inspired red curry paste-based sauce made velvety with coconut milk and packed full of tofu, Napa cabbage and other vegetables.