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Saturday, March 29, 2014

8 Ways To Hack Your Ramen

Did you know? If you're under the age of 30 or can't afford to live without roommates, you're legally obligated to eat ramen all the time. There's no avoiding it, really–after all, it's just so damn cheap! There are ways to make the college food staple taste slightly less depressing, though. Try one of these recipes and your next late-night ramen sesh will be a little less, uh, sad.

Ramen Carbonara

ways to hack your ramen carbonara
Spaghetti Carbonara is a delicious combo of starchy pasta, fatty bacon and drizzly egg, mixed in a enchantingly fattening alfredo sauce. Pasta, though, is slightly more expensive than ramen. So if your budget's pretty tight (or if you're just too lazy to drive to the store and pick up a $0.99 package of spaghetti), you can make it yourself with ramen. Boil the ramen (just the ramen–leave the flavor packet out), drain it, and add some cooked bacon, a fried egg, Parmesan cheese and pepper. It ain't glamorous, and it definitely ain't healthy, but it's pretty damn good.

Omelet

ways to hack your ramen omelet
Tired of eating the same ol' boring cheese omelet every morning? Why not throw some ramen in it? The saltiness of the noodles goes great with cheese (the oranger, the better). Just throw the flavor packet in with a couple eggs, beat 'em, boil and drain the ramen, put it on top of the eggs in a frying pan, add some cheese and VOILA! Instant weird (yet strangely delicious) breakfast!

Pho

ways to hack your ramen pho
Pho, the traditional Vietnamese soup, is meaty, tasty, and filling–everything you could possibly want on a cold day. And you don't need to go to Vietnam (or your nearest major city) to get it, either–just crack open a ramen packet you bought at Walmart. Cook the ramen as usual, but use only half the seasoning it comes with. Then add the juice of one lime, two tablespoons of fish sauce (which you can easily buy at any Asian supermarket), a tablespoon of sugar and some red pepper flakes. Right before everything's finished cooking, add a few thin slices of raw flank steak–don't worry about the rawness, it'll cook in the broth. Once it's done, throw some bean sprouts on top of there, too. It's pho-tastic! (Sorry, that pun doesn't even make sense.)

Pizza

ways to hack your ramen pizza
Stop looking at me like that. I'm not crazy, dammit–you CAN make pizza outta ramen! Here's how you do it: In a cast iron skillet, heat up a little olive oil and add a layer of half-cooked ramen. Mush it all together, covering up the bottom of the pan. Next, add a layer of cheese (putting the cheese before the sauce prevents it from getting too soggy), a layer of sauce, another layer of cheese, and whatever toppings you want. When it's all toppings-ed up, put it in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes. And that's it! When pizza's on a weird ramen-cake thing, you can have pizza anytime!

Casserole

ways to hack your ramen casserole
Ah, casseroles. AKA the things your mom cooked when she was too tired to care. You don't need mom's help to make your own lazy pan of gooey baked deliciousness, though. Just pour some cooked beef over a layer of boiled and drained ramen, cover in sauce and cheese, and bake it at 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes. The only thing easier than making this recipe would be to just not eat at all.

Tom Kha Goong

ways to hack your ramen tom kha goong
Tom Kha Goong, a famous Thai soup, is a creamy and spicy concoction that would normally cost around $7 at your local Thai place. Ramen, however, costs way less than $7. It's easy to make a bootleg version of Tom Kha Goong with it–first, add half a seasoning packet to two cups of coconut milk (which can be cheaply procured at your local Asian market), a little sugar, a little fish sauce and some Siracha. Once you've done that, throw some boiled and drained ramen in the mix. If you really feel like going for it, add some shrimp or chicken as you boiling the ramen–they'll cook along with it.

Mac and Cheese

ways to hack your ramen mac and cheese
Boiled and drained ramen, some Velveeta cheese mixed with a little butter and milk, and a microwave–that's all you need to make some questionably decent mac and cheese. It ain't classy, that's for damn sure, but it'll do. I'd tell you specifically how to mix the cheese and noodles, but I respect your intelligence too much to assume you can't figure it out yourself.

Cream of Chicken Ramen Soup

ways to hack your ramen mac and cheese cream of chicken soup
Want your cream of chicken soup to pack a little more punch, flavor and substance-wise? Heat up a can of it and add the flavor pack from a chicken ramen. Put a little milk in, too. Then boil the ramen, drain it, and simmer it in the soup–if you're feelin' fancy, you can also add steamed vegetables if you want. Look at you, Mr. Fancypants!

Do you know of any deeeelicious ramen hacks?Let me know in the comments!

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