Ramen is one of the most popular comfort foods in Japan and it has made its way around the world. It’s inexpensive, quick, and easy to make at home and it comes in a variety of flavors and styles. There are many things that can be done to ramen to change the flavor or to add more nutrition and protein to it. You can also customize it by choosing different noodles, sauces, vegetables, and meats. There are even ways to add a little extra flair with garnishes and toppings.
You can make a big difference in the flavor of your homemade ramen by using low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock and adding some miso paste, soy sauce, and garlic to it. The addition of the garlic helps to offset the saltiness of the store-bought broth and gives it a richer taste. Using dark roasted sesame oil will also give your broth a much deeper flavor.
The type of noodle you use is also very important. It is best to go for a thinner noodle that is wavier so it can carry more of the soup in each bite. A thinner noodle will also have more texture and be chewier so it can absorb the broth better. You can even cook the noodle a little bit longer than the instructions on the package so it has more of a al dente texture.
Another great thing about ramen is that you can make it very healthy by adding a lot of vegetables and protein. You can add vegetables like cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and bok choy, and you can also add meats like pork or beef. For a vegetarian option, you can add boiled tofu and shirataki noodles.
Adding a soft boiled egg to your ramen is an excellent way to make it more filling and will also add some protein to the meal. This is a common way to serve ramen in upscale ramen restaurants. You can easily make a ramen egg at home by boiling water and cooking the eggs for 6 – 6.5 minutes.
Another excellent addition to ramen is some toasted sesame seeds. You can easily make your own sesame seed topping by putting some sesame seeds on a piece of aluminum foil and tossing them in the oven for a minute or two before adding it to your bowl of ramen. This will add a nice toasty flavor to your ramen and will also make it look more appealing.
If you want to take your ramen to the next level, try adding some sliced fish cakes (naruto) or small squares of seaweed (furikake). You can also top it with a variety of other sauces and condiments to add different flavors and textures to your ramen. You can finish it off with a splash of rice vinegar to balance the excess saltiness and a sprinkle of green onions for color. Just remember to eat this delicious comfort food quickly, slurp loudly, and enjoy!