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As a college student, one universal staple in nearly every undergrad’s kitchen is ramen noodles. I know my roommates and I always keep a stock of ramen just in case we need a quick fix. It is a fast, easy and cheap way to make a delicious meal. These 40 cent packets of ramen noodles are cost effective and a great-tasting meal. But as a college student, you end up eating ramen so often that it can start tasting bland. You also don’t want to give it up because it is such a budget-friendly meal. So, over the years I have found many ways to keep ramen noodles interesting by adding certain ingredients. Here are 11 great ways to spice up your ramen noodles today!

Tip #1: Add Sriracha to Your Ramen Noodles

If you are a spice lover, you will love the little kick that sriracha will add to your ramen. Cook your ramen noodles as normal, and then add sriracha to the top of your ramen to taste. This spicy twist on your ramen is just what you need to spice up your ramen and make it taste less bland!

Tip #2: Add Egg to Your Ramen Noodles

If you love your ramen but are looking for a way to add an extra element, adding egg may be just the thing you need! Whether you make it fried or scrambled, adding egg to your ramen just adds an extra element to your meal. Make your ramen as normal and then cook an egg on the side. If you want to give the egg a separate flavor, season the egg with salt and pepper or even add some cajun seasoning to give it that extra boost of flavor. You can never go wrong with adding some egg to your ramen! 

Tip #3: Cook Your Ramen Dry 

If you love noodles but are tired of the broth, try cooking your noodles dry. Dry ramen noodles have a totally different texture and flavor and are definitely worth the try. To make dry ramen noodles, you need to cook the noodles fully and drain the water from the cooked noodles. Then pour in the seasoning packet and stir fully and evenly into the noodles. Let it sit for a minute and enjoy. If you want to make this dry ramen even better, before adding in the seasoning, fry the noodles a little on a stovetop by adding some oil to a pan, pouring the noodles on top and cooking. Cooking ramen noodles dry allows you to taste the flavor more on the actual noodle. Plus it makes for a delicious twist on regular ramen!

Tip #4: Add Peanut Butter Sauce to Your Ramen Noodles

If you are looking to really change up your ramen noodles with a nice sweet and salty flavor, this might be the tip for you. Instead of using the same old seasoning packet that comes with the ramen, make this delicious savory peanut sauce to add to your ramen to give it a Thai twist. To make this recipe, you will need two tablespoons of peanut butter, one tablespoon of chili garlic sauce, one tablespoon of soy sauce and one tablespoon of brown sugar. You’ll want to mix all of these ingredients together until it forms a smooth paste and then add a quarter of a cup of boiling water to the smooth paste to turn it into a pourable sauce. Then cook just the instant noodles and pour this tangy sauce on top for some delicious Thai-inspired ramen noodles. 

Tip #5: Add Cajun, Onion and Garlic Seasoning

For a subtle yet delicious and savory flavor, add a little bit of cajun, onion and garlic seasoning to your ramen. Cook the ramen as you normally would and add the seasoning it comes with and stir. After stirring, add cajun, onion and garlic seasoning to taste. This is a simple and fast way to minutely change the recipe for a unique flavor!

Tip #6: Add Veggies to Your Ramen

Do you like ramen but feel like it lacks substance? Adding some veggies to your ramen might just change that. Adding greens to your ramen not only adds some substance, but is also healthier than just eating plain ramen. Cook some frozen or fresh veggies like peas, carrots, mushrooms, string beans or onions and stir them into your cooked and seasoned ramen.

Tip #7: Make The Kylie Jenner Ramen Noodles

If you’re an avid ramen eater or “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” fan, I am sure you have heard of Kylie Jenner’s ramen recipe. But if not, don’t worry—all you need to make this recipe is butter, garlic powder and egg. First, cook the noodles as you normally would. Then after the noodles are cooked, add the ramen and more water if needed, around one tablespoon or so. Next, add one tablespoon of butter and one teaspoon of garlic powder and stir everything together. Then, add in one beaten egg and cook till fully finished, and there you have it! Delicious ramen, Kylie Jenner-style, within minutes!

Tip #8: Add Cheese (Yes, Cheese!) 

Adding cheese to your ramen is a great way to change up your brothy noodles to nice creamy noodles. Add a sliced cheese of choice on top of your bowl of hot ramen and let it steam for a minute or so and mix it in once melted. You will have a nice cheese layer on top of your noodles that will stick to the noodles and give them a nice creamy texture and flavor. This is a game changing tip to mix up the way you make ramen!

Tip #9: Add Some Soy or Teriyaki Sauce 

Adding a splash of soy or teriyaki sauce to your ramen creates a unique flavor that will empty your bowl faster than ever. You can add virtually any type of sauce into your ramen for a unique and bold twist. Like schezwan, stir fry, sweet chili, garlic chili or even a combination of these sauces. 

Tip #10: Add Protein 

Have you ever eaten ramen and wished there was something more than just noodles? Well the perfect fix for that is adding some protein. There is a range of protein that you can mix into your ramen for that special something. You can add frozen meatballs, rotisserie chicken, tofu, spam, bacon or sliced beef and pork. There are so many options you can choose from to add more texture and flavor to your ramen noodles!

Tip #11: Add Kimchi

The last tip I have for you to spice up your ramen is to add kimchi. Kimchi is a popular Korean dish, and it is best described as a spicy, slightly sweet, pickled or fermented cabbage. Add this on top of your fully cooked and seasoned ramen for the spicy tangy flavor with each bite. 

This college-kitchen staple can be cooked in so many different ways to have diverse flavors. From sweet to savory to tangy, it can do it all. These 11 tips will take your bland ramen from boring to exciting, while still being extremely budget friendly. I hope you use these tips to excite your taste buds the next time you make ramen.

A writer for HerCampus in the Saint Louis University chapter.