We all have our go-to noodle dishes for when we’re hungry and sick of dining hall food. It can be ramen, instant udon, or pasta—whatever the broke college student’s budget entails. But, our dinners don’t have to stop there. Whether you have $5 or $10, here are some quick and easy ways to enrich your 10-minute noodles:
- Sesame Peanut Butter Noodles
For a lot of you, this may sound extremely unfamiliar and unordinary. But, rest assured, this easy meal is sure to fill up your stomach and still have you reaching for more. For this dish, you could use whatever noodles you want—udon, wheat, ramen, linguini, etc. Mix sesame oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, and rice vinegar in a bowl (minced garlic is highly recommended but not necessary). Cook your noodles to your liking, drain them, and pour them into the sauce. You have yourself a solid plate!
- Gochujang Udon Stir-Fry
This dish, while easy to make, does require specific ingredients. Stop by your nearest Asian supermarket and get a pack of udon noodles and a small container of Gochujang, a Korean chili paste. Mix the Gochujang with honey, or sugar, a little sesame oil, and a dash of soy sauce. Once you cook and drain your udon noodles, stir-fry them with the sauce (even better with onion, minced garlic, and bacon), and you’re good to go! For added effect, sprinkle some seaweed flakes and sesame seeds as garnish.
- Yaki Udon
You’ve probably ordered a more complicated rendition of this dish a while back at a Japanese restaurant. You’d be surprised, though, how easy it really is to make. Mix soy sauce (dark and light if you have, but only one of them is fine), oyster sauce, mirin (or rice vinegar), and honey (or sugar). Cook your noodles, drain them, and stir fry them with this mixture. Feel free to add any vegetables to your stir-fry, if you have.
Now, I know you’re probably thinking: how am I supposed to make these when I have none of the ingredients? But, I sincerely urge you to spend some time and a little money investing in these basic sauces and ingredients. If you have a car, I urge you all the more. They go a long way, and I guarantee you, you won’t regret it.