Japaneese noodle soupI had the immense pleasure of having my best friend in town this past weekend. We’ve been friends since we were three years old, and having her around feeds my soul in a way that can’t be explained.

While she was here in sunny LA, she saw the huge box of ramen noodles that my boyfriend and I recently purchased from Costco. I couldn’t resist. $7 for a box of 42 packages? I don’t even like Ramen that much, but having it around in case I run out of funds for fresh veggies one day seemed logical at the time.

She asked me if I ever add things in to spruce it up. I replied with a blank stare, a couple of blinks, and a full on “duuuh, no?”

Apparently I am one of those people who have never heard of making fast food a bit tastier to eat, so she has gifted me some tips on how to spruce up ramen noodles and make them a somewhat healthy meal.

First things first: don’t use the freeze dried spices that come with it. Instead, use a base of miso for the liquid. She takes miso paste, adds a little to the bowl she plans to use for her meal, and when the water is boiled, she pours a little bit in to loosen everything up. Once the noodles have cooked, she adds them with the water into her miso-covered bowl, which creates a delicious broth that is much tastier than the other stuff.

Next up: add an egg. She takes one egg, and soft boils it in the water before adding her noodles. This takes about 3-5 minutes. Once the egg is soft boiled, she takes it out of the water, places it to the side in cold water, and starts the noodle cooking process. When everything is ready, take the egg out of the shell, and add it to your dish.

Third: Add veggies and/or meat! Whatever you’ve got in your fridge will work. Steak, chicken, mushrooms, corn, green onions, and pick up some bok choy from your local Asian market if you’ve got one nearby!

And finally: use a high  quality ramen when you can. She loves yeul ramen, but any Japanese brand will do.

Don’t forget to add a splash of chili oil if you like it spicy! All of this just made us really hungry.

What ways do you spruce up fast food items in the kitchen?

-Sasha Huff

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