Everyone’s done it. You’ve got two hours between work and school in which to get some food, play the game you crawled out of bed at 0700 to get from EB on launch day, shower, and put some caffeine into your body. You haven’t eaten much minus that questionable urban food log at ten in the morning, and you’ve got to prioritize. Alright, ten minutes for the shower, five minutes to eat (while cutscenes play, of course), and five minutes of food preparation. Your eating options are kind of limited if you want to maximize your game time; so you reach for that half-quid package of instant noodles.
I hate to break it to everyone, but like most things in life, there’s a right and a wrong way to do those noodles, and odds are you’ve been doing it wrong.
While those noodles are – in a word- awful for you, there are things you can do to make the entire meal healthier without increasing the cost much or adding much more than a minute or two of preparation time. Trust me, you’ll thank me in the end. The first thing you need to be aware of is that most of the additions on this page require you to boil water in a pot. I know, a challenge not everyone is prepared for, but bear with me.
The first, most obvious, and most accessible choice to improve your ramen is to add an egg. Eggs are cheap (about thirty pence apiece here), and odds are on other days you’d fry one up for breakfast. A sliced hardboiled egg can add a fair bit of protein to your noodles, and a touch of bulk. A softboiled egg (for those few remaining daredevils out there) can be split and the delicious yolk mixed into the broth, making it a whole lot more substantial. My favorite method remains the ‘egg drop’. Once the water is boiling, around the time you’d add other ingredients, you simply crack and egg into the mixture. The white sort of spreads, and there’s a big nugget of yolky goodness for you to discover in the meal. There’s other things you can put in, of course. Bean sprouts are about a buck per pound, cook quickly, and are incredibly nutritious. Leftover beef or chicken can be sliced thin or cubed and tossed in in the later stages of cooking. Imitation crab is roughly three quid per package, and is pre-cooked. Likewise, adding shrimp is another good, healthy way to make your ramen more substantial, but be sure to add them early in the process if they’re uncooked. Finally, sesame seed oil is a great way to add flavor- a few drops on the soup once it’s ready should be more than enough to flavor the soup.
The process is as follows for me:
1. Get the water boiling in a pot. You don’t need a lot- remember, you’re not trying to drown the soup.
2. Put in the noodles, roughly one quarter to a third of the base, and a dash of soy sauce. When it starts to foam a touch, move to the next step.
3. Throw in your bean sprouts, egg, and imitation crab.
4. After about thirty seconds, take off heat, pour, and serve. Add sesame seed oil to taste.
There you have it. My ramen noodles takes perhaps three minutes to prepare, but has vegetative matter, some cheap protein, oils to keep my fur glossy, and considerably less salt than simply dumping in the base and hoping for the best. It takes the same amount of time to prepare, it’s simple, cheap and effective.