8 Cooking Tricks to Enhance the Taste of Your Ramen Noodles


I spent 3 minutes boiling water on a stove, and 3 minutes boiling instant noodles.

This total 6 minutes of work was for lunch for my college roommate Yuichi and me.

When Yuichi ate the noodles, he looked at me and said:

They aren't cooked right.

It was then - in that moment - that I realized this: I suck at boiling instant noodles.

I knew that was true because Yuichi had boiled instant noodles and they tasted really good.  

I asked him…

How do I improve them?

Yuichi taught me how to boil instant noodles better. 

Keep reading and you will find out the tricks…

1. What you must avoid doing...

Mistake No. 1: You don’t use hot water that is fully brought to a boil

People start boiling instant noodles when they see bubbles starting to form in the pot.

However:

The temperature of water when you start seeing bubbles is just 80°C (176°F).

It is not 100°C (212°F) yet.

If you start to cook instant noodles before the water truly boils, the noodles absorb water too fast and the exterior of the noodles get soggy. You will ruin the texture of the instant noodles.

Mistake No. 2: Touching noodles with your chopsticks while you are boiling noodles

If you try to loosen your noodles with utensils while you are boiling them, the noodles will form microscopic surface cracks.

These will result in some parts being hard while others being too soggy.

You should boil your noodles evenly, so the noodles will have a consistent chewiness, bounce, and smooth surface.

Mistake No. 3: Boiling soup packet with the noodles

You might think it is better to cook soup and noodles together because noodles will absorb the taste of the soup.

WRONG.

Soup packet isn’t designed like that.

If you boil soup and noodles together, you will ruin the nice aroma of the soup.

It is better to turn off the heat and put soup packet,

Or prepare hot water for soup separately and mix the soup packet in a bowl and then put boiled noodles.

2. The 8 cooking tricks to enhance the taste of your ramen noodles are...

There are 8 simple tricks that do not require special tools or ingredients.

Knowing these 8 tips will help you drastically improve the taste and texture of your ramen. Let's take a look at each step closely.

1. Cook soup and noodles separately.

Cooking soup and noodles separately is one of the most effective ways to improve the taste of your instant noodles.

Putting hot water, noodles and soup altogether into your pot at the time is very easy and convenient, but this way affects the taste of your noodles drastically. 

When you make soup, do not use the hot water you just used to boil the noodles. 

Why?

The waxy flavour from the noodles stay in the water.

By adding your soup packet into it, your broth will also have a waxy flavour. 

Heat up clean, fresh water separately for the soup, and put noodles into the soup.

2. Put instant noodles into hot water that has completely come to a boil.

There is a huge difference between cooking instant noodles in warm water for 3 minutes and cooking instant noodles in boiling hot water for 3 minutes.

 

Cooking in boiling hot water cooks the noodles evenly, and gives your noodles a nice texture and chewiness.

3. Cook noodles in a lot of hot water.

Using a lot of hot water to boil your noodles will prevent a drop in the water temperature.

Doing this will prevent your noodles from getting sticky because of the starch from the noodles. 

4. Do not touch your noodles while you are boiling it.

You should not touch, mix, or poke at your noodles for at least the first 1 minute during boiling.

If you touch it, the surface of the water will break and the noodles will absorb too much water.

The noodles won't become evenly cooked. 

5. Follow the boiling time.

You need to set a timer for the boiling time.

There is a right amount of time to cook for each instant noodle.

The best boiling time is always what the brands recommend (ex. the time on the cooking directions). 

6. Put hot water in your ramen bowl before serving.

Ramen must be hot.

You cannot enjoy warm ramen.

Before making the soup, you should heat your ramen bowl up.

To heat up your ramen bowl, simply fill up your ramen bowl with hot water for a few minutes.

After heating up the ramen bowl, get rid of the hot water, and put soup packet contents and fresh hot water in the bowl.



7. Mix right amount of water with the soup packet.

One of the most important elements of ramen is its broth.

You should follow the instruction guide to make the soup.

To make the best instant ramen, it should be too salty or too bland. You will need to use a measuring cup.

 

 

8. Put one table spoon of baking powder into your pot while boiling instant noodles.

Doing this makes your instant noodles taste like raw noodles.

They will get a good texture and chewiness. Baking powder works like a kansui (alkaline solution).

After boiling the noodles, get rid of the water using a strainer.

Do not use the same water you just used to boil noodles for the soup.

After reading all 8 simple tips to making the best instant ramen, you probably understand that it is essential to follow the cooking guide on the back of the packaging. 

Do not cook noodles according to your feeling or gut and do not “eyeball” measurements. 

There is always a right way to cook instant noodles!

3. Unknown instant noodle recipes that you have never tried of

Now you know how to boil instant noodles. 

Do you want to arrange your instant noodles? Here are some of my favorite recipes for instant noodles.

Take a look...

Recipe No. 1:  Simple but Delicious Tomato Instant Ramen Noodle Recipe

This tomato instant ramen recipe is super simple but really jazzes up the flavors of regular instant noodles.

Let's take a look at how to make this! 

Ingredients:

  • Water 300ml
  • Instant noodles (Soy sauce flavor) 1pack
  • Tomato juice 200ml
  • Olive oil 1tsp
  • Garlic 1clove
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese to taste

Directions:

1. Grate garlic

2. Boil instant noodles as per the instruction guide on the noodle package

3. Prepare another pot of water. Using high heat, bring to a boil and add in tomato juice and grated garlic.

4. After boiling tomato juice and garlic, add in the powder soup (the one that came with the instant noodles) and turn the heat down to low.

5. Add in olive oil.

6. Put noodles in a bowl and pour your tomato soup over the noodles.

7. Garnish with pepper and parmesan. (Optional: You can also add in sliced tomatoes and parsley)

ENJOY!

Recipe No. 2: 5-Ingredient Tasty Hangover-Curing Clam Instant Ramen Recipe

Today, I want to share with you how to make clam ramen using instant noodles.

It can be a good lunch option if you drank too much the night before.

Ingredients:

  • Water 20 oz
  • Instant noodles 1pack
  • Clams 4 oz (5-7 clams)
  • Green onion 1 piece
  • Cabbage 3 leaves

Directions: 

1. Cut cabbage and chop up the green onions.

2. Boil water and put clams inside.

3. Wait until the clams open up.

4. Drain clams.

5. Boil instant noodles and cabbage together.

6. After cabbage and noodles are boiled, put in one third of the powder soup (that came with the instant noodles).

7. Put noodles, soup, clams, and green onions into a bowl.

ENJOY!

Recipe No. 3: Must-Try Delicious Creamy Carbonara Instant Noodle

When I was a freshman, I tried many kinds of instant noodle flavours. At some point, I started arranging instant noodles in my own way.

Today I want to share with you a new recipe using instant noodles.

Let's take a look at how to make Carbonara Instant Noodles! 

Ingredients:

  • Instant noodles 1pack
  • Bacon 2 slices
  • Egg yolk 2
  • Olive oil 1tsp
  • Parmesan cheese 3tsp
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Cut bacon up into small pieces.

2. On a heated pan, add in olive oil and cook the bacon until crispy.

3. Start boiling instant noodles.

4. Mix parmesan cheese, egg yolks, and powder soup packet that came with the instant noodles.

5. Put boiled noodles and the carbonara sauce onto the pan with bacon bits and mix.

6. Using medium heat, keep mixing until the sauce gets thicker (Note: pay attention not to overcook egg)

7. Put the noodles onto a plate.

8. Sprinkle with black pepper.

ENJOY! 

If ramen or any other types of Japanese style noodles and soup is comfort food for you, you might be thinking that you need ramen bowls.

Ramen bowls are perfect for a large bowl of ramen.

They are big enough to pile on the fixings, they are durable, and best of all, they look beautiful.

Share a bowl of warm, hearty home cooked ramen with your family, friends and loved ones for your ramen night.

Or when you order take out, transfer the noodles from those awful looking containers.

You and your family will be so excited and can’t wait until your next ramen night to use these bowls!

About the Author

Kei is a self-proclaimed ramen lover, blog writer and founder of "Apex S.K. Japanese tableware".

"I am from Ibaraki, Japan.

Ramen is great! It can bring you a sense of happiness and satisfaction that no other food can. I have been eating ramen for 30 years.

If there is no ramen, my life would be miserable.

Ten years ago, I worked as an office worker. The job was really stressful - excessive working hours, low wages, unpaid overtime work, and constantly being yelled at by my boss.

I was new and alone, no girlfriend, no friends, and felt very lonely.

My only oasis was the ramen shop near the office. For me, the ramen chef there was literally an angel. I saw a halo on his head. (No joke)


Tonkotsu shoyu ramen was my all-time favorite. He made ramen with broth chock-full of umami flavor, nice chewy handmade noodles, and tender chashu.

My greatest dream is connect people with ramen through my blog. I want to share a lot of interesting and funny stories and ramen trivia with you.

Knowing more about ramen can help you appreciate your ramen and make it taste extra delicious."

 


2 comments


  • APEX Team

    Hi Michael,
    I’m so glad that you enjoyed our article and were able to learn something new!


  • Michael Sweet

    Very interesting article. Glad I read it. I’ve been doing it wrong the whole time!


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