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5 Ramen Hacks for College Kids

Take your ramen to the next level with these super easy and delicious tricks.

Take your ramen to the next level with these super easy and delicious tricks.

1. Add Real Ingredients

For college students, ramen noodles are a main course meal (well that and easy-mac but that's not the point). From time to time we need something REAL, not the artificial peas and freeze dried meat that usually comes with our ramen. One hack that can really take your noodles to a different level is adding some authentic ingredients. I'm not saying that ramen isn't real, but the things that are thrown in aren't exactly fresh. Now for me my cafeteria has a serve yourself salad bar with chicken, carrots, peas, etc. So to obtain some fresh ingredients, your own cafeteria is your best bet. Cut up some chicken, throw in some onions, go wild and make that 65 cent cup noodle a gourmet meal.

2. Make Your Own Seasoning Packets

Okay, okay, I know this seems like a lot of work but hear me out. The packets that come with our regular ramen are BLAND. WEAK. We deserve better than some first grade cafeteria food concoction, we need something that's going to taste like Wolf Gang, but pay like Dollar Tree. So here's the recipe: 

  • 2 tablespoons powered bone broth (chicken, beef, etc) 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of soy sauce powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon of dashi powder 
  • And then a pinch of dried chives

Yes, I know it's a lot but when all of this is combined, its enough to make hundreds of individual packets. Once you've bought these ingredients then you can use them again and again to make more, so it's well worth the investment. This recipe was created by chef Clifford Endo on the youtube channel Eater. He and a ton of other amazing chefs have a bunch of awesome recipes that you can go and check out here. This new and improved seasoning packet will change the way you eat your regular dorm room ramen forever.

3. Use What You Got

Let's face it, microwaves aren't good for two things: heating up left over fries and making ramen noodles. The best way to prepare them is to boil some water on your stovetop and then wait three minutes for them to get soft. Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't have the time (or the patience) to gather all the supplies and wait 15-20 minutes for water to boil. The best method besides stovetop is your Keurig. Pop your noodles into a bowl or container and then brew boiling water onto them, use something to cover them up, wait 2-3 minutes and you're done. It cuts your cooking time in half so you can use that time for other things, like finish watching season two of Stranger Things, scrolling through your Twitter feed, or thinking about your boo that isn't really your boo but should be. You know, the usual stuff.

4. Who needs bowls?

Not having a kitchen or utensils in college is one of the most frustrating things about living in a dorm. For most of us, we love food and making it, and not having a Martha Stewart spread is a huge struggle. But fear not, you can successfully prepare your ramen with NO UTENSILS. Refer to the previous step to retrieve your boiling water, open your bag of noddles like you would a bag of chips, hold the package open below the Keurig and let the bag fill up with water. Tie the bag closed with a hair elastic, rubber band, or just twist it closed. If you can, wrap the entire thing in a towel or spare dirty shirt to keep the moisture and heat in and then wait 2-3 minutes for the noodles to cook. Go ahead and sprinkle in the seasoning packet and eat it right out of the bag, no utensils or bowls needed.

5. Recipes From a Jail Cell

Prison recipes can be your best friend when preparing food in your dorm. Although we're not in the big house, we share a trait with people that are, and thats having limited resources. Prison recipes use easy and cheap ingredients, simple steps, and quick cooking times. One example is "Avary's Jailhouse Hole Burrito," which is a combination of ramen noodles, hot sauce, takis, jalapeño popcorn, squeezable cheese, cheese crackers, hot Cheetos, and of course a flour tortilla. I found this recipe from a video made by a woman named Emmy on the channel Emmymadeinjapan, which you can find here. She tries her hand at different recipes from the book Prison Ramen, written by Clifton Collins Jr. and Gustavo "Goose" Alvarez, along with a really cool foreword by Samuel L. Jackson. It's filled with different delicious and easy to prepare dishes, which main ingredient is ramen. So, go ahead, Google some jailhouse recipes, or pick up the book, you'll become the best chef in your dorm and save money doing it. All these hacks should make the meal making process easier for us college kids and make our cheap food taste like five star menu items.

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