Upgrade Your Classic Ramen Noodle Recipes in 8 Simple Ways

The traditional ramen noodle recipes are some of the most delicious culinary experiences you can have, that’s an established fact. They have just the right of the right flavors, and can be made as basic or as fancy as you like, even when you’re making them at home!

Yes, you heard that right! There’s a lot you can do to a traditional ramen recipe to upgrade it just that little bit. Here, we’re going to give you 8 simple ways to do just that.

8 Ways to Upgrade Ramen Noodle Recipes

Disclaimer: We’re not saying that the traditional noodle recipes need upgrading because honestly, we LOVE them as they are. However, we believe that a little variety goes a long way, especially if you love ramen and want to eat it every day. 

Add Nuts and Dry Fruit

nuts dry fruit ramen noodle recipes

Crushed peanuts are always a welcome addition to noodle dishes. Sichuan cuisine, in particular, features them prominently. 

However, there are so many nuts that go great with savory dishes such as, and you can always play around with the ratios. Plus, nuts are great whole, chopped, crushed, or ground into a paste. 

There are even several dishes such as satay, in which nuts are the main ingredients. 

Dry fruits are also good, especially when you cook them for a long time in a broth. The best fruits are raisins, dried berries, and apricots. Tamarind is also great for sauces and in ramen tare (our Tom Yum ‘Shrimp’ flavored immi ramen is a prime example).

Delicious Recipe Tips

Almonds, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, and pine nuts are the best for cooking. 

Almonds, cashews, and pine nuts are best when roasted and crushed. The other nuts are great when both crushed and ground into a paste, as well as whole. 

As for dry fruit, they’re great when chopped up and sprinkled on top of a dish. 

Aromatic Herbs

herbs ramen noodle recipes

Aromatic herbs and spices are awesome for adding flavor and rounding off a dish towards the end of cooking. 

Some dishes have herbs and spices as a central requirement. These include most dishes with a broth or sauce and those with a dry topping.

 Asian spices such as cardamom, star anise, cinnamon, fenugreek, kaffir lime leaves, Thai basil, and more, are all great in almost all dishes.

Depending on the dish, there is a combination of herbs and spices for anything. For example, a bowl of our Black Garlic ‘Chicken’ flavored immi ramen tastes great with a little fennel and cinnamon mushroom broth. There’s a flavor for all tastes when you have aromatics.

Delicious Recipe Tips

Some spices such as fenugreek and star anise have a strong aroma that can really alter the natural scent of ingredients. These are best used in thick gravies and sauces that already have strong-tasting ingredients to offset some of that powerful aroma. 

In addition to that, Thai basil and kaffir lime leaves have a more subtle flavor at first so it’s easy to add too much of. As is the case with any aromatic herb and spice, be careful how much you add at first. You can always come back and tweak the recipe later. 

Use Seafood

seafood ramen noodle recipes

Seafood is a great alternative to traditional chicken and beef. In fact, there are so many options in seafood that you can have a different dish all month without having the same type of protein a second time!

The best kinds of seafood for ramen dishes are obviously shrimp and other shellfish, as well as fish with firmer flesh such as Indian mackerel and tilapia. 

That’s not to say that flaky fish such as snapper and trout aren’t great in rice dishes, as they can pack a ton of flavor too. 

The best thing to do when using seafood is trying fish for one recipe and shellfish or crustaceans for the next. This will give some flavor variety as well as the option to cook new recipes. 

Delicious Recipe Tips

Spicy dishes such as dry chili ramen are best served with shrimp or some other seafood with firm meat. This is because the consistency of all the elements in a dish stays the same i.e. the noodles and the shrimp have the same chewiness, albeit different flavors. 

If you’re looking to make saucy or soupy ramen noodles, you can go for shredded crab or fish meat, or even chunks in the broth.

You can also make the broth base with a pre-used fish carcass and the bones/shells. This adds a ton of flavor to otherwise bland broths. 

More Butter!

butter ramen noodle recipes

Butter is delicious, let’s just get that out of the way! What’s better, is that it can make an awesome base for sauces and soups. 

For example, our Spicy ‘Beef’ flavored immi ramen tastes great with a nice butter roux base and some light beef broth. 

More than that, it can upgrade other recipes as well, especially ones that require a thickening solution or just to add some depth to the dish. 

If you don’t like the taste of butter or dairy, there’s margarine and other butter alternatives such as vegan butter, and nut butters. 

Delicious Recipe Tips

The best way to add butter to a ramen dish is to stir it into the noodles as soon as you take them out of the boiling water, and right before you pour in the soup/broth. 

In case you’re making delicious immi ramen with the seasoning in there, just do the same thing but only if you’re making drier ramen.

 Putting it in soupy ramen will dull the broth flavor a bit and you’ll have to thicken out the sauce to compensate. 

Alternatively, you can cook whatever protein you’re having on the ramen in some butter. You could even add some aromatic brown garlic butter on top of the dish just like you would add sesame oil on top of traditional ramen. 

Use Salt Alternatives

salt alternatives ramen noodle recipes

To be honest, you don’t really need salt when cooking a noodle dish, since most noodle recipe ingredients already have some sauce or condiment that takes care of that. 

However, if you still need that sodium in there, opt for salt alternatives. 

This is for two reasons. Number one, salt is just too one-dimensional as an ingredient. Our palettes are just too used to its taste in food. 

Use salt alternatives such as soy sauce, MSG, dried anchovy powder, dill extract, yeast extract, and more. These will make the dish more layered and will upgrade the flavor to a whole new tasty level. 

Delicious Recipe Tips

You should vary the liquid and solid salt alternatives according to the recipe. 

Dishes with a sauce or broth should always have a solid alternative dissolved during the sauce cooking, whereas you can simply drizzle the liquid alternative on top of drier ramen and still have an awesome plate of noodles. 

Be careful with stronger alternatives like Japanese soy sauce or similar thicker extracts since pound-for-pound they can be saltier than salt! Remember, balance is key when it comes to saltiness.