1. Use broth instead of water
Starting with broth or stock goes a long way in the flavour department when it comes to instant noodles. The soup is everything. If you don't have homemade, you can always use store-bought. Just make sure it's low in sodium because the instant noodles flavouring packet already has enough salt.
2. Add some vegetables
Not only do vegetables add nutrients to your instant noodles, but they also add much-needed texture. Choose and add any of your favourite combination of greens. Bok choy, pumpkin, baby corn, spinach, cabbage - the possibilities are endless when it comes to veggies and instant noodles.
3. Use thin slices of meat
The key is to add thin slices of meat so it cooks the same time as the noodles. If you've got more time on your hands, marinate the meat beforehand for some extra umami!
4. Use some fresh seafood
Seafood is great for adding to instant noodles as they don't take long to cook. You can add them the same time you're adding the noodles.
Pro tip: Portion your seafood and keep them in individual freezer bags, so they defrost faster when you want to cook them.
5. A great alternative for meat is tofu and mushrooms
If you're not a huge fan of meat, or if you don't consume meat at all, tofu and mushrooms are great to pair with instant noodles and help you keep full for longer.
6. Eggs are always a must
Eggs are always a must in my books when it comes to instant noodles. Especially when they have a runny centre. You can even bulk boil some seven-minute soft-boiled eggs and keep them in the fridge for a few days. Then you would always have some on hand when you're cooking instant noodles.
7. Add sautéed onions or garlic to your stir-fried noodles
Adding sautéed onions or garlic to any stir-fried dish is always a good idea. It'll immediately take it to the next level!
8. Garnish with furikake and sesame seeds
Furikake is a dry Japanese seasoning that consists of seaweed, sesame seeds, and dried fish. It's used to sprinkle on rice and vegetable dishes to increase flavour. Alternatively, you can sprinkle some sesame seeds or chopped green onions if that's what you have in your pantry.
9. Add a handful of fresh herbs
Chopped herbs can bring some much-needed freshness to any dish. Choose your favourite herbs to compliment the flavour of the instant ramen you have like mint, coriander, or parsley.
10. Add a knob of butter
If there's anything I learned from eating in ramen shops all the time, is that butter makes the soup richer. It's a very subtle way to add creaminess without going overboard, and it really works.
11. Finish with a drizzle of infused oil
A drizzle of infused oil is a great way to add some extra oomph to your instant ramen. It can be anything you like from chili oil, garlic oil, to even a dash of rosemary oil.