By Alison Berstein
Stuck in the dorms for the weekend and trying to save money? Looking for easy dinners when the Simmons dining areas are not available?
Chances are, ramen is your go-to meal—or at least high on the list.
Just because ‘ramen’ rhymes with ‘common’ doesn’t mean that your eating experience needs to be.
Here are some ways to make that time-loved but tedious ramen more appealing.
– Add vegetables. Who said ramen can’t be healthy? With a few carrots and some scallions, you can balance your meal.
– Beef it up with meat. We just learned that ramen can be healthy, and it can be a full-course meal, for that matter. Include meat or fish to give your noodles substance.
– Mix flavors. Add a little of the beef flavor packet and a little of the chicken packet.
– Cook it like pasta. Ditch the flavor packets all together, add cream, and sprinkle a little Romano cheese on top. I call this “ramen à la Panda” in honor of a high school friend (nicknamed Panda) who makes her ramen this way.
– Have a creative free-for-all. There’s no one way to make ramen, and there’s no one way to enjoy it. We each have our own tastes, and that especially holds true for literal tastes. Experiment with whatever is in the kitchen—sauces, spices, food, flavors.
Cooking is as much an art as it is a science. There is great beauty in the liberties that we take in our culinary creations. Quality shouldn’t take a backseat to convenience, and you shouldn’t sacrifice taste to stay on budget. Ramen may be a college staple, but with a little creative thinking, you can spice it up and give your own personal twist to this dish.
Next time you and your friends are dreading another night of dining hall food, try taking a trip to Star Market and whipping up some noodles using these easy tricks.