ramen noodle bowls ramen noodle bowls No seasoning packets allowed here. (Photo: Lisovskaya Natalia / Shutterstock)

6 creative ways to eat ramen

It's time to give ramen, everyone's favorite noodle bowl, the old college try.

It may have been responsible for at least five of your freshman 15, but ramen has proved over the years to be more than a dorm-room midnight snack. Nowadays, ramen is a culinary art form, one that dares restaurateurs and chefs to constantly outdo each other on the most creative ways to dress up this simple soup of noodles, broth and toppings. But lucky for you, there's no need to dash off to your nearest fast-casual ramen joint to enjoy a bowl. You can make this steamy, dreamy bowl of happiness right at home, just by adding a few simple ingredients and knowing a few tricks. Here's how.

Greek-Italian fusion ramen with roasted chicken

That freeze-dried brick of instant noodles actually cleans up nicely, when paired with the right ingredients (read: no processed spice packet!). In a video spot for Asian food company Maruchan, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., chef Chris Paul shows viewers how to use the store-bought noodles to enhance the quintessential chicken dinner with a Greek-Italian fusion twist. It's a short-prep meal, a big plus for busy families or young people on the go, and there's even a little time to spare for snacking on those tender, irresistible pine nuts.


Quick vegetarian ramen bowl

quick ramen bowlA delicious, comforting meal for only $1.01? This can only be achieved by ramen. (Photo: Budget Bytes)

How much did your meal cost the last time you went out to eat? $12? $15? $22 since you sprung for the 8-ounce filet instead of the 6? What if we told you a filling, hot meal that literally costs a buck was possible? The folks at Budget Bytes, who manage to keep both their bellies and wallets full at all times, concoct a ramen bowl enriched with mushrooms, spinach, an egg and a dash of chili paste for only $1.01. Really!


Edamame hummus and kimchi ramen

Kimchi ramen with edamame hummus.Kimchi ramen with edamame hummus. (Photo: jreika/Shutterstock)

If you're going to name your food brand "Food Should Taste Good," you're setting the bar pretty high. That's the idea behind a non-GMO line of snacks available in stores across the U.S. that includes multigrain tortilla chips, kettle-cooked sweet potato chips and several varieties of hummus. To help its customers find new ways to use their products, FSTG produced a recipe that features its edamame hummus combined with a Korean-style kimchi ramen bowl. And if you like hummus and other Mediterranean food, check out our Israeli Kitchen for more recipes.


Nigella Lawson's ramen

Noodle bars are great if you're looking for a lively crowd and limited personal space. But tonight's one of those curl-up-on-the-couch evenings when you've already changed into yoga pants (admit it, you were wearing different yoga pants earlier, too) and your meal goals are simple: No fuss, only one utensil involved, must fit in a bowl no wider than the length of my outstretched hand. Nigella Lawson, acclaimed cookbook author and host of several cooking shows including "Nigella Bites" and "Nigella Express," uses dashi, the Japanese broth "that launched a thousand noodle soups," as a base for her own homemade ramen recipe. She's also quite generous with ginger because, as she says, "I can never have too much of its spicy warmth."


Breakfast ramen

breakfast ramenStart your day with ramen. (Photo: Delish/Ethan Calabrese)

If your day starts with bacon, egg and cheese, it's bound to be a good one. This supremely easy breakfast recipe using ramen (but again, not the seasoning packets, thank you!) combines those three staples perfectly for a foolproof meal that satisfies all ages, appetites and tastebuds.


4-ingredient peanut butter chicken ramen

ramen noodlesA little peanut butter goes a long way. (Photo: Stepanek Photography/Shutterstock)

This might be one of the most bizarre uses for peanut butter we've seen, but the gastronomic bloggers at Tablespoon love experimenting with unusual ingredient combinations with superb results, so who are we to argue? And with an ingredient list as short as this, it's possible you already have all this stuff in your home! Best of all? You can use the seasoning packets, and it won't leave you feeling like you just poured a bag of salt down your throat. Here's Tablespoon's recipe.

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6 creative ways to eat ramen
Ramen. It's not just for college students anymore. Make your own creative noodle bowls with these creative ways to eat ramen.