Introduction: Make Ramen (relatively) Healthy!

Picture of Make Ramen (relatively) Healthy!

Ramen noodle soup is a delicious staple for poor college students (and those feeling nostalgic), but have you looked at the nutrition facts lately? Ramen usually contains such delightful ingredients as MSG, oodles of salt, fat, empty carbs, and not a vitiman in sight.

But it's so delicious you say? (I have one word for you, Scurvy).

So here's how to make your ramen (relatively) healthy while simultaneously not bankrupting yourself.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Goods

Picture of Gather the Necessary Goods

This meal has the advantage of being fast, dirt cheap, vegetarian and reasonably nutritionally sound.

You will need:
-One package of Ramen noodles (either standard or organic varieties will do).
If you are a vegetarian the "Oriental" flavor of ramen sometimes contains no animal ingredients, it depends on the brand (Oriental Ramen is not vegan but the Thai Kitchen brand in the picture usually is!).
-About a rounded 1/2 cup of a variety of frozen vegetables.
Some I have used in the past include: chopped spinach, green beans, peas, chopped carrots, corn, edamame. If you have fresh veggies on hand, those work even better.
-Soy sauce and/or miso
-an egg

-Garnish: sliced garlic, green onion, cilantro, pepper, hot sauce

Step 2: Quick, Go Boil Some Water!

Picture of Quick, Go Boil Some Water!

Boil yourself 2 cups of water to cook the noodles.

I probably don't need to say this, but you never know: open your package and find the little seasoning package and pull it out *before* you dump the noodles in. Seems self evident, but fishing a melting seasoning packet out of boiling water is not fun. So look before you dump.

Here's the unconventional part:

Once your noodles are a little over halfway cooked, (still al-dente) dump the cooking water out and drain the noodles. Put another 2 cups of water on the stove.

(Hey you just discarded a lot of gross starch and a fair amount of fat!)

Step 3: Accessorize!

Picture of Accessorize!

Put your noodles back into the second batch of water.

Add your veggies (frozen or not) now, and let them cook a bit while you work on the egg.

Take an egg and break it into a bowl, scramble it well.

Once your soup has returned to a full boil, slowly pour the egg into the soup in a slow stream. Move the stream around the pan to get little ribbons of egg that cook quickly in the boiling water.

Add some flavoring from the packet (not too much, yuck) , or make your own with some soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, vegetable bouillion, etc. etc.

Now you have a good source of protein and some vegetables in your ramen ( you probably feel healthy already).

Step 4: Finish and Decorate.

Picture of Finish and Decorate.

Pour your delicious ramen noodles into a bowl! Since you only used a bit of the flavoring packet, your noodles might need a little something. Add some miso paste, tamari sauce, chili sauce, sesame oil, green onions, or other healthy flavoring.

Now eat them!


bruce86 (author)2007-09-05

You do realize the majority of the fat is in the noodles, probably even some MSG. Ever handle the noodles before? they are greasy.

Robyntheslug (author)bruce862007-09-06

There is no MSG in the noodles that I have, but there is a ton of fat! That's why you dump the water when you boil the noodles. When you boil them, a lot of the fat floats to the top of the soup and you can just pour it out before you add the seasoning and more water.

zachninme (author)Robyntheslug2007-09-21

Whats so bad about MSG? As long as you don't grow a 11th toe from having a bit, its fine. There's actually a lot of it in tomatoes.

pfef9209 (author)zachninme2008-02-06

yes, there is MSG naturally in tomatoes, and indeed in the brain, but that is not precessed free glutamic acid- the MSG used in food, and the bad kind. Glutamate is the main neurotransmitter in the brain, and this particular ingredient is known as an "excitotoxin," because it swamps the brain with neurotransmitter and causes massive neuron death in the basil nuclei. no, the blood- brain barrier doesnt protect you from this, especially not when blood sugar is low (which is when you are hungry). MSG has been known to cause not only retinal damage, but also brain lesions, and has been connected with parkinson's and alzheimer's. that's what is bad about it.

Sylkhr (author)pfef92092009-08-02

It's true, we always check packages of food to see if it has MSG, if it has MSG, my mom won't buy it. What's also crazy is you can buy it as a spice at the grocery store. As said, it messes up your brain, and we all want to keep that, don't we?

Sylkhr (author)Sylkhr2009-08-03

what happened to my text, it's tiny!?

billbillt (author)Sylkhr2014-08-05

It means you are becoming smaller and less visible... A good thing...

ErikK55 (author)billbillt2017-08-20

That's rude.

billbillt (author)ErikK552017-08-21

Why is it rude??. I meant no malice.. Being smaller means less noticeable and safer.. Anyway this was three years ago!!.. Weird!!..

iraqniphobia (author)zachninme2007-10-01

Too much can cause eye damage(At least in lab rats). Some people get sick from a slight amount. So if you're not one of those that get sick, and don't get too much, there really is nothing wrong with it.

zachninme (author)iraqniphobia2007-10-01

I was exaggerating when I said "As long as you don't grow a 11th toe from having a bit", instead of "getting sick", but yeah. As long as you aren't eating a pound of it a week, its not bad.

incorrigible packrat (author)2008-01-22

Some people, particularly those who pine for the luxury of a gas stove, would feel reluctant to boil 4 cups of water to make 1 dose of ramen. I use maybe 1/2 cup of water, and see very little grease on top, during the boil. That is until I add a dollop of tasty butter, which I'm often wont to do. I usually only have recourse to ramen when I'm painfully hungry and in a hurry to chow down. In such a state, I find I crave fat and starch. I like the idea of adding goodies, though. I'm partial to peas, for their pea-ness.

I'm wondering if it's really worth it, because I'm always fit, but can't afford much more than ramen. So...simply put, for my brain, would it even to be worth it to do more than just not add the flavor packet?

haha he said pea-ness

Reminds me of that "pen is stuck" sign on that printer :P Quick someone find the link! lol

Sylkhr (author)Azayles2009-08-02

have you ever heard of "pen island"?

Well, what would you say?


But pea-ness is just so much more to the point, though.

robj98168 (author)2015-04-12

Thanks for this instructable. You have given me many new ideas in the "Ramen World"!

I always make ramen with veggies like peas and such, and add an egg. ANd I don't usually use the seasoning packet, or if I do I use about 1/3rd of it. Great used with spices ice cumin, turmeric and a little ginger and/or curry powder

AnthonyH5 (author)2015-02-07

also, try adding some beef of pork meat in your ramen

AnthonyH5 (author)2015-02-07

That is what i always do

AnthonyH5 (author)2015-02-07

That is what i always do

Kcfnoodle (author)2015-01-17

The best chicken Ramon noodle recipe, healthy or not, cook noodles, drain all but one teaspoon water, add chicken spice, garlic salt, pepper, half teaspoon Tabasco sauce, finely crushed Doritos and fold mixture into a loaf. Heat in microwave, top with sour cream and Mexican blend cheese. YUMM!!

suiters (author)2014-12-17

Ewwww cooking the noodles with the water messes it up. You boil the water, and then pour it over the noodles in a bowl cover let sit for a couple minutes and eat before the noodles go soft. cooking the noodles softens them to much, and that is not how Ramen is meant to be eaten. This kills the taste. Buy ramen with no MSG.

stevnjessie1 (author)2014-09-24

Just testing this: add a bit of potato to the broth to absorb more salt. I'm still uncertain in how long to let it sit before eating - dont want it mushy.

ClayOgre (author)2011-10-02

Back in my college days, I would add some refried beans to the ramen, making sort of a bean soup with noodles. You had to eat it fast, if it cooled off and sat, it got kinda gnarly.

Another thing I still like to do, is to add some peanut butter and some cayenne pepper, and then try to stir the PB in as much as possible, then add some veggies. You get this sort of psuedo Thai thing going on.

deepta (author)ClayOgre2014-08-08

Before finished reading this comment my mouth watered thinking of Pad thai! this is a must try!

elizruge (author)ClayOgre2014-08-05

Yum. PB in noodles is da bomb.

chef56 (author)ClayOgre2012-03-29


SarahEllenBenjamin (author)2014-08-06

This is such an easy dish thanks for including it! * When adding the veggies (frozen or not) place them in the hot water before the ramen so the ramen does not over cook before the veggies are done.

bookstorebabe (author)2010-01-24

What I do to get a vitamen or two in my ramen-put the water the package calls for in your pot. I peel and chop one carrot, add it, and dump in some fozen peas. (I guess you could just add frozen veggies, instead). Sometimes a drained can of mushrooms, whatever I have. THEN, turn the burner on, and follow the package directions. The veggies will be perfectly cooked.
Your version sounds tasty, true. But this is an easy and fast way to add a little something to your ramen to make it a smigeon healthier.

jtmax24 (author)bookstorebabe2014-08-05

I just usually just leave out the packet seasoning completely. to much salt. drain all water. top with tuna and light soy sauce. may not be healthy, but I like it.

elizruge (author)jtmax242014-08-05

Sounds good

jarikcbol (author)2014-08-05

I was curious, so I did a little research, and learned that while the original ramen noodles where fried in palm oil, but supposedly, most western brands are air dried, not fried, (air drying seems to increase the shelf life actually) which means most of the fat content comes from the animal fat in the flavor (seasoning) packets. On that note, the 'Top Ramen' brand oriental and chili varieties are vegetarian friendly, and all of the 'Pot Noodle' flavors (a UK brand) are vegetarian. I looked around for solid info on the air drying, but could mostly only find people ranting about how bad ramen is for you.

gravityisweak (author)2014-08-05

Why not leave out the ramen altogether and replace them with a regular noodle? If you're buying all the vegetables it's not much of an extra expense.Then you would have a healthy meal.

nintenbro64 (author)2014-08-05

Yummy! It looks delish

billbillt (author)2014-08-05

This brings back memories of the old dorm days.... Double plus good...

taufiq_kharis (author)2014-08-04

i love ramen and all of kind instant noodles :). especialy from Indonesia (Indomie, mie sedap, Sarimi) hahahahha.

btw if you use another some left over sauce like curry sauce or rendang sauce, it will taste better. try it :)

aglaranna (author)2008-03-17

You mention here "Since you only used a bit of the flavoring packet" - but I can't find anywhere there tells you to use any of it...??

abennett14 (author)aglaranna2014-04-26

They say it right after adding the egg

Robyntheslug (author)aglaranna2008-05-31

Oops! You're right, my bad, edited. -R

uberross (author)2013-10-21

You seem very biased about Ramen on this part of the instructions. I know it's unhealthy, but the way you write these instructions kinda makes a person feel like they're not eating right and it seems intended to scold a person for eating something that they only have enough money to afford for a while (mostly college kids). The parentheses parts definitely seems biased. The directions are great, but they shouldn't be intended to make someone feel bad for eating something and trying to make it healthier.

apartment42b (author)2007-09-24

If you're vegan you'll be leaving out the *egg* as well (tofu works nicely, though. I usually saute mine beforehand with a bit of garlic and onion). Also, the Top Ramen brand Oriental and Chili flavors appear to be vegan.

SeaLion (author)apartment42b2012-04-21

I freeze my tofu and then cut them in 1cm slices and put them in the soup. Freezing changes the texture of the tofu and so it becomes really spongey and takes up the soup really especially well with those strongly flavoured instant noodles...unhealthy but it tastes good!

caityjay (author)apartment42b2009-08-12

I have it from a good veggie friend of mine that she trusts only the Top Ramen brand (Nissin) Oriental as far as veggie goes (I'll take your word for it on vegan; I'm a meat eater, so I'm just passing along wisdom!).

meowzebub (author)caityjay2009-09-26

sorry caityjay - rather than trust your "veggie friend" try reading the label; beef flavoring is included.

b5200 (author)meowzebub2010-05-12

 that's maruchan brand not top ramen.   Maruchan oriental = beef extract,  top ramen oriental = vegan.  Believe me.  I'm vegan and I've been hunting for top ramen brand for about a year because all the stores around me switched to all maruchan and the beef and chicken top ramen flavors for some reason. Luckily for me I was recently I was at a store out of town and they had it so I stocked up.

vandal1138 (author)caityjay2009-09-14

hooooooorrraaaaaay for meat!

About This Instructable




Bio: A caterer and adventurer looking for things to do! I like to crochet, cook, build stuff with wood, garden, do art projects etc. I also ... More »
More by Robyntheslug:How to Thrive Without DairyHalf Hour Harry HatMake Ramen (relatively) Healthy!
Add instructable to: