Instant ramen has been popular in the states for decades, and restaurants that serve the real thing in any variety you can imagine have been popping up everywhere in the last few years. But you don't have to go out or spend all day cooking to have a gourmet ramen experience. The little spice packet that comes with your noodles is a good starting point, but if you want to take ramen to the next level, just look in your fridge. There are tons of super easy ways to upgrade cheap instant noodles, and most of them can be done in the time it takes for your water to boil. Adding meat almost always makes instant noodles taste better, and you can use just about any kind. It's a great way to repurpose leftovers or use a piece of meat that's about to go bad.
By bringing in a local chocolatier and developing a special pork broth to complement the sweetness in place of their usual anchovy base trendy ramen joint Mensho have certainly given this their best shot. With a new restaurant in San Francisco and numerous in Tokyo, their attention to detail is taking them places. Rather than having chocolate noodles or broth, they have opted to put chunks of the specially selected goodness in along with other toppings, giving the diner flexibility. It really is worth it.
In theory, no one would fault you for playing it by the book when it comes to prepping a cent package of instant ramen. After all, boiling noodles, mixing them with water, sprinkling and stirring in a flavor packet, and calling it dinner is a fool-proof process that's been a dorm-room antidote for nearly half a century. Instant ramen is a reliable cheap-o fall back option, sure, but its true hidden strength is its versatility.
Remember when I dropped that recipe for instant ramen on you? Read this , then come back. Now you're ready for part two of ramen calculus: the vegetables, proteins, sauces, and seasonings you will add to it. Because there's no getting around the fact that instant ramen is a foodstuff that needs a little pumping up.