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These Quick Ramen Hacks Will Save Your Busy Weeknights

Instant ramen never looked so good.

Jenny Chang / Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

Instant ramen: the sad, dorm room dinner we've all turned to during tough times. But what if it didn't have to be so *blah*?

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With some inexpensive additions, you can transform the instant dinner into something you'll actually look forward to eating.

Taylor Miller/Buzzfeed

So, let's start with the basics: You know the instructions for how to make ramen on the back of the package? Ditch those.

Taylor Miller/Buzzfeed

I've found that the ~better~ way to make it is to add a pat of butter and switch up the cooking process to make sure your noodles are flavorful and don't overcook. Here's how:

BUZZFEED'S ~BETTER~ INSTANT RAMEN

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

2 cups water

1 package instant ramen (Maruchan chicken flavor recommended)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Combine water, seasoning packet, and butter in a medium pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the noodle block (do not crush) and cook for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and add your upgrades, below.

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Now that we have the perfect base, onto the upgrades. For all of these, it's just a matter of adding in a few extra (budget-friendly!) ingredients for amped-up flavor and texture.

1. Thai Coconut Curry Ramen

Taylor Miller/Buzzfeed

This version mimics the spicy take-out classic everyone loves.

Pro tip: Try it with shrimp or rotisserie chicken for a hearty dinner ready in a flash.

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Here's how to make it:

Taylor Miller/Buzzfeed

THAI COCONUT CURRY RAMEN
Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

1 package of instant ramen, prepared

3 tablespoons coconut milk

½ teaspoon green curry paste

Juice from 1 lime

5 slices of jalapeño

1 tablespoon roasted peanuts, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)

To your prepared ramen, add coconut milk, green curry paste, and fresh lime juice. Stir to incorporate. Garnish with jalapeño slices, chopped peanuts, and chopped cilantro (optional).

2. Tortilla and Lime Ramen

Taylor Miller/Buzzfeed

This Southwest-inspired ramen gets a flavorful upgrade with salsa verde and fresh lime juice.

Pro tip: To save time, sub strips for crushed up tortilla chips or Fritos.

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Here's how to make it:

Taylor Miller/Buzzfeed

TORTILLA AND LIME RAMEN

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

1 package of instant ramen, prepared

2 tablespoons salsa verde

Half an avocado, sliced

½ cup crunchy tortilla strips

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

3 thinly sliced radishes

1 fresh lime wedge, to garnish

To your prepared ramen, add 2 tablespoons salsa verde and stir to incorporate. Garnish with sliced avocado, tortilla strips, chopped cilantro, sliced radishes, and a fresh lime wedge.

3. Bacon and Egg Ramen

Taylor Miller/Buzzfeed

This variation is loaded with everything you love about breakfast, giving you the perfect excuse to eat ramen for every meal.

Pro tip: Cook your bacon first, then fry your egg in the bacon fat for added flavor.

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Here's how to make it:

Taylor Miller/Buzzfeed

BACON AND EGG RAMEN

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

1 package of instant ramen, prepared

3 slices of cooked bacon, chopped

1 egg, fried

1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onions

Kosher salt, to taste

Ground black pepper, to taste

Top your prepared ramen with bacon and fried egg. Garnish with green onions and season with salt and pepper.

4. Spicy Peanut Ramen

Taylor Miller/Buzzfeed

Peanut butter and lime mimic the iconic flavors of Pad Thai in this variation.

Pro tip: Feel free to add more or less Sriracha to adjust the spice level.

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Here's how to make it:

Taylor Miller/Buzzfeed

SPICY PEANUT RAMEN

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

1 package of instant ramen, prepared

1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons Sriracha

5 slices of jalapeño

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon roasted peanuts, chopped

1 fresh lime wedge, to garnish

To your prepared ramen, add peanut butter, sesame oil, and Sriracha and stir to incorporate. Garnish with jalapeño slices, chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts, and a fresh lime wedge.

5. Faux Shoyu Ramen

Taylor Miller/Buzzfeed

Shoyu ramen is seasoned with Japanese soy sauce. This faux version is a quick interpretation of the restaurant classic.

Pro tip: Use thick-cut bacon to mimic the richness of pork belly used in traditional ramen.

Here's how to make it:

Taylor Miller/Buzzfeed

FAUX SHOYU RAMEN

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

1 package of instant ramen, prepared

2 teaspoons soy sauce

3 slices of bacon, cooked

1 soft-boiled egg

2 sheets of toasted nori snacks

1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onions

Toasted black sesame seeds, garnish (optional)

Kosher salt, to taste

Ground black pepper, to taste

To your prepared ramen, add soy sauce and stir to incorporate. Top with bacon, egg, nori snacks, green onions, and sesame seeds (if using) and season egg with salt and pepper.

There you have it! Instant ramen is the perfect blank canvas for just about anything. 🍜

Taylor Miller/Buzzfeed

Let's eat!

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