... but those college kids do have some tips on customizing your ramen noodles
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I'm a college student -- code for a poor, lazy eater. We're the primary demographic expected to consume ramen. But some of us do spice it up in our own ways.
My fellow Post-Gazette intern Elliot Alpern says he customizes his two ways: "Sometimes I add a tiny bit of toasted sesame seed oil, some pepper flakes and some garlic powder. It gives it a little bit of an Asian flavor. Other times, I drop a raw egg in it, mix it up and let the egg cook to create a makeshift egg drop soup. It's my dad's idea, but it's a good one."
I eat a variation called Maggi noodles. You can find them in Indian stores, but perhaps in a few years they'll end up in mainstream supermarkets. While ramen seasoning often is made with a beef or chicken base, Maggi noodles are vegetarian-friendly, and the flavor packets in the cheery yellow packaging tend to be spicier. I add curry leaves, cumin powder, chili powder, salt, pepper, and a medley of vegetables to the sauce packet in a saute pan, then add onions, tomatoes, peas, small boiled potatoes, and thinly sliced green chilies. For a little bit of protein, you also can scramble an egg, chop it up, and add it into the vegetable sauce.
The final flourish: I like to top off my noodle bowl with some spiced peanuts, which you can find at ethnic stores or sometimes at Trader Joe's. That adds a bit of crunch and a bit more spice. It's flavorful comfort food, and it doesn't take more than 10 minutes from start to stomach!
First Published June 14, 2012 12:00 am