Wondering what you should put in your ramen to make it even better? I've got a list of 31 things you can put in ramen to elevate even a simple package of instant ramen.
Most of these are pantry staples and shelf-stable, so even if you have to buy a larger jar or bottle of an ingredient you can store it and keep using it in your ramen!
What to Add to Ramen
Here are some of my favorite things to add to ramen - many of these are pantry staples. Try combining two or three of these for an elevated bowl of ramen!
- Green Onions - Adding sliced green onions to ramen is one of the easiest and most satisfying additions you can make! They're fresh, packed with flavor, and super easy to use. They also make your bowl of ramen look 10 times better.
- Soy Sauce - Adding a splash of soy sauce to ramen adds salt plus umami and it couldn't be simpler. If you have an already salty seasoning packet this might not be the best option, but if you're using dried noodles or fresh ramen noodles this can add the salty hit you want in a bowl of ramen.
- Homemade Ramen Seasoning - My absolute favorite addition to ramen is this ramen seasoning blend I always keep in my spice cabinet.
- Sesame Seeds - Try roasted sesame seeds or black sesame seeds for some lovely texture and color.
- Peanut Butter - A tablespoon or two of peanut butter makes the creamiest ramen!
- Fish Sauce - Want some instant umami? Fish sauce packs a punch of flavor. Add in a teaspoon to start.
- Sesame Oil - Use toasted sesame oil as a finishing oil for your ramen. Its rich and nutty flavor will elevate your noodles.
- Chili Oil - If you love a little heat, add in a few spoons of chili oil or chili crunch.
- Oyster Sauce - This thick, rich sauce will add some super savory flavors. Use it sparingly as it is potent.
- Rice Vinegar - Add a teaspoon or so of rice wine vinegar to add some acidity to your bowl (especially if you are using some fatty meat or oil).
- Lime Juice - Similar to vinegar, lime adds in some much-needed acidity with some fantastic citrusy flavors.
- Hoisin Sauce - A small dollop of hoisin will add a super savory, slightly sweet flavor to your ramen. It's a little like barbecue sauce, but richer and saltier.
- Brown Sugar - If you want to add some caramel-like sweetness, add one or two teaspoons of brown sugar to your noodles.
- Miso Paste - One of the classic ramen add-ins is miso paste. It's richly flavorful, savory, and salty-sweet.
- Dashi - Use some instant dashi to add some fish stock flavor to your ramen. It's nice and salty.
- Raw Egg - Stir a raw egg into your hot noodles and it will become creamy and lightly cooked.
- Soft Boiled Egg - Soft-boiled eggs and ramen are a 10/10 combo. Soft boil an egg for 6 minutes, halve it and add it to your bowl.
- Hot Sauce - Try adding a few teaspoons of a vinegary hot sauce like Frank's or a classic like Sriracha.
- Curry Powder - Curry powder is the ultimate spice blend. Add some for a little heat and richly, deep flavors.
- Chili Pepper - Slice a red or green chili pepper for some bright, hot flavors.
- Cheese - One of the most popular ramen "hacks" is adding slices of American cheese to your ramen. If you like mac and cheese, you've got to try this.
- Leafy Greens - Any leafy green from arugula to spinach to microgreens can be a delicious, healthy addition to ramen. It adds some freshness and balance to your bowl of noodles.
- Red Pepper Paste - Add in a dollop of red pepper paste or red chili paste (like Gochujang) for a little heat.
- Raw Ginger - Add in a few slivers of peeled, raw ginger to season the water or broth in your ramen. I'd recommend removing it before serving.
- Butter - If you've tried Kylie Jenner's viral ramen recipe, you'll know just how delicious and creamy adding butter to ramen can be!
- Fresh Vegetables - broccoli florets, sliced bell pepper, and mushrooms are all fantastic additions to ramen. Use whatever you have available in your refrigerator!
- Bamboo Shoots - seasoned bamboo (Menma in Japanese) is a lovely, slightly sweet topping for ramen.
- Chicken Broth - Sub your water for some chicken broth or stock for richer flavors.
- Milk - Want a creamier ramen? Sub half your water for milk.
- Bok Choy - Slice a few pieces of baby boy choy and add them into your ramen for the last minute or two of cook time.
- Pork Belly - Pork belly (chashu) is a classic ramen pairing. It's fatty and rich - it flavors the broth and pairs beautifully with the noodles.
How to Make Ramen Healthier
Making your own ramen from dried or fresh noodles (and not using an instant ramen package) can immediately make your ramen healthier.
Instant ramen noodles are fried but dried ramen noodles aren't - see the difference in the photo below.
If you are using an instant ramen package, you can make your own seasoning blend, with less sodium.
You can also add all sorts of nutrient-dense ingredients to your ramen like eggs, spinach, mushrooms, green onions, bell pepper, sesame seeds, and more.
Easy Ramen Recipes
- Peanut Butter Ramen - this delicious peanut butter ramen recipe is so simple to make.
- Ramen with Milk - a perfect creamy ramen recipe
- Ramen with Egg & Kewpie - perfect for carbonara lovers - this hits all the flavor notes
- Miso Ramen Recipe with Bok Choy - a richly flavorful and healthy ramen
I hope you enjoy this list! What will you be adding to your ramen?