I'm one of those people for whom food isn't created in shades of gray; Asian foodstuffs stay Asian, Italian food stays Italian, etc. Ramen is clearly in the "Asian" category for me, so when I make it, I have plans surrounding it that are Asian-influenced at least. The neat thing is, though, I've seen posts of people who mix all sorts of different things in it.
My go-to Ramen meal is usually created like so:
- Boil the noodles for about 4 minutes (just long enough to lose toughness, but not back to doughy texture)
- Pull the noodles out of the boiling water and into my bowl
- Sprinkle the seasoning on the damp-but-not-soupy noodles, mix up the noodles.
- Play Picasso with soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and whatever Asian-style condiments I have. I've found I can't go wrong with a good forkful of hoisin, a couple splashes of soy, and sometimes a splash of teriyaki sauce. Maybe a little garlic powder or red pepper flakes, depends.
- I'll throw in some de-frosted cooked shrimp, also, for protein.
I learned the take-the-noodles-out-of-the-water trick from a guy friend in college, who made them for me like that; I haven't gone back since. I converted The Hubs to it, too; the downside is that since I'm a cook-by-taste rather than by measuring, I can't ever exactly recreate the same mix or specify what it is I did, so when The Hubs wants Ramen, guess who's stuck making it. Meh.
Anyway, I'm always looking for more ways to mix it up with Ramen, so please feel free to share your favorite ways to make Ramen (or how you used to make it, if you're out of the college mindset unlike myself and The Hubs xD).