Maruchan is, without a doubt, one of the most popular instant ramen available in supermarkets. There is no denying that one of the main characteristics of such products is fast cooking, but you can make your instant ramen taste even better with some simple techniques.
These simple steps that I am about to show you can really make your Maruchan instant ramen dish taste delicious:
1. Prepare the broth
2. Cook the ramen noodles
3. Fan the noodles
4. Add toppings
I will elaborate on each step and give some further advice that can make Maruchan ramen even more enjoyable.
What You’re Going to Need
- A medium-sized pot and its lid,
- A fork or chopsticks and a spoon,
- Eggs (and other toppings if you want).
Step 1 – Prepare the Broth
One of the main differences between traditional and instant ramen is the quality of the broth. However, you can prepare a quick, improvised broth for your instant noodles as well, and that will enhance the flavor significantly.
For a classic packaging of instant ramen, two cups of water are enough. In order to prepare a broth, you need to add various spices and ingredients to water and boil everything together. Maruchan ramen will include little spice pouches, so you can add those easily.
However, I would personally recommend getting natural spices (the ones in little bags are packed with sodium and carbohydrates) and seasoning the broth according to your taste (a lot of people like to make their ramen spicier). Not only will this make the dish more flavorful, but it will also be healthier.
Until it starts to boil, you should stir the broth from time to time. By doing so, the spices will impart even more flavor to the water. Once it starts to boil, your ramen broth is officially ready.
Tip: Traditional ramen broths can be made with many different ingredients, like pork or chicken bones, for example. Such broths usually require more than twelve hours of cooking time. If you want to experiment with different broths, I suggest checking out the recipes carefully and seeing how much time is needed for the ingredients to dissolve and impart their flavor.
Step 2 – Cook the Ramen Noodles
After opening the ramen packaging, you will see that it is a block of compressed dried noodles. Don’t separate anything, but take the whole block and place it slowly in the boiling broth.
Take a fork or chopsticks and gently press the block in order to cover it entirely with the broth. You should hold it until the noodles start separating (this will last for approximately a minute and a half). Afterward, leave it to cook for another two minutes or so. The whole process of cooking shouldn’t last more than five minutes, but nonetheless, check what is stated on the packaging.
It is advisable to be beside the stove until the noodles are cooked. Instant ramen noodles can easily become overcooked, and if that happens, they completely lose their texture and flavor. You will end up with a bowl of mushy noodles.
Tip: Instant ramen can be microwaved as well. In that case, you should take a microwave bowl, pour water, and add the block of ramen and spices. Microwaving takes even less time, and usually, it is about two minutes. However, I would recommend this method only if you are in a hurry. They simply don’t taste as good as when cooking them.
Step 3 – Fan the Noodles
This is an optional step. However, if you want to achieve a better texture of noodles, I strongly recommend doing this. Maruchan and any other instant ramen noodles have a soft texture, no matter how precise you are when cooking them.
Once the noodles have separated in the boiling water, don’t let go of your chopsticks or fork. With your other hand, take the lid. Slowly start lifting the noodles out of the boiling water and fan them with the lid for five to ten seconds. Repeat this process for the remaining time needed for the noodles to be cooked.
By doing this, you are stopping the cooking process, and this will give a chewy texture to the noodles. Sometimes the difference is quite noticeable.
Step 4 – Add Toppings
One of the main reasons why instant ramen noodles are so popular is that you can add pretty much any topping you want, and it will taste great. However, if you want to follow the Japanese tradition, boiling an egg is an inseparable part of the process.
Some people like to crack an egg on top of noodles within the last thirty seconds of cooking, which is basically how a poached egg is made, while others coil eggs separately, and then add slices on top of noodles. If you have opted for the latter method, keep in mind that soft-boiled eggs add the most flavor.
However, there are other popular toppings as well. The Japanese like to add braised pork slices to their ramen, and all kinds of vegetables are usually part of the recipes. Mushrooms are a great addition as well. All in all, you should look on the internet for different recipes (each part of Japan has its own unique ramen recipe) and try different toppings.
Truth be told, Maruchan ramen will never taste as good as traditional Japanese ramen. However, if you put a little bit more effort into it, you can actually make a decent dish. What is more, Maruchan offers a lot of different flavored noodles. However, in the end, I would like to state that these products should be enjoyed in moderation as they are not healthy overall.