This Is the One Instant Ramen Hack You Absolutely Need

No one likes a watery bowl of noodles.

August 17, 2020

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Photo by: itakdalee/Getty


With back-to-school season upon us comes an even more urgent need for quick meal hacks. And lots of instant ramen. Lots and lots of instant ramen.

I’ve been slurping up noodles since I left the womb, so I’ve been finessing my instant ramen preparation for years. And hundreds of packets later, here’s a trick I learned to make a perfect bowl.

Packages typically include instructions specifying the amount of water to boil noodles in, often because that’s the water that ends up doubling as soup or hydrating a sauce. That makes sense as far as convenience goes; but more times than not, I’ve found myself wishing the soup was more flavorful or less spicy.

An easy solution to this? Get a kettle or separate pot of water boiling while your noodles cook. When they’re ready, drain or fish them out and place into a serving bowl. Top with the powder packet. And then pour the second pot of hot water into the bowl, starting with less and adding more to taste. Stir and enjoy. Regardless of what the instructions prescribe, this trick ensures that your broth can always be adjusted to your exact liking.

Keep in mind: This technique is for instant ramen that doesn’t come in a readymade cup or bowl. But even with those, it’s always a safe bet to add a little less hot water than directed if you like the broth potent, and to always have some extra in the kettle in case it warrants additional dilution.

Just because instant ramen might be a no-fuss way to get a meal down – or a late-night snack to tide you over – doesn’t mean it has to be “fine.” A smidge more effort can make those long nights and a cozy bowl that much better.

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