They both share reputations as college classics, yet ramen noodles are noticeably missing from John Belushiâ€™s plate during the (in)famous Animal House food fight scene.
Bluto gave it a pass, but ramen has long been a staple of the university diet. You can easily pick it up from your local grocery store for as little as 10 cents a pack in a variety of flavors. Ramen recipes are a perfect choice for cash- and time-strapped youngsters on the prowl for simple college student fare.
But beware of those little, innocent-looking flavor packets. Ramen by itself is mostly harmless, but the instant variety popular in America is loaded with sodium. The average package is actually two servings, not one, meaning a humble pack (with flavoring) contains more than 80 percent of your daily recommended sodium and almost 400 calories. Other soup flavors are even worse.
The easiest way to get healthy ramen noodles is to do away with the flavor packet. Unfortunately, this leads to an unsatisfying dinner. But never fear; robust ramen recipes are here. Give your noodles a boost by adding chicken, frozen veggies or pre-cooked shrimp, all of which are packed with much-needed vitamins and minerals. Keep your costs down with grocery coupons and save money for some of the more obscure items, like the kelp in numbers 17 and 19.
If kelp is any proof, adventurous ramen recipes now reach near gourmet heights without requiring gourmet time. (Or, at least as gourmet as ramen can get â€” which, apparently, is quite a bit in Japan.) Below are five healthy and easy college student recipes for ramen, guaranteed to keep your culinary life from being placed on double-secret probation.
Basic Ramen Recipe
- 1 package ramen noodles
- 2 cups water/package
- Optional: Flavor packet
- Boil water in medium pot. If using a microwave, heat on high for 3 minutes.
- Add noodles and packet to boiling water.
- Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until noodles separate and become soft.
- To fry, add 2 tsp. canola oil to pan over medium-low heat. Cook slowly until golden brown on all sides.