• 1tsp sesame oil

  • 1tsp olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2tsp grated ginger

  • 60g carrots

  • 60g mushrooms

  • 900ml vegetable stock

  • 1tbs vinegar

  • 3tbs soy sauce

  • 1tbs sriracha sauce

  • 80g noodles

This week I decided to ditch the packaged staple of every student diet, instant ramen, and make it from scratch. The process of finding a recipe took a little longer than expected as there were so many to choose from. Luckily, all of them had similar components, so the one I settled on had ingredients that I was familiar with and, more importantly, required me to spend the least money. This recipe is from the food blogging website Killing Thyme which matched my requirements and pun needs.

The making of the broth itself was much easier than I had envisioned.

Begin by simmering the garlic and ginger for a couple of minutes in the oils.

Follow by adding the carrots and mushrooms and cooking until soft then top it off by adding the stock (needs to be mixed with hot water to form a broth). Finish by adding the sriracha, vinegar and soy sauce to your taste and allow it to simmer for five minutes. At this point I began to diverge a little from the original recipe by also adding chilli sauce to give it more heat and prawns. Once this is complete, simply add the noodles to the broth and allow it to cook to complete the meal.

However, as every ramen-obsessive knows, an amazing ramen bowl doesn’t just stop there. There are a variety of different garnishes you can add to your bowl to elevate the textures and flavours of ramen. I opted for a classic soft-boiled egg with some nori accompanied with kimchi for a slightly sour hint. One of the things that I think makes ramen so popular aside from its convenience is the fact that all its components can be adjusted to suit each individual person’s taste. While I had a boiled egg, you could just as easily have had a fried egg, used chicken stock instead of vegetable stock, made it vegetarian and add tofu, or even used zoodles instead if you’re into that; the possibilities are endless!

I found that the homemade ramen had an amazing depth of flavour which you don’t get with instant ramen. The biggest difference between making your own ramen and buying its instant counterpart is making the broth itself. Instead of simply pouring out a flavour sachet, this requires a little more effort and input on your part. However, homemade ramen gives you the flexibility and freedom to directly choose what ingredients and flavours go into your bowl. This, mixed with the addition of fresh vegetables, adds a different level of tastes and textures compared to the soft, one-note texture you usually find with instant ramen. Another notable difference was with the noodles. I decided to use egg noodles, which really added to the authenticity as I wasn’t under time pressure to eat quickly out of fear of the noodles going soggy. There was a significant price difference between the components of the homemade ramen and the instant packet. Excluding the additional topping, which I admit was relatively pricey, I spent just under £6. This is a drastic jump from the usual 90p that I can understand some people would be unwilling to make. However, I would still consider this to be a cheap meal especially if you take into account the variance in price depending on what ingredients you decide to include.

Although I admit this process is a little more time consuming, it’s still relatively quick and easy to make compared to many other foods. In total the whole process took me just under half an hour to complete - not ideal when it’s 1 AM, you’re starving, and you have an exam the next the next day, but it’s definitely worth the time.

I can no longer fully enjoy a bowl of instant ramen without hearing my mum complain about the high salt content and her overdramatic exaggeration of the negative health implications. It was a nice contrast knowing that my diet was being positively impacted by the bowl of ramen for a change.

So if you’re someone who’s willing to spend a little extra time and money in order to make something healthy and wholesome then I would definitely recommend this recipe.