Fresh Ginger Will Give Your Ramen A Huge Boost

It's time we take a moment to appreciate the versatility of instant ramen. Whether you're on a budget or short on time, ramen is a beautiful dish that can be perfectly personalized to your tastes. You can add sesame oil, a runny egg, cheese, bok choy, Kewpie mayo, and countless other options to upgrade your ramen — just don't overcook the noodles! If you've tried those other fixings and want to take your ramen even further, try adding some fresh ginger to your next bowl for a kick of flavor.

All you need for this hack is a knob of fresh ginger from the grocery store. Peel it, cut a few small slices, and save the rest for later. Add your ginger slices to your ramen while it's still cooking so the flavors can be properly drawn out. To make the ginger flavor a bit more intense, you can grate or mince your ginger instead of slicing it. Once your ramen is done cooking, serve it as you normally would with the ginger still included. Along with a fresh taste, it will add some visual interest to your bowl.

Ginger will kick your ramen up a notch

If you don't have access to fresh ginger, you could substitute with ginger paste, though you won't get the same satisfying crunch of the ginger slices. You could also use ground ginger, but be advised that its warmer, spicier notes may not lead to the same final result as the fresh version.

Ginger is rather popular in Japanese cuisine, so it makes sense that it would also go well with Japanese ramen. You will often find a pickled version of ginger served alongside sushi, and while it's somewhat intended as a palate cleanser, it also adds a bit of texture and bright flavors to maki rolls and sashimi. When paired with the warm, savory flavors of ramen, ginger's invigorating, fresh notes will really shine through.

A great thing about instant ramen is that if you're not satisfied with your modifications, it doesn't cost much to get a new packet and try again. Feel free to play around with the amounts of ginger and other toppings you add to your bowl until you find a combination you love. If you want some inspiration for your next meal, check out our recipe for spruced-up ramen that includes eggs, mushrooms, and, of course, ginger.