Elevate The Flavor Of Gravy With Nothing More Than A Ramen Seasoning Packet

Ah, gravy. That comforting elixir, that liquid embrace, that pièce de résistance of many respectable feasts. It's a cornerstone of cooking that transforms mere sustenance into culinary artistry. And there's a secret weapon, a culinary cheat code, hiding in the unassuming depths of an instant ramen seasoning packet, that can take a simple gravy to untold new heights. The small sachet of wonders that accompanies everyone's favorite college staple contains a bounty of powerful flavoring agents that blend into gravy to form a more full-bodied profile.

Gravy, in its many forms, is structurally similar to many French sauces, yet gravy is no monolith. Depending on what you're making, if there is enough fat left in the cooking vessel, flour is added to make what is essentially a roux. Once the roux is toasted, liquids like stock, milk, cream, or wine are added to thicken it further. Salt, pepper, herbs, and aromatics then serve to adjust the flavor. If this all seems pretty freeform, that's because it is; there are scads of varieties made from a galaxy of ingredients that simply share some common principles. One thing is certain, though, and that is for every gravy varietal, there is likely a ramen seasoning packet that can help boost its flavor.

Variety is the spice

When you rip open a ramen seasoning packet, you're lifting the seal on a powdered blend of intense ingredients designed to carry the flavor of a bowl full of noodle soup. Though they range from packet to packet, generally inside are dehydrated vegetables, garlic, onion, soy, ginger, and bouillon powders as well as monosodium glutamate (MSG.) That last one has gotten a bad rap over the years, but it is almost completely unearned. MSG is an umami-rich flavoring that is found across the culinary spectrum, from mushrooms to tomatoes to parmesan cheese.

There are just as many ramen varieties as there are gravy options; pairing them properly is an important step to getting the flavors you desire, but also a delicious exercise in culinary creativity. For example, enrich your chicken gravy with the complexity of miso ramen seasoning. The earthy umami of miso complements the poultry's natural flavors, creating a gravy that's as comforting as it is exquisite. Or, for those who crave a bit of heat, the spicy ramen seasoning packet is your ticket to gravy with a kick. Marry this seasoning with beef gravy to achieve a tantalizing fusion of heat and richness. But, don't let the meat lovers have all the fun. Elevate your vegetarian gravy with the herbaceous wonders of a vegetable ramen seasoning packet. Think of it as a garden-inspired flourish for your meat-free dishes, adding layers of depth to mushroom-based gravies or lentil stews.