Yogurt Is The Creamy Topping That Basic Instant Ramen Needs

Although there are a million and one ways to seriously upgrade your instant ramen, one of the tastiest may be the one you'd least expect: adding in yogurt. Creamy ramen has been trending in TikTok in the past year or two, and while the kewpie mayo and egg additions sound delicious, yogurt puts a slightly different spin on the dish. Instead of making your noodles richer and heartier, yogurt can add lightness, tang, and — of course — creaminess.

Unlike with the upgraded TikTok instant ramen, you'll want to initially dollop your yogurt on top of your bowl instead of mixing it in. Yogurt has a long history of being used as a finishing touch for savory foods, as it's deployed in everything from short rib borscht to classic tzatziki sauce. But amidst the meaty, umami-heavy tastes in instant ramen, the dairy product's sharp tang will provide a yummy balance of flavor. If you prefer spicier varieties of these noodle packets, the dairy in yogurt can be a welcome relief for your tongue, and it can help to cool the overall temperature of your bowl too. And if you just want something a little lighter than eggs or mayo, it's an ideal creamy ingredient replacement.

How to add yogurt to your instant ramen

To add the most tang to your instant ramen, go with Greek yogurt or skyr. Because of the way they're strained and fermented, they have a more acidic taste than regular yogurt, so they'll pop against the umami flavors of your noodle soup. If you'd prefer a little less tang, however, feel free to opt for regular yogurt instead. Just make sure that it's plain (no fruit or other flavorings added), and we'd recommend picking a full-fat version for the creamiest taste you can get. Choose a type that contains dairy to neutralize as much spice as possible, as these yogurts use a protein called casein to dissolve the heat-giving substances on your tongue. If you don't eat dairy, however, products made from oat or soy milk may be able to offer some relief too.

If you'd like to give your yogurt topping some extra oomph, season your dollop before adding it to your bowl. You can use garlic powder, onion powder, curry powder, chili flakes, white pepper, ground ginger, sesame seeds, or furikake — or, once you scoop your dairy product on top, drizzle it with sriracha and lime juice. Feel free to dig in as-is, or if you'd like to mimic the TikTok ramen, stir your yogurt into your bowl and slurp up deliciously creamy noodles.