Transform Instant Ramen Into A Veggie-Packed Meal With Bagged Broccoli Slaw

For folks short on budget, instant ramen can be a lifesaver. It's a warm, comforting, and filling meal anyone can make in a pinch. Thanks to the provided flavor packet, it's also pretty tasty, if scant in essential nutrients. 

However, it's easy to make it into a more nutritious bowl. There are inexpensive ways to spruce up instant ramen, such as topping it with crispy baked tofu to give it a protein boost. A bag of pre-cut produce like broccoli slaw also makes a great addition. Not only is the slaw a great source of nutrients, but the carrot sticks and broccoli florets also add a nice crunch as you slurp the noodles. While the taste of the veggies may be too subtle to make a big difference in the soup's flavor, they infuse some much-needed freshness into the dish. 

Adding broccoli slaw doesn't require much work since the vegetables already come pre-cut. Prepare the instant ramen as you typically would: Let the water and powdered soup base boil, then add the dried noodles. Follow it with the broccoli slaw and let the veggies cook. Finding the right timing might take practice; broccoli and carrots take some time to cook and soften. You also don't want the noodles to become soggy from over-boiling. Ingredients like sliced cabbage can be added before serving since it cooks more quickly. 

Make homemade seasoned broth for instant ramen

Aside from bagged broccoli slaw, you can also defrost and drain frozen vegetables to make a nutritious, texture-enhancing topping for instant ramen. Fresh bok choy is another fantastic vegetable option since its leaves take only a few minutes of boiling to cook. Still, even with the addition of veggies, instant ramen isn't always the best choice for people who are watching their sodium intake. 

Instead, ditch the flavor packet and season the soup with the flavoring agents in your pantry. Start by making a sauce out of soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Add it to boiling water with a spoonful of miso paste, then let everything combine before adding the noodles. Thai curry paste is also good if you feel like having spicy ramen. Adding peanut butter to instant ramen elevates this dish by making the soup nutty and creamy. By making homemade broth, you can control the levels of flavor you infuse into the final product. 

Before serving or chowing down on your upgraded instant ramen, some finishing touches can make it look and taste more decadent. Drizzle toasted sesame oil for a touch of nutty sweetness. If you have some leftover chicken, pork, or beef in the fridge, chop them into tasty toppings. A last-minute splash of lemon juice can enhance savory flavors, too. Finish with a sprinkle of chopped scallions to make your ramen look fancier than usual.