10 Ingredients to Spice Up Your Ramen - Outward Bound Blog (2024)

Looking to add some flavor to your next bowl of ramen? We got you covered.

Whether you love car camping and filling your days with hikes around your site, having a cookout at a local park or adventuring deep in the backcountry, nothing caps off a long day in the outdoors quite like a nice dinner—and what’s better than a big warm bowl of ramen? Below are 10 ingredients to take your packaged ramen meal to the next level.

10 Ingredients to Spice Up Your Ramen - Outward Bound Blog (1)


Sometimes it’s the smallest things that can impact a food dish the most! Garlic and ginger are two aromatics that can help liven up the flavor of your broth.

Not only do ginger and garlic bring a great punch of flavor, but they’re also an easy addition to your meal. After you fully remove the peel of your garlic cloves, simply drop them into the hot broth to disseminate their flavor. If you have the cutlery to do so, increase the flavor by dicing or mincing your garlic before adding it to the broth. Likewise, a root of ginger can be sliced and added with the skin left on but can be peeled, diced or minced for increased flavor.


For those looking to add a different kind of kick in the form of heat, Sriracha is your option! Originating in Thailand, Sriracha has become a favorite hot sauce brand worldwide thanks to its versatile use across varying meals. The simple combination of red chili and garlic is a sure-fire way to have a more noticeable flavor.

Peanut Butter

With a rich history in Asian Pacific noodle dishes, peanut butter, with its texture and nutty flavor, provide ramen with an increase in substance and creaminess to its flavor.

You can melt down your peanut butter into the broth before adding noodles or add it once you’ve combined your broth and noodles. Heat is key to helping melt the peanut butter down, expanding over the noodles and into the broth.

For an added twist, throw in some of your Sriracha!

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Dried Seaweed

Whether you want to eat it as a snack on the side with your ramen or soften it up in the broth, seaweed can bring a flavor of saltiness and additional vitamins after your daily activities.


An easily portable seasoning traditionally used on rice and fish. While the seasoning generally incorporates salt, fish flakes and seaweed, it can consist of other ingredients that determine its spice level and flavor. Harder to find at your grocery chains, many brands of furikake seasoning can be found online or at a local Asian market.


A traditional Korean side, kimchi consists of pickled vegetables and a variety of spices. While kimchi is most commonly thought of as being made with cabbage, it’s also made using a variety of vegetables and can vary in spice level. Used in many Korean soups and stews, kimchi pairs perfectly with your ramen and can add a satisfying and zesty crunch to your evening meal. With some practice, anyone can create kimchi at home, but it can also be found in many grocery stores or local Korean markets.

Miso Paste

If you have trouble enjoying the taste of instant ramen brand’s seasoning packets, this might be the tip for you. If you’re familiar with miso soup, you might already have an idea of the kind of flavor that miso paste can bring to your ramen. Ditch the packaged seasoning and add a couple of tablespoons of miso paste to your boiling water. Using miso paste can help provide a broth that still maintains a savory flavor that isn’t so extreme. Additionally, using miso paste works best for car camping when you have a cooler available due to it requiring refrigeration after opening.

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Soy Sauce

Did you know soy sauce doesn’t have to be refrigerated? So, if you’re a backpacker who can’t bring miso paste, soy sauce might be the answer for you! As another alternative or add-on to instant ramen’s pre-packaged seasoning options, soy sauce can help you navigate the saltiness and flavors of the packets. Experiment with your ratios of flavor packet to soy sauce to find the optimal flavor that works for you.


A common ramen bowl staple is a soft-boiled egg. For backcountry trips, where carrying eggs is not an option, try whipping up a small portion of powdered eggs with equal parts water and then slowly whisking your egg mix into your boiling broth, producing an egg drop style broth. If you’re car camping or have a means of keeping ingredients cool, pack a few extra eggs and try your hand at boiling a soft-boiled egg for your ramen dish.

American Cheese

Finally, the last on this list of ramen hacks, slices of American cheese. That’s right! The supermarket delicacy you might fondly remember from your childhood grilled cheese sandwiches can also make your ramen a little more interesting. Simply add a single slice of cheese to the top of your ramen bowl and mix. The cheese should meltdown and add a nice creaminess to your broth with a unique cheesy flavor and a boost of calories for the next day’s activities.

If this list is nothing new to you, don’t let it limit your ramen experimentation. One of the most beautiful things about ramen is its variability. Go to a local Japanese or international market and ask for their tips or suggestions. Whatever direction your interests take you, finding new ways to embolden your camping meals is a proven way to make your time outside more memorable.

For more delicious outdoor cooking recipes check out these blogs.

About the Author

Willie is an Instructor for the North Carolina Outward Bound School in the Cedar Rock and Pisgah National Forest recreation area. Willie has a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Recreation & Education from Ohio University as well as a master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Bristol, England. Outside of leading courses for Outward Bound, Willie loves filling his time watching films, paddling the local rivers and telling people fun facts about Ohio.

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10 Ingredients to Spice Up Your Ramen - Outward Bound Blog (2024)


10 Ingredients to Spice Up Your Ramen - Outward Bound Blog? ›

The true secret of success is largely in the broth. To get an intense base with an umami flavor, you can use pork or even chicken bones, as well as miso paste. Shoyu, Shio, Miso, and Karre are the four most popular broth ramen options.

What is the secret to good ramen? ›

The true secret of success is largely in the broth. To get an intense base with an umami flavor, you can use pork or even chicken bones, as well as miso paste. Shoyu, Shio, Miso, and Karre are the four most popular broth ramen options.

What are the 5 things in ramen? ›

Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup dish with Chinese-style alkaline noodles. It is the harmony of five key elements of ramen: broth, tare (sauce), noodles, toppings, and oil.

What ingredients are in top ramen? ›


What can I add to spicy ramen to make it better? ›

Cheese is our favorite way of moderating spicy ramen. It's easy to add after the fact, since you can just lay a slice or three over the top. Any type of cheese will do. You can use cheddar if you want a powerful, cheesy flavor, or Swiss for a bolder, slightly bitter flavor.

Can I put tajin in ramen? ›

What Is Elote Ramen? This delicious dish is a mash-up of instant ramen and Mexican street corn flavors—cheese, corn, mayonnaise, lime, hot sauce and Tajin.

Can I add paprika to ramen? ›

Seasonings - To add flavour to your broth, you'll want to add paprika, chilli flakes, and dried oregano.

What are the 4 flavors of ramen? ›

But the main way ramen is categorized is by its primary flavor, which comes from how its broth is made. There are four general classes of ramen: shoyu, tonkotsu, miso, and shio.

What are the 4 parts of ramen? ›

Anyway, a bowl of ramen has four main components, the noodles, broth, tare and toppings.

What makes ramen taste better? ›

Bacon and a soft-boiled egg add flavor to ramen and are easy to prepare. If you don't want to commit to slow-roasting some pork belly, simply add some thick-cut bacon and a soft-boiled egg to your basic ramen recipe to instantly add flavor.

What 3 ingredients is ramen typically made from? ›

It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles (中華麺, chūkamen) served in a broth; common flavors are soy sauce and miso, with typical toppings including sliced pork (chāshū), nori (dried seaweed), menma (bamboo shoots), and scallions. Ramen has its roots in Chinese noodle dishes and is a part of Japanese Chinese cuisine.

What makes ramen taste good? ›

"You're better off cooking your noodles in chicken or vegetable broth and serving them with chili oil, Sriracha, or sesame oil with red pepper flakes." However, keep the packet if your instant ramen is from an Asian grocery store — it's more likely to include authentic spices that are worth adding to your meal.

What is traditionally put in ramen? ›

The soup is usually made of chicken broth but often contains other meats such as pork, beef or fish depending on the region. Shoyu ramen is the most common type of ramen and is usually what is served when the menu does not specify a specific type of soup.

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