As a half-Japanese kid in the ’80s, I grew up eating instant ramen at least once a week, and it still holds a special place in my gut. That said, my tastes have changed and expanded considerably over the years, and sometimes that little flavoring packet just isn’t enough. As such, I’ve spent a lot of time devising ways to upgrade my ramen in cheap, easy ways. Ghetto gourmet, if you will.
Cook the noodles according to package directions, using only half of the seasoning packet. To the broth, add the juice of 1 lime, a tablespoon of sugar, 2 teaspoons of fish sauce, and a good pinch of pepper flakes (if desired). Transfer to a serving bowl then add 1 to 2 ounces thinly sliced flank steak (it’ll cook in the broth), a handful of bean sprouts, and some mixed herbs (basil, cilantro, mint, as desired).