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Use Your Noodle: The Best Ways to Elevate Instant Ramen at Home

It seems like every other week, a new Asian food goes viral in American households. 

First, there was the meteoric rise of Sriracha. The Thai garlic and chili sauce became an overnight sensation, leading to a global shortage as producers have struggled to keep up with the soaring demand.

This phenomenon opened the door for other Asian condiments to shine in the American culinary scene. Homemade kimchi, for instance, became a favorite of fairweather fermenters during the pandemic, as did the beloved Korean condiment, gochujang.

Chinese chili crisp has captured the American palate over the last few years, as evidenced by the explosive popularity of the American-Chinese food brand, Fly By Jing, which raised an impressive $12 million in funding to meet its quickly growing sales.

Building on this momentum, celebrity chef David Chang launched his own gourmet instant noodles inspired by his popular NYC ramen eatery, Momofuku Noodle Bar. The packaged noodles, which are sold in flavors like Soy & Scallion and Tingly Chili, sold out almost immediately, generating a 40,000-person waitlist in the process.

It’s been a long time coming. Once considered a quick, cheap meal for college students, the woefully underrated dish is finally getting credit for its versatility and depth of flavor. Inspired by the wave of gourmet recipes for home cooks, we’ve put together a few creative ways to elevate this iconic noodle dish.

The Italian Twist (Carbonara Ramen)


  • 1 packet of any instant noodles (discard the seasoning)
  • 2 slices of bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 3-4 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg, beaten and at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a frying pan, cook the bacon until it is fully cooked but not yet crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving behind the fat and any crispy bits.
  2. Add butter and garlic to the pan. Cook until the butter has melted and the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Pour ¾ cup of water into the pan along with the grated cheese. Stir well to combine, scraping up any bacon bits from the bottom of the pan. Season with a few twists of freshly ground pepper and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  4. Add the instant noodles directly into the sauce, cooking for 1-2 minutes on each side. Flip the noodles carefully to ensure they are cooked evenly while aiming for an al dente texture. Avoid stirring too vigorously.
  5. Remove the pan from heat. With BOMSHBEE chopsticks, stir the noodles continuously while gradually incorporating the beaten egg. The key is to keep the noodles moving to prevent the egg from scrambling, ensuring a smooth and creamy sauce that coats every strand.
  6. Add pan to the heat again for about 30 seconds to ensure the egg is fully cooked through – keep stirring!
  7. Stir in the cooked bacon bits. Serve on your favorite BOMSHBEE plate with a generous sprinkle of fresh parmesan and a crack of black pepper.

The Sichuan Special (Dan Dan Ramen)


  • 1 packet of your preferred instant noodles
  • ¼ pound (about 115 grams) ground pork or plant-based protein
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar or honey
  • 1-2 tbsp chili oil (adjust according to your spice preference)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • A handful of spinach, bok choy, or for extra authenticity, pickled mustard greens (optional)
  • ¼ cup peanuts, crushed (optional, for garnish)


  1. Bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 1-2 minutes – just enough to soften them without overcooking. Drain the noodles and reserve the starchy water.
  2. Separately, in your favorite BOMSHBEE bowl, mix peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and chili oil according to your taste preferences, then set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and ginger, sautéing for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  4. Add the ground pork, breaking it apart with a spatula as it cooks until it’s well-done. (Tip: Overcooking it slightly helps reduce excess liquid and will concentrate the flavor later.)
  5. Pour the prepared sauce over the cooked pork and stir to combine thoroughly. Add a few ladles of the starch water to thin out the sauce slightly, allowing it to simmer for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add the Sichuan peppercorns for dan dan’s characteristic numbing sensation, adjusting to your comfort level.
  7. If you’re including greens, add them to the hot pan, letting them wilt in the heat of the pork and sauce mixture.
  8. Toss the cooked noodles with the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil, then mix in the pork and sauce mixture until the noodles are evenly coated.
  9. Divide the noodles into bowls. Garnish with sliced green onions, crushed peanuts, and a final drizzle of chili oil, if you can handle it!

While you’re at it, take your ramen game to the next level with BOMSHBEE’s collection of minimalist bowls, SOOP spoons and chopsticks.


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