Instant Ramen is probably one of the easiest at-home foods to make because it lends itself to so many versatile upgrades that you really can’t go wrong eating it with some accouterments or simply on its own.
The Foodbeast team got together and came up with their own personal ways of cooking up instant ramen at home. Probably the coolest of the batch, if I was the sole judge, is this Elote Ramen made by our very own Oscar Gonzalez.
Using a container of Cup Noodles, Oscar combined the hearty flavors of instant ramen with the bold zest of Mexican street corn. Taking some canned corn, shredded cheese, milk, lime juice, hot sauce and Tajin, he wove together a masterpiece of instant noodles and elote.
Honorable mention also goes to Foodbeast Chris who ground up his Top Ramen into noodles, rolled them out, cut them back into noodles and cooked them. Super excessive, super delicious, and oddly soothing practice.
Rounding out the rest of the team, you can see how Costa made his Spicy Ramen Bake, Elie his Spicy Peanut Butter Pepper Ramen, and Marc‘s Cacio e Pepe Lemon Ramen. Those are seriously some mouthwatering recipes, I’d be down to try with some instant ramen.
Check out the video if you’re looking to enhance your instant ramen experience at home! What should the crew make next week, y’all?!
Imagine pulling up to McDonald’s, opening an app that tracks your Instagram or Twitter activity, and being able to pay for your Big Mac for having five followers, or paying for your date’s dinner using social credit accumulated through charity donations.
I’m talking social currency, fairly similar to the “Nosedive” episode fromNetflix’s Black Mirror, where your social status is tracked and deemed a deciding factor for all purchases, from the vacation trips you can afford to what food you can eat.
While Black Mirror is meant to freak you out with its absurd sci-fi horror-based situations, technology shouldn’t frighten us.
It’s time to accept it, because these advances are coming fast, and you don’t want to get left behind.
Black Mirror’s “Nosedive” predicted our use of social currency/Courtesy of Netflix
Case in point, the selfie-powered vending machine that’s already been spotted on U.S. soil.
The machine’s premise is simple: you push the big “start” button, take a selfie, use its randomly generated hashtag, and the moment you post it to your Instagram account, the machine will either drop some Cup Noodles, aJump Force video game, gift cards, or Cup Noodles swag.
Even with countries like Japan and Germany having insane vending machines that spit out pancakes, beer and other goodies, those all obviously run on monetary currency that we’re all accustomed to.
You literally pay with your Instagram posts, and it’s one of the first steps to a Black Mirror-projected future that we must be ready to embrace with open arms.
As I write this, there is someone taking a selfie and waiting for their prize to come out of that machine. That’s not even hyperbole, I literally know it’s happening at this moment because our own Foodbeast tech director Chris Abouabdo gets text messages every time someone uses it, and I hear his phone buzzing relentlessly during the workday.
Yes, the two geniuses behind the machine are in-house Foodbeast developers, but I’m not just trying to hype up or toot the company horn here — I’m writing this because it could legitimately help push forward a social currency-led future.
Every once in a while, I’d run downstairs, and ask about the machine, and one of the points that stuck with me most, was Chris matter-of-factly telling me they could have “easily” made the machine run on people’s follower counts if they wanted to, giving more expensive prizes to people with more followers.
They even could have hypothetically gone as far as only giving prizes to those who wrote positive things about the vending machine within their post, which shows the possibility to advance the social currency concept further.
From the moment they figured out how to get the machine to run, writing the specific commands and functions was cake for two engineers of their caliber.
If you need further proof that the future is now, let’s take a quick trip to China.
Anyone who’s been to China knows that they’ve mostly said goodbye to cash, and primarily pay through currency apps such as WeChat. Whether you roll up to get someYang’s braised chicken, or dancing noodles atHai Di Lao Hot Pot, citizens pull out their phones in lieu of cash or credit.
That’s just the scratched surface, however, as the country has been testing “social credit” since 2014, tracking and rewarding its citizens who conduct positive lifestyles.
Yup. That’s happening right now. In 2019.
The FOODBEAST #DreamMachine concept obviously wasn’t built to rank people according to their followers, likes, or anything of the sort. The goal was basically to find a cool way to give away Cup Noodles and swag.
But the technology to take things a step further now exists.
The machine has caught the attention of the tech world, including theraspberry pi community, which is the mini computer the guys used to build this thing.
Sometimes all it takes is the wherewithal to know something is possible, and someone could easily start working on their own version of the technology.
We could easily see copycat ideas, and if food brands are smart enough to push their own marketing strategies, we’ll soon live in a world where you have to take a selfie and post a hashtag to get through a Starbucks door, or automatically get 10% off your Chick-Fil-A order for sending out a tweet. I mean, we already kind of do that whenchecking in to restaurants on Yelp or Facebook, so the next step can’t be too much further.
Now back to the Black Mirror concepts. It’s easy to scare yourself through the episode’s horror and bleak lens into technology’s darker side premise, but if this little revolutionary vending machine shows anything, it’s that if put into the right hands, technology can be used for progress.
Chaney and Abouabdo spoke very candidly about the vending machine onThe Katchup podcast, down to admitting that the machine actually was inspired by Black Mirror.
“I had been watching Black Mirror, where everything in your life is based off your social status,” Chaney said on the podcast. “I just remember thinking, ‘How crazy would it we made a vending machine that would spit out prizes based on how cool you are on Instagram?'”
Thankfully that wasn’t the final premise, and the machine was built with a more user-friendly experience.
It all starts by figuring out that first step, and it appears that paying for food through social currency has already taken that first step in the form of a selfie-powered Cup Noodles vending machine.
To hear the full podcast with the fathers of our inevitable social-based pay methods, Rudy Chaney and Chris Abouabdo, be sure to tune in to The Katchup and subscribe to hear more oniTunes,Spotify and anywhere podcasts can be heard.
Who says you can’t make ramen fancier? We just took the popular, bubbly rosé and did just that.
This Rosé Top Ramen takes a standard white wine cream sauce and gives it a fun twist. In this instance, rosé wine is used to add some aromatic, rich notes to a creamy blend of lemon, cream, and Parmesan cheese.
The Nissin Top Ramen with no added MSG plays a starring role, making it an easy dish to whip up in no time at all, while adding a punch of flavor from the seasoning packet. Together, this makes for a luxurious, “treat yourself” meal that you can put together in mere minutes.
To create this Rosé Nissin Top Ramen for yourself, peep the recipe below.
Ingredients 1 package Nissin Top Ramen Chicken Flavor 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 shallot, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 cup heavy cream 1 pinch red chili flakes + some for optional garnish 1 pinch ground pepper ½ tablespoon lemon juice ¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese + some for optional garnish 1 ½ cups rosé wine Chopped parsley, as optional garnish
Step 1 Bring a saucepan of water to boil over high heat. Once boiling, add 1 package of Top Ramen noodles. Cook noodles for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Step 2 Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan on high heat. Once hot, add chopped shallots, garlic, chili flakes, and pepper. Sauté until transparent. Then, add wine. Allow wine to reduce by half, then add heavy cream and stir. Set to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Step 3 Add flavor packet and parmesan cheese to the cream sauce. Once incorporated, stir in lemon juice.
Step 4 Transfer cooked noodles to a skillet and add sauce. Toss until coated evenly. Serve immediately, and garnish with parmesan cheese, parsley, and more chili flakes!
Dubbed the FOODBEAST #DreamMachine, the special vending machine from Nissin Foods USA and Foodbeast dispenses its loot using Instagram. Anyone can walk up and push the big button to activate the Dream Machine.
Instructions on the screen will prompt the user to take a photo with the machine. Next, the user will post their photo to Instagram using a special hashtag generated by the machine.
Photo by Pete Pham
After the selfie and hashtag are posted, the Dream Machine knows what to do and will dispense a prize, ranging from free Cup Noodles to JumpForce video games, and even gift cards to various retailers.
Could this be the future of how vending machines work? Using social media to power one is a pretty intriguing concept, especially when free noodles and video games are involved.
Photo by Ashley Schwarzman
The FOODBEAST #DreamMachine will be in the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, California starting March 1, and the Las Vegas Premium Outlets South in Las Vegas, Nevada starting March 6. They will be dispensing prizes throughout March, so make sure to check one out!
Map of Del Amo Fashion Center
Map of Las Vegas Premium Outlets South
Where would YOU like the FOODBEAST #DreamMachine to travel next?
Pasta dish cacio e pepe is the gastronomic poster boy of simplicity at its best. The combination of pepper and cheese is the flavor bomb everyone is indulging in because of its low-work, high-reward recipe.
While cacio e pepe is traditionally served as a creamy bowl of decadence, there’s nothing that says you can’t have it on-the-go or in snack form as well. The best way to do it? Turn it into deep-fried pasta balls.
Made with Nissin Top Ramen (without the seasoning) and a dip that incorporates the ramen broth, there’s plenty of texture from the crispy noodle breading and cheesy noodle interior. Using Top Ramen for the inside and the breading is a clutch move that makes these even simpler to make.
You can make these with any kind of noodles, sure, but if you’ve got a few packets of Top Ramen sitting up in the cupboard, why not use them to speed the process up and get these hot snacks poppin’? The curly noodles help capture all of the sauce, ensuring each bite is that much more hearty and flavorful.
If you’re big on cacio e pepe and want to whip up a quick form of it, these crispy ramen balls accomplish that while adding a textural experience to the standard bowl of comforting decadence.
To make these Top Ramen Cacio E Pepe Balls, peep the recipe below.
Servings: Makes 6 ramen balls
Ingredients 4 packages Top Ramen, without seasoning packet, reserve 2 for breading 1/2 tbsp fresh cracked pepper 1 ½ cups Asiago or parmesan cheese 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese 1 cup flour 1 egg, beaten Canola oil For the dipping sauce ¼ cup butter ¼ cup flour 1 cup noodle water Salt and pepper to taste
Servings: 1 (makes 6 balls)
Step 1 Bring a saucepan of water to boil over high heat. Once boiling, add 2 packages of Top Ramen noodles. Cook noodles for 6 minutes to release the starch. Once done, transfer noodles to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb the moisture. Keep the noodle water for use later.
Step 2 Once the noodles have cooled, combine the noodles, cheese and black pepper in a large bowl. Form the noodles into 2 inch balls. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Step 3 Fill a large soup pot half of the way high with canola oil. Heat over the stove on medium / high heat until the oil reaches 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 4 While oil is heating, place 2 packages of Top Ramen noodles in a large ziploc bag. Use a mallet or rolling pin to finely crush them.
Step 5 In 3 separate small bowls, add flour, beaten egg, and ground Top Ramen noodles. Dunk chilled noodle balls in flour, then egg, then Top Ramen. Place directly into heated oil and fry about 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Once golden brown, remove to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Step 6 In a separate pan, start your sauce by melting butter in a skillet. Whisk in flour until combined. Add noodle water and continue whisking until the sauce is desired thickness. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over your cacio e pepe balls, or use as a dipping sauce!
Katsu Burger, a Seattle phenomenon specializing in fried cutlets, is known for their colossal Mt. Fuji Burger. This burger mountain features three different types of katsu, and is a towering wonder to behold.
The restaurant is taking its viral creation and transforming it into an epic stack of Nissin Cup Noodles that’s best described as a double-decker ramen burger in a cup.
The cup is filled with shredded cabbage, just like the original burger. From there, a ramen version of the Katsu burger is layered on top. The bottom layer features bacon, a crispy, fried noodle patty made with Cup Noodles, cheddar cheese, and chicken katsu.
Next is a second noodle patty, pork katsu, pepper jack cheese, and a fried egg. To top it all off, the burger is finished with a final layer of ramen, American cheese, 12-spice seasoning, spicy mayo, pickle and eggplant.
All in all, it’s an impressive ramen burger stack that you have to taste to believe.
Katsu Burger will be carrying this Cup Noodles version of its Mt. Fuji for the next month.
Clam chowder and coconut curry come from two very different countries. However, the flavors harmonize together in this restaurant’s creative twist on Nissin Cup Noodles.
These Clam Chowder Cup Noodles are the brainchild of Chef Dean Isom at Shuck Oyster Bar, a seafood establishment in Costa Mesa, CA. Chef Isom got the idea to make them from his love of Cup Noodles, Asian dishes, and Shuck’s classic clam chowder.
At the base of Isom’s creation is a mixture of speck (a smoked, dry-cured prosciutto), garlic oil, minced fennel seed, and Thai green curry powder. This mixture is combined with coconut milk, lime juice, diced cooked potatoes, and chopped clams to create the chowder-curry hybrid. Once the noodles are mixed in, the entire cup is garnished with a mini baguette, Thai basil, micro cilantro, and fresh Littleneck clams.
Together, the curry and chowder components intermingle for a mix of spicy, creamy, and aromatic flavors that have to be tasted to be believed.
Shuck will have this innovative Cup Noodles dish on the menu while supplies last.
When in Queens, New York, you can’t pass up family-run Thailand’s Center Point if you want some authentic Thai cuisine. The restaurant/grocery store hybrid has been touted as the destination for local Thais in search for a taste of home.
It’s also known for a adding a modern interpretation to classic dishes, which can be seen in one of their newest creations: Thai Green Curry Cup Noodles.
Created by owner Annie Phinphatthakul, the dish is a blend between the intricate aromas of Thai green curry and the Cup Noodles her daughter loves. It brings together the savory umami of the Nissin Cup Noodles with the aromatic punch you’ll find in traditional green curry.
The sauce and noodles combine in a bowl with avocado, corn, bell pepper, and two kinds of shrimp – fried whole and freshly cooked tails – to add all different kinds of textures and tastes to the dish.
Fans of both Nissin Cup Noodles and legit Thai food will want to flock to Thailand’s Center Point to get this exclusive item. It’ll be on the menu starting October 18, while supplies last.