Eating ramen for breakfast is a lot like eating breakfast food for dinner. If you’ve ever eaten pancakes in the evening, you know how satisfying it can be. Well, ramen can be equally satisfying first thing in the morning. They’re filling, they’re tasty, and you can make them in just a few minutes. These are all great traits for a breakfast food.
Even better, ramen makes awesome hangover food. It’s full of all the electrolytes your dehydrated body craves. At the same time, it’s gentle on a queasy stomach.
But just because you can eat ramen for breakfast, does that mean you should? A lot depends on what kind of ramen you use, and what ingredients you combine it with. Done correctly, ramen can be a perfect way to start your day.
How to Make a Healthy, Delicious Breakfast Ramen
So, how do you make a breakfast ramen that’s both healthy and delicious? There’s no silver bullet. However, there are a few general rules you should follow. Let’s take a closer look.
Think of Ramen as a Carb
Ramens are a carb, and we’re not talking from a nutritional perspective. We’re talking about the way carbohydrates fit into a meal.
Think of a well-constructed dinner plate. You might have a pasta (carb) with a sauce, some meatballs, and some vegetables on the side. You wouldn’t eat a plate of pasta with a potato, a dinner roll, and a bowl of rice. It wouldn’t make sense, and you’d probably pass out afterwards from all the carbs.
A well-constructed ramen bowl pairs ramen with other ingredients that make sense. It includes vegetables and meat, tofu, or some other source of protein. Maybe there are extra spices or sauces. When you use ramen, use it the way you’d use pasta, rice, or other similar foods.
For breakfast, this can be more complicated. But ramen serves as a good stand-in for toast or a bagel. Instead of an omelet and toast, use the same ingredients, but toss them into a bowl of ramen. Instead of a bagel with lox, add your lox and onion to some ramen. Yes, it’s delicious.
Ultimately, a bowl of ramen is only as good as the noodles. If you’re using an inferior noodle, you’ll get inferior results. As computer programmers say, “garbage in, garbage out.”
The noodles you use also have an effect on how healthy your complete bowl is. A lot of commercial noodles are full of oil from the flash frying process. This oil ends up in the finished meal, and throws off the flavor as well as adding extra fat. Typical instant ramen is also packed with salt and doesn’t use organic ingredients.
High-quality craft noodles like Mike’s Mighty Good are organic and also steamed, not fried, so there’s no leftover oil in your bowl. And instead of heaps of salt, we use just the right amount that complements the perfect blend of broth and spices in our flavor packets. As a result, Mike’s has 40% less sodium than the major leading brands.
Remember – Breakfast Food is Comfort Food
When you think of breakfast food, what comes to mind? It’s probably something rich, like a plate of pancakes, an omelet, or bacon and eggs. Breakfast food, fundamentally, is comfort food. Fortunately, so is ramen. So when you’re planning a breakfast ramen bowl, it’s okay to rely on tried and true comfort food ingredients.
Pretty much any breakfast ramen recipe has eggs, bacon, or both. Many also include sausages, and tomatoes and onions are perennial favorites for vegetables. You can get fancy if you want to. But the best breakfast ramens, like other breakfast foods, are simple. These are casual foods for eating in your slippers, not delicacies.
Breakfast Ramen Recipe Ideas
Unless you’re a gourmet chef, you might not know how to prepare a bowl of breakfast ramen. How do you make something that really hits the spot?
We’ve looked at several breakfast ramen recipes in the past. Here are a few of our favorites.
Salmon, Bacon & Eggs Teriyaki
This might sound like a crazy combination, but think about it. Bacon and eggs are breakfast food staples, and they go well with any carb, including ramen. Meanwhile, you get the savory flavor – and healthy fats – of salmon, and the sweet, tangy notes of teriyaki sauce. What’s not to like?
You can also combine salmon with many other ingredients. It goes particularly well in spicy recipes, as well as with mushrooms or bell peppers.
Bacon & Egg Breakfast Ramen
If you want a simple, straightforward breakfast, bacon and eggs breakfast ramen is a delicious choice. Start with a packet of pork ramen, then add two chopped bacon strips, and a soft boiled egg. With baby spinach, green onions and shallots for extra flavor, you won’t be shy on taste.
It’s also easy to prepare. You can cook your bacon in one pan and the veggies in another while the ramen is boiling. Combine everything together, and you’ve got yourself a meal.
Breakfast Ramen Bowl
Our breakfast ramen bowl is another simple, easy-to-prepare recipe. In addition to a pork ramen packet, you’ll need some bacon, an onion, tomatoes, an egg, and some chili flakes. It’s like a deconstructed omelet, with ramen noodles instead of hash browns.
Breakfast Ramen Ingredients
Breakfast ramen can be as hearty as you want it to be. The nice thing about breakfast is that it’s the first meal of the day. When you load up on calories, you’ll burn them off throughout the day. So if you want to pig out, add as many toppings as you like!
But what kinds of ingredients go best on your breakfast ramen? Just about anything will work, but in general, you’ll want some vegetables for their nutritional value. You’ll probably want some protein, too, so you can get plenty of energy. Here are some ideas to get started:
- Bell peppers
- Cubed potatoes or hash browns
- Chili peppers
- Breakfast sausage
- Turkey bacon
Also, don’t hesitate to add some cheese to your ramen! Ordinary cheddar is fine, but you can mix things up with a slice of colby, or kick up the heat with some pepper jack.
Do the Japanese Eat Ramen For Breakfast?
Some Japanese people eat ramen for breakfast, while many don’t. Breakfast ramen is particularly popular in two parts of Japan:
- Kitakata city – Forget about breakfast ramen; Kitakata is famous for ramen of all kinds. In Japanese culture, people think of Kitakata ramen the same way Americans think of Philly cheese steak or Chicago deep dish pizza. Residents of this city will eat a bowl of ramen any time of day.
- Shida region – Shida is an area best known for its green tea plantations. Harvesting is done in the spring, when trees are putting out fresh leaves. Farmers get up before dawn and start working as soon as there’s enough light. After a few hours, they’re understandably hungry and break for breakfast. Ramen is one of the most popular breakfasts for the farmers of this region.
In the rest of Japan, ramen for breakfast is more unusual. In most parts of the country, a ramen bar wouldn’t even be open in the morning; they’d have no customers. Breakfast ramen is similar to any number of regional foods we have in the US. It’s popular in some areas, but it’s not a nationwide phenomenon.
As you can see, ramen isn’t just an acceptable breakfast food. When prepared properly, it can be one of the best! And if you’ve never made ramen for breakfast before, start with the basics. Begin with simple recipes, and work your way up to more complex ones. Before you know it, you’ll be a breakfast ramen master!