A twist on Mac and Cheese, this cheese ramen recipe uses real cheddar cheese, a pack of instant noodles and a super simple way to thicken up milk to create a creamy, indulgent cheese ramen. Perfect for days when you want a small portion of something creamy, comforting and quick to make.
What does Mac and cheese mean to you? To me, it has always been a delicious comfort food. It's comforting, simple to make, cheesy, tastes great and usually made in a big pot which means lots to eat (or share) - but what if I only want 1 portion? This is where Ram' & Cheese comes in instead - a one bowl of creamy cheese ramen.
INGREDIENTS FOR CHEESE RAMEN
- Ramen/Noodles - When it comes to ramen, I like to use the thicker noodles. I find it has a bit more of a chewy texture (when not overcooked) and usually harder to overcook. The only ones I have ever found that were the thicker noodles were all Korean brand ones. I usually use Shin Ramyun.
- Cheese - When it comes to mac and cheeses, I like to stick to the staple which is cheddar cheese. However, you can be quite creative and add different types of cheeses to this for different textures!
- Cheddar - smooth, creamy, and salty with a slight tang. This cheese melts very easily and I like to turn off the heat before adding this in to melt.
- Mozzarella - not much in terms of flavour but it gives that nice stretchy cheese pull and gives the cheese a bit of a chewiness. I generally don't like to add too much of this because when it cools, it turns hard and solidifies so you lose that creaminess. This takes a bit more heat to melt as well, so I usually have to leave the heat on for 30 seconds while trying to melt this into the sauce.
- Cream cheese - add a tablespoon or two for a slight more creaminess.
- Cotija - salty with a bit of gooeyness. I have used this in the past because I love the saltiness this cheese provides. It also gives the sauce a bit more of a gooeyness.
- Additional Garnishes - When I feel like adding extra garnishes I will usually mix and match these ingredients!
- Furikake (Try our Homemade one!)
- Green onions
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Crushed up potato chips
- Deep fried garlic or shallot bits
- Garlic Oil
- Chilli Oil
QUICK & EASY METHOD TO THICKEN MILK TO A CREAMY CONSISTENCY
Use a cornstarch slurry! 🙂 I personally find the hardest thing about using flour to thicken milk is that I can never get the clumps of flour fully out whenever I add the milk to it. You also need to make sure you cook the flour long enough to remove that raw flour flavor, which is why I find it much easier to just use corn starch to thicken things. I like to use a 1:1 ratio, for corn starch to water. It's super important that you use cold water to mix the corn starch with, else it will make the corn starch slurry clumpy.
TURN OFF THE HEAT BEFORE ADDING IN THE CHEESE
In the past, whenever I made cheese sauce, I found that I would lose a lot of cheese sauce because the sauce would burn onto the bottom of the pan (which made it difficult to wash off as well). To prevent these things from happening, I found that turning off the heat and using the residual heat from the thickened milk to melt the cheese, melted the cheese smoothly and prevented it from sticking to the pot. Double win! You just have to make sure the thickened milk is bubbling and very hot before turning off the heat and the cheese must be grated as well.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR CHEESE RAMEN CHEWY (NOT MUSHY)
I find this tastes best when the noodles are not overcooked. You get a bit more of a chewy texture and less of a mushy texture. To prevent your noodles from being overcooked, you can subtract 1 to 1 and a half minutes from the cooking time given to you on the instructions.
LOOKING FOR MORE NOODLE RECIPES? TRY THESE!
- Singapore Noodles
- Korean Glass Noodles (Japchae / Chapchae)
- Beef and Onion Soy Sauce Noodles
- Beef Chow Fun (Beef Ho Fun)
DID YOU MAKE THIS CHEESE RAMEN?
If you made this, I want to see! Follow Pups with Chopsticks on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag and hashtag it with @pupswithchopsticks and #pupswithchopsticks. I love to know what you are making!
Cheese Ramen (Ram N' Cheese)
Corn Starch Slurry (Thickener)
- 2 teaspoon corn starch
- 2 teaspoon water (cold)
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon butter (salted)
- ½ cup cheddar cheese (grated and packed into ½ cup)
- 1 package instant noodles (soup packets removed)
- Combine the corn starch with cold water in a small bowl and set aside for later.
- Grate the cheese and set aside for later.
Making the Cheese Sauce
- Add milk, butter, soy sauce and spices (optional) into a pot, and give it a quick stir and set the stove to medium low heat.
- Once the butter melts and the milk has come to a low rolling boil (approximately 3-5 minutes), stir the corn starch slurry you made earlier (the starch settles to the bottom of the bowl), add the corn starch slurry into the pot.
- Keep stirring until the milk has thickened.
- Once the milk has thickened and it starts to bubble, turn off the heat and add in the cheese and stir until the cheese has melted and combined well with the creamy milk.
- Pour the cheese, into your serving bowl and set aside.
Making the Noodles & Putting it Together
- Give the pot a quick rinse with hot water to remove the cheese sauce and refill it with water to cook the instant noodles. Cook the noodles for 1 minute less than what the instructions call for.
- Once the noodles are done, fully drain the water but reserve 1-2 tablespoons of the water and set aside for the end so you can tweak how creamy you want the cheese sauce
- Add the hot noodles on top of the cheese sauce in the serving bowl and mix well.
- If you prefer the cheese sauce is a little thinner, start by adding 1 tablespoon of the reserved water to thin it out a little. Add more water to thin it out even more. Tweak it until you get it to the right amount of creaminess you enjoy.
- Top with garnishes and toppings and enjoy it while it's hot! 🙂
- I like to use instant noodles with a thicker noodle. I find it has a chewier texture and it's a bit harder to overcook. When shopping for them, they are usually the instant noodles made in Korea.
- If you like a runnier sauce, reserve 1-2 tablespoons of the instant noodle water when you are draining the noodles. Only add the reserved hot water, after you have mixed the noodles into the cheese sauce and you feel the sauce is too thick.
- Do not use the soup packet for this recipe. It will make the noodles super salty. Save the soup packet for something else (like popcorn or meat marinade!)
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