Recipe: Instant Ramen Hacks

Do I even have to preface these posts anymore? Yes, both hacks I am sharing are from TikTok. Both came out fine but nothing I would keep in my arsenal for future use, you know what I’m saying? Let’s goooo!

Hack #1

One Egg, Kewpie Mayo, Minced Garlic

Add the soup seasoning packet

Mix, mix, mix

In the meantime, cook and drain your ramen noodles. Add the hot boiling water to the mixture you just made…mix it as you add water. Add the noodles back in and voila, fake tonkatsu broth? Hahaha, okay so if you needed a way to make your instant ramen more fattening, here it is. Was it worth the extra calories? Edible but nothing special.

Hack #2

This time, you throw away the original seasoning packet (or save for something else), cook the noodles, drain and leave to the side. Then in a saucepan, you heat up butter, brown sugar, shoyu, minced garlic, red pepper flakes…

Add your noodles and mix…

Add an egg. I made three servings so here are three eggs. MIX.

Voila. Done. You can top with some fresh green onions and Everything but the Bagel Seasoning (which I left at work so I couldn’t do this). Well first, I added too much red pepper flakes (thought it said T, not t…so yeah). Was it good? Sure it was good. But I think if I’m going to eat a mixed noodle like this, I rather eat Indomie Mi Goreng (which is one of the best instant noodles ever made).

Gomatei – Ward Village, HI

Gomatei been around long time yeah? I remember when I used to go all the time when they first opened. I believe Ward was their first location and it was SO popular when they first opened and I remember how good it was. I don’t know what happened, maybe my tastes changed but I stopped going there but we decided to give it a try again. I think I haven’t been to Gomatei in like over 5 years. Poor things, they have adjusted to the pandemic by offering takeout ordering but each time they answered the phone, they had to clarify each time that they are the Ward location and not the Ala Moana one. I can see why there is confusion, their street address also has Ala Moana in it! So many phone calls ended with no orders…

Won Ton Shoyu Ramen | $11.75

Served with Japanese style Won Ton (with chopped shrimps and minced pork, marinated for 24 hours in our special soy sauce and essence of dried scallop. Then chopped baby bamboo shoots and shredded wood ears are added for an unique flavor) and vegetable garnishes.

Garlic Tan Tan Ramen | $13.25

Served with Japanese style Char Siu (tender pork belly) and vegetable garnishes. And added garlic bits, blanched in oil for a slightly crispy finish.

This my bowl. I love garlic. Have I told you this? LOVE GARLIC. Now that I’m looking at the price difference between a simple garlic ramen and a won ton ramen…do I think it was worth the extra money? Not really.

There is something lacking in their broth now. I remember how flavorful and deep the flavors of the tan tan ramen used to be. And look, this is coming from a person who no like salty food anymore (bland city for me usually) and it just felt underwhelming. One of the fun things about eating there in the past was finishing up the noodles and slurping up some of that good soup…and finding bits of chung choi that helps flavor the soup. No such luck this time. And the garlic? Barely added any taste! How’s that!

Curry Loco Moco | $12.99

Served with Hokkaido rice, Japanese style hamburger, and an egg.

Funny story, we had a hard time figuring out where to eat. I love a curry loco moco and told my friend that if we didn’t share this dish, our friendship would end. Friendship survived. First funny thing, where’s the hamburger?? Well it’s underneath that egg, lol. It was a good hamburger patty but yeah it was kind of small. Delicious dish! I would order this again for sure.

You know, me staking our friendship on a curry loco moco dish could have saved us some stress. I won’t name the restaurant, but we almost went to another place. Well, we made a reservation for the previous restaurant for this week and I got a call cancelling the reservation due to a possible covid case. ALWAYS THREATEN FRIENDSHIPS OVER FOOD. You’re welcome for the lesson.

Lilikoi | $4.00
Wild Jamacian and Yellow Passion Fruit

Lydgate Farms | $4.00
Locally grown vanilla bean glaze, cacao nibs, cherry drizzle

Hot Single | $4.00
Tolentino Farms neighborhood honey + flakey sea salt

L&L | $4.00
Lemon and lime baby. Meyer lemon sugar, Tahitian lime curd, citrus caviar

Strawberry Fields | $4.00
Kula farms Maui strawberries and green tea

Hot Single | $4.00
Tolentino Farms neighborhood honey + flakey sea salt

If you’re at Ward, you gotta go to Holey Grail Donuts for dessert. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be dessert, just go there and try their donuts. Look, it’s expensive. $4.00 a piece but you’re supporting a small local business…it’s delicious and it’s donuts. Come on. Well I think I have overdone it so I won’t be going for a while now but it doesn’t make these donuts any less good!

My absolute favorite is their Hot Single…the other flavors always sound so intriguing but in the end, I think the Hot Single is the winners. And thankfully, the hot single is a main stay on their menu. I am usually a huge fan of lilikoi but found it a bit lackluster on this donut. The L&L looks pretty and sounds amazing but eh…tastes just alright. I actually preferred the Strawberry Fields donut more though you can hardly taste the green tea (which is fine with me). Hot Single all the way!

Hakata Ikkousha – Osaka, Japan

Ah yes, the Japan posts start…now! First stop? About 5 days in Osaka. I love Osaka. I love Osaka more than Tokyo. The flight to Japan is always longer than the one back home and I didn’t get much sleep on this flight. Then, we had to navigate our way to the train to take us into the the city center of Osaka. The train ride was fine, we got good seats but it was like another nearly 2 hours to get there!

Luckily for us, our hotel in Osaka runs a shuttle bus from Osaka Station to the hotel. We were able to find the Shuttle bus stop okay, actually a few hotels run shuttle buses so that was convenient! What I found amusing was that our bus ran constantly and was full of both hotel and non-hotel patrons, jump on and you get a free ride to the hotel or to Osaka Station. Our hotel was not located in a lively area so the bus was nice to take to Osaka Station to begin our daily journeys.

Anyway, we got to the hotel and checked in. Threw down our bags and then were hungry. We decided to take the hotel bus back to Osaka Station, ha! Hakata Ikkousha is located right in front of our bus stop, we did not want to go searching for another place at this point. We were sold.

The ticket machine to order! There was a bit of instructions but we still managed to muck it up. I didn’t realize you had to put your money in first and then order…so we ordered an extra bowl of ramen by accident. Luckily one of the workers came out and clarified everything and refunded us! Whew!

Red Ajitama Ramen
I don’t remember the name of this

This was my ramen, I saw black oil in the picture of the vending machine and went for it. Figured it was black garlic oil. Was it? I don’t even remember so I can’t tell you. How was the ramen? Good, not great. Hit the spot after long hours of travel.

Gotta always get a shot of the egg. How does this look to you? To me, I prefer the yolk to be softer and creamier so this was a bit overcooked for my taste.

Mentaiko Rice

Hmm, this was okay. Pretty salty but what do you expect with mentaiko??


Gyoza was good. I always love gyoza and the did it just fine! Was I itching to return back to this restaurant? Not really, no repeat visits this trip. We had plenty of repeat trips to Ichiran (let’s not go there, unless I post about it).

Ramen Shack Takumiya – Los Angeles, CA

After a long day at Disney (post coming soon!), we wanted to warm ourselves up with some good ‘ole ramen before heading back to the hotel. A lot of restaurants are located in mini strip malls, not something I’m used to but certainly got used to while in California.

Tonkotsu Ramen – Spicy
Ramen Combination – Spam Musubi (!) and Karaage Chicken (3 pcs)

So how was it? I would say it was pretty okay, but not great. I was excited to get the spam musubi as a side dish because it was like a little bit of home in Cali. The musubi was just alright and I think a bit cold, but it was good enough. I think the meal was good but nothing memorable.

Ramen Hood – Los Angeles, CA

Ramen Hood is a 100% vegan ramen noodle shop. It is located in the Grand Central Market, which is home to a horde of food shops and fresh markets. Compare it to the Maunakea Marketplace only bigger and possibly cleaner? Anyhow, I tried to plan it perfectly. We would first check out The Broad museum and then grab our brunch/lunch from here. Okay, it kind of worked out. We had to pay for $15 parking for 3 hours of parking at The Broad but the museum took a minimum 1.5 hours to get through. We get to the Market and it is PACKED with people.

I wanted to try two places, Ramen Hood and Eggslut. Eggslut’s line practically wrapped around the market, it was a no go. Ramen Hood was busy too but we were able to order take out. I actually didn’t realize it was a vegan place until I got there…then I got excited, especially about the egg! And let me just say, $2.00 for half an egg…I hope it’s worth it. Let’s check out the food…

Garlic Ramen | $10 (+$2/egg)
Spicy Ramen | $10 (+$2/egg)

Sorry I didn’t get a picture of both bowls with their broths! The broths are great, seriously. Even though there is no meat, there is so much flavor and depth in the broths. A nice kick of umami. We actually drove to Ikea and awkwardly ate this in our rental car in their parking lot, lol. I was also saving my appetite for the Ikea cafeteria so I didn’t finish the bowl of noodles.

If we had more time, we would have eaten it at their bar. That’s the thing about this shop, it isn’t really a sit-down restaurant and they basically have a bar to eat at. So the big question in all your minds, how was the egg? I am coming from a very open and vegan loving place, and with that caveat, I bet you know where I’m heading. I DIDN’T LIKE IT. I really admire their try at a real egg, doesn’t it look realistic? I think the egg white is formed with agar agar and it just…I don’t know, I guess I’m expecting an egg texture and didn’t get it so it just felt odd. Glad I tried it just to know…would I order it again with the egg? Probably not.

Other than that, the ramen is great. Give it a try! And $10 a bowl? What a deal!

Ichiran Dotonbori – Osaka, Japan

There are two Ichiran locations in the Dotonbori shooping area, one is on the waterfront by the big Don Quijote Ferris Wheel, the other is located deeper within the Dotonbori shopping arcade. We went to the second location and I finally got to try their famous cubicle dining system. Boy was that…interesting.

Does it look cramped? Well, it kind of is. They have both the cubicle dining and regular seats. The restaurant is like a zoo, you get in line and then are led to a machine to place your order. We got our dining tickets and were led to the line for the cubicles, a narrow staircase. We had a bit of a wait but it wasn’t too bad.

Here is the one side of the cubicle, you can order any extra toppings/side orders here…and drinks!

So they give you a new order sheet for any impromptu orders. Cash only!

They have a button for you to make your extra orders, other than that, you have no real interaction with the servers.

You see that bamboo looking mat in front of my noodles? That’s what they lift up to serve your noodles, then it’s back down for your privacy.

I ordered my noodles with an egg. Wasn’t a big fan of having to crack my own egg for the ramen, would have liked it to have been served already in my bowl. I can report that the egg was cooked perfectly, of course it was!

Ramen Gashoken, Honolulu, HI

Let’s start this post off with a bit of a fail. One of our student workers told me about this shop so I had to check it out. Any ramen recommendations will be taken seriously and probably immediately. Ramen Gashoken is located in the Shirokiya Japan Village Walk, I wasn’t sure of the location so we walked up and down every single aisle. Every. Single. Aisle. Well guess what? We finally asked someone and they are one of the first shops you see when you walk into the place…haha face palm right? So if you decide to check this place out, you will see it right when you walk in.

Original Ramen + Half Size Kaedama • $11.80 + $1.50

Pork bone broth (a rich and cream soup), original sweet & spicy sauce, char siu (sliced roast pork), green onions, and kikurage (cloud ear mushroom)

So how was it? Good! Not amazing but it was good to me! It actually reminded me a bit of Tenkaippin Ramen before I thought they went downhill. The broth is nice and rich but doesn’t have the same bone marrow taste as Tenkaippin, just a nice thick tonkatsu broth. They use the thin Hakata type noodles and the char siu isn’t anything special. It was a good bowl of ramen but nothing I would have a craving for…in fact, I was wishing for some raw garlic to add to my bowl. I must miss Tenkaippin, maybe I need to give them a shot again? Hmm I just looked them up and they no longer serve Kotteri ramen so maybe not. Gashoken also offers a pesto type ramen, interesting right? That may be my next choice, I always start my experience with their signature/original dish though.

Wagaya – Moilili, HI

Have I really not posted about Wagaya? Is that possible? Wagaya is definitely in my top 3 ramen spots for Hawaii, if not…number 1! I’ve been going since they opened and they have been consistently good, if not better than before. Their food is delicious, the broth deep in flavor. The only thing they need to up their game in is maybe the char siu…a bit thin. But everything else is so good. It’s a small family business and I really hope you get to try it. Let’s get to the pics!

Yummy…good food is coming. Parking can be scarce so plan ahead! They have a small lot but there is also a lot of street parking.

Homemade Gyoza – $5.95

I enjoy their gyoza, tasty! They have a happy hour special for gyoza but it only counts towards the deep fried ones. It’s too bad, I only like the pan fried ones.


Can I just get excited for a little bit? Yes, you can get agedashi tofu anywhere. But this is the best way I’ve had it, seriously. Yes, at a ramen shop. The tofu is fried perfectly, the batter is very thin, light and crispy. Once you pour the sauce onto the tofu, the batter turns almost gelatinous. I know that doesn’t make it sound good…BUT IT ALSO DOES. Because it gets a bit gel-like, the sauce hugs the tofu completely. Hmm…I want to get this for myself next time. No need share. Haha okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit.

Garlic Wagaya Ramen – $12.75

Here is my go to. I get it with regular firm noodles, spice level 3 (they start charging more at level 4, lol). It’s just a perfect serving of ramen, and that soft boiled egg is perfection. I save that for last. 🙂

Hiyashi Tan Tan Men – $11.95

I must confess, this particular week – this was my second visit so I tried the hiyashi noodles for the first time. It is served cold with the sesame dressing on the side. It was nice to try something different but I definitely prefer their ramen. And the ramen comes with a whole egg, so I want the whole egg…so I will get the ramen. Haha, still delicious.

Agu Ramen – Moilili, HI

This post highlights two visits to Agu Ramen recently. The first visit was on Valentine’s Day and they had very cute little flowers for the day. It was a very nice touch! My last visit, I took two of my little brothers there. They really enjoyed the ramen. I was really unhappy with the service. Our waiter basically ignored me at the end – all I wanted was the bill. He just kept helping everyone around us and avoided my gaze. Why? I would think you would want me out of your hair when we are done. I was very put off and now I don’t want to return for a while. It’s too bad when the wait staff can have such a big influence on wanting to return or not. They are pretty pricey anyway so I’m okay with not going for a while. I will probably come back from Japan ramen’d out anyway.

150325-01Cute valentine’s flower


150325-03Jidori Kawa – Deep fried Chicken Skin. Was it good? Would it be rude to say duh? Duh!


150325-06Shio Jidori – I really enjoy this one. The light ramen broth is great!

150325-07My brothers enjoyed it too! They swallowed it up!

150325-08The youngest one likes to put the noodles on a plate and then eat it. It’s a good way to cool down the noodles..hehe

Hokkaido Santouka Ramen – Ala Moana, HI

Hokkaido Santouka Ramen fix satisfied! I can’t choose my favorite ramen place because they all serve such different types of broth and noodles. Hokkaido Santouka is definitely perfect for the days that you want more of a creamy broth. My friend had a coupon for free toppings so obviously we had to go, even if the coupon was worth 50 cents…lol.

150211-01Shio Chashu Ramen – free bamboo upgrade!



Kara Miso Chashu Ramen

My bowl of noodles! I usually don’t enjoy miso ramen but this is the only one on the menu that I can get spicy so I go for it. I enjoy it very much. This time, I asked for firm noodles. My friend said she felt like it just tasted undercooked. I thought it tasted great, because I enjoy firmer noodles. Then as they sit in the broth, they still remain somewhat al dente. Yummmm….