This Chicago Boyz post on “Eatin’ Cheap” reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to post. I recently discovered how to make ramen noodles not just acceptable but downright tasty. Add a handful of bean sprouts, some fresh basil and cilantro leaves, and a dash or two each of lime juice and tabasco. In other words, add all the easily-procured ingredients of pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup) except the beef. The result is only half as good as the pho at a Vietnamese soup kitchen like Pho Cali in Raleigh, but that’s still approximately four times as tasty as plain ramen, and it takes roughly three minutes to put together. It’s still quite cheap, especially if you buy the cilantro, basil, and bean sprouts at an Asian grocery store, and the added vegetables make it healthier, too. Other additions I’ve tried haven’t been half so tasty: an egg or some bits of green onion help a bit, but in my experience white onion, carrots, spinach, and mushroom (all uncooked) do nothing for ramen, singly or in combination, except make it more nourishing.