Frugal Food Recipes: Shin Ramen Therapy

Daily Origami is a way for us to record our off the cuff thoughts, feelings and observations about the world around us. Published every weekday, Monday through Friday.

Shin Ramyun (Ramen) Therapy

Shin Ramyun (Ramen) Therapy


Jennie here. 

I spent three years of my life in Boston. Looking back on it now, I only remember the good parts, but there were bad times as well. The New England winters are cold, dark and lonely - made worse by the fact that my spouse was in Toronto - an even colder, darker and lonelier place.

In the mornings, I had to go off to work for a sexist dickhead manager. When I came home, I had to deal with the nightmare and uncertainty of the immigration process. It was like death by a thousand needles.

Shin Ramen therapy got me through those tough times. Little packets of Korean and sodium-filled goodness that made even the hardest days bearable.  


The way we cook instant ramen tells you a lot about someone's personality. People like Ivan would just crack an egg into it and call it a day. Others will assemble all their favorite ingredients to bring color and creativity to this otherwise plain pack of instant noodles. I fall into the second camp. I love adding leftovers and vegetables to my instant noodles because it’s meant to be a full meal.

I always include the following in my soup: egg, kale, and mushrooms. This combo makes a perfect meal any day of the week.

Here’s my quick recipe for a delicious instant ramen noodle meal:

  • 1 packet of Shin Ramen for $1.25

Levelling up (optional) toppings:

  • ½ pack of Buna-shimeji / Brown Beech Mushroom ($1.59 // ~ $0.79 per serving)
  • 1 cup of kale (1 large kale bunch for $1.50 // ~ $0.25 per serving)
  • 1 thai chili pepper (optional)
  • 1 egg ($2.18 // ~$0.12 per egg)
  • ½ stalk of a green onion

Note: Tofu is also an excellent protein replacement and soaks up all the ramen goodness when cooked.

Total cost: ~$2.60

I know instant ramen isn’t the healthiest thing in the world. Ivan nags me about my sodium intake all the time. But here’s my trick: use only half of the seasoning packet, use a little less water than stated on the package, then use black pepper and cut thai chili to spice up the soup.

It’s quick, delicious, and gives you back time after a tough day at work.

I love being able to sit down with my steaming bowl of ramen, turn on my favorite Netflix show (aka Korean drama) and just relax.