The Missing Ingredient In Your Favorite Grilled Cheese Is Instant Ramen

Grilled cheese paired with soup is probably among the easiest and fastest combinations that fall under the comfort food category. And while we all know grilled cheese is divine dunked into tomato soup, a spicy bowl of ramen can complement the crispy-yet-gooey sandwich, too. So why not skip the bowl and just combine them together?

While the idea of piling ramen in between toasty bread and melty cheese may seem unconventional, consider that pairing the noodles with cheese has been a Korean tradition for years. During the Korean War in the early 1950s, processed American cheese was a regular part of the rations to members of the military from the United States who were stationed in Korea. Eventually, the cheese became an ingredient used in Korean cuisine, including ramen. In fact, award-winning chef, television host, and cookbook author Roy Choi shared his recipe for cheesy ramen with American cheese with the New York Times in 2014.

So, if you already know that cheese and ramen work well together, why not level up and bring simple instant ramen and easy grilled cheese together to make one handheld comfort food combination? The chew of the noodles combined with the crunch of the fried bread is next-level delicious.

Tips for making an instant ramen grilled cheese sandwich

To make an instant ramen grilled cheese sandwich, you'll need to start by making the ramen. Of course, the noodles need to be boiled according to the package directions, but after that, there are a couple of different approaches you can take. First, you can mix the seasoning that came with the ramen into the noodles. Choose your favorite flavor — or for extra cheesiness, reach for a brand that comes with a cheese packet, too. Alternatively, you can really double down on the cheesiness in this sandwich by tossing the cooked noodles with American cheese, which will melt quickly and easily. For this version, the flavor packet is optional.

Once you've prepared the noodles, it's time to make the sandwich. For the crunchiest bread that will be hearty enough to hold in the ramen, be sure to grill both sides of the bread before adding the cheese — any melty cheese will work from American or cheddar to gouda or Colby Jack. Once the cheese begins to melt, top one side with the seasoned or cheesy noodles and the other piece of cheese-topped bread. And, voila — your ramen-stuffed sandwich is ready to eat.

Take your instant ramen grilled cheese to the next level

There are tons of ways to take this grilled cheese up a notch, but one simple trick is one you can use for any grilled cheese recipe — use mayonnaise to make it extra crispy. Spread it on both sides of the bread before putting it in the pan for golden brown perfection. You can also consider adding ingredients that you would use to take your ramen up a notch. Fry up a runny egg to plop on top of the ramen inside of the sandwich, spoon on some kimchi, layer on spinach or bok choy, or sprinkle in some scallions.

You can also add proteins of any sort from seafood to meat — bacon is a delicious addition to any grilled cheese, but Spam is a solid choice for a ramen grilled cheese, too. And don't sleep on adding seasoning — spice it up with sriracha or any hot sauce you have handy or add a bit of gochujang. Or really get creative and mix an egg straight into the noodles to make a ramen omelet that you can fry up instead of bread. Form the mix into two patties and fry them with a layer of cheese.