So… I guess here we go.  Day 1 of my new segment – The Shits I Eat When I’m By Myself.  Listen… if you were gonna dump me after this, please do it gingerly, ok?

And really, there’s no point talking or paining an elaborate narrative for this “shit”.  It’s pretty self-explanatorily wrong which, unfortunately by the same definition, also guarantees to be uber-tasty.  Any form of instant ramen-noodle drenched in a bastard-sauce between something tomato-ragu-ish and cheez-whiz-ish… cannot taste bad.  It reminds me of the very popular, tomato/cheese ravioli they sold at my high school cafeteria, minus the side of conscience that came with adulthood.

But what I should point out is – given that if you were gonna do the same – this is something one should only do when utterly alone.  I will not be held accountable for what happens when other human beings walk in on you doing this…

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5 minutes

Serving Size: 1


  • 1 chunk ramen noodle
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup ground pork, or beef
  • 1 chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp store-bought salsa
  • 3 slices American cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
  • Tabasco sauce


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the ramen.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in another pot over medium-high heat, then cook the ground pork and chopped garlic ("brown" them if you're feeling fancy...). Add tomato paste and flour, and cook for another min. Add whole milk and cook until thickened, then add the store-bought salsa and American cheese. Stir in the cooked ramen until the cheese has melted. Season with black pepper and salt to taste. Add more milk if the sauce is too thick.
  3. Serve with a big dash of tabasco sauce.


The tomato paste is important in adding depth to the dish (if there's any...). I can never finish a whole can of tomato paste, so I always keep unfinished can in the freezer, for whenever I need it.

I've never tried using real cheddar for this. I feel like they don't melt very nicely. But you could if you want.

The instant ramen I used was a Korean brand, which I'd say was slightly bigger than typical Japanese kind. You can judge the size from the picture and adapt accordingly.
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    November 11, 2014 at 6:22 PM Reply

    I eat something like this once a week. Hold the meat. I make mine with lots of chili oil, sesame oil, chives, egg, gochujang, American cheese, and sometimes fried cabbage!!!~ So good.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      November 11, 2014 at 6:25 PM Reply

      David: Haaahahaah that’s a Korean version! Kind of like how they put American cheese in Korean instant noodle.

      • DAVID

        November 11, 2014 at 7:46 PM Reply

        Well, I do live in South Korea. Have you tried just adding a cube or two of instant curry block? Fry up some onions and garlic, maybe broccoli, then add the water, curry cube or two, then cook the noodles. Pretty good. // There are so many different kinds of “ramyeon” here. Even just a straight up cheese one…no pretense at all.

      • DAVID

        November 11, 2014 at 7:54 PM Reply

        OH BOY! I just had a crazy thought. There is enough fat in the American cheese slices in your recipe, but what if…you added an egg, mixed it all together than added it to a tablespoon or two of hot fat (like bacon fat), then let it sit and get all crispy on one side, then flip it and allowed the other side to get all crispy too???! EGADS!!! Garnish with a bit of chives…maybe another hit of Tabasco?

        • mandy@ladyandpups

          November 11, 2014 at 8:10 PM Reply

          David: A ramen pancake? Hahahaa brilliant! I might just try that next time!

  • Belinda@themoonblushbaker

    November 11, 2014 at 6:43 PM Reply

    Only you could make instant ramen look better than real meal. I have never added cheese into the mix before but my dad used to do “dinner” with it with fermented red tofu, cheese and fatty pork as the base all the time. I must get myself a packet of ramen tomorrow to try your orange ramen!

  • Marcella

    November 11, 2014 at 8:21 PM Reply

    We are entirely way too alike when it comes to food! Love this post. Somehow you still manage to make orange instant ramen look good. Kudos.

  • Kari

    November 11, 2014 at 8:34 PM Reply

    It took my college age kids to show me how to properly make ramen. I do something like this except I use bacon bits…no not real bacon but the stuff from a jar, green onions, sesame oil, garlic, and a egg. Cheese is a good idea I may have to try that.

  • Melinda

    November 11, 2014 at 9:14 PM Reply

    Don’t take this the wrong way because it’s absolutely a compliment. This is way nastier than I thought you’d be lol

    You’re forcing me to make this recipe. Next time I’m alone of course.

  • molly yeh

    November 11, 2014 at 10:04 PM Reply

    i’m so obsessed with this. v similar to how i eat when i’m by myself. amen to this!!!!!

  • sophie // the cake hunter

    November 11, 2014 at 10:05 PM Reply

    This is such an awesome segment name. I think mine would consist mostly of mug cakes, apparently that’s my go to food when I’m alone.

  • Amanda Vuu

    November 11, 2014 at 10:24 PM Reply

    Ohmygosh..I really hope you do more posts in this series! This is amazing stuff.

  • Jodi@prairiekuchen

    November 11, 2014 at 10:48 PM Reply

    This picture literally made me laugh out loud

  • todd wagner

    November 12, 2014 at 12:19 AM Reply

    Love this post so much!!

  • kimithy

    November 12, 2014 at 12:47 AM Reply

    Yayyyy! I was worried I’ve had to wait a while for the first Shit I Eat When I’m By Myself post. YES.

    And I learned something about myself. Upon my first look at the recipe for this concoction, my reaction was, literally, “that is too fancy for me”. WHAT?? Apparently if it’s got more than 3 ingredients, my brain interprets it as “fancy”. This explains so much about my own Shit I Eat When I’m By Myself food…

  • Francois

    November 12, 2014 at 12:56 AM Reply

    Reminds me of a dish a friend used to make when hiking the 2,000 miles of the Appalachian trail called “bad hunter”. A meat Ramen with cheese sauce from a kraft box. Bright orange without the meat.

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

    November 12, 2014 at 1:44 AM Reply

    This is still impressive because it involves cooking! I unintentionally became a raw vegan when I’m alone because I just don’t want to cook anythingggg. Ok maybe not RAW raw there’s lots of peanut butter involved.

  • jo

    November 12, 2014 at 1:58 AM Reply

    I was cracking up reading this post largely because we all have these guilty “no one must know i eat this” meals. Shared with the man and his response “yes…yes…yes.” You won him over with this one.

  • Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy

    November 12, 2014 at 3:40 AM Reply

    Ha! I love this new series and that look freakin’ delicious!

  • Kristen

    November 12, 2014 at 4:19 AM Reply

    I saw this earlier today before heading out and said “omfg that looks good.” Then I arrived home STARVING and riffed on this, getting as close to the recipe as I could with the ingredients I had in the house. Deliciously orange/unique, and it saved me from eating my arm. Will eat again.

  • Eileen

    November 12, 2014 at 4:58 AM Reply

    If I’d had access to a real kitchen when I lived in the dorm, I would absolutely have been making meals like this. (As it was, I just bought lots of salsa and ate it right out of the jar. So…yeah.)

  • Baby June

    November 12, 2014 at 5:50 AM Reply

    The shit you eat? Nah. How about the PILE OF BEAUTIFUL AMAZINGNESS you eat?

    And this is easy? Yes. Going to try this. With tofu crumbles. Don’t hurt me.

  • Tamsin | A Certain Adventure

    November 12, 2014 at 6:10 AM Reply

    Jeez. I eat filthy noodles (sometimes with butter, sometimes with mayo, once with mozzarella) but this is somethin’ else. Inspired. x

  • Jade

    November 12, 2014 at 7:35 AM Reply

    Making it right now but instead of American cheese I am using cheddar, can’t tell the difference because never had American cheese; and I am using 老干妈 my one and only chill sauce to substitute Tobasco. I feel like there is already depth of sourness in the sauce and my ulcers don’t really like the idea of Tobasco.

    Thanks for the amazing idea. Please do more in this series. You are saving one hungry uni kid.

  • yung guan yu

    November 12, 2014 at 7:37 AM Reply

    now all i need to do is find something comparable to that orange American Cheese here in Australia.

  • Yasmin

    November 12, 2014 at 8:02 AM Reply

    Hellooooo :)

    At which point do we put the noodles? There seems to be no mention of it on the instructions :D


    • mandy@ladyandpups

      November 12, 2014 at 12:51 PM Reply

      Yasmin: At STEP 2: “Stir in the cooked ramen until the cheese has melted” :)

      • Yasmin

        November 13, 2014 at 3:36 AM Reply

        How on earth did I miss that! Thanks so much!

  • Karishma

    November 12, 2014 at 9:46 AM Reply

    oh man what this sounds sooo good. but yeah, definitely going to keep this to myself haha.

  • J.Lee

    November 12, 2014 at 10:18 AM Reply

    This recipe is more like “the delicious shit my husband makes me cook for him at 2am” because apparently snacking after midnight is a thing in Guangdong? Or my husband is just blatantly lying to me so that I remain his kitchen slave.

    But I love a food audience, too. I cook lovely, Julia-style (not Julia Stiles) cuisine every evening for children that only consider nuggets food and a husband with every take-out restaurant on speed dial. I need a new tribe of foodie friends to appreciate my talents. Sadly, when I’m alone, I eat only raw veggies and baby bels. Because- lazy. Your blog is dreamy for people like me, whatever you’re cooking.

  • jaime : the briny

    November 12, 2014 at 11:08 AM Reply

    god i love this. especially the orange part.

  • Emily

    November 12, 2014 at 11:32 AM Reply

    Love your crazy bastard sauce! Sometimes I stir an egg into hot, drained instant ramen and add soy sauce. The quickest meal ever.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    November 12, 2014 at 3:34 PM Reply

    Absolutely my fav new segment!! And this dish is something I’d totally dig into as well. Mmm mmm.

  • Kiki

    November 12, 2014 at 8:54 PM Reply

    LOL! I love the title, good for you! So honest! xx from London

  • Kayiu @ Saucy Spatula

    November 12, 2014 at 9:55 PM Reply

    RAMEN. Good for any meal of the day. That is it.


  • Morgan

    November 12, 2014 at 10:47 PM Reply

    I love the irony with the photo that says “the SHITS I eat when I’m by myself.” like, yeahhh… I feel that. shits.

  • Rebecca@Figs and Pigs

    November 13, 2014 at 1:33 AM Reply

    What a brilliant idea for a series, everyone has dirty food secrets! Love it.

  • Lisa

    November 13, 2014 at 5:17 AM Reply

    I would totally trash this up even more by subbing hot dogs for the ground meat. Why not really go for it while you’re at it, right?

  • Rebel Shell

    August 20, 2015 at 5:08 AM Reply

    I have been so caught up in your commentary and recipes and then I hit this category and particular recipe. I’m still hiding in my own “shit I eat when by myself” closet but am inspired by yours.

  • Amelia

    April 4, 2016 at 12:30 PM Reply

    What a great piece! I have secretly made ramen with peanut butter and chili flakes for years! No one can ever know and I wouldn’t dream of serving it. But in the wee hours…when I’m really craving something shitty….

  • Joanie

    April 5, 2016 at 4:33 PM Reply

    I cook chix flavored Raman noodles with 1/2 pkt of flavor seasoning by directions on package. Add teryaki sauce & some chili flakes to taste, Top with sliced hard boiled egg, chopped green onion & chopped cashews. Shredded rotisseri chicken & other add-ins can be added. nythicanbe

  • Nancy

    April 5, 2016 at 6:37 PM Reply

    We drive truck, but I am going to make this for guilty pleasure as soon as we’re home next! Gahh, sounds like two pkgs, *maniacal laughter*

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