Tsukemen under PHP200: How to Fancy up Your Instant Ramen

September 11, 2019

Under PHP200 is a series that features recipes of full meals totaling to less than PHP200 per person.

During college, many of us resorted to cheap eats to get us through the week. That meant fast food, microwaveable meals, or—for the truly constrained—SkyFlakes. For those who studied abroad, their go-to was instant ramen. Just like any other instant noodles, these consist of dried noodles and seasoning. But it promises the flavors of the Japanese dish. We’ve come up with a way to up your instant ramen game by turning it into tsukemen (dipping ramen). Before y’all start hating, we’re not claiming to make real tsukemen. It’s obviously a fake/cheat version.

Pasok na mga tsuke-men!

At first dip, the dipping sauce tastes a lot like soy sauce (as in… just soy sauce). But after while, you get the depth from the pork fat and the vegetables. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself finishing the whole thing. The best part about this recipe, though, is that it doesn’t break the bank. It amounts to just PHP174.02 per person (the whole recipe makes for two at a total of PHP348.03), so it fits in a student’s—or adult who’s waiting for their next sweldo‘s—budget.

*Note: The amount does not include salt, pepper, and oil in the computation, as these are pantry staples.

Instant Ramen Tsukemen

  • Serves: 2 people
  • Active time: 30 mins
  • Total time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy



  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 2 slices pork belly, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Salt, to taste


  • 5 cups water
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 fish bouillon cube
  • ¼ cup ginger, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • ½ cup spring onion, whole + 2 tbsp. minced


  • 600g ramen noodles, prepared according to package


  1. In a pot over high heat, add the oil until shimmering.
  2. Add pork belly and fry until golden all over and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove pork belly from the pan, leaving behind the drippings, and portion between two bowls.
  4. Lower heat to medium, then add water, soy sauce, fish cube, ginger, garlic, and spring onions.
  5. Stir together then allow to boil.
  6. Cook broth until reduced by half, then remove from heat.
  7. Divide broth evenly into the two bowls with cooked pork belly.
  8. Top with remaining spring onions and serve alongside noodles.
Jica Simpas Jica Simpas

Jica hopes that by writing about food she'll actually learn how to cook. But for now, she'll happily just eat everything—especially cookies.

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