Foodies loathe them, the health conscious eschew them, but college freshmen and mageirocophobes would bow down at the Altar of Ramen Noodles if such a thing existed.

Mageirocophobes? They are people with an irrational fear of cooking. Lucky for them, ramen turns into a hot meal with instructions that are no more complicated than this: "Add boiling water. Let sit three to five minutes."

Producers might consider adding, "Don’t burn tongue" – just in case.

And thanks to a new cookbook, people who set foot in the kitchen only to heat water no longer have to settle for the same dehydrated beef/chicken/shrimp options every night. With just a few extra ingredients, ramen devotees can create an array of interesting meals. Especially at 2 a.m., the hour in which we suspect the majority of ramen noodles are consumed.

In writing 101 Things To Do With Ramen Noodles ($9.95, Gibbs Smith), Toni Patrick concocted ramen recipes for soups, salads, main dishes and even desserts. Breakfast dishes are mostly absent, although you may be tempted by Maple and Brown Sugar Ramenmeal.

Patrick also votes for the convenience of frozen or canned vegetables, which she writes are interchangeable with fresh vegetables. (Real cooks might threaten to abandon the book after reading that statement in the Helpful Hints section, but then they’d never learn what to do with leftover seasoning packets.)

A few blank pages at the end of the book have the heading "Notes," for all of the recipe variations ramen chefs are bound to stumble upon. Or they can use the space for new inventions, following Patrick’s helpful hint No. 9: "Be creative and enjoy yourself."

Ramen martini, anyone?