Northwestern’s Take on Ramen

I actually visited Northwestern University once in 1996 with a college friend. I don’t remember much of that trip to Chiacgo other than asking the security guard if we could walk to the top of the Sears Tower, he said “no”, and then waiting outside the art museum for 6 hours to try and see the Monet exhibit (we gave up and left). Regardless, Minhee Kang

has a great article on some interesting ramen recipes. I’d choose choice 1.

Campus Craving: Radical Ramen Noodles

New Ramen Flavors?

An email from a reader, JHarper, posed the idea of a new flavor of ramen, sour cream and onion. Now personally, I don’t like sour cream and onion flavored chips all that much compared to other choices, but I know alot of people do. So I’m curious, of these limited suggestions, what’s everyone’s top choice for a new flavor of ramen?

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Ramen Evolution at the World Instant Noodles Summit

The World Instant Noodles Summit was this week in Japan, and three main themes came out of the conference:

  • less salt to lure health-conscious customers
  • better environmental standards
  • bigger push for corporate responsibility by donating noodles to disaster victims
  • Making ramen with less salt is going to be tricky in my opinion, any broth, bouillon, or “ramen seasoning” is always salty. In sort of needs to be, when you can take a small packet and add 2 cups of water and some noodles to it and have it still have some flavor. As for the environmental standards, it would be nice to see them have less packaging, that’s great for any product. The disaster victims idea is great too, ramen is a great product for that purpose as it is small, light, easy to make, and versatile.

    Last year, more than 92 billion servings of instant noodles were sold, Ando told a news conference late Wednesday. “I hope our noodles can reach 100 billion servings per year soon.”

    It’s going to be interesting to see if the ramen we eat in 2010 will be the same ramen in 2020.

    Eating Ramen At a Restaurant

    I ate Japanese food last week and I ordered an udon soup dish with chicken. It also had some octopus and that odd meat that comes in some Japanese instant soups, kinda brown with a pink ring around the edge. This time I ordered the udon noodles, but I’ve also had the soba noodles, which are more like ramen. I’ve never been fortunate enough to live somewhere that has a real ramen shop, but I enjoy the noodles at this place. After working on the bowl for 30 minutes, it usually looks like I barely even tried.
    [poll id=”5″]

    UPDATE: The Chicago Tribune has a good article on ramen including a list of places to get it “out” in Chicago.

    Strangest Email That I’ve Received So Far…

    I’ve run this site for over 10 years now and I’ve had some weird emails. I’ve been on the local news, I’ve been on a Japanese radio show, but never until this week have I been contacted by the FDA. Apparently even the FDA thinks that I make ramen or would know how to identify a manufacturing facility based on a product code. I’m not a big fan of the FDA, and this confirms most of my feelings about them…

    Human Genome Modeled as Ramen?

    Someone sent me this article from MIT about how the 3d representation of the human genome ends up looking like uncooked ramen. I only post this here because perhaps one or two readers can actually understand what the heck it’s talking about. I do wish that ramen came in a ball like this too..

    “It turns out actually that the fractal globule pretty deeply resembles the model of uncooked ramen noodles,” he said. “You can contrast this with the classic polymer structure, which is the arrangement that the noodles take once you’ve cooked them.”

    If you “turn up the heat, and the noodles are going to oscillate and wiggle…and in the process they’ll get deeply, deeply entangled,” he said.

    According to Lieberman-Aiden, “this is similar to the classic polymer conformation,” called the “equilibrium globule model.”

    In the ramen analog of the equilibrium globule model of the genome, “the most salient property was that if you stick a fork in them, you can’t pull apart one or two noodles: you end up pulling out a whole clump because they are so entangled.”

    “The fractal globule module is more like the uncooked ramen, whereas the classic equilibrium model of condensed polymers is more like the cooked noodles,” he said.

    Ramen is Top Seller in Rikers Island Commisary

    Interesting to note that instant ramen is the top seller in the infamous New York City jail, Rikers Island. It is also interesting to note why it’s the top seller.

    Just because you’re behind bars doesn’t mean you have to forgo your favorite snack foods and electronics. Today the Post takes a look at some of the stuff for sale to prisoners on Rikers Island, finding that the number one seller is Ramen, which can be had for 35 cents. (Most prisoners discard the noodles and use the flavor packet to spice up bland jail food.)

    Full Story is here.

    Buying Just the Ramen Flavor Packets?

    Suanne asks:

    Do you know if the chicken spice (packet) is sold separately from the noodles?
    If you do, where can I purchase this from?

    The closest I’ve ever been able to do is buying chicken bullion or beef bullion. I prefer to buy the powdered kind rather than the cubes so that I can control the amount. Has anyone found a way to buy ramen flavor packets or ramen seasoning?