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

    Awesome Beef Ramen

    If you ever find cheap steak on sale, this is a good recipe to use them for. The submitter recommends, “I buy thick cut beef chuck steak when it’s on sale. I then cut it into about 4 large pieces, trim the fat, put em into ziplocks and freeze.” Also if you’ve never had sweet soy sauce, it’s awesome!

    Submitted By: Dean-o

    Submitted From: Tuscon, AZ

      Ingredients

    • Chuck steak, fat trimmed off
    • Ginger, fresh
    • garlic
    • sweet soy sauce
    • regular soy sauce
    • hot pepper flakes
    • beef broth
    • assorted vegetables (carrots, bok choy, green onions, etc)
    • dried shiitake mushrooms (optional)
    • chopped peanuts (optional)

    To make this awesome ramen dish slice some semi-thawed beef across the grain very thin –as much as you think you want at one serving. put it in a ziplock bag. Add fresh ginger (slice with a potato peeler), finely minced garlic, sweet soy sauce, regular soy sauce, and hot red pepper flakes (take from a pizza place). Add some canned beef broth and mix. If you have any, chopped or ground dried shiitakes go good too. I make these in batches and freeze them as a mix with the steak. When you’re ready to eat thaw a bag — put it in a bowl — add a brick of ramen and water to cover. You may also add your favorite chopped veggies (bok choy, carrots, green onions). Zap the whole mix in the microwave or cook in a pot until the ramen and steak are cooked. (If you’ve chopped the steak thin enough it will cook quickly.) Garnish with chopped peanuts if you like. Eat like a king for cheap!

    Ramen Causing Global Warming?

    A new release from the IPCC shows that ramen noodles can in fact cause up to 13.8% of global warming! The press release from the IPCC is below:

    Geneva, Switzerland – March 10, 2010 – The Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced today that after further review of the data, ramen noodles manufacturing, transportation, and cooking is responsible for up to 13.8% of annual human based carbon emissions. “Throughout their lifecycle, ramen noodles can emit up to 18.2 quadrillion tons of CO2,” stated Christopher Field, Ph.D., Co-chair of IPCC Working Group on Noodles. “We ask that everyone reduce their consumption of ramen, or if you must eat ramen, share with friend, or use the microwave to heat the noodles.”

    What can you do to reduce your carbon footprint? If you’re not into sharing your noodles, the best way is simply to eat your ramen without cooking it. Simply crush the noodles in the bag, open the bag, and add some seasoning. It can make a tasty and satisfying snack and still be better for the planet.

    Full text of the press release, including tables and figures is available on the IPCC website.