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I don’t get to eat ramen much anymore. For one thing, I’ve been trying to eat more natural foods, which ramen is certainly not one of, and also my wife isn’t the biggest fan. However, now and again I get the old craving and go pick some up. With that in mind, I read through the ramen rater’s top 10 US instant noodle list to see what my next buy should be.
Out of that list, here are my choices:
1) Maruchan. Ubiquitous and cheap, I love to have this on hand. I’m a simple man, I like beef and shrimp flavor. Add some red pepper flakes to give it some spice. This is not the best on the list, but its so cheap and easy to find, I’ll list it first.
2) Nong Shim Bowl – I really like this one. It’s complex enough that you don’t need to do anything to it. I love the spicy broth in this one too, enough to almost make you cough when you sip it, which is perfect.
3. Nong Shim Black – I like the bowl, I love the black. The broth here is very rich and the vegetables are actually large enough to distinguish and tasty. This is worth the extra price to treat yourself.
I first heard about ramen burgers a couple weeks ago and I’ll admit I was curious. Finally this week, they arrived in my town, where foodie hipsters are slowly bringing in new and interesting foods mostly via local food trucks. If you’ve not heard of this before, basically a ramen burger is a beef hamburger that uses cooked and then grilled ramen as a bun. The sauce adds the umami and the green onion, crunch and color.
Unfortunately, I’ve not had a chance to have one of these yet, and so if you have, I’d love to hear your opinion on it. Was it good or just hype?
Ramen Rater has a guide to the 10 worst varieties. Has anyone ever had any of these? The one in the picture at the top of the article looks terrible. Also be sure to check out the comments as they devolve into racial attacks. Apparently this bottom 10 list has upset some folks. (It’s also on a Taiwanese news channel, but I have no idea what this lady is saying).
http://www.nippon.com/en/features/c00512/” target=”_blank”>Nippon.com has an interesting article about the science of how instant ramen is made. Many people don’t know that it is fried, although for a time in the 1990s, Campbell’s made a baked version. One new thing I learned in this story was about how “space ramen” was made:
In 2005, Nissin Foods developed instant noodles for astronauts, called Space Ram. The noodles come in bite-size bundles coated in egg whites to hold them together in a low-gravity environment. The soup was also made thicker to prevent spattering that could spread inside the space vessel. The flavor is quite strong because a person’s sense of taste is dulled in space. The starch content of the flour for the noodles was also adjusted so that the noodles could be cooked with hot, 70°C water; this was necessary because water cannot boil in the space shuttle due to the low air pressure.
It’s not clear from the story if “Space Ram” has been used before in space, does anyone know?
I never managed to finish this in April, so now it’s May Madness and this time, two delicious flavors battle to decide which would make a great ramen flavor.
Westword has an interesting article, that while focused on some Denver restaurants, provides a brief explanation of the difference between ramen and pho. I’ve had and love both, but I’ve never seen pho at the store for 20 cents a pack.
Here’s a snippet:
In a bowl of ramen, the long, curly noodles are made from wheat, which has the structure-giving gluten that pho’s rice noodles do not. Ramen stock is darker, richer and cloudy, often made from pork bones cooked at a rolling boil, whereas the base for pho is traditionally made from beef and scented with star anise, cinnamon and charred ginger.
This is an epic battle that should have been posted yesterday but was not due to a mistake on my part. Who wins?
By now you may have heard of the UK girl who has eaten nothing but ramen for the past 13 years. She is surprisingly still alive. Anyway, DrGullo.com contacted me to get my thoughts. They didn’t print what all I said about it, so I’ll share the full quote from me below. First the story:
A recent news story came out about an 18-year-old from the U.K. who eats the same thing every day – and nothing else. Georgi Readman is totally hooked on Ramen noodles. The 98-lb. girl has been eating them daily for 13 years and “hate(s) the texture of fruit and vegetables.” Unsurprisingly, doctors have condemned extreme diets like this one, stating that she likely “has the health of an 80-year-old” and may suffer from osteoporosis, kidney damage, hypertension, cognitive impairment, stunted growth, and of course, malnourishment.
The article continues:
Not all diets are as extreme as Readman’s, and most people who eat Ramen now and then wouldn’t dream of living exclusively on it. Matt Fischer, for example, is a Ramen critic and expert who told us, “If that was all you were going to eat, you’d really need to enhance it with extra ingredients.” Matt went on to recommend Ramen stir fries, salads, and even egg drop soup.
Now what I continued to say was “You can also make it bit healthier by using less of the flavor packet which is where all the sodium is. Personally, I could never do it, I like variety too much, even with a versatile ingredient like ramen.” I did not go into the health impacts, and I am not a doctor, but there is not a single thing on earth, besides water, that you should eat that much of.
I’m curious, what’s the longest you guys have gone eating only ramen? For me it’s probably only a day.
Yesterday I received two emails from different people with new flavor suggestions. I happen to like both ideas and so to celebrate the end of March Madness here in the US and to celebrate the fact that I’m a month behind in thinking about this, I’m starting a new flavor battle. Each round will feature 2 flavors. The winner will advance. I plan on running this all summer, so send in more ideas if you have them.