Food spotlight: Really good ramen



If you’ve heard people talking about ramen lately, you’re not alone. Ramen is in. But if all you know about it is the instant noodles you ate in college, it’s time for some ramen re-education!

Believed to have originated in China, this slurpy and delicious soup has more recently been popularized as a Japanese noodle soup dish in much the same way pizza began in Italy but is now considered American in the U.S. Traditional ramen consists of “Chinese-style” noodles served in a broth and includes toppings like sliced pork, dried seaweed, green onion and a soft-boiled egg.

  • Toppings: Ramen styles vary widely depending on the part of Japan it’s from. For example, ramen from Tokyo usually contains egg and a lot of green onion and bamboo shoots, while Sapporo ramen includes crab, corn, bean sprouts and a pat of butter.
  • Noodles: Ramen noodles are thin and long and made from wheat. Unlike western noodles, the ramen variety are firm, springy and chewy, never mushy or limp. Soba (buckwheat) and udon (thick wheat) and vermicelli (rice flour) noodles are three other common kinds of Asian noodles but you won’t find these in true ramen soup!
  • Broth: A pork-, chicken-, fish- or seafood-based ramen broth is usually flavored with soy sauce (Shyoyu), salt (Shio) or fermented bean paste (Miso), each with its own distinct and savory taste.

Finally, a word of caution: don’t let the fact it’s “just” noodle soup fool you at about 500 calories a bowl, ramen is a full meal. Some varieties like at the world-famous Momofuku restaurants in New York and Toronto have over 1,200 calories and a lot of salt! Many, however, say it’s well worth the boot camp class [LINK TO BOOTCAMP POST] required afterwards.

For the ambitious cooks, try Momofuku’s ramen recipe or, for the less ambitious, here’s an easy one.

What’s your favorite kind of ramen? Share your experiences with other members in the Shop Talk Blog community forum!




Did you know? What’s in a name

The word ‘ramen’ is simply the Japanese pronunciation for the Chinese word ‘lo mein’ (Cantonese) or ‘l miàn’ (Mandarin), a noodle, meat and vegetable dish you’ve probably seen at your local Chinese restaurant. (Source)


16 thoughts on “Food spotlight: Really good ramen

  1. Been serving up & eating up Ramen noodles for years. Very quick and easy to prepare and my pocketbook says “YES” to the most economical ‘Fast Food’ out there. RAMEN gets my vote for: College Food Hall of Fame!!!

  2. Looks like some delicious food. Ramen noodles are the best but if you eat it daily in the future you’ll eventually tired of it and not want it. At least we got to learn how to make ramen noodles from scratch.

  3. Would love to receive free samples and coupons. Have tried survey before but have never received anything.

  4. I have used Ramen noodles for years for cooking. I have many recipes fort their use because I was a single mother and going to school and working two jobs. The noodle meals served two purposes. First, it was economically convenient, but its secondary purpose was for time efficiency. I still use them quite often to this day.

  5. I have an excellen wok and make a vAriety of Miso Soups. I enjoy rice noodles or I puechase Udon noodles from my local grocery market. i also enjoy Viet Namese style of noodle soup. Pho Tom with lots of vegetables and Shrimp. I also enjoy my stir fried Cicken and vegetables in plum sauce. I also enjoy other stir fry meals with lots of veggies and lots of pineapple with various meats.

  6. Ramen has been in for a long time. Our family loves having Ramen soups with sandwiches. The long noodle is so tasty when you are having it as a meal. Children love the extra long noodle and the adults in our family love all the different flavors the Ramen noodles come in. The price is just right too.

  7. I like the seafood & I love to do garlic&butter that is how I like my noodles.this is my first time I’ve have done this I don’t know what you are talking about

  8. Thanks for the interesting cooking ideas it appears to be not only conservative but a fun and interesting way to discover some interesting ideas and new methods and variations of our favorite hobby eating cooking and saving money

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