Confessions of a hardcore instant ramen lover

irameninage.gifToshio Yamamoto's earliest memory of ramen goes back to when he was five years old. He was slurping down a bowl of instant noodles at home with his parents when he accidentally flipped it over and burnt himself. "I've been eating instant ramen ever since," he says. By his early elementary school years, Yamamoto had mastered the skill of cooking noodles in a pot, treating himself to a serving of Maruchan whenever hunger struck. It was the beginning of a lifelong passion that would eventually make him a pseudo web celebrity.

Yamamoto is the man behind, a web site that meticulously chronicles and reviews thousands of different types of ramen from Japan and beyond. After we profiled his web site on Boing Boing, the 49-year old hardware engineer agreed to answer a few questions about his instant ramen obsession.

Yamamoto eats instant noodles for breakfast five days a week — Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are cup noodle days; on Saturdays and Sundays he eats the kind that comes in plastic packaging. Until recently, Yamamoto was eating instant noodles seven days a week. He recently decided to slow down his pace for logistical reasons. "For one person to chase a single theme over a long period of time is a very special thing," he says. "I feared that, if I continued at that pace, I would get bored."

The rest of his meals are "just normal meals" — lunch at his company's cafeteria, simple dinners at home. "I don't hate ramen shops, but I'm not particularly drawn to them either."

He started the web site in 1995, reviewing ramen from the 80s that he happened to have stored in his pantry. When a Japanese magazine picked it up as fodder, he decided to continue to document his culinary adventures. is a monster database with over 4,000 distinct ramen reviews — he occasionally revisits the classics to make sure the taste hasn't changed, but for the most part the site consists of new brands and special edition flavors, often from different countries. Over New Years, for example, he flew to Hong Kong and returned with over 100 packets that he's now in the process of reviewing.

Yamamoto also has a YouTube channel. Using Adobe Premiere Elements 4 and some 8mm video skills he acquired as a college student, he created hundreds of video reviews of instant ramen — precise 40-second clips with bouncy music, sound effects, and a voice over that describes the texture, the ingredients, the umami, and ends with a kicker, like "This was altered for American taste buds. It's not something I would ever choose to eat" or "The premium beef paired with ordinary noodles makes it oddly unbalanced." In some of them, you see him adding a hot dog and some cabbage. That's for nutritional balance; also, since hot dogs and cabbage are always readily available, adding those two ingredients consistently removes the possibility of a biased review. For products catered towards Muslims, like instant ramen from Indonesia, he makes sure not to put pork hot dogs inside.

The key to enjoying instant noodles every day is simple: "It's to eat while possessing a feeling of happiness." Yamamoto can conjure up this feeling by reminding himself of the universality of instant ramen. "When I think about all the people even on the opposite end of the globe who are eating instant noodles at the same time as me, it really makes me feel connected beyond borders," he says.

As for his health? So far, he reports no problems whatsoever. Thumbnail Pic: avlxyz


  1. This is timely, considering that there’s this little economic turn down in progress and ramen is cheap.

  2. I’ve been eating the maruchan ramen for 20 years now (oriental is my favorite), it’s one food I’ve never gotten tired of.

    One thing I’ve never been able to figure out is cooking consistency. Sometimes the noodles come out a little tough, other times they’re way too soggy. I’ve used the exact same pot for 15 years now, always follow the same procedure, and yet the results are often different.

    Is this just an issue with manufacturing, or is the cooking process influenced by the phase of the moon? :)

    1. With most wheats there will be a difference in gluten and mineral content depending on when it was harvested. I’m not sure if buckwheat is the same, but Summer wheat and winter wheat are drastically different. Bakeries must often adapt their recipes to compensate for the change in season and variations within the wheat due to the differences in seasons over the years. They do if they use a high quality product anyway. I think a lot of grocery store brand flours here in the US are so heavily processed and blended that it makes less of a difference, but yeah, the wheat changes.

      1. Buckwheat is a member of the rhubarb family and is not wheat at all. 100% buckwheat = gluten free.

    2. I’ve been eating Ramen and Maruchan noodles for breakfast almost every day since 1997. I’m in construction , and it is the only thing that keeps me going until we break for lunch at 11:00 ( about 5 hours) I put the noodles , water and spice packet in a ceramic bowl along with some left over veggies , chicken or whatever , and MICROWAVE for 2 1/2 minutes on high. Let sit for about 3 minutes and it comes out perfect every time. Hope this helps.

    3. @2 “Is this just an issue with manufacturing, or is the cooking process influenced by the phase of the moon? :)”

      I’d say it’s probably the age of the package. Different results can happen from any pasta.

    4. well top roman is a very finicky food to begin with I have tried different pots and different temps and stuff the one thing that i have found is get the water boiling first on hi temp and about 30 to 45 seconds later is good for consistency at least for my taste I usually touch test after 30 sec and if it doesn’t feel soft enough then to more seconds would be good.

  3. I appreciate his passion for this, but the sodium content of these meals is horrifying.

  4. Wow!
    “…to eat while possessing a feeling of happiness,” and the sense of connectedness knowing that other people all over the world are eating noodles at the same time makes this an almost a mindfullness/meditative practice. Who’d of thunk it?.

    I like the illustration,too. But the words “Instant” and “Life” remind me of Sea Monkeys and make me wonder where the three tiny shrimp I saw in my last bowl if instant ramen came from originally…

  5. Somewhere, maybe here, there was a good tip on how to get the instant noodles flavored but dump most of the incredible amounts of salt. Bring the water to a boil along with the flavor packet. Cook the noodles for the standard boiling 3 minutes. Then dump all or most of the flavored cooking water. The noodles have the flavor of the flavoring packet, and if you either retained some liquid or applied some butter or oil, they don’t stick together, either.

  6. argh… is there no English language version available… I can’t tell what anything means as he uses custom hand drawn graphics everywhere… google translate is useless when people do this… :(

    1. If you mouse over the graphics, the URL that appears tells you where it goes. The rest can be translated with Google.

  7. I’ll go ahead and confess to being an adult, reasonably affluent instant ramen eater. I’ve always loved it. It’s never attained the stigma of being college food to me. Part of it might be how I cook it – only half the seasoning packet, then tons of garlic, black pepper, and cayenne. I don’t eat it that often any more, but when I need a meal and can’t think of anything, it’s ramen or bean burritos!

  8. . “When I think about all the people even on the opposite end of the globe who are eating instant noodles at the same time as me, it really makes me feel connected beyond borders,”

    My respects to you, fellow Ramener brother. We are indeed, globally connected.

  9. I don’t like the sodium in the ‘flavor packets’ but have always liked eating the noodle bricks with peanut button slathered on them.

    1. Yes i like the peanut butter on them all so. But i like to cook the ramen like normal the last minute or 30 sec put a nice spoonful of peanut butter in the heat with break it down a bit. May have to add a bit of water when done. There great.

    2. Oddly enough, my sister-in-law eats the flavor packets but throws the noodle brick away. Maybe you could get together and each quit wasting half?

      My feeling is that I like the flavor pack and my health, though bad, has no reason to avoid sodium and my doctor support a this. I make the noodles, then dump out the water. I then sprinkle the flavor packet on, giving me a much stronger taste of the flavor packet.

      We all have our favorites, but I have never met someone who doesn’t like ramen in some way, even if secretly.

  10. When I was in university I had an early mp3 player, my laptop, one of those coil plug in coffee immersion heaters, and a few bricks of ramen. It was a delightful smug feeling knowing I didn’t have to search for an expensive warm meal. The coil heater and some ramen saved me in Paris once when I was stuck in the airport and had no Euros.

  11. I love ramen, but I pretty much can’t stand any of the ‘americanized’ brands. I shop for them at local asian markets. I find the Korean brands are usually my favorite. They are much more flavorful. I normally crack a couple of eggs in to the pot while the noodles are boiling for some extra protein. Yum!

  12. I like to shave carrots and leave them in the freezer for a week or two to get fully freezer burned, that and small mushrooms left to dry and get funky in the paper bag make great ramen additions. The egg flower drop was a favorite of my sister in law when we were all in college, but if done wrong was quite disgusting. Just crack a raw egg into boiling hot cup of ramen, and stir hoping there is enough heat energy in the water to kink all of the egg protein.

  13. Cup Noodles beats Instant Lunch beats Top Ramen.

    last years burningman experience was very much defined by my exclusive diet of ramen, bacon and pistachios.

  14. Lisa, does he have a leader-board? I wonder what hs favourite noodle is, as all the ones I recognise seem to get scores in the range of 1 – 2.5 out of 5.

  15. My memories of eating instant noodles do not go all the way back to when I was 5 years old. In fact, I can’t remember the first one I had. But I am glad it was not knocking a bowl over and burning myself as a kid.

    I’ve already had dinner, but reading this makes me want to go eat another packet. I think I’ll go do nuke up one now …

  16. I had hoped that Martha Stewart would publish a Ramen Spread cook book after her unfortunate incarceration.
    yeah, some of you out there know what I’m talking about.

  17. [tangential noodle story]

    Remember the Nissin Foods Cup-O-Noodles sign in Times Square, NYC? The one with the steam coming out the top? Awhile back I saw that it actually said “Cup Noodles,” no “O”.

    Now, I was positive that it said Cup-O-Noodles at one point. So I write to Nissin Foods.

    They wrote back. Turns out they added the “O” to “Americanize” the brand when they introduced the product here. Then, at some point, they did away with that, and changed the sign. So, no more “O.”

    The more you know…I guess.

    [/tangential noodle story]

  18. I am glad I’m not the only reasonably-well-off adult that still enjoys ramen. my favorite style of preparation is as a soy, ponzu, and srirachi based soup, with a soft boiled egg cooked in the broth served over home made kimchi. in fact, i’m having exactly that for lunch today :D

  19. BIG Ramen fan here. Breakfast 3-4 times a week. Sometimes I throw in some leftovers (usually chicken) for variety. Most often, though, just plain, old-fashioned ‘Noodly Soup’ (as my 3-year-old calls it).

  20. I have discovered ramen is the perfect base for culinary adventure. Cook the ramen as usual (never use the packaged flavor dust) and top with spaghetti sauce or marinara sauce, cheese sauce, or canned mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, sardines, crab, baby shrimp, chicken, you get the idea. Add a dash of hot sauce to taste, or spices. A perfect little lunchtime casserole.

  21. What is it about these things that brings out the kid in me?

    I don’t eat as many noodles as I once did, but I still love those Thai-style rice noodle packets. It is not exactly ramen, but it does scratch that dry noodles in a packet itch. When you have a cold and your sinuses are all clogged up and your throat is sore, there is something very restorative about the lemongrass and chili flavor.

  22. Ah, when I lived in Santiago my favorite “cup-o-noodles” was a Mexican brand, La Moderna. They had flavors like “Chile Xipotle” and the like, some of them very spicy, and of course beef, chicken, etc. Yummy! When that wasn’t available, there was a chinese brand, Loveme. Their best flavor (imho) was mushrooms. Excellent. I haven’t tried Maruchan, though…

  23. My first exposure to the wider world of instant noodles was from my freshman roommate in college. I knew Cup-o-noodles & that was about it. His Korean mom would bring him cases of noodles which he would always share. There were spicy ones, brown gravy ones, thick noodles, thin noodles etc.

    He would share them with other people, often they would return another time to try to buy one. He ended up making pocket money by having his mom bring him cases (I think they were 24 packs to a case @ less than $10) and selling the packets for a buck each. Of course the down side was that we would end up getting door knocks late at night by drunken dorm dwellers looking for their fix.

  24. Instant ramen is one of those things I really have missed since going on a gluten-free diet. This article reminded me what I’m missing.

    Yes, the various instant rice noodle soups aren’t bad, but all I really want in life is maruchan chicken flavor with rice noodles instead of wheat.

    Beef flavor would be ok too.

  25. Man that guy’s blood pressure has to be through the roof. I worry when I have Ramen once a month :)


  26. I have graduated up to Shin Ramen, probably the most famous Korean spicy ramen maker out there. While more expensive, the noodles are thicker and more substantial and chewy. The flavor is also far superior.

    For the advanced players, there’s a korean instant noodle dish called “Chaharoni” which is a play on the name “jajang myun” which is a noodle dish with a black bean sauce. It is a brothless noodle dish as is the instant version.

  27. Count another “adult earning reasonable income” that loves ramen. I’m Chinese; in my family, we used to call the Nissin brand “doll” or “cartoon” noodles. Seems to be the common nickname for that.

  28. Never been a big fan of Instant Lunch/Cup ‘O Noodles, but the new Nissin Chow Mein ones are pretty good. I like the teriyaki and the spicy chicken.

  29. I also recommend Nong Shim noodles. They’re Korean, and much better than the usual Ramen found in our grocery stores. Also relatively spicy. The noodles just taste better, and they include seaweed in the vegetable packet. Mmmm…

  30. Unfortunately, most of the packaged ramens use palm oil – if you google “palm oil orangutan” you’ll find lots of references to how the palm oil industry is concentrated in the only habitats for orangutans, and is a serious threat to their existence. So check out the ingredients when you buy noodles, and pick one without palm oil.

    That’ll also encourage you to try lots of flavors of Asian noodle soups, at least if you’ve got Asian grocery stores around; I’ve been alternating between spicy Korean flavors and milder flavors which I can add lots of mushrooms and other veggies to, and cooking ramen takes about the same time as boiling an egg, so you can crack an egg into the pot to cook on top of the noodles.

    1. I can’t find any without palm oil where I live (except organic ones that cost 10 times the normal price), so I don’t eat them anymore.
      Sad, because I love ramen.
      Hopefully, this will change if we spread the word about palm oil and the orangs. Oook!

  31. AS a diabetic with high blood pressure, I have to watch my carb and salt intake. In fact I have to keep my sodium intake under 1500 mg a day. So ramen are right off my dietary menu… sadly. Because I used to love them.

  32. So, the way to get around how unhealthy ramen is . . . don’t use the seasoning package included! I have to watch my sodium intake, PLUS I don’t like salt to begin with. (Ironic)

    What I do is make the noodles as NOODLES and not SOUP. Drain. Add a little butter-type spread. Sprinkle with an herb blend with garlic & roasted red peppers in it. Voila!

    East meets West and no sodium is best!

  33. Another Nong Shin devotee. However the spices can’t be good for you. Anyone got pointers to how to make your own spicy noodle soup?

    1. epo, start with a no-salt beef or chicken stock, and season to taste with soy sauce and/or ponzu if you like the citrusy taste of it. if you’d like it more like pho, go really easy on the soy and use lots of fresh basil. either way, adding a touch (perhaps 1/2 to 1 teaspoon) of sweet thai chile sauce and srirachi to taste will make a very tastey soup base.*

      then pick your noodle and your accompaniment, and you’re set.

      that being said, the calories come from the noodles, not the flavor packet. if you are worried about salt, toss the packet. if you are worried about calories (they are deep fried noodles, btw), only use half of the ramen and just add lots of veggies to make up for the loss of solids.

      * i make no claims as to how authentic this is. it just tastes good.

      1. Awesome. thebelgianpanda, kutsuwamushi and others, you guys are real stars, my doctor may thank you as well. Off to my nearest Chinese store to stock up on ingredients

  34. I loooove ramen, particularly the Maruchan (which now has the added bonus of making me think of a adorable cat). I don’t eat it very often because I have high blood pressure and I love the flavoring packets. There used to be a Campbell’s baked ramen which I was a kid/fifteen years ago which was really good and not quite so guilty feeling.

    Quite frankly, any food that I’m supposed to slurp up is in my book.

  35. Epo, you can make a better noodle soup with just a few ingredients.

    If I wanted something similar to the Nong Shim HOT AND SPICY YUM YUM bowl here’s what I’d do:

    * Instant dashi
    * Soy sauce
    * Korean chili powder
    * Dried seaweed – “wakame” type

    Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Once it starts to get hot, add the dashi according to proportions it gives you. Season it with 1 tbs soy sauce and 1 tbs chili powder. Taste it and add more of either ingredient if you think it needs to be saltier or spicier.

    (I would use fish sauce instead of soy sauce if I thought it needed to be saltier, because fish sauce also adds body. But you don’t need to.)

    Snip off a few pieces of wakame and drop in the pot. You only need a very small amount–it expands! This will also give your broth a bit of seaweed flavor.

    Once the wakame is soft, add your noodles. If you’re using ramen, you can just boil them in the stock. If you’re using some other noodles, you might want to cook them separately if they’re the kind that starches up the water and add right at the end.

    You’re done.

    You could also add tofu or a few pieces of thinly sliced meat and vegetables.

    Takes about fifteen minutes or so.

  36. i’ve had a real resurgence with the stuff. used to live on it a while ago, but now i like it alot for a snack. and very cheapo!

  37. I use Manchurian Oriental Flavor, I make it with 2 packages, one cup of water, 2 tablespoons of Stir Fry Sauce, Srirachi, Seasoning Packets, and about a cup of sliced bell peppers. Not Authentic, but I love it

  38. Instant ramen is yum, but what about handmade fresh ramen? That is a whole other universe of deliciousness.

  39. It’s not just the sodium you have to watch. Most instant noodle brands in New Zealand contain copius amounts of palm oil. Some single servings can contain around 20 grams of fat, with around 16 grams of that being saturated fat. Add the sodium, and that’s a food I don’t really want to eat. And I’ve stopped eating them now because of that. In fact, I try to stay away from as many processed foods as possible.

    A lot of NZ university students live on a diet consisting of mostly instant noodles and toast. So nasty.

  40. I had to almost eliminate this from my diet when I saw that each serving has like 7-12g of fat

  41. Am I the only one who doesn’t get the obsession with what is basically noodles? Always seemed like another Americans-loving-everything-Japanese fad to me.
    Anyone care to explain?

  42. I agree – throw away the packet of flavored dust. Cook noodles in a small amount of skim milk and add a hand full of shredded parmesan.

    I eat this a couple times of week – I call it “fettucine al feet”. Instant gratification.

  43. I present the Ramen noodle Haiku

    Oh Lifeless Noodles!

    Everyday I Eat This Crap!

    With Cheese Once a Week!!

  44. MANY people can handle eating large amounts of sodium with no problem — it’s one of the most important electrolytes in your body, and is moderated by your kidneys.

    Do not believe the tabloid health press — just ask your doctor, “I like ramen noodles, but they have a lot of sodium in them, is there any reason I should cut back?”

    1. THIS.

      Sodium and blood pressure aren’t directly related – as an individual with normal blood pressure, a large amount of sodium won’t hurt me.

      Sodium doesn’t cause high blood pressure, but minimalizing sodium intake is a good way to treat already existing blood pressure issues.


    Tay Ho makes some awesome instant rice noodles. They come with a meat pack! The cool thing is the the noodles are just only made with rice. less than 7 grams of fat in most of flavors. sodium levels are also lower. Also comes in its own bowl and lid that can be reused for a pretty long time.

    Also, srirachi… mmmm… We call it cock sauce. We’ll often say “We love the cock” or “It needs the cock.” Just an excuse to be immature i suppose.

  46. While not as good as the Nong Shim Shin Ramyun or Neoguri, the Jin Ramyun is an okay alternative and pretty spicy to boot. I’ve always, always said that if I were stranded on a desert island, the one food I could live happy for the rest of my life for would be Sapporo Ichiban’s instant yakisoba.

  47. Count me in as a Nong Shim Shim Ramyun fan. I don’t even cook them in a pot. I just chuck the boiling water into the bowl with the noodles and wait a few minutes.

    Here’s a recent one I made: I sliced the beef and mushrooms thinly and just chucked them in raw along with peas from the freezer and fresh chili from the garden. Was fantastic.

  48. Also, my wife is addicted to Indo-Mie Mee Goreng. She eats it religiously once or twice a week. Always two fried eggs on top and always extra dried shallots. And half the sambal.

    I usually add extra sambal, chillies and some other vegetables depending on my mood, but the wife has it exactly the same every time.

    1. Indo-Mie Mee Goreng FTW!!!

      I agree with your wife they are awesome. I do a handful of frozen stir-fry vege in with the noodles in boiling water for 3min in the microwave. Tip out most of the water, mix all the oil, soy, chili sauce and seasoning sachets then add a firm soft-boiled egg on top and the fried onion sachet last. Fabulous!

      I wonder if our U.S. friends get this brand (I know we don’t get a lot of the different ramen ones here in NZ) they may not have as many of the Indonesian / Malaysian / Singaporean types.

  49. I used to eat any ramen. Now we seek out the (usually Korean) ramen with no MSG. Support no-msg food!

  50. I’m surprised no one mentions SAPPORO ICHIBAN (original)!! Best flavor ever…

    Best way to cook any ramen IMO is to bring to a boil with flavor packet, cook EXACTLY 3 minutes and drain 1/4-1/3 liquid to lessen sodium- then straight into the bowl, slurp, and enjoy. The noodles come out ‘al dente’.

    Hmmm, a fried egg on top, gotta try that.

    *ramen4life <(^_^<) ~*555*~

  51. Ditto to all the comments about msg. And don’t forget about the saturated fat content.

    I loooove the asian instant ramen, but had to switch to the American hippy brands to avoid the msg and saturated fat.

  52. Actually one of my favorite uses for ramen is leftovers–have a roast chicken for dinner, then ramen and roast chicken for lunch :) It works out beautifully.

    Oh, and hijukal, that looks delish.

  53. Another vote for “toss the powder packet.”

    Toasted sesame oil on drained ramen is our favorite, but as others have mentioned, it’s easy enough to put a few ingredients in the boiling water to create your own soup without all the MSG and salt.

    1. sorry, I hit “alert” instead of reply to Maddy’s comment. That was an error on my part.

      I meant to “reply” that i agree about the “stone soup” idea. All of the things that I do with ramen noodles instead of using the flavoring packet have been covered here. They are quicker than pasta.

  54. Ramen Noodles are the “stone” in the Stone Soup tale. I add all sorts of fun, healthy stuff …

  55. Toss the “salt packet.”

    Miso in the water. Drain ALL the water. Serve in a bowl, chopsticks, topped with “condiments” — meat, fish, veggies stir fried while the noodles boil.

  56. I guess I am the only one who LOVES the beef flavor Salt/MSG packet. I take 1 pack of noodles(cooked and drained) along with 2 flavor packets to make a extra strong mix. I have high blood pressure with or WITHOUT the ramen so what the heck. Mmmmmm beef…off to eat JUST the flavor packet!

  57. Is less nutritious than one cockroach. Slightly more nutritious than two licks off a paste stick.

  58. I microwave 2C of frozen mixed vegetables with the water and when it boils add 1/3 of the salt packet and a teaspoon of curry powder. A cheap, solid vegetarian meal that will stick with you.
    I don’t like the long, stringy noodles so I pound the package with the back of a heavy spoon to break them up first.

    1. Ha, I do this too – I also break up the dry noodles in the packet before I cook them – makes them easier to eat like soup:)

    2. Check the packet ingredients, RossinDetroit, before assuming you’ve got a vegetarian one. Most of the flavor packets are not, even the ones that aren’t obviously meat-based.

      1. Ironically (I think?), Top Ramen brand Shrimp flavor is one of the few mass market vegetarian flavors. No shrimp. (or meat of any kind.)

  59. I’m in the add srirachi camp – that or sambal olek. But curry powder and coconut milk makes a nice change. Always add whatever fresh veg I have around, but keep a few bags of frozen broccoli or mixed veg for back up.

  60. I endorsed the Ramen right of passage whole heartedly while in college, although my preferred form of eating it devolved into just getting a big glass of water, pulling out the brick and sprinkling some seasoning on a corner and taking a big bite.

    It was a good crunchy snack that I used to eat while watching a game or something, but man did it make you thirsty!

  61. I just made some ramen from scratch, and it was pretty awesome. The link has been sent to BB HQ for the recipe so I’m not gonna post it here, but whole wheat ramen noodles are pretty rad. That plus home made umami-laden soup is even more delish.

  62. There’s actually a few of us American ramen bloggers. But the Japanese ones make us look like…well…we’re strictly small time! Then again, some of the instant ramen you can get in Japan is light years ahead of even the ramen that some restaurants in the U.S. serve!

    1. Oh please do tell. I think my profile lets emails through, otherwise I don’t think BB will mind a few links.

  63. Anyone know what happened to the pork flavor? It was my favorite, but about a year ago both Maruchan and Top Ramen pork mysteriously disappeared from my area.

  64. I use the noodles but toss the flavor packet as too salty. I substitute regular chicken or beef broth and it really works quite well. I’m completely addicted to the noodles.

  65. Top Ramen lover here. It’s one of my guilty pleasure. I know that flavor packet is all MSG and salt, but it’s sooo good. I like it with a dollop of sesame seed oil and a boiled egg.

    But I can’t help but feel guilty when I eat it. I especially feel guilty after seeing a documentary in which they showed a village that had an MSG factory in it. The factory dumped the byproducts in the river and many of the residents had cancer. :(

  66. my freelance work dried up over the last year and I’ve ended up being a stay at home mom, and conscious of my lack of income i usually have ramen a couple times a week. Try ti spice things up a bit – my favorite way to et it – and it is probably horribly bad for me but so darn good – add seasoning packet to water, boil, add noodles, a couple dashes of low salt soy sauce, 1-2 teaspoons of red curry paste (in the thai food section) and a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter. Peanut Satay Ramen Noodles!

  67. why is everyone so worried about MSG? It has been proven that extremely few people genuinely have a problem with it, read some research done after 1980 people!!

    1. I agree, what is up with the so many people dumping on MSG. I’m Chinese so I grew eating msg and have no problems with high blood pressure or anything else. In fact all the seniors I know are well into their 80’s and 90’s and they’ve eaten msg their entire lives without problems. I think this whole msg problem people have usually come from people who did not grow up eating it cause I heard that a lot of non-asians have a lot of issues when eating msg like headaches and stuff thereby making it an issue with our restaurants forcing my neighborhood restaurants to use no msg in the foods which is really BS. Luckily there are still some real Chinese food places that will use it for Chinese customers. The most I get is really thirsty if I over indulge but whatever msg makes soups and everything else taste soooo much better.

  68. Hot Ramen Spaghetti (Time: 3-4 minutes YMMV)
    1. Crush the noodles before cooking
    2. Ditch the flavor pack
    3. Pour noodles into frying pan and just cover with water.
    4. Heat on high
    5. When water is hard boiling you’re essentially done.
    6. Drain water and pour into bowl
    7. Add your spaghetti sauce from the jar (cold)
    8. Mix and Eat. (Sauce cools noodles so they’re just right).

  69. I really can’t wrap my head around the people advocating cheese. Can you relate where and how you came up with this?

  70. As apoxia’s comment #49 notes, both the sodium and fat content of ramen is astronomical and it does not make a healthy meal. It also is no traditional asian food, having been “invented” in the 1950’s(??). You save very little time over cooking real food. In ten minutes you could steam a couple of vegetables in a microwave oven while simultaneously boiling rice noodles. A previously made sauce of peanut butter, tomato paste and cider vinegar can be added. Or just go italian with whole wheat thin spaghetti and a decent low salt primavera sauce for similar time savings. Or eat ramen, but don’t kid yourself that you are getting a cheap, time saving or nutritious meal.

  71. I just wondered if anyone else “cooks” ramen how I ALWAYS have (I started eating ramen in about 1982).
    I have NEVER used a pot and boiled the noodles, but have always just broken up the noodles in a cup/dish and poured boiling water in and let it sit a few minutes. This is basically fixing the package noodles the same way as you would with cup noodles.
    I have been questioned – as I’m sure many of us have – but I usually have ramen for breakfast at least 3 days a week. This is ususally Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
    My favorite (of those I have tried) is Maruchan Creamy Chicken.

  72. I use cooked ramen noodles all the time to make cheap ass stir fry. Frozen veggies, whatever leftover meat is there (if any) throw the noodles in the pan (or wok if you are not like me) stir them around, crack in an egg or two with some hot sauce and spices and dinner is served for about $1.35

  73. I hate it when people preach health—and I am about to do it—but instant ramen is a nasty, unhleathy and bad food choice for anyone’s long-term health. The MSG and salt in instant ramen is a real deal-breaker for me; you might as well eat a bag of potato chips for breakfast. My dad used to save up the flavor packs and had a disturbingly large collection of them when he passed away.

    Anyone who wants a healthier alternative. Just get packs of the rice noodles (sticks, vermicelli, etc.), get sauce, flavors and spices and maybe some fresh veggies and the cost comes out to be on par or less than instant packs.

  74. Ok, about the cheese. Yes it sounds weird. But a slice of american cheese on your hot ramen melts right in and makes it creamy and delicious. Not for everyone i’m sure but I think its actually delicous!

  75. Pan-ultimate Ramen technique to create Quasi-Cantonese Pan-Fried Lo Mein Noodle:
    1)Microwave 2 packs noodles barely covered with water (can add flavor packet(s) for MSG Umami-Bomb effects) 2)Cook al dente until noodles are just limp and drain Very Well in collander.
    3)Use very hot non-stick pan or good seasoned wok that has been coated with oil of choice (peanut or light sesame has good flavor) Fry the unbroken and intertwined noodles well on both sides until golden brown and delicious. They will be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, best of both textures. Add variety of stir fried veg/egg/meat and seasonings. Cheap and good eats…

  76. I’m in my thirties and have not eaten ramen since I was about fifteen years old. Why would you willingly eat a 10-cent-a-bag combination of dry ass noodles and salty “seasoning powder” when you could have real food? I get the point if you’re counting every last nickel, but eating top ramen is only about one step above dumpster diving. Gross.

  77. I tried of the dried instant ramen we usually see at super markets so I’ll go to my local asian store and buy the frozen “fresh” ramen. You get that delicious ramen taste without the added oil from the fried dried ones. I do also buy some of the dried ramen too since they do have great flavors. My favorite is the curry flavor from nissin or the bean curd or beef flavor from ichiban!

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