November 4, 2019 By

The Ramen Rater’s Healthy Options 2020 Edition

The Ramen Rater's Healthy Options 2020 Edition

People have been asking me for a list of healthy varieties for a long time. I decided to give it a try, and had mixed results. I’ve found things ramen/instant noodles, and things that aren’t and listed them here. There aren’t ten things, but over the next year I’m guessing more will present themselves. It appears this is an ever-evolving market as a couple that were going to be included went off the market while I was editing this list! Not everything presented is for everyone, but I’m really hoping there’s something that will work and interest everyone. If you have any ideas for things that should be on next year’s list, please email me. With that, here (in no particular order)  is The Ramen Rater’s Healthy Options 2020 Edition.

The Ramen Rater’s Healthy Options 2020 Edition

Video Presentation

A special video presentation of The Ramen Rater’s Healthy Options 2020 Edition.

The Ramen Rater’s Healthy Options 2020 Edition

Yamachan Ramen Z

This year, it appears as soon as I created this list, it was obsolete! This product is no longer being produced, but I was told something similar with different preparation will replace it soon.  This one however contains konjac/konyaku – it’s an almost zero calorie noodle that when made with the right gauge is pretty decent. Paired with a miso broth, I was really impressed – and only 136 calories, guessing from the soup base sachet mostly. Original review

NuTek Salt For Life

The Ramen Rater's Healthy Options 2020 Edition

I first found out about NuTek a few years ago. They reached out to me and asked if I’d fly out and visit their operation in Omaha and try out their product first hand in a blind taste test (being partially sighted, every taste test I do is kind of blind har har). I was immediately sold on this stuff. I should mention I did some consulting with them for a little while but no longer do. I get a lot of people asking me about lower sodium noodles and this and their other products bring the promise of this without replacing saltiness with a funky taste. In fact, the way it works gives a slight delay in how the tongue senses saltiness – a fraction of a second – which makes the food itself more flavorful. Definitely a neat thing. Original review

Vite Ramen

The Ramen Rater's Healthy Options 2020 Edition

This one was a no-brainer for this list. Take one brother who loves instant noodles and one that follows the healthy life and get their heads together on combining the two and you’ve got Vite Ramen. Tim & Tom Zheng introduced their idea on Kickstarter and were greeted with a huge response to get their business off the ground. So, what is Vite Ramen? It’s low sodium, high protein, high fiber, and had more vitamins and minerals than you can shake a menagerie of sticks at. If you’re looking for an ultra healthy ramen, this is the best I’ve seen yet. Original review

Nissin Cup Noodle Light+ / Cup Noodle Nice

If you’re looking for a healthy Cup Noodle, Light+ and Cup Noodle Nice are the ticket. First off, they’re low cal and feature a different noodle style – one that’s really quite good. They’re from Japan so you’ll have to dig on eBay and eBay Canada most likely to track them down. But it’s worthwhile as they’re incredibly good. Original review

Fit Mee

The Ramen Rater's Healthy Options 2020 Edition

I was contacted by a distributor here in the United States about this one and got to give it a try. They’re got two varieties, one around 150 calories and the one above at around – get this – 50 calories. This is another variety made with konjac noodles – and it’s really good! one with a spicy Korean noodle flavor and the other flavor is Indonesian Soto – a kind of spicy and lime and coconut and chicken hit to it. I’ve seen these on Amazon at they’re rather pricey, but I’m guessing they’ll be more widespread and cheaper soon – they’re absolutely excellent and ultra tasty! Original review

Hakubaku Japanese Pearled Mochi Barley (Mochi Mugi)

The Ramen Rater's Healthy Options 2020 Edition

In the past year, I’ve gone on a diet and exercise tear and lost a lot of weight (I’ll be doing the second installment of my The Ramen Rater Diet series very soon). I knew I needed to do this for a long time, but my doctor talked to me about it the right way at the right time and off I went. He was concerned about my cholesterol levels and told me unless they went down I’d need to go on a statin drug. I don’t know anything about those really, but I’ve never heard anything about them that include hearts and smiley faces connected to them. During the last year, I started working with Hakubaku a little bit and trying their products. They make really great ramen varieties which I’ve reviewed. They also make barley tea – my first try at making sun tea went pretty well. But most notably for me was trying their mochi barley. It’s ultra high in soluble fiber, and I consider it to be a big part in my arriving after six months at a clean bill of health for cholesterol as a result of my diet and exercise regime. Original review

KOKA Delight

Looking for a noodle low in fat and not fried? KOKA makes Delight. It’s interesting – first off, this is the kind of noodle block that’s not hard as a rock like your standard non-fried noodle – you could take a bite out of the block if you wanted to. Not only that, these are really quite good – with flavors like tomato, curry, a spicy sesame and more. Original review

Taiwanese Dry Noodles

If you’re looking for a range of noodles with less ingredients and wonderful flavors, you should check out Taiwanese dry noodles. The noodles themselves are dried by the sun or with big industrial fans – not fried. Plus they’re made with very few ingredients in a way that’s been done for generations. The seasonings that come with them often are few ingredients as well. I’ve often referred to the Taiwanese instant noodle makers as ‘masters of simplicity’; they can produce such tasty varieties with few ingredients. Original review

Nongshim Soon and Kimchi Vegan Varieties

If you’re looking for Vegan varieties, I highly recommend these two. The Soon Veggie Noodles (kind of like a smoother version of Shin Ramen) and the Kimchi (tangy and tasty) are marked with a seal of approval from a Vegan foods authority. Really great flavor and quality that you can add more vegetables to and end up with a sumptuous feast. Original review

…a couple more that weren’t in the video

Prima Taste Wholegrain

If you’re looking for wholegrain varieties, this is the best out there in my opinion. It’s been holding the #1 spot on my top ten list for 4 years! That’s my favorite out of over 3,000 instant noodles I’ve reviewed. The noodles have this rustic and hearty chew and taste without being gritty or funky. It makes a lot of food in each pack and so share with a friend – or an enemy as if you make this, they won’t be your enemy for long. Original review

Sakurai Foods Vegan Approved Varieties

There are a few varieties in this range, but by far my favorite was this one, the spicy soy milk noodle. With a badge from a Vegan authority, you’re definitely going to enjoy these as part of your Vegan lifestyle. Original review

So there you are – the first healthy list. If you want to make some recommendations of things that aren’t on here or are a company who produces products you think should be here, drop me a line and we can talk. Thanks for check the list out!

November 3, 2019 By

New Buldak Light Fire Noodle Samples + More

New Buldak Light Fire Noodle Samples + More

Been interested in fire noodles, but one with less calories, less fire? Check out this unboxing – with the famous Mimi!

New Buldak Light Fire Noodle Samples + More

By

#3327: Ramen Hero Spicy Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen – United States

#3254: Ramen Hero Spicy Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

I’ve gone to a couple ramen restaurants and hotten something mentioning spicy. Well, it hasn’t impressed me in flavor or spiciness in the past and been, well, bitter. I’m really curious about this one, though. Ramen Hero is based in the Bay Area and serves a few surrounding states at the time of this post – check their site for current service area. You pick your ramen, pay, and they’ll overnight you a set of ingredients to make a bowl of ramen at home – including garnish! Not bad. Let’s give this one a try – they send four and since they’re perishable, I’m going to do them over the next couple days.

Ramen Hero Spicy Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen – United States

#3254: Ramen Hero Spicy Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

Here are the front and back labels (click to enlarge). Contains pork. To prepare, boil the large soup pouch for 10 minutes. when there’s 2 minutes left, boil your noodles in a seperate pot, stirring often. Also at the 1 1/2 minute point, drop the bags with the garnish in with the soup pouch to let them thaw (if needed). Finally, drain your noodles, add them to a bowl, empty the pouch of broth into your bowl, garnish, and enjoy!

#3254: Ramen Hero Spicy Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

Fresh ramen noodles.

#3254: Ramen Hero Spicy Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

The large broth sachet.

#3254: Ramen Hero Spicy Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

Pork belly chashu!

#3254: Ramen Hero Spicy Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

Menma (pickled bamboo shoots).

#3254: Ramen Hero Spicy Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

Narutomaki (fish cake).

#3254: Ramen Hero Spicy Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

Seaweed.

#3254: Ramen Hero Spicy Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

Finished (click to enlarge). In addition to the garnish above, I added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, black sesame seeds, soft egg, spring onion, and habanero togarashi. Noodles came out perfectly yet again. They work so nicely with the broth which is rich, tasty, sinfully oily and spicy. Not only that, it’s not bitter. This was just great stuff to try on a rainy spring afternoon. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Watch me cook on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

November 2, 2019 By

#3326: Nissin Miojo Nissin Lamen Hot Sabor Galinha – Brazil

#3326: Nissin Miojo Nissin Lamen Hot Sabor Galinha - Brazil

I was told a while back that Brazilians don’t go all in for ultra spicy and that this range does have varieties that are spicier than others, but not super duper spicy. Either way, this sounded like a good one for today, so here we go.

Nissin Miojo Nissin Lamen Hot Sabor Galinha – Brazil

#3326: Nissin Miojo Nissin Lamen Hot Sabor Galinha - Brazil

Detail of the packaging (click to enlarge). Unsure whether it contains meat – check for yourself. To prepare, cook noodles in 450ml boiling water for 3 minutes. Add in sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

A dry sachet of seasoning base.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added baked chicken topped with Melinda’s Hot Sauce, soft egg, spring onion, and fried onion. Noodles have a thicker and chewier gauge than most instants which was nice. The broth is thick as well and had a very tasty chicken taste. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 7891079012864.

#2992: Nissin Miojo Cremoso Sabor Pizza - Brazil

Owiekdmf Men’s Nissin Food Sweatshirt Hoodie XXL Light Grey

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November 1, 2019 By

#3325: Tabate Yuzu Dashi Shio Ramen – Japan

#3325: Tabate Yuzu Dashi Shio Ramen - Japan

This one was in a Ramen Trunk subscription box.These boxes are full of extremely high end varieties that you’ll never find in the United States or anywhere outside Japan! Check out this link and use coupon code RAMENRATER20OFF for 20% off any single box or subscription!

Here’s what they have to say about this one – “This package of noodles is a very special one indeed and feels great during the wet season in Japan. First, the broth seasoning in this pack is a great mix of salt (shio) flavoring combined with Japan’s traditional dashi flavor and topped off perfectly with a hint of  citrus from the yuzu fruit (kind of like a lemon/lime). It’s a truly unique combination of  well balanced flavors.”

I’ll be honst, I’ve yet to have a yuzu variety that really has been all that great in my opinion, so fingers crossed for this one – let’s get started.

Tabate Yuzu Dashi Shio Ramen – Japan

#3325: Tabate Yuzu Dashi Shio Ramen - Japan

Detail of the package (click to enlarge). Contains fish, unsure of other meat – check for yourself. To prepare, boil noodles in 500ml water for 4 1/2 minutes. Add in sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

A wet sachet.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added sesame seeds, Spring onion, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, baked chicken, and soft egg. Noodles were on the thin side, but chewy as hell and very good. Broth was strong with shio and dsahi, thin but giving. The yuzu element while not smack in your face danced around in a balance; a triumvirate of balance. 4.75 out of 5.0 stars.  JAN bar code 4901592913401.

Ramen at Home: The Easy Japanese Cookbook for Classic Ramen and Bold New Flavors

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October 31, 2019 By

#3324: Itsuki Cold Tea Soba – Japan

#3324: Itsuki Cold Tea Soba - Japan

Today, we have one that was part of Japan Crate’s Umai Crate. So Japan Crate is a subscription service which has all sorts of different options for you. Pretty neat stuff from Japan! There’s a coupon code for you too – just use THERAMENRATER to get a special discount at check out.

So here’s what the folks at Japan Crate had to say about this variety -“Buckwheat and Uji matcha are blended to make these smooth and flavorful soba noodles. These cold oodles come with 2 servings of a mellow umami dipping sauce that is a perfect meal for a hot summer day.”

Cool – I mean cold. Let’s give it a try.

Itsuki Cold Tea Soba – Japan

#3324: Itsuki Cold Tea Soba - Japan

Detail of the package (click to enlarge). Unsure whether it contains meat – check for yourself. To prepare, cook noodles 4~5 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water. For the dipping sauce, combine 1 sachet with 50ml cold water and mix. Finally, di soba into sauce and enjoy!

A grip of buckwheat soba.

Wet sachets of dipping sauce mix.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion and narutomaki to the noodle and sesame seeds to the dipping sauce. Noodles are great cold – just the right gauge and chew for dipping. Sauce was like a crisp soy sauce with notes of fish. An apt pairing, perfect for a hot day. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.  JAN bar code 4901726014615.

Itsuki Dried Soba Noodles, Green Tea, 15.87-Ounce

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October 30, 2019 By

#3323: Samyang Foods Buldak Carbo HOT Chicken Flavor Topokki – South Korea

#3323: Samyang Foods Buldak Carbo HOT Chicken Flavor Topokki - South Korea

Two days in a row of varieties with long names! This one does NOT include noodles, however it’s topokki. What’s that? Wikipedia, if you please –

teok-bokki (떡볶이) or stir-fried rice cakes is a popular Korean food made from small-sized garae-tteok (long, white, cylinder-shaped rice cakes) called tteokmyeon (떡면; “rice cake noodles”) or commonly tteok-bokki-tteok(떡볶이 떡; “tteok-bokki rice cakes”).[1][2] Eomuk(fish cakes), boiled eggs, and scallions are some of the most commonly added ingredients. It can be seasoned with either spicy gochujang (chili paste) or non-spicy ganjang (soy sauce)-based sauce; the former being the most typical form,[3] while the latter is less common and sometimes called gungjung-tteok-bokki (royal court tteok-bokki).

Today, variations also include curry-tteok-bokki, cream sauce-tteok-bokki, jajang-tteok-bokki, seafood-tteok-bokki, galbi-tteok-bokki and so on. Tteok-bokki is commonly purchased and eaten at bunsikjip (snack bars) as well as pojangmacha (street stalls). There are also dedicated restaurants for tteok-bokki, where it is referred to as jeugseog tteok-bokki (impromptu tteok-bokki).

Curry topokki?! Oh man I’m missing out. These little rice tubes of deliciousness are just what the doctor ordered – let’s give it a try!

Samyang Foods Buldak Carbo HOT Chicken Flavor Topokki – South Korea

#3323: Samyang Foods Buldak Carbo HOT Chicken Flavor Topokki - South Korea

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add sauce, topokki, and hot water to the line. Microwave for 2 1/2 minutes at 1000W with the lid on. Add in powder. Finally, stir and enjoy!

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).

An included spork!

A large pouch of topokki.

A wet sachet of sauce.

A dry cheese powder sachet.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added baked chicken. spring onion, sesame seeds, and fried onion. The tteokbokki comes out very well – very satisfying. The carbo flavor is quite good – although came out soupy this go around. Nevertheless it’s very good. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 8801073910287.

Samyang Carbo Buldak Tteokbokki Korean Rice Cake Instant 8oz 230g (Carbo & Roast Chicken Sauce) Snack

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October 29, 2019 By

#3322: Ve Wong KUNG-FU Instant Oriental Noodle Soup Artificial Soybean Paste Flavor – Taiwan

#3322: Ve Wong KUNG-FU Instant Oriental Noodle Soup Artificial Soybean Paste Flavor - Taiwan

Over 3000 reviews ago, I tried this, so it’s getting a fresh new review. 3000 reviews – holy cow. This was review #274 – before I’d been to Taiwan, before I really knew about varieties like this. Remarkably, I cooked it correctly due to the decent cooking instructions. But this is a diamond in the rough; one of the very few varieties exported to the United States from Taiwan that are cooked in this unique manner. You might be thinking ‘unique manner?’ Well, this is to be enjoyed as a dry noodle AND a separate soup.In the mood for something interesting? Let’s do this.

Ve Wong KUNG-FU Instant Oriental Noodle Soup Artificial Soybean Paste Flavor – Taiwan

#3322: Ve Wong KUNG-FU Instant Oriental Noodle Soup Artificial Soybean Paste Flavor - Taiwan

Detail of the packaging (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add noodle to 400ml boioing water and steep 3-4 minutes. Drain water into a different bowl. Add the dry sachet to the bowl with water and add paste to the noodles. Finally, stir both and enjoy as a soup and noodle separately!

The noodle block.

The paste sachet.

A dry soup base sachet.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion, sesame seeds, and soft egg. The soybean paste noodle is quite good – with pieces of what I’m guessing are textured vegetable protein. A softer noodle (probably not so soft with the low end of 2~3 minutes). The broth is a salty pariing for the noodle with a nice flavor. As a pair, this is a nic flavor and texture and one is eaten while the other sipped. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 4710008211884.

Oriental Style Beef Noodle(30 packages)

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October 28, 2019 By

#3321: Rooster Chili Chicken Flavour – Canada

#3321: Rooster Chili Chicken Flavour - Canada

I found these at the Real Canadian SuperStore up in Richmond, BC a while back. I’ve been quite surprised how good this very, well, boring packaged range is. It all ges to show that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, or noodles by it’s wrapper. I’m reviewing this one on Canada Day! Let’s give it a try!

Rooster Chili Chicken Flavour – Canada

 #3321: Rooster Chili Chicken Flavour - Canada

Detail of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, boil noodles in 500ml water for 3 minutes. Add in sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

A dry sachet of soup base.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added baked chicken, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, chili oil, black sesame seeds, soft egg, fried onion, and spring onion. Noodles are thin and soft and provideo a nice quantity. The broth has a great kind of chili chicken flavor with a very light spiciness. I would have liked it better with less broth to strengthen the flavor. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars.   UPC bar code 061483036665.

Canada: An Illustrated History: An Illustrated History, Revised and Expanded

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October 27, 2019 By

By

Halloween Roundup: Spooky Candy & Noodles

Halloween Roundup: Spooky Candy & Noodles

I thought in honor of the spooky holiday Halloween, I’d do a little roundup of images and videos from past and present involving things that seemed fitting. Eat, drink and be scary!

Halloween Roundup!

October 26, 2019 By