Tag Archives: hakubaku

The Ramen Rater Diet: Episode 2 – How I Lost 132 Pounds In 12 Months

The Ramen Rater Diet: How I lost 132 Pounds In 12 Months - EP 2

Overview

On October 18th, 2018, my doctor told me I had high cholesterol and was worried about it. I’ve been battling (and losing in the wrong way) my weight for years – as long as I can remember really. It was kind of a battle of will really. I’d get started losing weight and then a holiday or some kind of thing would derail me and I’d fall off the wagon.

I was contemplating doing something about my weight again but that talk with my doctor was the push I needed in the right direction.

A couple notes real quick: first, I don’t eat multiple bowls of noodles every day. I sample and review – so at most, I have 10% of a bowl. I wear shades because I’m legally blind and light sensitive, not because I’m trying to look cool. Being legally blind means you can see, but it’s really quite crummy vision.

The Ramen Rater Diet: Episode 1

After six months and a lot of walking and big changes, I returned to my doctor was was elated with my progress. People were noticing and commenting about it too, so I decided to make the first episode of The Ramen Rater Diet.

The Ramen Rater Diet: Episode 2

A full year later to the day, I visited my doctor. This time, I walked to the appointment. In the second episode, I outline what I’ve been doing, diet changes and all sorts of things I’ve run up against and found during this process.

Recipe

As with last time, I did another video showing how I use the Hakubaku Mochi Barley as a part of my diet. I really think this was pivotal in losing weight and especially lowering my cholesterol levels along with exercise and fish oil.

What’s Next?

Well, I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing. I seem to just keep losing about 11 pounds a month, and my goal is 164 pounds. That’ll be 201 pounds. Then it will be all about maintaining that weight. So I suppose there will be an episode 3 of The Ramen Rater Diet coming your way soon!

Links to things I mention using

Fitbit Inspire – Link

Hakubaku Mochi Barley – Link

Anker SoundCore (Bluetooth Speaker) – Link

UKGear Shoes – Link

Progresso Light Soups – Link

Light & Motion Lights – Link

Core Power Elite Protein Drinks – Link

Tevs Minam Sandals – Link

Bang Energy Drink – Link

N.O. Xplode – Link

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!

Hakubaku Mochi Barley Samples & An Embarrassing Story

Here’s something I’ve been fortunately able to enjoy almost every day. This is a big part of my diet regimen. I mix it in with canned soup and it really is quite good – check out the vid!

Hakubaku Mochi Barley Samples & An Embarrassing Story

Unboxing Time: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Ramen

I did a Meet The Manufacturer recently with Hakubaku USA which was a lot of fun and thought hey – it might be fun to do some experimenting with their products and see what I could do with them. Here’s some samples that they were kind enough to send over!

Unboxing Time: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Ramen – United States

Meet The Manufacturer: #3151: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen – United States

#3176: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen - United States

Got a message from a fellow named Mark recently about a couple new varieties to try. Shortly after, I got a package containing them. Thanks! This is the first of two. Here’s a little about shoyu ramen from Wikibedia –

Shōyu (醤油, “soy sauce”) ramen is the oldest of the four, it has a clear brown broth, based on a chicken and vegetable (or sometimes fish or beef) stock with plenty of soy sauce added resulting in a soup that is tangy, salty, and savory yet still fairly light on the palate. Shōyu ramen usually has curly noodles rather than straight ones, but this is not always the case. It is often adorned with marinated bamboo shoots or menma, green onions, ninjin (carrot), kamaboko (fish cakes), nori (seaweed), boiled eggs, bean sprouts or black pepper; occasionally the soup will also contain chili oil or Chinese spices, and some shops serve sliced beef instead of the usual chāshū.

These packs contain two servings. Let’s check it out!

Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen – United States

#3176: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen - United States

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains chicken and pork. To prepare, add wet sachet to 10oz boiling water. Set aside. Boil noodles in a pot for 2 minutes. Drain. Add to soup. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#3176: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen - United States

A pouch of fresh noodles.

#3176: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen - United States

A wet sachet.

#3176: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen - United States

Smells of soy sauce.

#3176: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen - United States

Finished (click to enlarge). Added soft egg, spring onion, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, chashu pork, and black sesame seeds. Noodle has a very nice chew and quality – definitely a cut above. Broth has a nice rich shoyu taste with a good level of oiliness – rich and fatty which is on point. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 861462000140.

#3176: Hakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen - United States

Hakubaku Ramen Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor, 3 Pack, 9.7 ounce (2 servings), Japanese Restaurant-Style Fresh Noodle Soup

Watch me cook on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

Meet The Manufacturer: #3150: Hakubaku Baby Somen – Japan

Meet The Manufacturer: #3150: Hakubaku Baby Somen - Japan

Okay so we had baby udon – now somen (ramen)! Pretty rad – Hey kid – here you go – noodles! I wish I’d have known about this when my kids were super young! Let’s check it out!

Hakubaku Baby Somen – Japan

Meet The Manufacturer: #3150: Hakubaku Baby Somen - Japan

Detail of the info panel from the back (click to enlarge). Meat free. To prepare, boil for 4 1/2 minutes. Finally, enjoy!

Meet The Manufacturer: #3150: Hakubaku Baby Somen - Japan

Uncooked baby ramen.

Meet The Manufacturer: #3150: Hakubaku Baby Somen - Japan

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, chicken broth, spring onion, and thinly sliced chashu. They’re much like the baby udon but even thinner. I could see little ones really having fun with this – Hakubaku mentioned using a sauce with these and mentioned they also have short length baby spaghetti as well. No score. Bar code 4902571203704.

HAKUBAKU baby noodles 100gX3bags somen noodles

Watch me cook on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

Meet The Manufacturer: Hakubaku Mochi Barley – Japan

Well, the last one didn’t get a review and this one doesn’t get a number, but I really wanted to let you guys check it out. I’ve been enjoying this stuff for the last few weeks and it’s good! Lots of great health benefits. I usually drop a 1/4 cup of it into a pot of soup and let it cook up for 15~20 minutes. Let’s check i tout!

Hakubaku Mochi Barley – Japan

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Basically you can cook it for 15~20 minutes like pasta, or there are also instructions to mix it with rice which is a common use as well.

Meet The Manufacturer: Hakubaku Mochi Barley - Japan

Uncooked mochi barley.

Meet The Manufacturer: Hakubaku Mochi Barley - Japan

Finished (click to enlarge). So this is a special recipe I came up with to try the Mochi Barley and a new cooking tool I recently got! This is tamago kake mochi mugu – basically translates to egg over mochi barley, a spin on tamago kake gohan (egg over rice). Check out the video below to see how I made it and what I used! I’ve really been enjoying this and would give it 5 stars – but it’s not an instant noodle so I can’t really review it that way – but I highly recommend it! Bar code 863511000408.

Hakubaku Mochi Barley – Premium Japanese Style Pearled Barley

Watch me cook on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

Meet The Manufacturer: #3149: Hakubaku Baby Udon – Japan

Meet The Manufacturer: #3149: Hakubaku Baby Udon - Japan

This isn’t my usual thing – noodles without seasoning. But it seemed interesting to me – udon meant for very small children. I figure hey – maybe little kids might be hitting up my website for suitable varieties? Why not! Let’s check it out.

Hakubaku Baby Udon – Japan

Meet The Manufacturer: #3149: Hakubaku Baby Udon - Japan

Info from he package (click to enlarge). No salt or animals. To prepare, boil for 9 minutes. Finally, enjoy!

Meet The Manufacturer: #3149: Hakubaku Baby Udon - Japan

Uncooked baby udon.

Meet The Manufacturer: #3149: Hakubaku Baby Udon - Japan

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, chicken broth, spring onion, and tempura. The udon is short in length and plentiful. Totally could see little kids really going crazy for this stuff! Not scored. JAN bar code 4902571203902.

Meet The Manufacturer: #3149: Hakubaku Baby Udon - Japan

Hakubaku Baby Safe Udon Noodles 100g x 4pack

Watch me cook on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

Meet The Manufacturer: #3148: Hakubaku Tonkotsu Pork Flavor Ramen – United States

#3204: Hakubaku Tonkotsu Pork Flavor Ramen - United States

Here’s the second variety from Hakubaku to cross my desk recently. This is a shelf stable fresh noodle variety – let’s give it a try!

Hakubaku Traditional Noodle Bar Style Ramen Tonkotsu Flavor – United States

#3204: Hakubaku Tonkotsu Pork Flavor Ramen - United States

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains pork. To prepare, add wet sachet to 10oz boiling water. Set aside. Boil noodles in a pot for 2 minutes. Drain. Add to soup. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#3204: Hakubaku Tonkotsu Pork Flavor Ramen - United States

One of two servings of noodles.

#3204: Hakubaku Tonkotsu Pork Flavor Ramen - United States

One of two wet sachets.

#3204: Hakubaku Tonkotsu Pork Flavor Ramen - United States

The tonkotsu liquid soup base.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added black sesame seeds, chashu, soft egg, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, spring onion, and habanero togarashi. The noodles come out extremely well – excellent backbone and character to them. The broth has a very tasty tonkotsu flavor; warm and stick to your ribsy affair here. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.  UPC bar code 861462000133.

#3204: Hakubaku Tonkotsu Pork Flavor Ramen - United States

Hakubaku Ramen Tonkotsu Pork Flavor, 3 Pack, 9.7 ounce (2 servings), Japanese Restaurant-Style Fresh Noodle Soup

Watch me cook on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

 

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Hakubaku USA (2 of 2)

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Hakubaku USA (2 of 2)

This is the second box of samples from Hakubaku USA. I want to say that I have really fallen in love with one of these products – the Mochi Barley. No, it’s not ramen. But it’s become a big part of my diet lately and it’s really good! Breaking away from the standard way I just focus on ramen, I’ll do a special review of it as well as I’ve been eating it almost daily for a couple of weeks now.

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Hakubaku USA (2 of 2)

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Hakubaku USA (1 of 2)

Product Samples From Hakubaku USA (1 of 2)

First things first – let check out the first of two boxes of samples that Hakubaku USA sent over. This one has the ramen, the next will have other goodies!

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Hakubaku USA (1 of 2)

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Hakubaku USA – United States

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Hakubaku USA - United States

nterview With Hakubaku USA * Product Samples From Hakubaku USA (1 of 2) * Product Samples From Hakubaku (2 of 2) * Hakubaku Tonkotsu Pork Flavor RamenHakubaku Baby UdonHakubaku Mochi BarleyHakubaku Baby SomenHakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen

As it often happens, I got an email from a company asking me if I would like to try their products. I’d never heard of Hakubaku – which was great – new is good! I tried their ramen, but have found out about their other products, one of which I’ve started enjoying almost daily at this point. I decided to invite Hakubaku to participate in Meet The Manufacturer, they accepted, and here we are. Let’s start with an interview with Mike Tsuda, VP Operations, Hakubaku USA to find out more about this interesting company.

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Hakubaku USA – United States

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of Hakubaku? Who started it and why?

HAKUBAKU> Hakubaku USA is a subsidiary of Hakubaku Japan. Hakubaku Japan was founded in 1941 by Jyutaro Nagasawa. Since the foundation and through 70 years of company history, we have been deeply involved with grains and grain-process products, and strive to passionately create an impressive value of grain product including taste, convenience, fun, unexpected quality, and richness.

TRR> Why the name Hakubaku – what does it mean?

HAKUBAKU> Our company name [Hakubaku] means white barley in Japanese. The name comes from the product called [Hakubaku mai] white rice shaped barley by removing the black crease running down the center of each barley grain. It has been our company founders passion since 1953 to promote nutritious barley rice and make it in a more enjoyable form.

TRR> Can you tell us about the varieties of noodles you make?

HAKUBAKU> We have noodle factories in Japan and Australia and make all varieties of Japanese style noodles, such as Ramen, Udon, Soba (Buckwheat noodles), Somen and Hiyamugi in both fresh and dried style.

TRR> Tell us about where your company is located.

HAKUBAKU> Hakubaku USA is located in Costa Mesa CA. Our noodle factories are in Nagano and Yamanashi prefectures of Japan and in Victoria Australia, where we have access to fine ingredients and water.

TRR> How does your noodle making process differ from other instant noodle manufacturers?

HAKUBAKU> We are very particular about ingredients, taste, and safety. All the fine and rich ingredients are carefully chosen and well balanced in traditional recipes dating back to 1941. Specifically our noodle for our ramen kits are soft and fresh, never fried – produced without preservatives. Our restaurant-fresh ramen product contains noodles that we produce in Japan. Unlike most fried-and-dried instant ramen, our noodles are soft and made with the best Japanese wheat for that chewy texture you expect from a ramen noodle

TRR> Your noodles appear as fresh noodles but don’t need refrigeration – how is this possible?

HAKUBAKU> It’s really our trade secret – It is Hakubaku’s manufacturing technology and knowledge/experiences make it possible and really sets us apart. Our noodles in our ramen sets are made without preservatives and MSG, yet are still soft and fresh.

TRR> How do you decide on what varieties to produce?

HAKUBAKU> There is a team of people thinking of ramen all the time – develop these ideas through product development meetings and fine tuning our product through lots of testing at our product development kitchen.

TRR> How many noodle products do you produce every year?

HAKUBAKU> A lot if you total in all varieties and all our different factories! We produce noodles as listed above and produce limited production runs based on demand or season in Japan. For now, our restaurant-fresh ramen sets are so new – we will have to wait and see if we can do the same in the USA!

TRR> Apart from noodles, are there other products you produce or plan to produce?

HAKUBAKU> Hakubaku produces grain-related products, such as pearled barley, mixed grains, barley and grain tea, pancake flours. We carry decaffeinated barley tea- because after all , we are a grain company! And we produce 16-grain mixes that add nutritional benefit to any rice dish.

TRR> Can you suggest pairings for your products, like meats, seafood or vegetables?

HAKUBAKU> We suggest adding a poached egg, green onions, some meats (Chashu of course!) or Tofu and veggies of your choosing. We have a recipe page section on our website that shows what kind of toppings you can add to your ramen. We even have recipes for creating “dry” ramen meals! There are so many uses from wet to stir-fry to just random ways you can use our ramen sets.

TRR> A lot of people are concerned with their sodium intake. How would you recommend people enjoy your product as part of a healthy meal?

HAKUBAKU> Our no-MSG and preservative-free ramen pairs well with varieties of ingredients, we suggest adding lots of veggies and other ingredients you like to create your own healthy ramen. Also you can reduce the amount of salt intake by leaving some soup instead of using all of it. Some of our recipes are vegetarian based and you can always use vegetable stock as part of the broth to make it a Lacto-ovo vegetarian meal. (animal by-products like egg, but not meat)

TRR> Are you involved in your local community or participate in charities?

HAKUBAKU> Hakubaku USA donates products to local events and communities a few times a year to help to reduce food insecurities here in the USA. As part of our mission as a grain evangelist we act locally, but think globally trying to spread the value of a healthy Japanese diet.

TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?

HAKUBAKU> Yes, just wait until you see what is coming! We are just getting started and will be launching more items and flavors in the near future.

TRR> In what countries are your products available?

HAKUBAKU> Fresh ramen is available in Japan and the US only for now. Other dried noodles are available in North America, some countries in Europe and Asia.

TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, what do you like to add to them to make them extra special?

HAKUBAKU> Personally, I love to add a few drops of oil – sesame or hand-made onion oil for Shoyu flavor and chili oil with crunchy garlic –makes my bowl special. Yum!

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about Hakubaku and your products!

HAKUBAKU> Thanks for what you are doing! Hope this helps to educate your audience just a little more about what we are doing here at Hakubaku-USA! We invite everyone to be their own ramen artist. Be traditional, be creative – make it your own!

For more info, visit http://hakubaku-usa.com