Tag Archives: kimchi ramen

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!

More Paldo Samples: More Mr. Kimchi & Japanese Version Teumsae

So the last box from Paldo had some interesting stuff inside and this one is no different. Have a look!

More Paldo Samples: More Mr. Kimchi & Japanese Version Teumsae – South Korea

#3049: New Touch Kimchi Ramen – Japan

#3049: New Touch Kimchi Ramen - Japan

Today we have a Zenpop.JP variety – so what’s Zenpop? They’re a subscription service for all things Japanese! Definitely, check them out. By the way, use coupon code RAMENRATER to get $2 off! Here’s what they had to say about this one – ‘Kimchi and ramen are both nice and delicious foods, and when they are combined, the result is fantastic! If you are not a hot food person, don’t worry, this is just a slightly spicy ramen with a mild but rich kimchi flavor.’

I’ve always found Japanese kimchi ramen o be kind of weird but hey – this could be awesome – let’s find out!

New Touch Kimchi Ramen – Japan

#3049: New Touch Kimchi Ramen - Japan

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Contains pork and chicken. To prepare, add in everything but oil and cover for 3 minutes. Add in oil. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#3049: New Touch Kimchi Ramen - Japan

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).

#3049: New Touch Kimchi Ramen - Japan

Th noodle block.

#3049: New Touch Kimchi Ramen - Japan

A dry base sachet.

#3049: New Touch Kimchi Ramen - Japan

Powder solidified by pressure.

#3049: New Touch Kimchi Ramen - Japan

Looks like kimchi perhaps?

#3049: New Touch Kimchi Ramen - Japan

Kimchi and meat?

#3049: New Touch Kimchi Ramen - Japan

A liquid sachet.

#3049: New Touch Kimchi Ramen - Japan

Seasoned oil.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added soft egg, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, spring onion, chashu pork and Hachi shichimi. The noodles came out nicely in the 3 minute steep time. They did alright with the broth. The broth was very tasty – bright and tangy. It was definitely kimchi, however not really spicy and no bitterness often found in South Korean counterparts. Very impressed. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.  JAN bar code 4903088011257.

#3049: New Touch Kimchi Ramen - Japan

New touch Sugomen Niigata Seabura soy sauce ramen 122g ~ 12 pieces

Watch me cook and garnish this one in an episode of Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

#2769: Ottogi Kimchi Ramen

#2769: Ottogi Kimchi Ramen

Another one I found in Taiwan. This one is quite interesting as far as the packaging goes. Not only do you see Korean print but Chinese as well. This product is definitely for sale in Taiwan only – an export version. As far as the recipe changing from place to place, I have no clue. Here’s a little about kimchi from Wikipedia –

Kimchi (/ˈkɪm/Korean김치translit. gimchi, IPA: [kim.tɕʰi]), a staple in Korean cuisine, is a traditional side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables, most commonly napa cabbage and Korean radishes, with a variety of seasonings including chili powderscallionsgarlicginger, and jeotgal (salted seafood).[1][2] There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made with different vegetables as the main ingredients.[3][4] In traditional preparations, kimchi was stored underground in jars to keep cool, and unfrozen during the winter months.[2] With the rise of technologykimchi refrigerators are more commonly used to make kimchi.

I’ve been a fan of kimchi for a while – tasty and tangy and spicy. I’ve gotten a lot of reactions to it – most notably my friend Matt B. who literally freaked out and ran out of my kitchen when he smelled it. Honestly, I really don’t know why he had such a reaction – I really like it. Anyways, let’s give this variety a try.

Ottogi Kimchi Ramen – South Korea

#2769: Ottogi Kimchi Ramen

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Unsure whether it contains meat or not. Some interesting things here – lower right, it mentions insurance. In instructions, mentions seasonings and condiments – however there’s only a powder sachet. To prepare, add noodles and sachet contents to 550ml boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#2769: Ottogi Kimchi Ramen

The noodle block.

#2769: Ottogi Kimchi Ramen

The seasoning sachet.

#2769: Ottogi Kimchi Ramen

Looks like powder and some vegetable matter.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, spring onion, processed cheese and egg. The noodles are great – nice gauge ramyun with a kind of slick outer and chewier inner. The broth was nice as well – tangy kimchi hit to it. Good on the spicy as well. The aftertaste was a bit bitter. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 8801045521312.

#2769: Ottogi Kimchi Ramen

Ottogi, Instant K i m c h i  Ramen, net weight 120 g (Pack of 2 pieces) / Beststore by KK8

An Ottogi TV spot – don’t you want to enjoy some mayonnaise right now?

#2555: Samyang Foods Kimchi Song Song Ramen Big Bowl

#2555: Samyang Foods Kimchi Song Song Ramen Big Bowl - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Today we have Song Song Kimchi Ramen. Kimchi varieties out of South Korea are among my favorites. I really like the tangy as well as bright, spicy flavors. Kimchi is interesting; it’s cabbage as well as many other ingredients that is allowed to ferment for an amount of time.

#2555: Samyang Foods Kimchi Song Song Ramen Big Bowl - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Personally, I really like kimchi. Here’s a pic from a local Korean grocery store – they make huge amounts of kimchi in store. We saw them doing it one time a few years back and it’s a serious operation. I’ve introduced kimchi to friends and family in the past with mixed results. My son Andy really doesn’t like it – he tried it when he was around 6 or 7 years old and got the most disgusted look on his face. I opened a jar for my friend Matt B. to give it a try and he literally freaked out and almost ran out of our apartment.

I’ve felt that I’ve had a more adventurous palate than most. The more exotic, the better. Food is a language in which we can learn so much about the daily lives of people from around the world – better to embrace it – whatever we are used to.

It’s not a too distant cousin of sauerkraut, but different. It is said to have some important health benefits. Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say about kimchi –

Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish consisting of pickled vegetables, which is mainly served as a side dish with every meal, but also can be served as a main dish.[47] Kimchi is mainly recognized as a spicy fermented cabbage dish globally, but there are currently more than 200 variations, and continues to grow.[48] These variations of kimchi continues to grow, and the taste can vary depending on the region and season [49]

Kimchi has been a staple in Korean culture, but historical versions were not a spicy dish.[50] Theories of the origin of Kimchi varies including a belief that it appeared during the Shilla Dynasty, and became prevalent once Buddhism caught on throughout the nation and fostered a vegetarian lifestyle.[51] However, the addition of spicy peppers to this cultural dish did not appear until the arrival of Portuguese missionaries in the 1700s who brought chili peppers.[52] The pickling of vegetables was an ideal method, prior to refrigerators, that helped to preserve the lifespan of foods. In Korea, kimchi was made during the winter by fermenting vegetables, and burying it in the ground in traditional brown ceramic pots, and further allowed a bonding between women within the family.[53]

The origin of kimchi dates back at least to the early period of the Three Kingdoms (37 BCE‒7 CE).[19] Fermented foods were widely available, as the Records of the Three Kingdoms, a Chinese historical text published in 289 AD, mentions that “The Goguryeo people [referring to the Korean people] are skilled in making fermented foods such as wine, soybean paste and salted and fermented fish” in the section named Dongyi in the Book of Wei.[20][21] Samguk Sagi, a historical record of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, also mentions the pickle jar used to ferment vegetables, which indicates that fermented vegetables were commonly eaten during this time.[20][22]

A poem on Korean radish written by Yi Gyubo, a 13th century literatus, shows that radish kimchi was a commonplace in Goryeo (918–1392).[4][23][24]

Pickled radish slices make a good summer side-dish,
Radish preserved in salt is a winter side-dish from start to end.
The roots in the earth grow plumper everyday,
Harvesting after the frost, a slice cut by a knife tastes like a pear.

— Yi Gyubo, Dongguk isanggukjip (translated by Michael J. Pettid, in Korean cuisine: An Illustrated History)

However, early records of kimchi do not mention garlic or chili peppers.[25] Kimchi was not red until the late 16th century, when chili peppers were introduced to Korea by Portuguese traders based in Nagasaki, Japan.[25][26][27] The first mention of chili pepper is found in Jibong yuseol, an encyclopedia published in 1614.[20][28] Sallim gyeongje, a 17‒18th century book on farm management, wrote on kimchi with chili peppers.[20][29] However, it was not until the 19th century that the use of chili peppers in kimchi was widespread.[30]The recipes from early 19th century closely resemble today’s kimchi.[31][32]

A 1766 book, Jeungbo sallim gyeongje, reports kimchi varieties made with myriad of ingredients, including chonggak-kimchi (kimchi made with chonggak raddish), oi-sobagi (with cucumber), seokbak-ji (with jogi-jeot), and dongchimi.[20][33] However, napa cabbage was only introduced to Korea at the end of 19th century,[30] and whole-cabbage kimchi similar to its current form is described in Siuijeonseo, a cookbook published around that time.[34]

Kimchi is a national dish of both North and South Korea. During South Korea’s involvement in the Vietnam War its government requested American help to ensure that South Korean troops, reportedly “desperate” for the food, could obtain it in the field;[35] South Korean president Park Chung-hee told U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson that kimchi was “vitally important to the morale of Korean troops”. It was also sent to space on board Soyuz TMA-12 with South-Korean astronaut Yi So-yeon after a multimillion-dollar research effort to kill the bacteria and lessen the odor without affecting taste.[35]

So this Song Song Kimchi Ramen is a little different – it is a broth-free variety. I did look up ‘Song Song’ and tried to figure out what it means but with no luck. However, I asked Samyang Foods – here’s what they had to say:

I’ll answer the question about ‘Song Song’ meaning.
The word ‘Song Song’ we use is not the Song Dynasty regarding a family name.
It’s a Korean word that means chopping into small pieces.
We use it as an adverb(mimetic word). 
For example, Korean can use Song song like this.
chop scallions into small pieces.= Scllions Song Song.

Let’s check out this new variety from Samyang Foods – Song Song Kimchi Ramen.

Samyang Foods Kimchi Song Song Ramen Big Bowl – South Korea

#2555: Samyang Foods Kimchi Song Song Ramen Big Bowl - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Desaturated color to make text easier to read. Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add boiling water to fill line and cover for 4 minutes. Poke hole in lid to create a drain and pour out water through it. Add in liquid base sachet. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#2555: Samyang Foods Kimchi Song Song Ramen Big Bowl - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge). Note the triangles in the upper left – those are the drain spouts to be poked through with chopsticks.

#2555: Samyang Foods Kimchi Song Song Ramen Big Bowl - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

The noodle block.

#2555: Samyang Foods Kimchi Song Song Ramen Big Bowl - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

A liquid base sachet.

#2555: Samyang Foods Kimchi Song Song Ramen Big Bowl - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Has a strong kimchi scent./

#2555: Samyang Foods Kimchi Song Song Ramen Big Bowl - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Loose ingredients from the bottom of the bowl.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion and Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts. Noodles are top notch – hydrate well in 4 minutes with a good gauge and chew. The flavor is a kind of tangy and tomato hit. There’s a good spicy bite to it. It tastes like a bright kimchi which I like a lot – and not too overwhelming. The included veggies in the bowl are mostly kimchi and work perfectly. 4.25 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 8801073211124.

#2555: Samyang Foods Kimchi Song Song Ramen Big Bowl - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Samyang Hek Buldak Extra Spicy Roasted Chicken Ramen Nuclear Edition 5 PackHot Spicy Fire Noodle New spiciest

Samyang Foods makes Buldak Bokkeummyun – the fire noodle challenge range. One of them is ‘ice’ or ‘cool’ – this is served as a cold noodle. Cold noodle varieties are popular for the summer months.