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"Gourmet" instant ramen - have you tried any?

The Wall Street Journal's wimpy story today about a single company, Union Foods, talks about supposedly better instant ramen noodles, "Gourmet Snack Noodles Soup" and "Mamma Mia microwaveable noodles" with no MSG and no trans fats, etc.

Apparently Nissin has also come up with a healthier, premium ramen.

Have you tried any of these? Taste?
Which is the best tasting instant ramen in the world anyway?

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  1. I can't recall the exact name, but the bowls that have no English except for the preparation instructions are pretty good. Cheap, too.

    1. Here's a link to a site of "Ramen Advocates" with tasting of a number of brands

      http://www.geocities.com/drlipnose/

      A little odd, but hey - useful info

      1. Asians have been making high-end instant noodle meals for years. There are no-preservative noodle dishes that even feature fresh stuff (vacuum packed noodles and broth for example). Where I live, I noticed that Korean supermarkets have the craziest amount and variety of instant noodle dishes from low to high end.

        On another note, I went to the company's website, and it's pretty funny - they have a product called 'That's Hot' - wonder if they'd get into some legal battle over that phrase with Paris Hilton...

        1 Reply
        1. re: welle

          yeah korean markets have those fresh ramen packets that are in the refrigerated section. they're not fried so the texture is different. it's pretty good.

        2. I'm not sure if this qualifies as "high end" but some ramen noodle company came out with ramen meals--packaged in a plastic tray, you nuke the noodles, add your freeze dried veggies/meats and a packet of oil. Oddly enough, the garlic shrimp, is delicious! In college i ate them at least three times a week (its a miracle i didnt die from a sodium overload) At 89 cents a pop it certainly isnt cheap (at least compared to the 10 cent varieties i was used to) . I didnt like any of the other flavors as much, but the garlic shrimp was great! The oil packet gave it a little something extra

          1. my favorites are nong shim shin ramyun and neoguri. i also get a weird hankering every now and then for their chajang chapaghetti.

            but i'd have to say my all time favorite instant ramen is sapporo ichiban beef flavor.

            1. The higher end ramen are delicious and adding combinations of various veggies/eggs/proteins make it a very respectable meal.

              1. Myojo Chukazanmai, Oriental Flavor. About $1.50, mostly available in Asian groceries. The broth is not spicy, but very flavorful. The noodles are less gummy than most.

                1. Who makes the best noodles? (what are the categories - thickness, chewiness...?) What are the noodles made of anyway?
                  As for the soup base, there must be hundreds of flavors.
                  I am curious -
                  I've often seen more than one seasoning in one package. Freeze-dried vegetables, powdered base, liquid base, oil... It can't be a single brand which has the best of each. Be specific - which ones do you like?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: grocerytrekker

                    Shin Ramyun - spicy, thin nooodles, dehydrated vegetable packet includes: shitake mushrooms, kelp, and hot pepper flakes.
                    Neoguri - spicy, seafood flavored, thick noodles, dehydrated vegetable packet includes: carrots (?), kelp, and other stuff...:o) my favorite.
                    Chajang Chapaghetti - black bean sauce, thick noodles, dehydrated vegetable packet includes: onions, carrots and peas. yummy when you're in the mood for it.
                    Sapparo Ichiban - neutral beef flavor, thin noodles, no dehydrated veggie pack.

                    1. re: soypower

                      The Korean instant ramen has more satisfying texture than Japanese ones or SE Asian ones. Really not bad for dried noodles. I also like that they seem bigger. (Aren't they?) I don't normally like too spicy things, but I like Shin Ramyun. I like Neoguri, too. I haven't tried the Chajang Chapaghetti - I will now.
                      Sapporo Ichiban is a good neural base to add vegetables, etc.

                      1. re: grocerytrekker

                        I'm not sure if it was the batch we got, but our last box of shin ramyun was so ridiculously spicy that i had to buy a box of ichiban this time to cool off. i think we may have just boiled those pepper flakes too long though. I do remember a yummy Cambodian ramen that was pretty good - especially with lime juice. it had thin egg noodles and a packet of fried garlic and ground chili sauce. And every once in a while i will get one of those super sized japanese udon bowls with dehydrated kamaboko and fried tofu. they usually come with a little bit of togarashi too.

                    1. re: ChowFun_derek

                      Thanks. One glance, and I've already learned more about ramen than from reading the WSJ story, which didn't offer much perspective.

                      I do like to know more about what makes a ramen "gourmet" besides the health factor.

                      1. re: grocerytrekker

                        I ate a lot of the more "gourmet" ramen packages when I lived in Japan and
                        I think of the more gourmet ones as coming in a bowl-type container with multiple packages of sauce/veggies as opposed to the types that come with one powder flavor pack and a rectangle of noodles. The sauce is usually a liquid, the noodles may be vacuum sealed and moist instead of dried, there may be shrimp/meat wontons, and there are typically a variety of toppings like kamaboko, seaweed, a piece or two of dried pork, etc.

                        1. I would say any ramen prepared cold.

                          You can take your noodles and then soak it in cold water until it softens I recommend doing at least 5 hours prior to you wanting to eat; straining it and then putting it in whatever broth or sauce or just plain

                          I prefer Maruchan since it seems to be the cheapest and its local in Irvine; the better tasting one is Nissin and it is highly encouraged that you buy some due to the recent disaster and that helps to support the relief efforts