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Sep 14, 2013 09:33 PM

Are These "Top Ten Instant Ramen" Available in Boston?

And maybe more importantly, are these amongst your favs? How is the MSG factor in these?
I've never eaten instant ramen. Sapporo's curry pork ramen is a regular for us but we typically bring it home and add vegs and tofu to it. Yumewokatare is not likely to see us w/ the wait line set-up, and Uni is too late for us.The ramen delivery guy i read about was a So End option only iirc.

Instant does have its appeal occasionally. That's usually when we pull out from the freezer some Cheese Spinach boreks from Eastern Lamejun or meat empanadas from Tango, or a TrJ Chicken Tika Masala-- all of which can be ready in anywhere from a few minutes to 15, using microwave and or toaster oven. So Instant Ramen I am wondering about.

Caveat: I know man-made MSG draws all kinds of arguing, but i will say that I can feel it when I have consumed it and I'd rather not.I'm not very good at recognizing it in ingredient lists when it's called by another name, and i wonder if it is an 'always' ingredient in these instant ramen, just as it is in all prepared dashi (except the tea bag-like packets i buy.) TIA!

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  1. Get the frozen ramen at Ebisuya before heading down this path...

    1. Trying again since my first reply disappeared...

      I've seen some of those noodles at Market Basket, HK Market, and HMart, they all carry a lot of the NongShim brand stuff. But I agree with grant.cook, the frozen noodles at Ebisuya are much better.

      FWIW I tried a couple of fancy instant ramen from Whole Foods, no added msg. FOrget which flavors (miso? mushroom) but wan't crazy about them, I didn't think the broth had much flavor.

      Since you mention curry pork can make a quick version of it at home with frozen noodles and Japanese curry roux. Ebisuya has some that does not have added MSG. The one I have is S&B brand, smallish red box with a drawing of a little boy on it. Use this recipe as a guideline and add whatever tofu & veggies you like along with the pork (but swap ramen noodles for udon noodles, if you want):

      4 Replies
      1. re: gimlis1mum

        Submitted w/o comment:

        "no added msg"
        "I didn't think the broth had much flavor"

        1. re: jgg13

          I nominate this for entry into Chowhound Comments Hall of Fame.

          1. re: jgg13

            lol!! I wasn't trying to avoid MSG, but I bought them because the package size is much smaller than the usual ramen bowl. Leftover instant ramen doesn't do much for me.

            1. re: gimlis1mum

              Sorry, I just found the combo of phrases amusing considering the OPs aversion :)

        2. Agreed that frozen ramen is MUCH better than any "dry" instant ramen. That said, for portability dry packs are very convenient. The best of the bunch, IMO, is Chuka Zanmai--the noodles have noticeably more "koshi" (a Japanese term for body or toothsomeness) than others. It comes in four different flavors: soy sauce (Canton), miso (Sichuan), clear/salt (Peking), and spicy. (There is also hiyashi chuka--cold noodles with sesame sauce.) Chuka Zanmai roughly translates to "Chinese Three Flavors" and hence the original Canton, Sichuan, and Peking types (the spicy came later). You can find it at Ebisuya, HMart, etc.

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. You have NEVER had instant ramen before? That's pretty amazing; I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

              MSG is not in every instant noodle variant, but it is found often. It is used to produce umami for artifical flavors; where real chicken powder is omitted, a flavor based on vegetables and MSG can be made give the same satisfaction effect.

              If you've got any large Asian groceries in Boston, then you should be able to get pretty close to all of them. The top two are a bit tricky to find and a bit more pricy, but they can be found., however there's very little chance you'll be able to find #5; it's not distributed in the United States anymore.