Monday, August 2, 2010

I Love Ramen!!

I love a good home-cooked meal, but my ultimate comfort food isn't slow-simmered collard greens and fluffy biscuits. Those things are delicious of course. But the one food that makes me the most warm and fuzzy inside is simple, cheap-o Ramen noodles:

I typically add veggies to up the virtually nonexistent nutritional value of the noodles. I've added fresh zucchini, Soy Curls, corn, green peas, and chili-garlic sauce to this bowl. I always add lots of sriracha or chili-garlic!

I eat a hot, steamy bowl of Ramen almost every Saturday and Sunday for breakfast. Yep, breakfast. As a kid, I actually chose to eat Ramen before school on the weekdays. Back then, I ate the well-known, non-vegan brands like Maruchan and Top Ramen. But these days, I'm a bit of a Ramen snob. I purchase noodles in all kinds of vegan flavors from the Viet Hoa, my local Asian market:

MAMA is a favorite brand, as you can see. They make noodles in fake meat flavors, like artificial beef, chicken, and tom-yum pork. They also make some bad ass rice noodles called "clear soup," that are only 200 calories per package. That's a good deal considering that fried noodles (which I also love) range from 300 to 500 calories per package. Here's a bowl of the "clear soup" rice noodles with edamame and the dried veggies that come in the package:

One of the best features of Asian market Ramen is the packets. I love packets! While the American brands typically only have one powdered flavor packet, these guys come with packets of powdered seasoning, flavored oil, dried veggies, chili powder, and sometimes fried onion topping! The more packets, the better.

Most of the Asian brands do contain MSG, but I don't mind. In fact, I actually kinda love MSG. It's one of the few "bad" ingredients that I'm not ashamed to love. Sorry, MSG haters. I'll never give up my monosodium glutamate or my precious Ramen noodles.

20 comments:

Jacklyn said...

Hows the sodium on this brand? That's why I never use the packets that come with the soup..1100 mg of sodium for one little soup is too much for me. I usually just mix my soup with some better than bouillon vegetarian chicken stock : p
but either way, yeah, i am a big fan of ramen too!

Velovegan said...

I love noodles from the Asian Market, they are so cheap! The boyfriend loves them too, I have trouble getting him to balance healthy and junk food (he's not as bad as I make him sound, he's just got lazy recently!) so next time he has noodles I'll suggest he puts extra veggies in, it's a really good idea, I've never really thought about doing it, don't know why, as I do love bowls of Ramen when I go out to Asian restaurants. Thanks for the ideas!

Littlemisspharmacist said...

I love ramen too!
One of my favorite meal is Tonkinoise soup with fresh coriander on top...Asian food has a little something that I love !! ;)
ps: love your blog!

Jaime Santos-Prowse said...

WORD. I love Ramen noodles with some vegetables mixed in.

Kiersten said...

This brings back memories of my first year of college

Sheridanna said...

I need to go to the Asian market TODAY! I want some Ramen now tooooo.

Rick said...

perhaps if i sent you the stack of studies i have on MSG's effect on the brain, you might change your mind??? ;)

it causes addiction...scary stuff.

love ya bianca, but can't support ramen noodles.

Sarah S. said...

That's so fun! I'll have to peruse the ramen isle next time I'm at an Asian market.

Sarah @ See Sarah Eat said...

LOL! I was just thinking the other day that Ramen noodles sounded good. I didn't even know there were vegan brands! I must find those.

Have you ever seen the movie "Ramen Girl" with Brittany Murphy? ;-)

sTyliSH1 said...

OMG I love ramen!!! Back in the day I added an egg but now that I'm more on the vegan kick I'm trying to find a sub for it, perhaps some tofu and veggies?

Anonymous said...

You can also get big packages with multiple "cakes" of just the noodles (no flavor packets): which cuts down on packaging & also lets you do your own broth... which might persuade the skeptics who aren't fans of MSG. ;)

Golden the Pony Girl said...

awesome post as I also love Ramen. It is always a fun game to make Ramen and then search around your house for things to add to make it more "healthy".

The Shenandoah Vegan said...

Fortunately, Ramen is something I can avoid. Never understood the appeal. It's certainly popular with my co-workers. It's even sold in the vending machine.

VeganLinda said...

Dr. Greger says the hype about MSG is just that hype. It isn't bad for you. It gives me a headache, but I may just be sensitive. Gotta love comfort food!

Erica said...

If you love MSG you would love TIGER seasoning. The only store that carries it is Kroger. I'm trying to give up MSG myself, and it is hard because it is soooo good. You will love TIGER!

Veronica said...

So I feel the need to speak up about MSG. I just finished doing some independent research into this and have come to the conclusion that it is really freakin' scary stuff. MSG basically causes tears in the brain among a host of other things. It is an excitotoxin. Any doctor or research that I found that said that MSG was okay could be directly traced back to the MSG industry. It is actually fairly disturbing just how much information suppression really occurs in the food and drug industry. When you feel like you want to spend some time learning a bit more about it, look at this article here written by a woman who spent hours and hours researching this topic to try to save her husband's life. Also take a look at the movie "The Beautiful Truth" it is streaming on Netflix and worth a watch if you feel ready to investigate this sort of thing for yourself. I am not judging at all as my boyfriend loves his MSG laden dumplings, but even his stubborn butt stopped buying them after watching and reading this information. Thanks for the blog, you do good work!!

Veronica said...

Sorry forgot to post the article: http://www.truthinlabeling.org/l-manuscript.htm

Dawne said...

Wow - that's funny that we both were thinking about and posted about ramen at almost the same time! I too, am a ramen fanatic and recently made this dish which is nice for hot weather: http://www.plantbasedfoodie.com/veganized-jar-jar-ramen/

My favorite current ramen is a korean "chewy potato noodle" but I can only use the noodles since the soup base isn't vegan. Which isn't a problem, I just use veggie bouillon or Better than Bouillon instead.

Emma said...

I always eat Ramen backpacking. Its amazing!

xx said...
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