Food

Which of These 8 American Instant Ramen Noodle Products Are Actual Ramen.

Ramen is a Japanese noodle, but some brands are just cashing in on your love for ramen.

Ramen is a Japanese noodle that is made up of wheat flour, water, kansui, and salt, and if you love pasta, it is also made up of wheat (semolina durum), along with water and sometimes egg. The two are very similar, yet you don’t hear food producers calling their product a pasta.

Kansui Is What Defines Ramen as Ramen.

Kansui or lye water/alkaline solution is a 80% sodium carbonate and 20% potassium carbonate.

Photo description: bundles and rows and rows of fresh ramen noodles. Golden yellow strans of noodles are neatly bunched together with a slight dusting of flour.
Ramen is Asian AF since it is distinctly yellow like me. Image by Yamato.

Only 2.5 of the 8 Food Producers Are Producing Real Ramen Noodles.

Without kansui as a part of the ingredients, you just have noodles/pasta, and it is not ramen.

Koyo NoodlesShiitake mushroom ramenOrganic heirloom wheat flour, sea salt.
Mike’s Mighty GoodChicken ramen soupOrganic unbleached wheat flour, chicken organic starch, sea salt.
Nona LimTokyo RamenWheat flour [enriched wheat flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), wheat flour], water, contains 1% or less of salt, wheat gluten, kansui (sodium carbonate, potassium carbonate), riboflavin (for color), cornstarch, sago starch.
Ocean’s Halo Ramen Noodle BowlOrganic wheat, water, sea salt.
One Culture FoodsJapanese spicy ramenWheat flour, water, tapioca starch, salt, wheat gluten, lactic acid.
Public Goods
(Taiwanese)
Ramen Noodles OriginalOnly wheat flour, salt, and water.
Sun NoodlesRamenWheat flour, purified water, salt and kansui (sodium carbonate, potassium carbonate).
Vite RamenRoasted soy sauce chickenAll purpose unbleached flour (wheat flour, enriched (niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), quinoa flour, vital wheat gluten, canola oil, soluble corn fiber, L-lysine, and potassium carbonate.

So, if you want ramen, Sun Noodle, Nona Lim, and Vite Ramen are the most legit to semi-legitimate brands/products out there, but you can also purchase a number of Japanese brands/products listed here.

Photo Description: several columns of pasta noodle varieties are on display. 6 rows of varying styles from a thin noodle, flat thin, med flat, thick flat, to a green med flat, to a med flat noodle denoted as a "paglia e fieno caserecce."
If it were not for race and nationality, you just might struggle with differentiating pasta, ramen, lo mein, bread, or spaetzle from one another.

La mian, Bread, Udon, to Pasta.

If food producers think ramen is just wheat flour, water, and salt, they just might want to educate themselves because they are acting like foo’s because if that were the case, udon, somen, bread, to most Chinese noodles are going to confuse them.

BreadWheat flour and water.
La mianWheat flour, salt, water.
Lo meinWheat flour, water, egg, salt.
PastaDurum wheat semolina, water.
SomenWheat flour, water, salt.
SpaetzleWheat flour, egg, salt, water/milk.
TortillasWheat flour, baking powder, salt, water.
UdonWheat flour, water, salt.

Not the same, but for some companies it’s all ramen, ramen bread, ramen tortillas, and ramen udon.

Real Eff’n Ramen B*tches

Japanese noodle producers aren’t ramen challenged at all compared to their American (and one Taiwanese company) noodle producer cohorts, but that just means you only need to focus your money on these three.

Nona Lim

A Bay Area producer originally from Singapore that is using temperature, not processing techniques, to keep their products fresh, which results in better flavor.
www.nonalim.com


Sun Noodles

An artisan noodle maker that supplies home cooks, chefs, and restaurants throughout North and South America and Europe.
www.sunnoodle.com


Vite Ramen

“The ultra nutritious high protein all in one…” not sure what the rest said, but it’s cool that they are twin brothers Tim and Tom Zheng out of Vacaville, CA.
www.viteramen.com

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