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We all do! They are cheap, and fast, and easy.
And we all feel guilty when we do! Even if we love them.
Well, I USED to feel guilty, but I don't anymore.
While the white noodles are probably never going to win nutritional awards, if you put them together right, Ramen can be a good, fast, go-to when life gets hectic.
Turns out, we may be craving them because our digestion is a bit wimpy and the white flour is easy to process, or we may be craving good old MSG in a form that we can convert into those essential neurotransmitters and inhibitory neurotransmitters more easily.
I've recognized that if I crave them, there is probably a reason, and I tend to go through phases, and only crave them when I've been toxed by airborne toxins that throw my metabolism out of order. But much experience shows that EATING them gets me over the metabolic crisis FASTER than if I avoid them. Weird, but true!
So go ahead and eat them. But don't hold back on the goodies!
1. Get good noodles. It's gotta be Maruchan! At the time of writing, they have the best seasoning packet, it has a form of MSG that is easy to convert into glutamic acid. Read up on Glutamate in this article. Maruchan are one of the lowest cost noodles also, if you buy them in the 12 pack. They cost less than most others on sale if you shop around a bit. No, I'm not overlooking Top Ramen... I can always get Maruchan for a similar or lower price.
2. Soupy or Solid, Ramen tastes great. Prep them with water and the seasoning packet - use about 1 1/2 cups water, and don't drain it. Otherwise, you can cook the noodles, drain, and then put the seasoning packet on over, no water.
3. Butter is Better. Soupy or solid, Ramen tastes better with generous amounts of butter!
4. Spice it up! You can add a little seasoning salt (Redmond is best!) or some onion powder for extra flavor. A pinch of cayenne or black pepper, or a hot seasoning sauce also works. If you add powdered seasoning, or even curry powder (yum), then you need to add them during the cooking so they cook with the noodles.
5. One egg per packet. The easiest way to add protein and turn it into a full meal is to add an egg. Cook the noodles until they are soft enough, crack the egg into the noodles and water and stir gently to blend the egg in with the noodles. Egg drop Ramen soup, or eggy noodles without soup.
6. Veggies perk it up. I use peas a lot, but onion, fresh peppers, frozen or canned corn, or other veggies are easy to add.
7. Tuna, chicken, beef, shrimp, or other cut up meat goes well in Ramen, and makes it a nutrient dense dish. Oscar Meyer Smokies hotdogs are really good sliced up in it also.
8. Sesame Oil is the Ultimate Upgrade! Toasted sesame oil (the yellow bottle, people!). This stuff is so good on Ramen, but sesame oil has a catch to it. Too much, and you will hate it - it will be bitter. Too little and you won't taste it. The gotcha is that the longer you cook it, the weaker the flavor. So if you cook your Ramen in water and add the sesame oil early, you need about a third of a teaspoon of oil. If you drizzle it onto drained noodles with the butter at the end, then you need a little less than a quarter teaspoon of oil. If you accidentally get too much, cook it a little longer. I don't know what it is about sesame oil that is so good, but long term use, and paying attention to patterns in my craving for it suggest to me that it may help with neurological health, and that perhaps my body can more easily use this oil (even in tiny amounts) to repair damaged nerve tissue. This stuff is so good with Chicken or Shrimp Ramen noodles that you'll never get over it!
9. So Cheesy. Cheese works, but it clumps the noodles together. Tastes really good, it is just awkward.
10. Don't fix them dry. Seriously. Dry Ramen is raw noodles, and uncooked flour just does not digest well. You don't get the full nutrition from it, and Ramen alone has little enough of that as it is! So cook it for best nutrition - you don't like that nasty crunchy salad that pokes the roof of your mouth anyway, do you?
Ramen with egg, butter, and sesame oil is probably my all time favorite way to prepare this fast food. It is filling, and very tasty, and when life is battering me, it provides just enough glutamate to head off neurological disaster (I get low on GABA very easily).
Who knew Ramen could actually be useful for something besides feeding starving college students and Mormon missionaries?
"We don't eat Ramen noodles like this in California."
"No, in California you can't afford to put peas in your Ramen."
The information on this site is presented for informational purposes only, and consists of the opinions and experiences of the site authors. It is not to be construed as medical advice or to be used to diagnose or treat any illness. Seek the assistance of a medical professional in implementing any nutritional changes with the goal of treating any medical condition. The historical and nutritional information presented here can be verified by a simple web search.
I do what I do because I understand the science behind it, and I've researched worldwide sources to verify the safety of my practices to my own satisfaction. Please do your own research, and proceed AT YOUR OWN RISK.