I wasn’t a ramen fan until I had true ramen for the first time, in a Japanese ramen-ya in Tokyo in 2009. The best way to have ramen is to visit a ramen-ya (typical Japanese ramen bar) which are common anywhere in Japan. For us outsiders, the ramen produced by most outlets in Japan would be nothing short of excellent, so just hopping in to any convenient one would normally do.
But there are still times when a ramen-ya isn’t really convenient. Such as when you return really late and most shops have closed. Or you just want to eat comfortably in your hotel room instead. So during our recent trip to Japan we tried something different. We tried pre-packed instant ramen from the convenience stores. After all most of them are open 24/7.
What surprised me most was how good these instant ramen products were. They usually come in big sealed plastic bowls with the noodles and various other dry and wet ingredients in their individual pouches, to be steeped in hot water. Not unlike many other Asian instant noodle solutions.
But unlike most other Asian instant noodles, these ramen packages don’t skimp on the additional toppings and ingredients, such as menma (fermented bamboo shoot), egg or slices of meat.
The result is a wholesome ramen experience anywhere you want and at any time.
See the video below for for how we prepared our instant ramen from start to finish. Doesn’t it look good?
The sad thing is most of these excellent instant ramen products are not easily available outside of Japan, especially in India.