My magnificent obsession…
I am a product of Nongshim’s Neoguri Ramen. It’s an overly high-in-sodium packaged ramen that you can find in various supermarkets and bodegas. When I went abroad to London for a college semester, my mom stuffed my suitcase to the gills with Neoguri. What a cool mom!
But I might have done some serious damage to my insides by consuming as much as I have. Each package has up to or over 5 times your daily dose of sodium. So if your average teaspoon of salt has 2300mg of sodium then packaged ramen has over 10,000mg which could be a cause for alarm. You could really mummify yourself with that much salt. For reals.
And while living in Korea, I kept hearing reports of teens in Internet cafés (or PC bangs) who’d sit for days in front of their computers, eating endless instant cup ramen, and finally end up od’ing. It was reported that sodium overload was partly the cause of their deaths. Talk about buyer’s remorse!
You don’t have to be Korean to like Neoguri, you are more than welcome to share in our unhealthy habit! In any case, the Koreans are not the originators of the instant noodle as that distinction goes to Momofuko Ando. Back in 1958, in Japanese-occupied Taiwan, Ando invented the method of flash-frying cooked noodles as a way to extend their shelf life. Going on to create the infamous CUP NOODLES in 1971. You can get more factoids and tidbits on this culinary revolution––like did you know the Japanese voted instant ramen as their #1 invention of the 20th century?––from the World Instant Noodle Association (WINA) website.
And certainly, Neoguri addiction aside, Japanese ramen in a real Japanese ramen establishment is just as recommended (of course I am not implying there is a comparison here, but I’m probably more addicted to the first than the latter). But if you can’t get to Kyoto or Tokyo where you’ll eat ramen that will change your life, you could go to Ippudo or Ramen Setagaya in NYC for a good bowl. No life-changing moments, but no buyer’s remorse either.
Neoguri Ramen Homestyle
1 package Neoguri Ramen
water, about 2 cups
1 tablespoon miso
kimchi, chopped, determine your amount
Possible add-ins: cubed tofu, cooked rice, sliced mushrooms, chopped scallions, bean sprouts, leftover cooked veggies*
1. Prepare Neoguri according to package directions. While broth is boiling, add miso, egg and kimchi before lowering to a simmer. Make sure the miso is well-distributed into the soup.
2. Turn off the heat when your noodle is done but al dente. Drizzle sesame oil and sprinkle sesame seeds over the ramen. Serve in a big bowl.
* Add-ins can go in while the ramen is simmering.