The Foodies Journal: Ramen Noodles


(Image via The Salty Marshmallow)

Ella Largent, Writer

Ramen Noodles have become a very popular dish in our society.  From the factor that all we have to do is wait for some water to boil, then wait another three minutes for the noodles to cook and add the seasoning to get a pretty decently tasting meal to the other factor that you could make the noodles with lots of different side dishes. This can include the following from eggs, cooked meat, and veggies. Ramen noodles are a canvas for food lovers to add whatever they want to create a flavorful dish with a little more nutrition than just noodles with seasoning.  With how amazing this dish can be and the potential a pack of seasoning and noodles can hold, we do have to wonder who came up with the idea.

Instant Ramen Noodles began in Yokohama Chinatown, Japan in the year 1958 by a man named Momofuku Ando, who was also part of the Nissan Foods company in Japan.  As the years went by with this instant food sensation growing, it was time these noodles got an even more easy, and portable upgrade, being Cup Noodles made in 1971.  How these noodles spread across the world to become one of the most popular quick and easy foods though came in three primary waves. First, being in the 1970’s. During this time period, ramen noodles made its way across to the shores of the Korean Peninsula, China, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Then later it came to Latin America, United States, and Western Europe.  Much later Russia and eastern Europe finally got this sensation in the 1990s.

How did these noodles get so popular, and why do Americans and the world love them so much?  Well, the prices are very affordable from just one pack being around 13 cents, to a 24 bulk pack being around just 6 dollars at your local Walmart.  With these affordable prices and easy time it takes to make them, it’s very obvious how these noodles took storm of the world. After the war in Japan, ramen became the main diet for many because of the cheap prices because after the war many were struggling financially. 

However even though these noodles are cheap and easy to make, they aren’t that healthy. Instant noodles tend to be low in calories, fiber, and protein, and instead contain higher amounts of fat, carbs, and sodium.  To add onto that one pack of ramen is actually two servings so any nutritional facts you see are actually doubled.  However, the low calories to many may seem like a huge plus when eating ramen for people wanting and trying to keep their weight in check, but in all reality how there is a low amount of fiber and protein is a big take away.  Firstly, because protein has been shown in many tests to increase feelings of fullness so you may have a small meal that is high in protein and even if the meal is small you would be much fuller.  Fiber moves slowly through your digestive tract that also helps promote feelings of fullness while enhancing weight control.

Noodles aren’t all bad though if you know how to make them more nutritious. First, find some noodles that are low in sodium or made from whole grains.  Finding noodles matching this description can help make eating noodles a lot more nutritious. However, ramen noodles are almost a canvas for food. You can add lots of different ingredients to enhance noodles and make them more interesting. For instance, since they are low in protein and fiber try and find some veggies and protein-based foods to add to your noodles to make your meal pop more, and make you feel full.