Ramen is a classic, easy-to-make comfort food. Alongside chicken strips, pizza, and mac and cheese, it’s something we grew to love as kids. But now that we’re grown up, it’s time to eat more responsibly. You wouldn’t eat frozen pizza every night, and you wouldn’t eat ramen noodles for dinner all the time, either.
But what do you do when you want to break the rules and enjoy a bowl of ramen? Surely you can indulge now and then without completely blowing up your diet?
Yes, you can! It’s all about finding healthy noodles, and making them up into a healthy recipe. Here’s everything you need to know about the dietary perils of some ramen noodles, and how to find the right kind of ramen noodles to make them into a delicious, nutritious meal.
Steamed vs. Fried
To begin with, let’s address the elephant in the room – or in this case, the oil, fats, and other nutrients you’ll find in your noodles. Now, you might think that different types of instant ramen are pretty much the same. There’s some flour, some salt, some water, and other ingredients. But with the exception of some preservatives in the packaged ramen, you’d expect to find the same stuff.
Unfortunately, there’s a big difference between different brands of instant ramen. Most brands you see at the grocery store flash fry their noodles before they’re dried and packaged. This is good for the companies’ bottom line, because it’s cheap, and it allows them to produce more noodles more quickly. However, it also adds unnecessary fat to your ramen bowl.
At Mike’s Mighty Good, we take the time to steam our ramen instead of frying it. This cooks the noodles perfectly, without contributing additional fat to your diet. It also leads to a better, less chewy consistency. Yes, steaming our noodles costs a bit more, but we think you deserve the best possible ramen bowl.
Tricks and Tips for a Healthy Ramen Bowl
So, we’ve established that the majority of instant ramen noodles are junk food. But Mike’s Mighty Good ramen is a different breed. Our noodles are fried, not steamed, and they’re made with organic ingredients. They’re also non-GMO, with 40% less sodium than the leading brands.
Furthermore, noodles make a great snack, but they’re not a complete meal. If you want to get all your daily nutrients, you’ll also want some vitamins and minerals. Here’s how to build a healthy ramen bowl from the bottom up.
Use Healthy Noodles
We’ve already established that there’s a vast difference between different types of noodles. So before you start working on your recipes, go through your pantry and get rid of all your cheap cups and packets. Then replace them with something good like Mike’s Mighty Good.
Keep in mind that no matter what ingredients you’re adding, the noodles still form the bulk of the ramen bowl. If you want a healthier bowl of ramen, you absolutely have to start with organic noodles that are steamed instead of fried.
Looking to stock up on ridiculously awesome instant ramen? Shop all our craft ramen flavors on our site.
Add Some Protein
Now that you’ve got a healthy noodle base, it’s time to start adding other ingredients. You need to throw some protein into the mix. In fact, of the three major nutrients (carbs, fat, and protein), protein is the only one that your body absolutely needs to survive. You can live without carbs or fat. But if you try to go without protein, you’ll literally starve yourself even while you’re eating.
Fortunately, there are a ton of delicious proteins you can add to your ramen. Some of them are even vegan! Popular protein choices include:
Eat Your Vegetables
Ever since we were little kids, people have been telling us to eat our vegetables. Guess what? They were right! If you want to eat healthy, you need to get a full serving of veggies with every meal. Bonus points if you’re mixing and matching vegetables to get a blend of different nutrients.
The nice thing about ramen is that it’s a versatile dish, and you can use just about any veggies you have laying around. You can also use either fresh or frozen produce, so there’s no excuse not to have any vegetables. Here are just a few of the veggies you might want to consider:
- Green onions
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Bok choy
Create Your Own Ramen Seasoning
Mike’s Might Good makes some of the healthiest seasoning packets on the market. In fact, our flavor packets contain 40% less sodium than most major brands.
But why rely on pre-packaged flavor – even if it’s delicious – when you can make up your own seasoning. Manufacturers can only do so much, while making your own provides you with infinite options.
If you want to really spice things up, you can mix up your broth with something extra. Here are some of our favorites:
- Chili oil
- Red pepper
- Sesame seeds
- Curry powder
Healthy Ramen Recipe Examples
Hopefully, it’s become obvious how easy it is to make a healthy ramen bowl. But in case there’s any doubt, we put together a list of a few recipes. As you can see, ramen isn’t just a classic comfort food. It’s one of the most diverse dishes on the planet.
Garlic Chili Oil Ramen
Garlic Chili Oil Ramen isn’t just a healthy food. It’s also delicious, vegan, and spicy enough to clear out your sinuses – the perfect meal for getting you through a winter cold. Sesame seeds provide a bit of texture, and Chinese black vinegar adds enough bite to give texture to the flavor profile.
Coconut Curry Ramen
If you love a blend of spicy and sweet, it’s tough to go wrong with Coconut Curry Ramen. You also get plenty of protein, with a generous helping of ground chicken. Of course, vegans and vegetarians could always substitute with tofu, and the recipe will still be delicious. We recommend starting with the garlic chicken ramen pillow pack, but you can also make it with the vegetarian vegetable ramen cup.
Vegan Tofu Ramen
Tofu is one of those foods that takes on the character of the foods around it. With Vegan Tofu Ramen, you add a blend of savory and spicy ingredients that create a delicious medley. Carrots, cilantro, red pepper, and sesame oil are among the contributing flavors.
Comforting Chicken Ramen Noodle Bowl
When you’re talking about comfort food, few things go down better than a bowl of chicken soup. The Comforting Chicken Ramen Noodle Bowl takes this traditional favorite, and adds delicious ramen noodles to the equation. Other ingredients include chicken, egg, green onion, and Chinese cabbage.
Breakfast Ramen Bowl
Who says ramen noodles are only a nighttime food? With the right ingredients, anything can be part of breakfast, as in the Breakfast Ramen Bowl. With bacon, egg, green onions, and cherry tomatoes, a simple bowl of pork ramen becomes a complete breakfast!
Loaded Veggie Ramen
The secret of Loaded Veggie Ramen is that you can use pretty much any ingredients you like. Raid your fridge and pantry, find some veggies you like, and add them to your favorite ramen bowl. For our recipe, we opted for a blend of shiitake mushrooms, corn, baby spinach, green onion, and red chili flakes. We also topped it with a soft-boiled egg, which vegans can feel free to omit.
Cheesy Egg Drop Ramen
Alright; this might not be the healthiest option of all, but it’s much healthier than plain ramen. Cheesy Egg Drop Ramen combines American cheese with a ramen broth made with the traditional egg drop method. The vegetarian kimchi pillow pack makes a great base, and meat eaters can kick things up even further by using our spicy beef cup instead.
Creamy Spicy Miso Ramen
If you like miso soup, you’ll love Creamy Spicy Miso Ramen. The heart of the recipe is our savory miso ramen pack, topped with mushrooms, green onions, eggs, and potent furikake seasoning. Add a bit of soy milk to the broth, and you’ve got a scrumptious, creamy dish with a little bit of kick.
Ramen Can Be Healthy
When most people think of ramen, they think of a cheap snack. You tear open the packet or remove the lid on a cup, add water, and in a few minutes, you’ve got a little bowl of soup.
But as we hope we’ve been able to demonstrate, ramen can be a lot more than a quick bowl of comfort food. When you add the right ingredients, your ramen bowl can be a complete meal, with all the nutritional benefits that entails. And with Mike’s Mighty Good noodles, you’ll have the best possible base.