If you're a fan of instant ramen noodles, then you're probably already aware that not all ramen is made from the same stuff.
If you've ever wondered what makes steamed ramen noodles different from your garden variety fried ramen noodles, then you've come to the right place.
Steamed vs. Fried Instant Ramen Noodles; The differences explained.
If you picture a bowl of ramen noodles in your mind, it's probably pretty hard to imagine how the noodles might be "fried," considering ramen is a noodle soup dish.
When you hear fried or steamed in conjunction with instant ramen noodles, what is described is how the noodles are prepared before being dried and packaged.
On the outside, instant ramen might appear the same from brand to brand, package to package, but the way the noodles are treated during production can make a world of difference in the finished bowl.
How are Instant Ramen Noodles fried?
For most instant ramen, the noodles themselves are deep-fried before packaging. Deep frying accomplishes two steps at the same time by simultaneously cooking and drying the noodles.
From a production standpoint, this is both an economical and convenient process, but it definitely affects the finished flavor of the noodles.
Because the raw noodle blocks are fried and then packaged, they retain some oil content, creating an overly fatty flavor in the noodle. Frying also affects how the noodle cooks, creating a softer, less bouncy texture in the cooked noodles that is different from fresh ramen noodles or steamed and dried noodles.
Steamed instant noodles and a better bowl of ramen.
While steamed and dried instant ramen noodles take longer and often cost more to produce, for the discerning ramen connoisseur, the cost is worth it.
Like the ones used in all of the incredible Mike's Mighty Good Craft Ramen flavors, steamed ramen noodles are lighter and have a fresher/cleaner taste overall. This is because the noodles are cooked using steam and hot air rather than being deep-fried in hot vegetable oil.
Fried ramen noodles have a caramelized flavor because of the effect of the hot oil on the wheat flour in the noodle dough. Steamed noodles are bouncier and more "neutral" in flavor, working in harmony with the broth rather than overtaking the flavor with "fatty" fried notes.
4 Reasons Steamed Noodles are Better than Deep Fried.
While it's best not to speak for everyone, many people agree that steamed ramen noodles are better than fried. If you cook instant noodles at home regularly, you should be buying steamed noodles versus fried ones.
Whether you're looking to create an elegant at-home ramen experience, or you want the bounciest, chewiest noodles around, there are plenty of reasons to go with a steamed vs. fried instant noodle product.
No matter what flavor is your favorite, you can be sure that every pack of Mike's Mighty Good Craft Ramen, from their noodle cups to their pillow packs, is made with the highest quality steamed ramen noodles around.
4. Fried Foods?
Whether you're a fan of fried foods or not, we can all agree that steaming is better for you overall, plus the frying changes the flavor of the noodles and the texture as well.
By choosing a steamed noodle, you are saying that you want every part of your ramen experience to be as perfect as possible!
3. Oil Oil Oil
No matter how much oil you remove from fried foods, there will always be some residual left behind.
One common complaint from people who try deep-fried noodles is the oily texture of both the noodles and the broth. The noodles store some oil inside after frying and release it during cooking.
Steamed noodles are oil-free, and that means you don't have to worry about an oily bowl of noodles unless that's the style you're going for!
Fried noodles have more calories than steamed and dried instant noodles; this is just a fact of life.
Steaming imparts no additional caloric value to the noodles themselves because the process used to cook them doesn't add anything to them.
On the other hand, Frying does increase the number of calories in the noodle because of the oil left behind in the cooking process.
If you're looking for a healthier ramen option, a steamed noodle will always be your best choice.
If you eat instant noodles regularly, the flavor of your finished bowl is one of the most significant factors when choosing a new brand or style.
While fried instant ramen noodles are inexpensive and often super tasty, steamed noodles can offer a level of flavor and texture that is hard to match.
Because the noodles are cooked in a fashion that's a lot closer to how raw ramen noodles are made in ramen shops around the world, the finished product's flavor is a lot more authentic.