The Secret World of Instant Ramen

All instant ramen is not stunningly gross. Almost all the instant ramen you can find in American grocery stores is stunningly gross, especially all varieties available for 25 cents and under. But cross over Japanese and other Asian grocery stores, and you can find delicious (and pricier) ramens to satisfy your instant noodle fancy.

Try Neoguri ramen. The trick is to boil the noodles twice, explains koreankorean. First boil the noodles for a minute or two, which will flush the oil from the noodles. Drain off the oily water, then add fresh hot water and the soup mix, and boil for a few more minutes. What you get is thickish noodles in spicy, flavorful broth, with little oiliness or MSG flavor.

Many chowhounds recommend Shin Ramen, a spicy Korean ramen. Some like to add some beaten egg (or egg whites) in at the end, to form an egg drop soup.

Others recommend: JamPong Ramen (red package with a happy squid on the front), and the hearty, adventurously flavored Little Chef ramen.

Also, check out the terrifyingly well stocked Ramen Depot.

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