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Ramen noodles: Not just college-kid cuisine
onmilwaukee ^ | March 9, 2010 | Molly Snyder

Posted on 03/09/2010 7:56:04 AM PST by JoeProBono

Ramen noodles have the reputation as being a "poor college kid's" cuisine, right along with boxes of mac 'n' cheese and cases of Huber beer, but the reality of the dirt-cheap Asian pasta is that they are easily upgraded to an A+ dish.

Ramen noodles cost between 25 and 50 cents per package and come in a variety of flavors, including beef, chicken, shrimp and the elusive "Oriental" flavor.

Unfortunately, ramen is not a perfect food. It's high in carbs and low in vitamins and minerals. To remove the water and form them into blocks, ramen is deep fried in palm oil, which is extremely high in saturated fat. Plus, if the packet is added, the dish is suddenly super high in sodium (about 150 milligrams).

However, adding healthy ingredients redeems ramen, and most likely, a few items in your fridge or a quick trip to the grocery store will fancy up your meal.

While food prices continue to rise, revisiting ramen is fun and frugal, so OnMilwaukee.com consulted local chefs, restaurant owners and foodies to find out how to take ramen to the next level.

"There are a million and one things to do with ramen," says Ross Bachhuber, executive chef for the Diablos Rojos Group. "It's a really versatile noodle and can be jazzed up by almost anything."

Bachhuber, who creates cuisine at Cafe Centraal, 2306 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Cafe Hollander, 2608 N. Downer Ave., and Trocadero, 1758 N. Water St., suggests a variety of ingredients.

"First, throw the seasoning packet away," he says. "Then, pick up some fresh ingredients like scallions, ginger, garlic, fresh chilies, limes, cilantro, thai basil, sprouts, cucumber, snap peas, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, spinach and tofu. Pretty much anything you would want in a great stir fry or salad."

When Bachhuber was in chef school he says he experimented with ramen recipes.

"I remember whisking together Dijon mustard, a splash of Worcestershire, a splash of Tabasco, steamy cooked ramen noodles, a splash of vodka and some hot Campbell's tomato soup to create a bloody mary ramen," he says. "Garnished with a pickle. Who could ask for a healthier, more well-balanced meal?"

Nick Burki is the new co-owner of Coquette Cafe, 316 N. Milwaukee St., and he admits to occasionally indulging in ramen.

"I get slightly naughty with a little miso, edamame, shiitake mushrooms, scallions, bok choy and some grilled salmon," says Burki, whose experience includes The Social and Cafe Calatrava at the Milwaukee Art Museum. "Or, a little ramen with braised pork belly, littleneck clams, sweet corn and potato."

Kyle Cherek, the host of the CBS television show, "Wisconsin Foodie," says that ramen noodles, although originally from China, were popularized by the Japanese. ("Ramen" is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese characters "lo mein" which means "boiled noodles.")

"In a way, ramen noodles has a rags to riches story," says Cherek. "It's a centuries-old Chinese dish that, as of late, has been exalted through the likes of (chef) David Chang and his culinary denizens."

Milwaukee's Elaine Litzau spends time in her kitchen perfecting ramen-based recipes. And she is no spice packet snob.

"I put a green vegetable like broccoli, green beans, frozen peas, chinese cabbage in the water with the noodle block on top. When the water starts to boil, I push the noodles under the water, beneath the vegetables, then break the noodles up. Then, I add the spice packet," she says.

"When that is all mixed in, I crack an egg into the pot and stir it up. Sometimes, if I have it, I add leftover chicken or pork into the mix, too."

Litzau, whose mother is from Japan, says she considers ramen a comfort food.....


TOPICS: Food
KEYWORDS: jpb; ramen


1 posted on 03/09/2010 7:56:05 AM PST by JoeProBono
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To: JoeProBono

Wonderful. Next will be articles written to tell us what kind of shoes we could buy, or make out of duct tape to compensate for the fact that we can’t put gas in the car.


2 posted on 03/09/2010 7:57:47 AM PST by Celerity
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To: JoeProBono

I LOVE them, dry and crushed up, in salads. Like them better than croutons. :) Yummy.


3 posted on 03/09/2010 7:58:21 AM PST by RushIsMyTeddyBear (I don't have a 'Cousin Pookie'.)
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To: Celerity

4 posted on 03/09/2010 7:58:49 AM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: JoeProBono

I pay about 12 cents a package from Aldi’s. I add spinach most of the time or other vegies...Lotsa protein..and just too easy to cook!!


5 posted on 03/09/2010 7:59:00 AM PST by Sacajaweau (What)
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To: JoeProBono

Add a slice of American Cheese and a raw egg to the boiling water...side of kimchi, and MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!


6 posted on 03/09/2010 8:01:00 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: JoeProBono

If we don’t kick the Democrats out of office in 2010 and 2012, Ramen Noodles will be the unofficial, black market currency of the People’s Repbulic of America, along with guns and ammo.


7 posted on 03/09/2010 8:02:03 AM PST by Above My Pay Grade
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To: Joe 6-pack

When I make hot and sour soup, I add a packet of Ramen at the end.


8 posted on 03/09/2010 8:02:15 AM PST by MHGinTN (Obots, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when they are deceived.)
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To: Celerity

My take exactly. What’s next “free government rice cookers”? Oh goodie.


9 posted on 03/09/2010 8:02:29 AM PST by riri (Resistance-It's the New Black)
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To: Above My Pay Grade

The sodium levels are extremely high in Ramen also.

We add raw eggs to ours when they are boiling for protein.


10 posted on 03/09/2010 8:03:24 AM PST by Pavegunner72
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To: JoeProBono
Ramen noodles cost between 25 and 50 cents per package and come in a variety of flavors, including beef, chicken, shrimp and the elusive "Oriental" flavor.

A plastic-wrapped box of 12 packages... for $1.98 ... :-) I think they're great snacks, so I get them, too.

11 posted on 03/09/2010 8:05:10 AM PST by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Star Traveler

Here in the great People’s Republic of Sweden they run 50-70 cents a piece. But, you know, healthcare is kinda free.


12 posted on 03/09/2010 8:06:21 AM PST by riri (Resistance-It's the New Black)
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To: Above My Pay Grade

13 posted on 03/09/2010 8:06:50 AM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: Sacajaweau

Speaking of spinach, have you tried the frozen chopped spinach with a can of bean soup, just plain bean soup, no water added? Microwave the spinach for three minuets on high in a deep bowl. Pour soup over the spinach and heat again for three minutes (I cover the bowl with my mini crockpot lid to keep the flavorful steam in). Good eats for batchelor living.


14 posted on 03/09/2010 8:08:00 AM PST by MHGinTN (Obots, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when they are deceived.)
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To: riri

With Sweden’s tax structure, I’d say healthcare is not free.


15 posted on 03/09/2010 8:09:17 AM PST by MHGinTN (Obots, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when they are deceived.)
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To: Celerity

Add salsa to the broth. Clears your sinuses.


16 posted on 03/09/2010 8:09:20 AM PST by married21
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To: JoeProBono
Ahhh. Nothing like a bowl of Ramen in front of the TV at night. I'd never throw away the seasoning packet.

Cook your Ramen as directed. Drop the noodles onto a ball of shredded Mozzarella cheese (or cheddar if you discover the wife or kids found and used your secret stash of mozzarella hidden in the back of the bottom shelf of the fridge).

Give it about two seconds to allow the cheese to bond with the noodles before adding the broth. Then be sure to sprinkle the top of your concoction with some fresh ground pepper.

As one reader mentioned, you can add a raw egg to the broth if you want to really get high-brow with it.
17 posted on 03/09/2010 8:12:31 AM PST by mmichaels1970
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To: Celerity

If you are paying .25 a package for Raman you are getting ripped off, let alone .50.


18 posted on 03/09/2010 8:13:02 AM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: married21

The MSG in them makes my heart race and pound.


19 posted on 03/09/2010 8:13:37 AM PST by Ditter
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To: JoeProBono

Some of generation Z’s vocabulary make me ill. What is a “foodie”? Would you tell your mama that you’re one? I’d rather tell her I’m a “roadie” or “groupie”. What is “pwned”? I can’t even pronounce it. My daily rant.


20 posted on 03/09/2010 8:16:46 AM PST by printhead
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To: All

couple bags of ramen add a can of Rotel and an inch thick slice of Mexican Velveta cut into cubes. Awesome chit!


21 posted on 03/09/2010 8:21:54 AM PST by Irenic
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To: mmichaels1970

22 posted on 03/09/2010 8:22:23 AM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: JoeProBono

I know they say to throw out the flavor packet but that Lime chili shrimp in goo-ood!


23 posted on 03/09/2010 8:25:44 AM PST by Grunthor (Everyone hates the U.S. at least until they need liberated.)
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To: JoeProBono

When we went to the field, the M-577 was PACKED with ramen boxes. Probably would have taken an RPG hit!


24 posted on 03/09/2010 8:31:02 AM PST by Snickersnee (Where are we going? And what's with this handbasket?)
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To: MHGinTN
With Sweden’s tax structure, I’d say healthcare is not free.

I was being facetious. Obviously, if you are paying 500 times the price for something as simple as a pack of Ramen, there is a problem. My real objective, however, is to STRIKE abject fear into the hearts of all regarding what a stiff decline in our standard of living all this statism is going to cause to us.

25 posted on 03/09/2010 8:39:31 AM PST by riri (Resistance-It's the New Black)
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To: riri

Yikes, I guess it’s more expensive to ship them over there... :-)


26 posted on 03/09/2010 8:39:31 AM PST by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: JoeProBono

yummy!


27 posted on 03/09/2010 8:43:19 AM PST by GOP Poet (Obama is an OLYMPIC failure.)
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To: Celerity

Ramen was my go to choice to fill out my buttpack. Ramen, check, coffee, check, cigarettes, check, okay I am ready for combat.


28 posted on 03/09/2010 8:43:53 AM PST by equalitybeforethelaw
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To: Snickersnee

29 posted on 03/09/2010 8:50:06 AM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: Irenic

Ramen noodles cooked with the Mac and cheese packet with some butter, mmmm mmmmm


30 posted on 03/09/2010 8:51:06 AM PST by GraceG
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To: windcliff

ping


31 posted on 03/09/2010 8:52:19 AM PST by stylecouncilor (What Would Jim Thompson Do?)
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To: JoeProBono

My son has figured out how to cook them in the packet and somehow it sticks together and you eat it like a hot pocket.


32 posted on 03/09/2010 9:00:28 AM PST by panthermom
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To: JoeProBono

When I was in college in the late 70’s, I lived off 4 boxes-for-a-dollar mac and cheese.


33 posted on 03/09/2010 9:10:08 AM PST by Sans-Culotte ( Pray for Obama- Psalm 109:8)
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To: Sans-Culotte

34 posted on 03/09/2010 9:14:33 AM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: JoeProBono

I know someone stockpiling ramen noodles for when economic fallout occurs and chaos is rampant. So, he’s not alone in his insanity.


35 posted on 03/09/2010 9:15:25 AM PST by cajuncow
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To: JoeProBono

Had my first Ramen noodles from a vendor who was outside the wire on a tank gunnery range in South Korea...yummy.


36 posted on 03/09/2010 9:23:20 AM PST by bushpilot1
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To: JoeProBono

Just had it for dinner last night. Fry up some pork, boil some eggs - slice it all up with some green onions - put on top of noodles with soy sauce... my 10 year-old inhales it.


37 posted on 03/09/2010 9:24:32 AM PST by PrivateIdaho ("... like a wild potato.")
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To: JoeProBono

They have then .05¢ overpriced wht they usually are here. Nearly every other week they are 5/$1 here.


38 posted on 03/09/2010 9:26:25 AM PST by chris_bdba
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To: JoeProBono

My body rejected Ramen while I was in college. I was living off of the stuff for a couple years and one day I couldn’t eat it any more. Every time I cooked it I would feel instantly stuffed like I just got done eating Thanksgiving dinner.(hmm, the Top Ramen diet...) I ended up switching to mac and cheese as my staple for my final year. I got it for $0.14 a box at WinCo.


39 posted on 03/09/2010 9:29:36 AM PST by Tramonto (Live Free or Die)
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To: JoeProBono

I chop up a whole stalk of Bok Choy - makes a filling, and somewhat healthy lunch.

I must remember all these posted recipes - should make our future Soylent Green meals more palatable.


40 posted on 03/09/2010 9:39:57 AM PST by Oatka ("A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." –Bertrand de Jouvenel)
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To: Oatka

41 posted on 03/09/2010 9:47:26 AM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: Above My Pay Grade
Gotta taste better than the recipes Obama will give us when everyone is eating fancy feast....How to dress up your can of cat food..
42 posted on 03/09/2010 9:55:36 AM PST by jakerobins
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To: JoeProBono
http://www.amazon.com/101-Things-Do-Ramen-Noodles/dp/1586857355/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268158521&sr=8-1


43 posted on 03/09/2010 10:18:44 AM PST by real saxophonist (The fact that you play tuba doesn't make you any less lethal. -USMC bandsman in Iraq)
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To: RushIsMyTeddyBear
I LOVE them, dry and crushed up, in salads. Like them better than croutons

I never thought of that, and I think I will try it. Thanks for the tip.

44 posted on 03/09/2010 10:52:00 AM PST by 999replies (Thune/Rubio 2012)
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To: JoeProBono
"Then, pick up some fresh ingredients like scallions, ginger, garlic, fresh chilies, limes, cilantro, thai basil, sprouts, cucumber, snap peas, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, spinach and tofu. Pretty much anything you would want in a great stir fry or salad."

What planet is this guy on, that he thinks college students are going to do all that?

45 posted on 03/09/2010 11:17:20 AM PST by TheRealDBear
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To: stylecouncilor

Yum.


46 posted on 03/09/2010 12:03:42 PM PST by windcliff
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To: JoeProBono

Charming! :-)


47 posted on 03/09/2010 1:04:13 PM PST by doberville
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To: Celerity
Ramen noodles have the reputation as being a "poor college kid's" cuisine, right along with boxes of mac 'n' cheese and cases of Huber beer,

Huber? , mine was Texas Pride-aka- cow p#ss

48 posted on 03/09/2010 1:22:07 PM PST by urtax$@work (The best kind of memorial is a Burning Memorial.........)
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