No Japanese food, not even sushi, has become as widely accepted in America as Ramen. And why not? It's fast, cheap, filling enough to qualify as a meal and college students who never learned to cook can make it - and it's full of salt, America's favorite condiment. Nissin Cup of Noodle Ramen Noodle Soup has 60% of the daily value for sodium - and that's why we call it DietTrash.
The folks at Nissin have realized that they could be missing out on the health-conscious market, and have thus made a new line called Nissin Choice Ramen, which are, "revolutionarily air-dried (you know, like any Italian pasta) for 80% less fat and contain 25% less sodium than regular ramen." Well, it was 31 cents for a package, so I decided to give it a go.
The instructions for cooking is simple - boil water in pot, add noodles, cook 2-3 minutes, add seasonings, slurp away. I added some frozen peas, carrots, and corn to the water since I felt as if this needed something that had actual nutritional value. The package advocates breaking the ramen block in two, but I decided to just drop it in and separate it with a fork, which worked fine. Once the noodles were cooked, I added my boullion - excuse me - herb seasonings.
My first bite told me that maybe these guys were really onto something with the air-drying - the texture is pretty much identical to regular ramen. You can tell the broth is less salty than normal ramen, and I really didn't taste any herbs, but it was decent enough. I could have added some poultry seasoning to give it a bit of depth - and if I really felt up to it, some actual chicken would have been nice. Still, I enjoyed digging my chopsticks in, slurping noisily, and making a pig of myself all in the name of authenticity.
Once package of Nissin Choice Ramen Savory Chicken Herb Flavor is 2 servings (but are your really going to split the season packet?). It provides 280 calories, 2 grams of fat, 40% of the daily value for sodium (wow), 4 grams of fiber, and 10 grams of protein.
While this does contain a fraction of the fat and a few less calories, the sodium is still astronomically high, even if it is less than regular ramen. There are many other soups reviewed on Iateapie.net, ALL of which have less sodium. They may not be as cheap, but the lower sodium content (and better nutritional value for some of them) make them more desirable to me.