Tuesday, August 20, 2019

One Pan Nissin RAOH Shoyu Whole Grain Instant Ramen Stir Fry Soup Recipe and Review

Hey everyone! This is a pretty cool instant ramen hack from the folks at Nissin Japan that uses their deluxe RAOH noodles (that are reduced fat too as they are air dried).  I've reviewed other RAOH brand noodles before, mainly as bowl noodles, but not their whole grain foil packaged variety.  This is an extra special review as I will show you the cooking process for a ramen bowl with some stir-fried toppings like they would do in Osaka or Yokohama.  Making noodles this way works pretty good, but you'll need to size your frying pan or pot to make sure you can accommodate two packages of noodles, the stir fry ingredients, and the soup.

I start with the Nissin RAOH Shoyu flavour instant noodles.  These are good quality, air dried noodles that have more nutrients and fibre than their regular noodles, and are reduced fat at 6.3 grams.  All good stuff and it just gets better. 
Front of the package of RAOH Shoyu Whole Grain noodles.
Back of the package with manufacturing, nutritional, and ingredients info.
 So you need a whole bunch of veggies to accompany this dish to make it a meal.  I would use an eighth of a small cabbage per serving, or a quarter cabbage for two servings (but up it if you like cabbage). The cabbage should be sliced into small squares or stips to facilitate stir frying.  I used a quarter of a large carrot or half a medium carrot that is sliced into thin strips for two servings.  Finally, I diced two green onions into long segments for two servings.
Noodle blocks and veggies.  You can see the noodles and the powdered and liquid soup packets at the right.
Preheat a large frying pan / pot to medium heat and use only 1 tablespoon of oil to keep the fat content down.  You can start with the cabbage to get it going as it is a bulky veggie.  Stir the cabbage until it cooks down a bit then add the carrots. Keep stir frying, then add the green onions.  This shouldn't take more than 4 minutes at most.
Stir fried cabbage, carrots, and green onion.
If you have some leftover meat like roast chicken or ham, you can then add it to the mix.  If using some sandwich meat like I did in this case, use honey ham / regular roast beef as they add fewer additional seasonings.  Cook for less than a minute.
Ham added to the stir fry.
Finally, add the water you need to rehydrate the noodles and make the soup.  For these noodles, it was 450 mL per serving for a total of 900 mL.  This is why you need a big pan.  You can also add in the soup powder and liquid at this time and mix it up.  Turn up the heat to get the water to boil faster and it should start to smell good. 

When the water boils, you immediately add in the noodle blocks.  You will need to immerse them and probably need to push some of the stir fry out of the way.  You can also flip the noodle blocks to have both sides get water and heat equally.  The blocks will soften quickly and you will need to stir the noodles around in the soup.  You want the noodles to rehydrate well.
Noodle blocks hydrating.
Stir the noodles around well and let them soak in the soup to get all soft and chewy.  These noodles hydrate in about 4 minutes.  I usually go for like 3 1/2 rather than the full 4 as you will get a firmer noodle.
Noodle blocks all broken down and mixed into the soup.
Finally it is time to eat.  Dish out the noodles first (spaghetti ladle or chopsticks works well), then the vegetables, and then pour / ladle soup into two large bowls for tasty meals.  The finished Shoyu ramen with stir fry should look something like the picture below.  It is full of soy soup flavour and sweet / succulent veggies to accompany the firm and chewy noodles.  This makes for a good meal, so thanks Nissin!  I really enjoyed making this and eating it even more.  The whole grain noodles are good, not grainy, and are pretty much like their regular RAOH noodles.
RAOH Shoyu noodle soup with stir fried veggies.  Yum.

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Low Fat Instant Noodles From Asia (Nissin HK, Nissin Japan, and Korean)

I enjoy eating instant noodles (or instant ramen) but you do need to watch your health.  Having a package of instant noodles a few times a week isn't going to kill you, but if you are watching your fat intake, instant noodles of the fried variety are not your friend.  I'm leaning more towards the low or reduced fat type of instant noodle these days myself and the variety available is pretty good, but nowhere near the what's available for the fried kind.  There is also a flavour difference as the fried noodles are somewhat tastier from the frying process too.
For any of the noodles I mention in this article, the object is to get a tasty bowl of noodles with a protein (roast chicken works nicely), egg if you have it, and some combination of vegetables like green onions or choy or stir fried vegetable like kale.
For a reduced fat instant noodle, a typical package of ramen + soup mix should come be close to 7 grams of fat.  Some are lower than that as the fat content is coming from the soup mix.  A regular fried instant noodle block ranges from 14 to just over 20 grams of fat so the reduced fat variety is pretty good.  I don't mind eating noodles in the 7 grams of fat range as it means a finished bowl of ramen is going to be around 12 - 16 grams of fat if you don't use fatty meat (e.g. pork belly or SPAM).

By the way, a reduced fat diet should have less than 50 grams of fat per day for a 200lb guy (from what I can tell - but do check with your health care provider), and I myself aim for 40 or less right now.  Here are some examples of some foods with their fat content to put things in perspective.  These examples are from menus for Canada.
  • A boiled egg - 6 to 7 grams of fat.
  • 2 slices of thin sliced lean ham - 1 gram of fat.
  • 1/6 of a can of reduced fat SPAM - 12 grams (ouch but tasty).
  • Veggies or fruit - 0 grams.
  • A slice of sandwich bread - 1 or 2 grams of fat.
  • Roasted chicken (no skin) white meat - 5 grams per 100 grams
  • An egg McMuffin from McDonalds - 11 grams of fat.
  • A Big Mac from McDonalds - 28 grams of fat.
  • A whole wheat footlong ham sandwich with no sauce or cheese from Subway (load up on veggies) - 8 grams of fat.
  • Reduced fat turkey bacon and egg sandwich from Starbucks - 5 grams of fat
Anyhow, I'm going to show you some of the packages of lower fat noodles occupying my cupboard these days in this post and you can see for yourself some of the variety that is out there.  The lower fat varieties of noodles are either dry somen noodles or air dried instant noodles.  Some of the noodles are also not all that instant if they take more than 5 minutes to cook.  The bowls of noodles you make usually take longer than 3 minutes anyways as you have to prepare the toppings for the noodles.

Straight Noodles
There are many varieties of these straight noodles.  These are thin ramen noodles or somen noodles that cook in 3 to 4 minutes in boiling water.  They are much like spaghettini pasta except not as dense and faster cooking.  These are fairly common these days in Asian supermarkets and they all pretty much come with two bundles of noodles along with soup packets.  A package will set you back around $3.50 to $5 Canadian so they aren't super cheap.
These are packages of Nissin noodles from Hong Kong.  They are all quite tasty and easy to prepare.  They are off the straight noodle variety and the noodles cook in boiling water for 3 minutes. The package on the left is Black Garlic Tonkotsu which is a favourite of mine.  The package in the middle is Dan Dan flavour with the spicier Szechuan flavour (seems to be a popular flavour in Japan these days too).  The package on the right is a Hokkaido Miso Tonkotsu Ramen that is also tasty.
The back of the packages.
Below are additional types of tasty straight noodles from the Marutai Kyushu Marugoto ramen box which are really good and I have an extensive review of it here.
The Kyushu Marugoto ramen box.  It is a pretty good deal.
The individual packs of noodles and they are reduced fat.
Air Dried Instant Noodles
This kind of noodle comes in packages that resemble your regular instant noodle.  The noodles are curled, but not squiggly like in the fried variety.  There are a range of soup flavours and you have whole grain noodles and regular noodles too!  I have some reviews coming up and I'll post some in the future, updating this post as I go.  The noodles of this variety have different thicknesses and tend to be thicker than the straight noodles.  They are packaged in individual servings, but you usually buy them in packs of 4 or 5.  The cost per package is around $2 per individual package.
These are Nissin RAOH noodles from Japan and a favourite brand of mine.  The one of the left is a straightforward Shoyu (Tokyo style) ramen.  The one in the middle is a Dan Dan variant.  The one on the right is a thicker soy / tonkotsu variety.
The back of the packages.
Below is a package of the Maruchan Tonkotsu Soy Sauce air dried noodles which I really like.  One of my favourites actually. I reviewed it here.
Maruchan Tonkotsu Soy Sauce ramen.  It has great flavour.
Back of the Tonkotsu Soy ramen package.
 Just to show that you can cook these noodles up pretty nice, here is an example of a stir fried veggie instant noodle bowl using the Nissin RAOH Shoyu air dried noodles above.  Recipe and review here.
Noodles with stir fried veggies and ham.

Korean Air Dried Instant Noodles
Finally, here are some Korean instant noodles of the air dried variety.  They weren't as spicy as some of the regular Korean noodles and had way less fat because of the types of soup bases involved.  The noodles were different with each variety and take longer to cook in boiling water with the clam soup ones at 6 minutes and the others around 4 minutes.  The SOO brand one was super low fat at .5 grams for the package.
Top is Kalgugsu clam soup (mild clam tasting clear broth).  The middle is a SOO beef seaweed flavour (another mild tasting clear broth with green noodles!  The bottom is another Kalgugsu chicken and onion flavour (spicier and mildly chickeny).
Back of the packages.
After all that, you should be able to put together a tasty bowl of instant noodles with vegetables and protein that will suit a reduced fat diet.  Remember - with no noodles there is no meaning to life!

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