"Is ramen actually bad for my body?”
I know many people think this as they’re eating their 5th bowl of ramen of the week, myself included.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), because ramen is so delicious, the balance of sugar and fat in a bowl of ramen can send your brain and body into overdrive.
This means, in 10 days or 30 meals, (if you were to have 3 meals per day), you can have ramen 6 times or less.
But who has time for this kind of math? We want to eat ramen whenever we feel like it, right?
Today, I will introduce to you some 3 healthy ramen options (and recipes) that have high nutritional value, so we can still have ramen whenever we like.
Tan-men is mainly eaten in the Kanto region (the capital of Japan, Tokyo, is a part of this region).
Tan-men consists of a combination of pan-fried vegetables, like bean sprouts, leeks, carrots, cabbages, onions, mushrooms and pork.
The chef then pours these toppings onto a bed of ramen and adds in a soupy mixture of chicken-bone broth and salt tare.
With a light chicken-bone and salt tare broth and a wide range of colourful and fresh vegetables, the lesser-known tanmen is highly nutritional as opposed to its popular miso, shoyu, shio-based ramen counterparts.
If you would like a little “European” flair to your ramen, tomato ramen, an Italian-inspired ramen, is the way to go!
In one bowl of ramen, three tomatos are used to make the soup-base.
Popular topping for this type of ramen is chicken chashu and cheese.
Ramen salad is a cold dish that originated from the northern Japanese region, Hokkaido. A perfect dish for the summer, it combines salad and chilled ramen noodles together.
This dish has more vegetables than ramen and is considered more of a salad dish than ramen.
Have you tried or heard of any of these before?
If not, take a look at the two recipes below I'm about to share and give it a try!
Your body will thank you!
Tan-men RecipePrep Time: 20 mins
Noodles 10oz (300g)
3 Leaves of cabbage
Bean sprout 5oz (150g)
Ginger 1 piece
Green onion 1/2
Kikurage (dry) 0.17oz (5g)*
Chicken soup base (powdered cube) 2 tablespoons
Vinegar (to taste)
Sesame oil 1tbsp
1. Put the kikurage in a bowl of water and cut it into small pieces (approximate 2cm in length).
2. Slice the ginger and cut up the cabbage, green onions, leek and carrots into approximate 2cm sizes.
3. Boil a pot of hot water and put in the noodles.
4. Pour 40 oz of hot water in a different pan and add the powdered chicken soup base.
5. Add ginger, carrot, kikurage, bean sprouts, cabbage, and green onions into your heated chicken soup base. Add in a dash of white pepper and put in the chopped up leek. Turn the heat off after a minute (or less).
6. Put the noodles into a bowl and pour in the soup with toppings (from Step 5). Add in vinegar and sesame oil.
*Kikurage is “black wood ear” mushrooms. It is commonly found in ramen. If this ingredient is too difficult to find, it is completely fine to omit it without affecting the taste!
Take a look at my second recipe for ramen salad. This is perfect for when you want to have more vegetables than noodles. This dish is considered more of a salad than a ramen because of the amount of vegetable it consists of.
Ramen Salad Recipe
Prep Time: 20 mins
100g Ramen noodles
5 pieces mini tomatoes
1 Boiled Egg
4 Baby Corns
2 Strips Chicken Breast or other protein (Leave out for vegetarian option)
2 tbsp Mayonnaise
2 tbsp Sesame Oil
2 tbsp Ground Sesame seeds
2 tbsp Soy sauce
2 tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp Vinegar
1. Rip lettuce into bite-sizes.
2. Cut mini tomatoes into 4’s.
3. Slice cucumbers.
4. Boil chicken breast slices.
TIP : I like to put raw chicken slices into the microwave before boiling as this way ensures that the inside of the chicken will be cooked thoroughly
5. Shred chicken breast into strips by hand.
6. Boil egg and cut into 4’s
7. Boil noodle according to package directions.
8. Combine sesame dressing ingredients
TIP : Feel free to substitute this for ready-made or other types of dressing
9. Place prepared lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, noodles, eggs and shredded chicken breast strips into a bowl. Drizzle dressing on top.
You know, healthy living and healthy eating doesn't mean you need to stop eating all the things you love!
Now that you have the recipe to make healthy variations of ramen like tan-men and ramen salad, you need the tools to plate them!
Take a look at some of our most-popular items and staff favorites!
Want more Japanese lifestyle tips, recipes, and more? Subscribe to Us!