Have you ever thought to yourself, "Why do I eat so much ramen?"
It is a good question.
Keep reading and you’ll find out.
1) Ramen makes you full and satisfied.
Do you get full after eating a bowl of ramen?
A lot of people get stuffed and satisfied.
Because wheat flour is used for ramen noodles, so it is easy for you to feel full.
Drinking the soup from your ramen also makes you satisfied and comforted too!
2) You can get it quickly.
A ramen chef serves a bowl of ramen very quickly compared to foods at other kinds of restaurants.
Imagine being super hungry in a small town, but you can't find any restaurants nearby...
Finally, you spot a small ramen shop.
You feel so lucky!
Especially when you are hungry, ramen shops are lifesavers.
Instant noodles are even faster!
Ramen shops are casual, and ramen is easy and simple to eat too.
3) Ramen is inexpensive
You cannot get the same satisfaction with a different type of food for this price.
You can order kaedama (noodle refill) if you are not full...
4) With the balance of amino acids, fats, and carbohydrates, your brain tells you you are happy
Have you heard of them?
Amino acids come from the umami of the soup.
Another element is fat.
Fat in ramen comes from pork, chicken, seafood and flavored oil.
When you eat fatty foods, your brain releases pleasure chemicals.
Such as dopamine and β-endorphin.
What about carbohydrates from noodles?
Carbohydrates turn into energy for your body.
It also raises your blood sugar level.
And when it happens, your brain releases pleasure chemicals too.
Dopamine makes you feel good and serotonin makes you happy.
So fat and carbohydrate are important elements of deliciousness.
Ramen is a miracle food that has the perfect balance of amino acids, fat, and carbohydrate.
They harmonize together in a bowl of ramen.
Because of this harmony, it is delicious and quite addicting.
So umami is the framework of ramen.
What is umami then?
Umami is the taste of protein specifically from amino acid.
Do you know why?
Amino acid is a necessity for the human body...
...And this is the reason why it tastes good and you want to eat foods that have a lot of amino acid.
There are various ramen soup recipes.
You can make broth from pork bone, chicken bone, kelp, vegetables, dried sardines, etc..
These ingredient are chock full of amino acids.
The key point to creating ramen broth is combining different types of umami taste together: Inosinic acid + Glutamic acid + Guanosine Monophosphate
Mix a combination of these together:
Inosinic acid - pork and/or bonito
Glutamic acid - chicken bone and/or konbu.
Guanosine monophosphate - shitake mushrooms
The umami flavour gets bolder and exponentially stronger when you combine them together versus using only one type of umami.
Have you ever noticed?
Umami promotes other senses of taste like saltiness.
Amino acids brings harmony into your ramen.
6) Texture of the noodles
Ramen noodles are...
Yellowish, slippery, springy, a little chewy, but also a little firm.
Do you know the reason why ramen noodles are like that?
The answer is:
Ramen noodles are a mixture of wheat flour, water, and kansui.
Kansui is an alkaline solution (usually sodium carbonate or potassium carbonate).
Kansui makes noodles...
2. Chewy, and
3. Gives it its distinct ramen noodle flavor.
The texture of noodles caused by kansui can be the reason why you eat so much ramen.
7) Commitment of Chefs
It is not just fast food.
Ramen is an elaborate and delicate dish created by ramen chefs.
They commit so much time and effort to their ramen.
In Japan, there is a tendency to laser-focus on your interests.
There is also a tendency to develop and hone your skills in order to master your art.
You know what?
So much time and effort goes into making one bowl of ramen.
Their intention of making ramen is not just for making money, but also creating a piece of art.
8) Ramen has a lot of variations
However, did you know there are variations to ramen based on the region where you are eating it?
There are so many variations and each of them are very different.
Different kind of broth, noodles, and toppings.
They taste different and this is one of the reasons why you eat so much ramen without getting bored.
I have written about some different kinds of ramen.
You might be interested in...
Shoyu Ramen and its Regional Differences
Tonkotsu Ramen: A Southern Delicacy
Miso Ramen: An Unsung Hero