Premium Instant Ramen? What does that exactly mean? We'll let you know what deliciously separates this type of Japanese instant ramen from the rest!
Before Premium Instant Ramen
Did you know that there are over 100 million servings of instant ramen every year? That's how big instant ramen has become.
Before diving into the Premium Instant Ramen world, let's cover 2 simpler instant ramen types.
Packet Instant Ramen
Often associated with broke university students, this is what many people think instant ramen is. In fact, packet instant ramen was the first type ever invented. This happened in 1958 in Japan, thanks to the creative genius of Momofuku Ando.
It's as simple as it gets - soup and noodles in a packet. The cheaper versions have flash-fried noodles. Flash-frying helps preserve them. The only issue is that the noodles are oilier and less healthy as a result.
In the same regard, the powered soup isn't the most nutritious. But it sure is tasty.
Cup Instant Ramen (Cup Noodles)
This type is just as the name suggests...it comes in a cup. Ando's company Nissin created "Cup Noodles" in 1971. It was a big success, especially since all you needed was hot water and chopsticks (or a fork).
Today there are a crazy amount of flavors for Cup Noodles. Every year Nissin releases new ones, from "Hokkaido milk seafood" to "garlic cheese fondue".
Flash-fried noodles are common in this type too. But compared to the packet variety, these bad boys include toppings. The toppings may be on the simpler side...but they get the job done.
PREMIUM Instant Ramen
Here's the big Kahuna! Bowl-shaped, premium instant ramen! There's more assembly required with this type. But that's because they're as close to real ramen as it gets.
The soup often comes in 2-3 packets (both powder and liquid). You can't just pour them all in together. There's a process to.
For example, Hayashida is a famous Tokyo ramen shop specializing in chicken ramen. In their premium instant ramen, they include a packet of chicken oil. This packet you're meant to only add right before eating.
The noodles are dry...but once you add hot water, they come alive! Fresher and springer, they also come in a bunch of shapes and sizes.
You'll find the final glaring difference in the toppings. Whether it's a slice of juicy pork or crunchy bamboo shoots, toppings in premium instant ramen complete the whole experience.
There are fun premium instant ramen tie-ups between famous restaurants. There are Japan regional styles you can enjoy from the comfort of home. There's even instant ramen from a Michelin star ramen restaurant!
All in all, premium instant ramen is where it's at. Furthermore, it's only going to get better and better.