For the Love of Ramen: An Interview with Ed from RamenRamenRamen.net

by Xin Lu on 14 March 2008 4 comments

When I brainstorm for cheap eats I often think of packets of ramen. Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Ed from ramenramenramen.net. Ed reviews hundreds of types of ramen on his website and I consider him to be a folk hero to ramen lovers everywhere. Ramen is usually more than just a flavor packet and dried noodles and Ed has a great ramen glossary to explain the complexities in real ramen. Read on for some interesting ramen facts!

Are you a ramen lover because you like to save money? How much do you think you have saved by eating lots of ramen?

Actually, the instant ramen I usually eat isn't cheap. I love "real" ramen, and I tend to prefer some of the more expensive "Japanese imported" instant ramen. The cheap stuff is great too, but once you've had the better instant ramen, it just doesn't compare.

What is the most expensive ramen you ever bought? Was it worth it?

I think the most expensive instant ramen I've bought was around $4-5. It was one of the "bowl ramen" from Japan and it even had a piece of pork! Seriously! I don't remember which one it was exactly, but I can dig up my post on it. Was it worth it? Even the best bowl ramen I've had doesn't compare to a good bowl of real ramen, but yes, it was darn good.

What stores are your best sources for acquiring ramen?

There are a few Japanese supermarkets in my area that I check out on a regular basis. There's a Mitsuwa and Marukai, big supermarket chains. Those tend to be the best sources.

How much ramen do you eat each week?

I try to eat ramen about once a week or every other week. This week, my wife is on vacation so I've been eating ramen more often. Shh...don't tell...hahaha

What is the most disgusting or scary ramen ingredients you have ever seen? What is your favorite?

I've never seen it in person, but there's a picture of ice cream ramen on my blog: http://www.ramenramenramen.net/2007/10/28/ice-cream-ramen/ . But that doesn't sound nearly so bad as natto ramen. Natto, if you don't know, is really an acquired taste. It's a sticky bean dish that tastes like...I don't know...spider webs and dirt? My favorite ramen is boring old shoyu or chashu ramen (which is just shoyu ramen with extra pork). I still think it's the best.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

Do you think ramen is a healthy food? What could you add to ramen to make it extra yummy and healthy?

Real ramen is definitely healthy. It's a Japanese fast food and much healthier than the fast foods we Americans eat. Instant ramen is not too bad, though it usually has a lot of sodium. I like throwing in mushrooms when I'm cooking instant ramen, especially enoki mushrooms because it's healthy and so easy. I also make hard boil eggs to go with my ramen. You could just as easily add some bamboo, green onions, corn, assorted veggies, or if you're really ambitious, roast pork!

When you dated your wife did you share your love for ramen with her?

Yes! My wife also enjoys ramen, but she doesn't quite like to eat it all the time like I do. We went to Japan for our honeymoon and I actually took her to the Ramen Museum in Yokohama. Haha.

What did she think?

She's a great sport about it. She's actually the one that encouraged me to start a web site about ramen.

Did you design that yummy looking lapel pin on your site? Have you seen anyone wear it?

Yes I did. Thanks for the compliment. Some of my friends wear it but I haven't been lucky enough to see anybody else wear one :(

Well, that's all now. Next time you come to San Mateo you should definitely go to Santa Ramen. They have a larger location now so it fits 65 people. The wait isn't so bad anymore! I just had the always sold out stewed pork topping for the first time last weekend and it was super yummy!

Thanks for the interview! I will definitely check out Santa Ramen the next time I'm in the area! Thanks for the heads up!

 

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Guest's picture
Keizo

Great interview! Ed's blog is one of my fav's and I read it regularly. As for ramen being healthy...I'll just say this. I ate 17 bowls of ramen in 8 days when I was in Japan and still managed to lose 5 pounds. But that was overkill. I wouldn't say ramen is health food, but it's definitely not junk!

Guest's picture
J

Somehow, I'd never heard of this particular blog. Instant fan, though, because not only does it cover the 6/$1 instant types, but also my beloved "real" ramen! I found out recently just how difficult it can be to convince people that ramen is actually a legitimate dish, not just a cheap college hack. And really, nothing can beat a big bowl of spicy ramyeon!

Guest's picture

Hey Xin Lu,

Funnily enough, I just stocked up on packages of Ramen at my local Winco last week. 9 cents a package. With gas and food prices the way they are, I needed something cheap I can make fast, take to work, and to which I can add other cheap ingredients (like cabbage and onion, from this website: http://ourfourpenceworth.com/fast-frugal-recipe-yaki-soba-japanese-chow-...)

Delicious!

Guest's picture
J Allan

http://www.rameniac.com/ is what I check. You know your reviewer is hardcore when he lists the 22 styles of ramen...I didn't even know they had that many. I've been reading in anticipation for the jpn trip.