Trader Joe’s has had instant Ramen for a few years now and most recently added spicy miso ramen to their lineup about a year ago. The first two, which I reviewed when they originally were released, Miso and Chicken I thought were just ok, nothing to really write home about. But much better than something like Top Ramen.
I think I must’ve missed this one for like a year, just walking by it, and finally one day I was just standing and staring at it and thinking to myself that I have not reviewed the Trader Joe’s Spicy Miso Ramen yet. So, I picked up a couple of them to taste test.
The original instant Ramen craze started back in the late 1970s when Top Ramen hit the shelves and people went nuts. It was a quick and easy meal and endlessly variable because you could add eggs or meat and vegetables. The soup base and noodles were all you got.
But by today’s standards when you can get high quality instant Ramen at almost any grocery store and if you can find an Asian market with some really good fresh noodles like Sun Noodles, all the better. Sun Noodles are my preferred ramen noodle company and I am lucky enough to have a high quality Japanese market near my town. Also, we have several ramen noodle restaurants nearby so we know what real ramen tastes like.
One question you might have is, What is Miso? Miso is fermented soybean paste. From Wikipedia “Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning. It is a thick paste produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and kōji and sometimes rice, barley, seaweed, or other ingredients” But from having Miso in a variety of different foods, but mostly in ramen, it brings so much flavor. I love the stuff.
So, of course, the Japanese serve miso ramen as an everyday type of food. It’s fast and easy to make at home and depending on what you top it with, can make a satisfying meal.
Just like a good loaf of bread or a pizza, ramen is all about the ingredients. There is little in the way of technique in making it. So, can Trader Joe’s Spicy Miso Ramen stand up to a bowl or real restaurant ramen?
Before I answer that question, let’s go into what it takes to make it. First, the nice thing about this ramen is that it comes with its own cup, which is perfect for bringing to the office and eating at your desk. Just pack some frozen vegetables and maybe a hard boiled egg or cooked chicken and you have a complete meal.
To make this just dump the seasoning packet and oil on the noodles in a cup and pour boiling hot water over it to the fill line on the side of the cup and put the lid back on loosely and wait a few minutes. An alternative method is to fill the ramen cup with cold water and microwave it for 90-120 seconds until it’s boiling and then put the lid on and wait.
After waiting a few minutes, stir and enjoy. This is where I would add some Trader Joe’s frozen mixed vegetables and a sliced hard boiled egg or cooked chicken. Maybe a little chopped green onion and Furikake. Yum!
The only problem I had is that even after the prescribed six minutes in the cooking instructions, Trader Joe’s Spicy Miso Ramen noodles were not cooked all the way and still were a bit hard. I waited for another three minutes and they were better but still not done all the way. I waited another five minutes and FINALLY they were done.
I thought this was one of the best instant ramen I’ve had in a long time. The miso was rich and had layers of flavor. Some have said it has a cardboard flavor from the cup but I wasn’t picking that up. The noodles had a good bite. It wasn’t too spicy. I know Trader Joe’s can go overboard sometimes with the spice levels, but not in this case.
If I was going to rate this Trader Joe’s Spicy Miso Instant Ramen on its own, I might give it a 6 Bells. Fresh ramen is so much better, but as an instant ramen I thought it was one of the best I’ve had in a long time and because of the ease of prep, I am going to give the whole package 8 Bells!
RAMEN NOODLES (UNBLEACHED WHEAT FLOUR, SEA SALT, VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN), SEASONING PACKET (DRIED MISO [SOYBEANS, CULTURED RICE (RICE, ÀSPERGILLUS ORYZAE, SALTI, NATURAL FLAVORS, YEAST EXTRACT, SESAME FLOUR, POTATO STARCH, CHILI PEPPER, DRIED GARLIC, SALT, CANE SUGAR, SPICES, GREEN ONION, BLACK SESAME SEEDS, ORANGE PEEL, POPPY SEEDS, WHITE SESAME SEEDS, SHIITAKE MUSHROOM POWDER, BROWN SUGAR, DRIED ONION, CABBAGE POWDER, TOMATO POWDER, OLEORESIN PAPRIKA [COLOR], SOY SAUCE [SOYBEANS, SALTI), OIL PACKET (VEGETABLE OIL [SUNFLOWER OIL AND/OR SOYBEAN OIL], TOASTED SESAME OIL).
CONTAINS SOY, SESAME,
DIST. & SOLD EXCLUSIVELY
Boiling Water: Remove the lid and pour contents from seasoning and oil packets into the cup. Add boiling water to fill line. Stir gently, cover tightly, and let stand for 6 minutes. Stir again until the seasoning is completely dissolved and enjoy!
Microwave (1200 watts): Microwave cook times may vary depending on oven wattage.
Remove the lid and pour the contents from the seasoning and oil packets into the cup.
Add room temperature water to fill line. Microwave on high to a rapid boil; about 1 minute 30 seconds.
Stir gently, cover tightly, and let stand for 6 minutes. Stir again until the seasoning is completely dissolved and enjoy!
THE CONTAINER WILL BE HOT.
Try topping ramen with chopped green onions, hard boiled egg, or