Instant ramen tested by Kassensturz: only two rated "good"
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Instant ramen tested by Kassensturz: only two rated "good"

Translation: machine translated

The SRF consumer magazine "Kassensturz" took a look at pasta snacks and had them assessed by a strict panel of experts. Two products came out on top. One classic, on the other hand, received poor marks.

I'm a bloody ramen snob. Making the popular Japanese noodle soup takes me a total of three days and involves steps that you would expect to find in a drug lab. For example, I heat baking powder in the oven to create an alkaline powder for the noodle dough. Pork bones are boiled, eggs are pickled and chicken skin is processed into fat. The result is an umami bomb of soup, noodles and toppings.

At the lower end of the ramen-making scale is the instant noodle snack. Cliché food for stressed singles, poor students or hungry drunks after a night out. Noodles that are either too firm or already overcooked float in a sad powdery broth. Without upgrades (more on this below), this has as much to do with ramen as tinned ravioli has to do with handmade ravioli.

Ten such snacks have now been tested by "Kassensturz", seven of which we have on sale.

Illustrious expert jury and surprising loser

The panel of experts who assessed the pasta for flavour and consistency is impressive. The judges included the head chef from Yume in Zurich, my absolute favourite ramen restaurant in the city.

You can find the entire rating and information on how the jury scored it on the "Kassensturz" website. As I understand it, too little attention was paid to consistency with only five per cent of the overall score, which would have made little difference in the end. If a pasta was rated poorly, then it was rated poorly across the board in all categories.

Good

No surprise here: The test winner is a product from the Korean company Nongshim. In second place is Nissin, the Japanese inventors of the instant noodle.

Nongshim Soon Veggie Noodle Soup 112 g (112 g)
Convenience food
11.35 CHF 101.34 CHF/1kg

Nongshim Soon Veggie Noodle Soup 112 g

112 g

Nissin Demae Ramen (760 g)
Convenience food
Quantity discount
11.40 CHF per piece for 2 units 15.– CHF/1kg

Nissin Demae Ramen

760 g

Sufficient

Nothing new in the East: the jury rated products from Nissin and Nongshim as "sufficient", plus a discounter's own brand, which we don't have in our range.

Nissin Cup Noodles Chicken Ginger 63 g (63 g)
Convenience food
Quantity discount
1.95 CHF per piece for 4 units 30.95 CHF/1kg

Nissin Cup Noodles Chicken Ginger 63 g

63 g

Nongshim Kimchi (600 g)
Convenience food
Quantity discount
11.60 CHF per piece for 2 units 19.33 CHF/1kg

Nongshim Kimchi

600 g

Inadequate

The two "Swiss" noodles from Knorr are unsatisfactory. Although Knorr has long been part of the British Unilever group and the noodles come from Poland ... Surprisingly, the jury also rated the very popular Nongshim Shin Ramyun as unsatisfactory. "Thin noodles, watery soup, little topping", was the damning verdict. The jury also criticised the soup for being too spicy.

Knorr Asia Noodles Beutel (70 g)
Convenience food
Quantity discount
2.45 CHF per piece for 4 units 35.– CHF/1kg

Knorr Asia Noodles Beutel

70 g

Knorr Asia Noodles Vegetable pouch, instant Asian noodles with vegetables, prepared in 3 minutes. (70 g)
Convenience food
Quantity discount
2.35 CHF per piece for 4 units 33.57 CHF/1kg

Knorr Asia Noodles Vegetable pouch, instant Asian noodles with vegetables, prepared in 3 minutes.

70 g

Nongshim Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup Multipack (600 g)
Convenience food
Quantity discount
11.60 CHF per piece for 2 units 19.33 CHF/1kg

Nongshim Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup Multipack

600 g

Knorr Asia Noodles Beutel (70 g)
Quantity discount
2.45 CHF per piece for 4 units 35.– CHF/1kg

Knorr Asia Noodles Beutel

70 g

Knorr Asia Noodles Vegetable pouch, instant Asian noodles with vegetables, prepared in 3 minutes. (70 g)
Quantity discount
2.35 CHF per piece for 4 units 33.57 CHF/1kg

Knorr Asia Noodles Vegetable pouch, instant Asian noodles with vegetables, prepared in 3 minutes.

70 g

Nongshim Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup Multipack (600 g)
Quantity discount
11.60 CHF per piece for 2 units 19.33 CHF/1kg

Nongshim Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup Multipack

600 g

The best pasta snack is the one you like!

As we all know, there's no accounting for taste. I definitely treated myself to the test winners. And I also like Shin Ramyun, even though they're the losers here. Anyway, I like to spice up my noodles with a few simple tricks.

Raw egg

It may not sound great at first, but it's a game changer: add a raw egg to the bowl, then add the soup and noodles and stir well. This makes the soup creamier and more flavourful. Due to the risk of salmonella, I would only use really fresh eggs.

Yakisoba

Cook the noodles without the soup. You can use the soup powder for other purposes later, for example for a meat marinade. Drain the noodles and return to the pan. Fry for a few minutes in the pan with yakisoba sauce (a mixture of ketchup, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and sugar, but you can also buy it ready-made) and vegetable strips. Top with Japanese mayo and you have a classic Japanese family dish.

"Fake" ramen

Fake it, till you make it! Cook the noodles in water only, but don't throw away the cooking water. Remove the noodles from the water one minute before they are cooked and rinse briefly under cold water. Mix a tablespoon each of miso paste, soya sauce and mirin to make a seasoning sauce. Dissolve this in the cooking water. Place the noodles in a preheated bowl and add the soup. Garnish with toppings, for example finely chopped spring onions, a boiled egg cut in half or sliced roast beef. If you like, you can add chilli oil on top.

So, I'm applying to be a member of the jury next time, dear "Kassensturz".

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When I flew the family nest over 15 years ago, I suddenly had to cook for myself. But it wasn’t long until this necessity became a virtue. Today, rattling those pots and pans is a fundamental part of my life. I’m a true foodie and devour everything fromjunk food to star-awarded cuisine. Literally. I eat way too fast. 


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