Instant ramen noodles being eaten with a fork
How Is Ramen Seasoning Made?
Packaged ramen noodles, in their vast array of varieties, are typically seasoned using a sachet of potent powder. The flavoring’s ingredients vary considerably from brand to brand.
While salt, sugar, spices, and dehydrated vegetables are found in most varieties, the umami kick often comes from monosodium glutamate (MSG), a naturally occurring amino acid.
The brands Nissin Top Ramen and Maruchan offer classic flavors like chicken, shrimp, beef, and pork, and Nissin Roah’s tonkatsu version contains ginger, scallion, and sesame seeds.
Maruchan’s yakisoba cheddar flavor contains dried cheese and sour cream, while Indonesian brand Indomie Mi Goreng includes extra flavor sachets to allow for customizations.
Korean brand, Nongshim Shin Ramyun, offers a flavor blend of black pepper, garlic, chili powder, and vegetable flakes. Masala-flavored Maggi instant noodles are an Asian staple.
If you’re a vegetarian, be aware that even though the flavor on the label may not mention meat, the seasoning powder may still contain dehydrated and powdered meat.