When you think about ramen noodles and seaweed, the first thought probably isn’t “delicious.” (More like “cheap” and “fishy,” am I right?) But Annie Chun’s recently sent us two of its newest products—Ramen House and Roasted Seaweed Snacks—to try and review and, let’s just say, my vocab about ramen and seaweed has changed. See how and why below!
First, let’s start with Annie Chun’s Ramen House. If traditional ramen noodles that you buy for a quarter a pack are cheap college-dorm food, then this stuff is gourmet. Unlike other ramen noodles that are dry, these have softer, fresher noodles that are super delicious. While you can make it on the stove (and even add in extra veggies or protein this way—whee!), you can also cook one of these noodle bowls up in the microwave. While a few steps are involved, including soaking and then draining the noodles (so maybe not totally work-friendly for those without a kitchen), the noodles are tasty enough that it’s worth it. You pretty much soak, drain, add more water and the flavor packet (which is liquid, not that icky powder you usually get), microwave and eat.
I tried the Spring Vegetable, Soy Ginger and Spicy Chicken Ramen House varieties, and although the sodium on these is ridiculously high (41 percent of your daily recommended amount in a one-serving package), the rest of the nutritionals weren’t terrible. All-natural, no preservatives, no MSG and with 8 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 230 calories, it’s a filling snack or a light lunch (you’d need to add extra protein and veggies though). The Spring Vegetable kind was definitely my least favorite of the bunch, with a really light and delicate flavor that was pretty boring for me. The Soy Ginger was the most traditionally Asian-food tasting of the three, with a nice, as you might expect, soy and ginger flavor. My favorite though was the Spicy Chicken. It’s like kicked-up chicken noodle soup—definitely for those who like spice in their food.
At $1.99 for a single-serving, they’re certainly more than you pay for ramen, but they’re well worth it. While I don’t see myself buying and eating these a lot, they sure are nice to have around the house or in your work drawer for when you need a quick yet hot and filling snack. I can also imagine that they’ll make a great afternoon snack this winter when the weather is cold…
This was my first time trying roasted seaweed. I’m a big fan of sushi, so I imagined I’d really like it. Plus, you can’t beat the nutritionals. Meant to be eaten like potato chips, they kick the crap out of your usual snack food, with just 30 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per serving. Annie Chun’s Roasted Seaweed Snacks are also all natural, have no MSG or preservatives, and are vegan-friendly and gluten free.
I tried both varieties: Sesame and Wasabi. I’ll just be honest, I really disliked the Sesame. Although my husband gobbled them up like they were potato chips, I just thought they tasted fishy with a hint of sesame, which I was not down for. The Wasabi though? Holy seaweed-heaven, Batman! I loved. Super wasabi-y and oh-so spicy, I couldn’t get enough. There are two servings of 10 roasted seaweed sheets in each package, and I seriously had to stop myself from finishing off the entire package.
While I do wish the roasted seaweed sheets were a little smaller—they’re kind of large and brittle, so either you have to jam a huge bite in your mouth or break it in two and get seaweed pieces everywhere—at $1.99 a package, these are a fun and way more nutritious play on the usual snack food. While I never plan on eating the Sesame variety again, the Wasabi will become a staple in my snack drawer.
When’s the last time you had ramen noodles? Would you try roasted seaweed? Tell us about it! —Jenn