Ramen tends to have the image of noodles in fatty soup topped with stacks of meat. Recently, however, many vegetable-heavy ramen, which are significantly different from the vegetable ramen that Ramen Jiro is famous for, are becoming new classics. Below are three ramen full of vegetables that you can enjoy without feeling guilty.
The Double-Detox Benefits of Cilantro and Spices
What is this mysterious bowl covered in green leaves? It is the Spice Triple Cilantro Ramen (1,230 JPY) at Spice Ramen Manriki, which is a popular restaurant in Nishi-Kasai, Tokyo, that has lines out its door. It has three times the cilantro as the regular Spice Cilantro Ramen (930 JPY). The amount is 54g, which doesn't sound like much, but it is enough to completely cover the soup. Cilantro, which is called a "miracle herb", is full of vitamins. It has many health and beauty benefits, such as detoxing and skincare. You can expect even more benefits with this much cilantro!
The soup that is hidden below the cilantro is made by blending 14 spices together, including cumin and coriander. The spices also help with detoxing, and the chili peppers promote sweating and increase metabolism. In fact, eating it makes one sweat, even in the winter! The owner, Takashi Ohashi, commented: "The manji (卍) mark in the name of the restaurant represents happiness. We want to give our customers energy – the source of happiness – through the power of spices." Energize yourself with their ramen that is testament to the owner's mettle!
■ Spice Ramen Manriki
Address: Swarm Mansion 1F, 3-16-5 Nishi-Kasai, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 11:30 am - 9:30 pm (L.O.)
Just One Bowl Has the 350g Daily Recommended Amount of Vegetables
The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare recommends consuming 350g of vegetables per day. Yet, according to a study by the Ministry that was conducted in 2010, the average amount that a person actually consumed was just 281.1g, which is 80% of the target amount. With the price of vegetables increasing, it is becoming even more difficult to consume them. However, the Tanmen (730 JPY) ramen at Tonari, which has seven branches in Tokyo, has a whopping 360g of vegetables, so just one bowl is enough to consume the daily recommended amount! The vegetables are fried in a wok, so the amount is reduced and is easier to consume, which is great for people with smaller appetites.
Tonari is run by Rokurinsha, an extremely famous ramen shop. Its tanmen (stir-fried vegetable noodle soup) is a cut above the typical tanmen of shio (salt) ramen. The soup is extremely satisfying and made by cooking pork bones till the broth becomes milky white. It is enhanced with the umami flavor and aroma of scallops. It is made slightly salty with the expectation that the moisture from the large amount of vegetables will water it down a bit. The noodles are also specially ordered medium-thick, flat noodles that do not become bloated while the vegetables are being eaten. Fill yourself up with seven types of vegetables, including bean sprouts, cabbage, napa cabbage, carrots, and garlic chives, and enjoy the satisfaction of having treated your body well!
■ Tonari Morishita Branch
Address: 1-5-11, Morishita, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm (L.O.)
Treat Your Skin to Tomato Ramen That's Full of Lycopene
Taiyo no Tomatomen is a chain with 16 locations in Tokyo that has also expanded to Taiwan. Their soup is made with carefully selected ripe tomatoes, and it includes the lycopene of about three tomatoes. Lycopene is the red pigment in tomatoes. It is a powerful antioxidant, prevents aging and lifestyle diseases, and also suppresses enzymes that generate melanin from ultraviolet rays. In other words, it has great benefits for the skin, which is much appreciated by many.
The soup, which is the base of the ramen, is also healthy. The stock is taken from lean chicken that is cooked with vegetables, so it is full of umami, but it is not heavy. Soy milk is kneaded into the noodles, and the char siu topping is made with chicken instead of pork. Edona, which is bred from Komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach) and grown with very little pesticides, adds a lovely green color to the bright red soup, and is another representation of the restaurant's attention to detail. The Taiyo no Ramen (777 JPY), which incorporates the restaurant's name, is a low-calorie dish with just 579kcal. The flavors are fantastic, with a soup made from chicken thighs and chicken bone, along with mineral-rich natural Mongolian rock salt that enhances the flavors of the tomato sauce, which still retains bits of tomatoes. This is a beautiful dish that has both health and beauty benefits, exemplifying the appeal of fully ripe tomatoes.
■ Taiyo no Tomatomen Shibuya Dogenzaka Branch
Address: Takabaya Bldg. 1F, 2-16-3 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 11:00 am - 1:00 am (L.O. 12:30 am)
Just changing your everyday ramen to ramen full of vegetables can have great benefits for your diet and health. These three ramen dishes are highly recommended, especially when you are starting to worry about your figure.
[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 02.14.2018]
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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