MSG free Top Ramen


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Trad climber
cesspool central
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 4, 2011 - 01:02pm PT
Hey folks,

Just wanted to get a head count or opinion.

If you had access to MSG-free Top Ramen, healthier style noodles all at a relatively inexpensive price, would you buy it?


Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Mar 4, 2011 - 01:07pm PT
Don't pour the spice packet into it. That's where the MSG is.

Trader Joes probably already makes what you're looking for.

Social climber
Mar 4, 2011 - 01:12pm PT
I do, 2 brands, not as cheap as Top Ramen, but close enough, besides they taste a heck of a lot better.
Thai Kitchen rice noodle soups, Lemongrass Chili my fav, and Organic Ramen-style noodles from Koyo? Don't have in front of me, but they are good, but not all that cheap.

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 4, 2011 - 01:14pm PT
Do what Chaz says. You can get MSG free soup base in about a half dozen flavors.

Trad climber
cesspool central
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 4, 2011 - 01:29pm PT
MSG yum.

Trader Joes carries Thai kitchen (which is yum), and Safeways used to carry them...(why not anymore?)

The Food-Coop in Davis had some great ones with whole wheat noodles and sea salt based soups, but those are expensive.

Whole-foods is hit or miss sometimes

The reason I ask is that I might be importing a cheaper/ healthier alternative from Taiwan, msg free, whole wheat noodles, and reasonable prices.

Would love to hear the feedback!

Social climber
Mar 4, 2011 - 01:31pm PT
ww noodles suck, rice much better

Merced, CA
Mar 4, 2011 - 01:39pm PT
I've never been a fan of those asian noodle boxes. All through college I just ate regular old italian pasta with oil and salt. Way better than ramen, and it comes out to about $0.50 a meal.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 4, 2011 - 01:42pm PT
Seconds on the rice noodles...
When I get ramen I get from various kinds like you describe, but it's like an every other (or less) year purchase.
tinker b

the commonwealth
Mar 4, 2011 - 02:42pm PT
i have been told (but never did the research myself) that the way the noodles are produced is more unhealthy then the msg.

Done With Tobacco
Mar 4, 2011 - 02:43pm PT
Couscous. Same cook time.

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Mar 4, 2011 - 03:05pm PT
Well, I undoubtedly ate tons of the stuff in years past (specifically Top Ramen oriental flavor), but I am trying to be a little more careful about MSG, so I'd be interested.

The rice noodle things are good, but not the same.

Mountain climber
Mar 4, 2011 - 03:10pm PT
I'd consider myself somewhat health conscious, but I'm wondering what is bad about MSG? From what I understand what it does is it effects your "taste buds" in a way that makes them stand up or have more surface area which allows them to absorb more flavor, whether it's from ramen or whatever other highly processed food.

I know things like aspartame have somewhat documented potential side effects, what are MSGs?

I'm down with cheap ramen or the ones sold in asian markets. I even eat them at home sometimes when you need something hot, fast and filling. 2 packs (1 seasoning packet or fish sauce + seasonings) + frozen veg maybe even a tin of oysters = a filling meal in 5 minutes. I don't eat this way all the time, but in a pinch it works.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
Mar 4, 2011 - 03:52pm PT
Real men don't whine about MSG.

Trad climber
New York, NY
Mar 4, 2011 - 04:03pm PT
I don't use the products, but a person recently told n=me that he had a friend who ate pretty much ONLY Ramen noodles for 2 years and got scurvy!

Maybe ask the importer if they can sub Vitamin C for the MSG!

Done With Tobacco
Mar 4, 2011 - 04:13pm PT
I'm ADHD and as a child MSG was strictly verbotten, as there were studies linking MSG to ADD, or so my Ma told me.

I still avoid it, as it's purpose is to inflict micro-scrapes on the roof of your mouth, thereby enhancing the flavor. Or so I've been told.

I could be way off though, haven't read much about it in the last ten years or so.

Merced, CA
Mar 4, 2011 - 04:17pm PT
As always, wikipedia has the answers

Big Wall climber
Mar 4, 2011 - 04:44pm PT
I Agree that "greasy low-quality nature of ramen is what makes them desirable in my opinion".


How can you beat 10 cents?!?

I like couscous. That is easy to make and I have secret recipes that are good COLD, The Day After, Breakfast, Dinner, at the Table or while on the move.
Aya K

Trad climber
New York
Mar 4, 2011 - 04:50pm PT
I don't eat those ramen things, but I'm all about the MSG. I try to sneak it into almost everything I make, be it through vegemite, anchovies, tomato paste, etc.
I do have a bottle of it (ajinomoto, goes into everything in japan) but I rarely use that.

Social climber
san joser
Mar 4, 2011 - 05:15pm PT
My wife's grandma has in her kitchen a 20 lb tin of MSG made by the Asahi chemical corporation. She is Japanese-American and still going strong at 90 something.

I love top ramen. It's got one of the best calorie per dollar ratio out there. Great for backcountry use: 35 cents for two packs vs 8 bucks for a mountain house dehydrated meal.

Trad climber
cesspool central
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 4, 2011 - 07:14pm PT
Seaweed and I believe certain cheeses, vegetables and meats have natural glutamic-acid in them.

Naturally occurring MSG is not neccesarily bad for one. (Still, too much of anything isn't good for anyone or thing!)

However, the process of making MSG (unwanted contaminants, I think this is a biggie) effects the overall quality of the product ingested into the body (IMO)

MSG was originally crystallized out of seaweed broth. Eventually forced hydrolysis* (highly toxic process) was used to extract MSG out of wheat gluten. However this turned out to be quite costly, so...

MSG now these days is mostly made from chemical synthesis (or/and fermentation) including sources such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein (mostly corn), cheap sugars (molasses) and ammonia/ or fermentation processes with bacteria to force overproduction of L-glutamate

If interested in learning more, read this article:

*Just to note proteins usually go through a natural hydrolized process in the gut caused by enzymes which is not neccessarily toxic, however the manufacturing processes were highly toxic at that time period (and maybe even now.) Read the link above.
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