I consume what many would probably consider to be shocking amounts of ramen, in all of its forms. In fact, I may or may not be writing this article over a bowl of late night, Keurig-made packet ramen. It’s delicious. I frequent Ramen Nagi, Dohatsuten, Ramen Izakaya, and am constantly in search of new restaurants to eat ramen. It, specifically when it’s spicy, is clearly the best food.
While I know I am far from the first person to say that spicy ramen is a great food, when I say best food, I mean it is the best food. Better than steak, sushi, any type of fruit or vegetable or any other food you can think of (except for maybe desserts). The versatility and flavor alone make ramen so, so wonderful.
The versatility of ramen is probably the biggest reason why it’s so amazing. It can be a quick, cheap treat for writing your Daily article at 3:00 a.m. or a nice meal with friends. As someone who loves all forms of ramen, being asked to pick a favorite between cup, packet and restaurant is like asking me to pick a favorite out of my cats. So give me a moment while I wax poetic about the benefits of ramen in its various forms.
I’ll begin with cup ramen. It’s perfectly self contained and almost always comes with toppings, which I personally could do without, though I appreciate the effort. Its convenience is unmatched, because if you have three minutes, a cup or so of hot water and a utensil, you can eat it. It tastes as you’d expect instant ramen to taste — salty and delicious — and the only downside is how bad the single-use styrofoam cup is for the environment.
Then, packet ramen. A step up from cup ramen on the effort scale but often a step down in price, packet ramen is the ramen I grew up on. You can make it in a pot or pan and feel like a chef regardless of your cooking skills by adding an egg or some vegetables or meat, or you can make it like cup ramen in a bowl with a lid and some hot water from any available source. It’s a bit less convenient than cup ramen, but in exchange it is more versatile and often has better noodles — at least in my experience.
Finally, restaurant ramen. Or perhaps even homemade ramen if you can actually cook. I can’t, so we’ll go with my restaurant experiences. This ramen requires actual time, money and effort to acquire and consume. But it’s definitely worth it. This ramen is fresh, usually with meat and/or vegetables, and is warm and magical and packed full of flavors. It’s also a large amount of food for a reasonable price (which is more true the further you get from Palo Alto). If you’re skeptical about how delicious ramen is, I recommend a trip to Ramen Nagi. The wait is worth it, I promise.
While all of the levels of ramen are great on their own, spicy ramen is even better. It adds an entire dimension of flavor to a food that is already so near perfect. On top of this, not all spicy ramen is actually spicy, so people who might not enjoy spicy food can enjoy the flavor without the heat. For those who do like the heat, spicy ramen can definitely be spicy enough. The extra flavor of spicy ramen is truly what sets it out as the best form of cuisine, regardless of which spicy ramen option you choose from.
My spicy ramen is done, so I need to stop writing this article before I start to crave another bowl, but remember that spicy ramen is the best food, because a random Grind writer said so.
Contact Kiara Harding at kiluha ‘at’ stanford.edu.