Monday, April 2, 2012

Guess how much salt is in your ramen?

Tonkotsu ramen
Tonkotsu ramen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I stopped at the Japanese supermarket in Edgewater on Saturday to sample several kinds of ramen, but was shocked to see how much sodium was listed on the ingredients labels.

Three Japanese companies -- Myojo, Sun Noodle and Yamachan -- set up stands near Mitsuwa's food court and handed out small cups of the ramen they make in the United States.

There were nine varieties of fresh noodles and condensed soup available for purchase at small discounts, but one of the servings contained close to 100% of the daily recommended sodium intake and two others ranged from about 120% to more than 140%.

I have never seen that much salt in a processed food product.

I bought two 2-serving packages of the refrigerated ramen, one from Myojo with 48% sodium and another from Sun Noodle with 65% ($3.69 each).

Those packages had the lowest sodium of the nine varieties of ramen for sale.

My son's favorite spicy Korean soup -- Shin Ramyun Gourmet Spicy Noodle Soup -- contains dried noodles, but only 43% sodium.

He usually asks for it at breakfast, eats all the noodles and dumps most of the red broth -- and the salt -- down the drain.

In related news, a second new Japanese restaurant will be opening soon in Fort Lee, according to a sign I saw in a Main Street storefront.

Ramen Setagaya, a branch of a Manhattan restaurant of the same name, will open around the corner from Batten Ramen, an inexpensive, cash-only BYO on Center Avenue that has served ramen and other Japanese dishes for many years.

The new restaurant will join Yamagata, a high-end Japanese sushi spot in a strip mall on Palisade Avenue.

In recent years, restaurants opening in Fort Lee have been almost exclusively Korean.

Mitsuwa Marketplace, 595 River Road, Edgewater; 
201-941-9133. American Express cards not accepted.

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