Ramen Ramen Blog Best Ramen Let’s Talk About Sun Noodle’s Contribution To The Ramen Revolution

Ramen Ramen Blog Best Ramen

Sun Noodle and its restaurant incubator, Ramen Lab, moved at warp speed to meet the changing needs of pandemic-challenged ramen restaurants to take-out and the results are nothing short of magical. Here’s what you need to know about this revolutionary development that was designed to help keep restaurants in business and how consumers across the country can get their soupy noodle fix from some famous ramen chefs.

Ramen  Ramen Blog  Best Ramen Sun Noodles has developed a new ramen noodle for takeout.

Sun Noodles changed the way it makes its ramen noodles to make them more take-out friendly. This … [+] creation is from Ivan Ramen in New York City.

Ramen Lab via Instagram

Ramen Ramen Blog Best Ramen Tinkering with tradition

When it comes to ramen, culinary traditions run deep. Don’t fix it if it’s not broken is the time-honored adage that leads the list of ramen-making do’s and don’t’s.

But those standards have been challenged during the pandemic, as ramen restaurants scrambled to take their service from made-to-order to a take-out model. Nobody wants to slurp a soggy noodle.

Enter Sun Noodle, the nation’s leading manufacturer of freshly made ramen and Asian noodle products. Sun Noodle in collaboration with its New York City-based restaurant incubator, Ramen Lab, worked with its food service customers to try and identify and perfect a noodle that would stand up to a take-out format. They created TKO, a noodle that’s got a toothsome texture firm enough to hold for the trip home.

“This was a big challenge for us,” said Kenshiro Uki, son of Sun Noodle founder and CEO Hidehito Uki and vice president of operations for the company. “We set up an innovation center and did four weeks of testing, asking for feedback from customers.”

But even that was a challenge because they couldn’t do in-person tastings. Yet, after some trial-and-error, the TKO noodle was born.

One of the early adopters was legendary Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, whose Manhattan location of Momosan Ramen and Sake jumped on the to-go ramen trend in the spring.

The new TKO noodles use a wheat gluten from a flour blend from sources in Canada, Australia and the U.S., using a high-tech milling process. “You can separate a kernel of wheat in 50 different ways, and slow-mill it into 150 different end products, depending on the protein content you’re looking for,” Uki said. “It’s a very different process than making bread flour.”

Ramen Ramen Blog Best Ramen Cross-country delivery from Ramen Lab

To spread the word about the innovative work being done, the company launched Ramen Lab at Home, delivering frozen meal kits to curious customers across the country. Each kit was designed by masters in the art of ramen, starting with those in the steamy kitchens of Nakamura, Ani Ramen, Ivan Ramen and Zaya Ramen.

Instructions on putting those bowls together for a restaurant-like meal are covered in videos made by participating chefs on Ramen Lab’s Instagram.

In honor of National Noodle Day (Oct. 6), Sun Noodle is showcasing Ivan Orkin’s “Ramen Lab at Home” ramen kit and beginning Oct. 2, the first 200 customers to order Ivan’s ramen kit, will also receive a signed copy of the chef’s most recent cookbook, “The Gaijin Cookbook: Japanese Recipes from a Chef, Father, Eater, and Lifelong Outsider” along with the meal kit.

“We’ve definitely seen interest in ramen grow across the country,” Uki said. “We plan to bring on more chefs and showcase their ramen, maybe introducing people to this type of ramen for the first time.”

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