If you’re reading this, then chances are that you’re getting tired of those plain-tasting Maruchan noodles that cost 50-cents a pack, and you’re looking for alternatives. Perhaps a brand-new noodle house or Japanese ramen restaurant opened up in your town, and you’re wondering if it’s worth a trip.
So, how much are ramen noodles? Pre-packaged store-bought ramen typically costs between 50 cents and $1 per pack. However, if you visit a well-reviewed noodle shop, then expect to pay between $15 and $20 for a bowl of freshly-made ramen noodle soup.
One of the most responsible things that young adults can do is make a food budget for themselves. So, in today’s article, I’m going to outline some of the costs of ramen noodles, including fancy restaurant ramen and cheap store-bought ramen.
Ramen has exploded in popularity throughout the U.S., due to the increasing influence of Japanese culture in America. And it’s not hard to see why, either. Every time I put on an episode of Naruto for old time’s sake and see young Naruto eating his signature extra-pork ramen, I get a huge craving for it.
While I generally prefer to make my own ramen at home, I don’t always have all of the ingredients or enough time on my hands. In these cases, I’ll often find myself at one of my favorite local noodle shops.
Generally speaking, I’ll pay anywhere from $15 to $20 for a large bowl of ramen noodle soup if I get my favorite pork belly or beef ramen. If you’re vegetarian (or just don’t want meat), then you can usually save a bit of money by just getting the egg and vegetable ramen, which costs around $9 to $12.
No matter what city in the U.S. I’ve traveled to, these prices are pretty much standard. If you’re looking to get the best deal on restaurant ramen, then I’d definitely suggest going to a local noodle house instead of a larger, more “hip” restaurant. I’ve often found that the more unassuming the restaurant is, the cheaper and better the ramen is.
Restaurant ramen is expensive for a number of different reasons. However, the bowls of ramen I buy are almost always big enough to fill me up and allow me to freeze the rest for a second meal, so the cost per meal isn’t actually that bad.
Here are some of the key reasons why the cost of restaurant ramen can be so much higher than expected:
● Family Recipes: Nice restaurants often use handcrafted egg noodles for their ramen. Additionally, they often use special family recipes that have been passed down for generations and can’t be found anywhere else.
● Specialty Ingredients and Seasonings: The more authentic the noodle house is, the more expensive their ingredients are going to be. Many of them import specialty seasonings from Japan, which cost a lot more over here in the U.S. Also, if the noodle house is using super-high-quality meats such as pork belly, or wild-fed beef, this can also drive the cost up.
● The Dish’s Popularity: Lastly, ramen is often expensive for the mere fact that it’s popular. Think about it – if you made a special, high-demand dish that wasn’t already common, wouldn’t you charge extra?
Store-bought ramen noodles are the cheapest and typically cost around 50 cents to $1 per packet, making them one of the most affordable meals that you can find at the store. Mix in a couple of eggs or some cheap meat and veggies, and you’ll have a super-filling meal that costs less than $4!
The only disadvantage of store-bought ramen is that it may contain extra MSG, sodium, and the seasoning may even contain dairy (which isn’t good for lactose-intolerant individuals).
If you’re looking for restaurant-quality ramen at an affordable price, then your best bet is to make your own ramen at home.
- A pack of your favorite instant egg ramen noodles or rice noodles ($1).
- Chinese cabbage ($1).
- 2 Soft-boiled eggs (50-cents).
- Thinly-sliced pork or beef ($5).
- Your favorite Asian seasonings (50-cents).
As you can see, you can make a giant bowl of your own homemade ramen for less than $8, including buying the meat! You may have to invest a bit more in your seasonings, at first. However, once you have your jars of seasoning, they’ll be able to make you tons of bowls of ramen.