Spidertech Professional Men’s Cycling Team’s own Lucas Euser swears by Ramen noodle soup as great post workout recovery meal!
Ramen is of Chinese Origin. It is not totally clear when Ramen was introduced into Japan however Ramen is a very popular noodle dish in Japan as well. Most of us have our memory of Ramen from University and College days of eating instant Mr.Noodles in the Styrofoam container that we could purchase for only 99cents! A college student’s perfect meal! Along with grilled cheese sandwiches and craft dinner of course! But real authentic Ramen noodle dishes are far superior in taste than any instant noodle from the corner store!
Ramen can be described by it’s two main ingredients, noodles and broth. The noodles are made from wheat flour, salt, water and kansui, which is essentially a type of alkalized mineral water usually containing sodium and potassium carbonate. Making the noodles with this water gives the noodles their yellow color and firm texture. Some people will substitute eggs for Kansui. If neither egg or kansui are used the noodles are then used for Yokisoba, or “fried noodles”. It is prepared by stir frying ramen-style noodles with bite-sized pork, vegetables (usually cabbage, onions or carrots) and flavoured with yakisoba sauce, salt and pepper. It is served with a multitude of garnishes, such as aonori (seaweed powder), beni shoga (shredded pickled ginger), katsobushi (fish flakes), and mayonnaise.
The taste of Ramen usually depends on the soup. Making a good soup requires good skills! In fact Ramen Chefs go through extensive training and each Ramen shop has it’s own way to make Ramen. Chicken bone, pork bone, dried sardines (niboshi), and/or kombu are used to make soup stock. Vegetables, such as ginger, negi onion, garlic, or/and mushrooms are also added. Categorized by soup flavors, there are mainly four kinds of ramen: shio ramen (salt flavored soup), shoyu ramen (soy sauce flavored soup), tonkotsu ramen (pork bone based creamy soup), miso ramen (miso flavored soup).
Ramen is high in carbohydrates and post workout would make a great meal due to the high sodium in the broth and the high glycemic carbohydrates. The noodles themselves do not contain a lot of sodium so I would surely have them in a broth! Choose a dish with a bit of protein and celebrate the Chinese New Year with a local dish! Look up an authentic Chinese or Japanese restaurant in your area and enjoy the taste of this traditional meal while replenishing your glycogen and sodium losses after a hard day of training!
Until next time..keep it healthy and keep it real!