Cooking, Diet, Japan, Silicon Valley

First Vegan Ramen at Ramen Begins “Hajime” Review

I have wanted to be a vegan. Seriously. I know it’s the right thing. But having to go to a lot of business dinners and having a young kid in my house are kind of preventing me from being it. I would like to enjoy normal dish with my family and give her good and nutritious food and preparing two different ones are unrealistic to ask my wife or cook by myself. But still, it is in my bucket list.

Another thing I concern about is doing diet takes time including monitoring my calorie intake and exercises. For example, I lost 10% of my body weight with very strict calorie monitoring, but it is not that fun to do and most of all, again, takes a lot of time.

I believe being vegan saves that kind of time and I can focus on more business and study, and I can save animal life.

If I should become a vegan, I miss two things: Japanese style BBQ “yakiniku” and ramen noodles. Yakiniku is relatively expensive and less frequent. Thus I could persist. But ramen is totally different thing for a Japanese. It is ingrained in our meal routine or even in our DNA!

So, I came to Ramen Begins “Hajime” again and resisted my formidable temptation to go for Syoyu/Soy Sauce ramen and ordered “Kiwami Vegan” ramen. It was not my first time to get vegetable ramen but was mine with vegan ramen. A bit concerned about some stale soup and toppings, to be honest.

First of all, I was having a very pleasant conversation with a mentor of business while I was having a couple of first bites, so I was totally forgetting it was vegan. It is not stale at all, very close to the usual ramen!

Second of all, as I realized I ordered vegan one, I was enjoying the delicate soup so much. I could feel soy milk, very mild, but not too milky to make you feel like drinking “salty milk”. It harbors the richness of usual ramen soup. How? One of secrets seemed spice in it. But this is easier said than done – when you eat plant-based meat, some says, like my daughter always complains, that it contains too much spice in it. This is to erase the smell of “beanmess” and they have to put them a lot. But again, this ramen house has a magic wand to find and accomplish the perfect balance.
Nevertheless, it is not just mildness balance, it gives you a tempo in your mouth with the nuts you can see in the picture and some kick too with minced garlic. I couldn’t stop smiling while savoring the soup.

Moving on to noodle. Amazing! As a home bread maker, I could tell they are using good quality flour. And these noodle used for vegan soup is totally different from ones for shoyu ramen! How they can make several types of in-house noodles, I don’t know. Probably they are coming from professional integrity and if so, I as a business person would like to give them great credit for that. Very smooth, appropriately thick. I really enjoyed chewing them for a while with the soup.

But chashu/BBQ meat on top it?? For a couple of seconds I had them in my mouth, I sought for the rationale but figured out they are made of plant too. It has a good feel and chewiness and no too much spiciness, and all in all, nothing but amazing.

If my daughter leaves my house to go to college, it would be seven years to go. I have to beg my wife first, but I might be a vegan and cook some veggie menu. I have to be a bit careful in cooking some not to make it salty with my tear without my daughter.