This High-Protein Instant Ramen Is My Go-To Lunch Hack

Plus, it's plant-based!

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December 12, 2022
By: Dakota Kim

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Photo by: Photo c/o Chef Woo

Photo c/o Chef Woo

Often, my diet falls by the wayside when I'm working hard and trying to stay fit — especially when I'm working full-time and parenting full-time. I love ramen, so when I found Chef Woo, a high-protein ramen, I knew I had my new quick fix for getting through a long, hard afternoon work sesh and an evening CrossFit bruiser without feeling hangry. Even better? It's vegetarian-friendly. Read on for more info on my current lunchtime hack.

How Much Protein Does Chef Woo Ramen Have?

Say you’re trying to pump up your protein intake to close to 100 grams a day; with 20 grams, this ramen provides one-fifth of your daily goal. Right now, I’m working on strengthening my arms for bouldering indoors, and training for a 10K race, so I'm going heavy on protein. While I only get about 8 grams of protein in my average breakfast, or 12 in my lunch as a mostly-vegetarian, I can get 20 grams from this small cup of ramen. I don’t feel heavy after I eat it and can still go on a run an hour or less later. I also like that this cup satisfies 15% of my daily iron needs.

Yes, this is high in sodium, but so is all ramen — and for that matter, so are most heat-and-eat meals. One hack to keep sodium consumption low? Don’t use the whole packet. Instead, add in a little sesame oil and your own spices. Or use these high-protein noodles in a tossed salad or a dry preparation.

How Does It Taste?

Ramen is a staple in my life, whether ordered from the local ramen joint on cool rainy nights or made from a packet — but this one has three times as much protein as most of those packets. I zhuzh it up with added veggies from the freezer and more tofu, sometimes. I’ll crack an egg in it if I’m deviating from a vegan diet.

This ramen is super packable for a to-go lunch and comes in flavors I dig: sweet chili togarashi, Thai lemongrass, roasted chicken vegetarian, and beefy-tasting vegetarian. Plus, they're organic, MSG-free, and chemical-free.

Who Should Buy This Ramen?

If you’re vegan, on-the-go, looking to get full quickly, or to add protein for fitness, these noods are a very helpful option. If you get tempted by the coworker who wants you to grab fried chicken and French fries for lunch, keep a few of these on-hand at your desk so you can nosh more healthily at work.

If you’re a working parent like me who is tired of tofu and veggie burgers, eating this cuppa noodles with a generous helping of Sriracha hot sauce and a soft-boiled egg is the easy solution for ending your lunch blahs.

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