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One could summarize the college experience into 3 things: exhaustion, four lokos, and treating ramen as a food group. Ah -- the days of yesteryear, where the comfortable feeling of eating something microwaveable 5 days in a row was the norm. Now that I’m older, I’ve nearly cut ramen out of my diet as I focus on eating things that are...actually good for me. Traditional ramen packets are full of sodium and contain very few nutritional benefits. Also, as someone now with a grown-up job, eating a meal that costs less than a dollar doesn’t hit the same way it used to back when it was a necessity.
immi Ramen set out to reinvent ramen with their goal to capture that satisfying ramen feeling with a makeover of better ingredients and crafted flavors for a more nutritious, and equally delicious bowl.
Founders Kevin Lee and Kevin Chanthasiriphan grew up in Taiwan and Thailand and wanted to pay homage to their favorite food. They also wanted to help their families better manage health conditions that arose from poor nutrition and unhealthy diets in the process. Immi is the world’s first low-carb, high-protein instant ramen — 21g Protein, 6g Net Carbs, 100% Plant-Based, Keto Friendly. Similar to the way Magic Spoon disrupted the cereal aisle with a healthier-for-you, still-delicious-tasting option, immi is bringing innovation to a space that’s been dominated for years by a few major players.
A Healthy Makeover
Comparison is not always the thief of joy. Compared to leading ramen brands (think gold-standard vending machine strongholds like Cup Noodles, Maruchan, and Top Ramen), immi is far healthier: 890mg of sodium versus the average 1310mg, 21g of protein versus 6g, and 6g of net carbs versus the 40g found in a cup of noodles.
Compared to leading ramen brands (think gold-standard vending machine strongholds like Cup Noodles, Maruchan, and Top Ramen), immi is far healthier: 890 mg of sodium versus the average 1310mg, 21g of protein versus 6g, and 6g of net carbs versus the 40g found in a cup of noodles.
Immi is 100% plant-based and offers three flavor varieties: Tom Yum "Shrimp," Black Garlic "Chicken," and Spicy "Beef”. On the website, you can purchase either a 6-pack or a 12-pack of each individual flavor, or a variety 9-pack that allows you to sample all three options. One packet costs around $6.25, and they offer a subscribe-and-save option that allows you to stay strapped. It’s obviously pricier than what we are used to but it’s a better, guilt-free option.
You can either microwave your immi or make it on the stovetop. I choose to avoid microwaves whenever possible so I chose the stovetop option which was quick and easy.
After a few months of tinkering and working through supply chain challenges thanks to COVID, the Kevins kindly sent me version 2.0 of immi. I cooked the noodles on the stovetop for around 6-7 minutes with 1.5 cups of water, per their instructions. When they started their company in the midst of COVID, it became impossible for them to get any ingredients across international borders. Meaning v1’s noodles were stuck with a U.S. based manufacturer that was not suited for instant ramen.
Thankfully, I was not disappointed with this new recipe! Version 2 is 100 times better than the first iteration I tried last year. They even managed to bring down the net carbs per serving to just 6g. The broth is seasoned just right, and I really enjoyed downing a bowl of ramen without any of the guilt associated with instant noodles.
Version 2 is 100 times better than the first iteration I tried last year. They even managed to bring down the net carbs per serving to just 6g. The broth is seasoned just right, and I really enjoyed downing a bowl of ramen without any of the guilt associated with instant noodles.
Where V1.0 was for people on low-carb/carb-restricted diets, V2.0 is much better suited for the mainstream customer who just wants a healthier, delicious ramen. Props to the immi team for working so hard and getting the recipe dialed in for v2.
To Top It Off
There’s a tab on the website with easy recipes to recreate or recommended toppings to improvise. As a lazy person, I did not go through the trouble (I’m eating ramen after all). However, it’s nice that you can turn something relatively easy into an upscale dinner worth serving at parties.
Spicy “Beef”: Bok Choy, Dried Red Chili, Enoki Mushrooms, Shiitake Mushrooms, Chopped Scallions, Marinated Eggs, Cilantro, Chili Oil
Black Garlic “Chicken”: Marinated Bamboo Shoots, Roasted Garlic, Shredded Scallions, Roasted Corn, Seaweed, Fishcakes
Tom Yum “Shrimp”: Fried Tofu, Sliced Red Chilis, Cilantro, Sliced Radish, Lime Wedges, Tomato Wedges
A Pivot In The Right Direction
The ramen industry is a $42 billion global industry that has been run by a few key players for years. immi has the ability to tap into that market with their better-for-you ramen. There’s so much potential here — beautiful packaging, high-quality ingredients, and big investors and advisors, including founders at Magic Spoon, Caviar, Thrive Market, as well as Collaborative Fund, Siddhi Capital, and Pear Ventures.
With 2.0 now on the market, we’re excited to see where immi goes from here. Others are taking note as well -- featured on Gear Patrol, Forbes, and Sunset Magazine to name a few. As summer fades to Fall, grab some Ramen and enjoy the cozy vibes of warm soup and guilt-free noodles. A winning combination!