Because I have been hammered over and over (and over and over) again with ads for Immi, a plant-based ramen brand, I buckled. I was a good mark for this stuff anyway. With 22 grams of protein, 18 grams of fiber, and only 6 net carbs per serving, plus a scant 310 calories per package (at least for the chicken variety), it seemed like a perfect food for the whole family. Or — given the picky eaters surrounding me — just for me. Whatever.
@iamjojohadid immi ramen review: 5/10 #ramennoodles #ramen #lowcarb #lowcalorie #foodreview ♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) - 山口夕依
First, I had to order the stuff. I could have picked up a package at Whole Foods (you can also find Immi at Wegman's and The Fresh Market), but I figured I'd fully commit, because you get free shipping for orders over $50. Also, a fair number of people noted that, when they found Immi in a store, all three flavors were rarely stocked, and it was slightly more expensive. So, I ordered a variety 12-pack, which included flavors like Black Garlic "Chicken," Tom Yum "Shrimp," and Spicy "Beef." It was a little disconcerting to be spending so much on ramen, but more on that later.
The boxes (all of them packaged in chic black) arrived promptly, and it was time to eat. The back of each package provided stovetop and microwave instructions, and this ramen wasn't much different to prepare than the "real" stuff, though it did require a longer cooking time — eight to 10 minutes.
So, how did it taste? The ramen itself was surprisingly close to its less-healthy counterpart as far as the noodles went. They had a decent chewiness and looked the part. Where the Immi product fell short was on taste. Despite a fairly high sodium content (880 mg, or 38% of the recommended daily allowance), the sauce packets for all three flavors were exceedingly bland.
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The Tom Yum had a slightly spicy kick and the Spicy "Beef" was the most flavorful. The broth in the "chicken" flavor just tasted like paste. The noodles didn't seem to absorb much flavor from the broth, either. I was also a little disappointed to find that wheat gluten was the second ingredient, as I was hoping this might be a wheat-free product.
That being said, a dash of soy sauce and some Trader Joe's Chili Onion Crunch solved the flavor problem, at least for me. I was pretty happy to have a ramen substitute that wasn't loaded with MSG and with plenty of protein and fiber from foods that hadn't been completely created in a lab, like pumpkin seed protein. Immi ramen wasn't health food, but it wasn't all that bad for me, either. While I wasn't totally in agreement with @slick_vikk, who said, "It’s super excessive and honestly not what it was hyped up to be," I have to agree the publicity is a little excessive.
Immi ramen got me, it’s super excessive and honestly not what it was hyped up to be. 🍜— Viktor J Віктор Якима 🌙🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@Slick_Vikk) September 15, 2022
The rest of my family wasn't as enthusiastic (not that I was jumping around with glee or anything). Neither of my kids liked it. When asked what was wrong with it, my younger one said, "Everything," and walked away. My husband agreed it was bland, and felt the flavor was off compared to regular ramen. To him, the noodles were rubbery and tasted almost like soy. He didn't think it was bad, but he wasn't lining up for the rest of it (hey, more for me).
Now, the moment of truth — Would I order it again, or subscribe (that's a ticket to 15% off future orders)? The answer is ... maybe. This is also the moment of truthfully assessing the price. An online order was about $6 per serving (a 12-pack is $72) and about $6.50 at the store. While $6 for a meal is relatively cheap, the fact that I have to dress the stuff up by adding my own condiments increases the price. And while it's a healthier choice than instant ramen, how much ramen do I eat anyway? Not that much. I'm going to see how long this stockpile lasts, then reassess.
Is it worth trying? If you're looking for a healthier substitute for ramen, sure. Is it worth buying this stuff in bulk? Maybe pick up a test packet at the grocery store first.
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