I have been hammered over and over (and over and over) again with ads for Immi ramen, a new plant-based, high-protein ramen brand, so I finally buckled. I was a good mark for this stuff anyway.
Read on for my honest Immi ramen review.
What Is Immi Ramen?
Immi ramen is a plant-based, low-carb, high-protein instant ramen that's vegan and keto-friendly. 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), Immi instant ramen seemed like a perfect food for the whole family. Or — given the picky eaters surrounding me — just for me. Whatever.
Where Can You Buy Immi Ramen?
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 and order directly from the Immi website — in part because you get free shipping for orders over $50. Also, a fair number of people noted that, when they looked for Immi in a store, all three flavors were rarely stocked, and it was slightly more expensive than online.
So, I ordered the 12-pack of Immi's Variety Vol. 1 for $72, which included flavors like Black Garlic "Chicken," Tom Yum "Shrimp," and Spicy "Beef." It felt a little disconcerting to be spending so much on ramen, but more on that later.
(Now you can also find 6-packs of Immi ramen on Amazon for around $35, including the variety packs and individual flavors.)
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. This ramen wasn't much different to prepare than most other brands of instant ramen we've reviewed, though it did require a longer cooking time than most — eight to 10 minutes.
What Does Immi Ramen Taste Like?
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 in my opinion.
The Tom Yum "Shrimp" flavor had a slightly spicy kick and the Spicy "Beef" was the most flavorful. The broth in the Black Garlic "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 Crunchy Chili Onion solved the flavor problem, at least for me. (There are also plenty of other easy hacks to make instant ramen more delicious.) 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 Twitter user @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 Immi ramen worth trying? If you're looking for a healthier substitute for instant ramen, sure. Is it worth buying this stuff in bulk? Maybe pick up a test packet at the grocery store first.