Expanding the ramen repetoire: Rice Vermicelli Clear Soup

Oriental+Style+Rice+Vermicelli+Clear+Soup+can+be+found+wherever+ramen+is+sold.+Photo+by+Ellyse+Retana+%E2%80%9920.
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Expanding the ramen repetoire: Rice Vermicelli Clear Soup

Oriental Style Rice Vermicelli Clear Soup can be found wherever ramen is sold. Photo by Ellyse Retana ’20.

Oriental Style Rice Vermicelli Clear Soup can be found wherever ramen is sold. Photo by Ellyse Retana ’20.

Oriental Style Rice Vermicelli Clear Soup can be found wherever ramen is sold. Photo by Ellyse Retana ’20.

Oriental Style Rice Vermicelli Clear Soup can be found wherever ramen is sold. Photo by Ellyse Retana ’20.

Ellyse Retana

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The name itself, Clear Soup, foreshadowed a rather bland ramen experience.

The Mama brand ramen came with three packets—an oil packet that basically tastes like garlic butter, a chili packet and a powder seasoning packet, which (to our surprise) contained easily identifiable scallions, which is welcome in instant ramen. The powder was garlicky and salty. Tasting the powder by itself was an assault on the tongue.

Oriental Style Rice Vermicelli Clear Soup can be found wherever ramen is sold. Photo by Ellyse Retana ’20.

Oriental Style Rice Vermicelli Clear Soup can be found wherever ramen is sold. Photo by Ellyse Retana ’20.


Vermicelli rice noodles, a long and extremely thin type of noodle, were the noodle of the moment. Initial thoughts: shoelaces. They’re rough in texture, and despite our hopes, more time in the broth didn’t soften them. More time just resulted in tastier shoelaces.
The broth is much better than the noodles, but doesn’t quite make up for just how much the noodles fall short. We had two bowls, one with the oil and powder packets, and one with all three. The bowl with just the oil and powder was a gentle ramen broth—not overpoweringly salty and garlicky, as expected after trying the powder packet by itself, and those being the only two obvious flavors. The addition of the spice packet in the second bowl completely changed the overall taste of the soup. It added a decent, yet not overwhelming, amount of spice—Ellyse, who has a record of leaving the chili and spice packets out, was able to sample a bit of Ellie’s, and found it to be fine. But more than that, it enhanced the flavor. The spices brought out the other flavor, which was appreciated.

Interestingly enough, the flavors got substantially stronger once we got to the end of our bowls. There was a disappointingly high amount of powder that hadn’t dissolved in the broth.

Overall, it was okay. It’d be great when sick and the saltiness of the broth really isn’t that bad, even somewhat enjoyable, but your $0.49 is better spent elsewhere. Noodles are too important and cannot be overlooked when the broth is less than excellent as well. It gets a solid “Eh.”