Costco Frozen Shoyu Ramen (Unique Ramen) + Flavor Hacks
Good ramen can be hard to find. Do these Ajinomoto Tokyo Style Shoyu Frozen Ramen Bowls from Costco hit the spot and satisfy the ramen craving?
Frozen RAmen Bowls at Costco
Each box contains 6 individually packed frozen bowls of ramen, and each bowl of ramen weighs a little more than 9 ounces.
Costco also sells a tonkotsu ramen bowl in the pantry and dry goods area of the warehouse.
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Unique Ramen Ingredients
Each bowl contains the ramen noodles, broth flavoring, chicken pieces, corn, carrots, green onions, and bell peppers.
I’ve been to Tokyo before and I’m a big ramen fan, but these ingredients aren’t usually what you find in a typical ramen.
Corn can sometimes be found in ramen, but I don’t usually see bell peppers or carrots. I will discuss these ingredients a little more in the review section.
As far as the Ajinomoto brand goes, I’m not familiar with them, but they have been around for over 100 years in Japan.
They are bringing the taste of Japan to the United States and in addition to these Costco frozen ramen bowls, they also sell snacks, appetizers, and other Japanese entrees.
Costco Shoyu Ramen Price
How Much is Ajinomoto's Shoyu Ramen at Costco?
Costco sells a 6 pack of Ajinomoto Tokyo Style Shoyu (Soy Sauce) Ramen with Chicken bowls for $14.99. This breaks down to $2.50 per ramen bowl.
This isn’t your $.25 instant pack of ramen, and I’ve seen high quality instant ramen sell for $2-3 or even more, so I feel like this product which includes chicken is priced appropriately.
A Solid Amount of Chicken
The first thing I noticed when I saw one of these Costco frozen ramen bowls was the amount of chicken that is included. It actually looks like the picture on the box!
Carrots and Bell Peppers
There are also plenty of large frozen slices of carrots and bell peppers. While these aren’t typical of ramen, they are included in this bowl here.
The frozen noodles look above average. They look better than instant ramen, but are lacking a little in color.
Ajinomoto Frozen Ramen Bowl Heating Instructions
How to Cook Ajinimoto Frozen Ramen
There is only one method to cook these and it’s pretty simple. You simply fill the frozen ramen bowl with water up to the designated line and then microwave fully uncovered for 4 minutes.
Costco Frozen Ramen Review
I’ve tried this Costco frozen ramen bowl two times now. The first was just as it was sold from Costco and the second I added soy sauce, black pepper, and a soft boiled egg as recommended from the packaging.
Good Shoyu Broth - A Must!
The first thing you have to taste with any ramen is the broth. The ramen broth definitely is a soy sauce based broth and it was actually pretty tasty.
The flavors were complex, there was a little bit of sweetness and you can taste the chicken in the broth. I would have preferred a heavier pork broth, but the chicken flavored shoyu broth is not bad.
Surprisingly Delicious Chicken
The chicken itself is rather tasty. You could taste the grilled flavor and it also had a touch of sweetness.
The chicken was juicy and tender and I really enjoyed having it in this soup. Again, I would have preferred pork and I think that would have really elevated the dish.
The noodles are above average. They are better than most other instant ramen noodles but the texture was a little off from what I would consider to be a good ramen noodle.
For a $2.50 bowl of frozen ramen, these noodles are more than sufficient. The broth, noodles, and chicken are all pretty good for a frozen ramen.
Non Traditional Ingredients
Here comes the problem, the toppings. Green onion is a pretty standard ramen topping and I don’t have any qualms with that.
The issue is with the carrots, corn, and the red bell peppers. In my opinion, these do not belong in a typical Japanese ramen. Now, everybody makes ramen a little bit differently, but I just haven’t seen these ingredients in ramen before.
Does Ajinomoto know best?
Ajinomoto, a Japanese company over 100 years old without a doubt knows more about ramen than I do, but I find it interesting they decided to include carrots and bell peppers.
Maybe there is a shop in Tokyo that uses these vegetables or maybe they are trying to adapt ramen to American taste.
I’m not really sure but I do feel that the carrot and bell pepper turn this from a ramen to a noodle soup.
Taste Improvement Hacks
I did also try this frozen ramen with their recommended additions of soy sauce, black pepper, and a soft boiled egg. I didn’t think it needed any additional soy sauce, but added just a splash regardless.
The black pepper was a nice and easy addition to the soup. And of course, adding a soft boiled egg to ramen is always going to be a plus.
I probably won’t be adding an egg to the rest of the ramen bowls that I eat. It takes longer to make the egg than the ramen itself, and because the ramen didn’t have a super authentic feel, I don’t think the egg added as much value as it potentially could have.
When I have these again, I’m going to add Kirkland Signature’s Tempura Shrimp. I’m sure that would make this Costco frozen ramen bowl an absolutely delicious meal.
The nice thing about this frozen ramen bowl is that it can be customized to your liking. I enjoyed this bowl of ramen with some snacking seaweed.
Costco Shoyu Ramen Bowl Nutritional Information - Calories
How Many Calories in the Frozen Shoyu Ramen?
Each Costco frozen ramen bowl contains 390 calories, with 60 calories coming from fat. There are 8g of fat, 56 of carbs, and 22g of protein.
I was expecting a lot of carbs, and this looks about right for a bowl of ramen of this size.
Ridiculous Amounts of Sodium
The big concern is going to be the sodium content. There is a whopping 1850 mg of sodium in each bowl! This is 77% of your daily value. These bowls are not huge by any means, so consuming 77% of your daily sodium intake in one bowl is significant.
The ramen is a shoyu (soy sauce) ramen so by default you are going to have a higher sodium content, but 1850 mg is still a ridiculously high amount. Eating more than one of these in a day is not the wisest decision.
Overall, the bowl of ramen is very good. I enjoyed it more than I thought it would and it’s a great deal at $2.50 a bowl. A couple of the toppings threw me off, and I personally wouldn’t call this a bowl of ramen.
Ajinomoto calls this a “tokyo style” ramen and I would actually call this a “ramen style” noodle soup. For me, it’s not a full on meal, but it’s a very tasty snack. I’ll probably buy this again from Costco, but it may be a few months down the line.
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Greg Larkin is the founder and managing editor of Costco Food Database, the premiere site for honest takes on all things Costco food. A self-proclaimed Costco super-fan since childhood, Greg turned his obsession in a mission to properly rate and review all of Costco’s delicious buys. When he’s not busy navigating Costco aisles, you can find Greg smoking Kirkland Signature meats, meal prepping, or perfecting his homemade jerky recipes.