So when police found the crack in the hot-dog cart, Freeman was automatically sent to prison for three years. Michael Gibson-Light, a Ph.D student at the University of Arizona, conducted a study on the prominence of ramen in correctional facilities, spending 18 months inside an unnamed state prison during which he interviewed dozens of inmates and employees. 20 soups? Alexis Gross/The Outline. Alexis Gross/The Outline. Freeman has received comments on his social media criticizing him for taking advantage of mass incarceration to make profits, but he argued that he sees his ramen as a solution and not part of the problem. Simply add a packet of tuna and American cheese to cooked and drained ramen noodles of any flavor. Freeman visited correctional food shows and ingredient shows and met with four different manufacturers to share his vision. None of my co-workers had ever tried tuna noodle casserole, and since we live near the Mexican border, they challenged me to make a Southwest version. In his Victorville kitchen, Freeman prepared a bowl of his ramen for me to try. “Their noodles are high in sodium which cause the high blood pressure and cholesterol, which I have since I been eating these high-sodium ramen noodles,” one man wrote. The culprit was a well-known member of the Crips, and ratting him out would mean certain death. Selling food isn’t much different from selling drugs, according to Freeman, who briefly sold crack in his teens. Upon his reentry to society, something fortuitous happened — Freeman received $3,000 from an anonymous donor. Cooked chicken breast works well in place of the tuna. When you need supper fast, this tuna noodle casserole makes a super one-dish meal. After finish cooking ramen, put two spoons of mayonnaise, and enjoy. The vegetables were the best part, their chewiness adding another dimension to the dish. Ramen has become such a staple for the incarcerated that it has usurped tobacco as a de facto currency. Freeman would make hot dogs and smothered chicken, ringing a bell to signal to those inside that food was ready. “I'm going to hire people like me that [are] just hungry, wants to do something with their lives, I wanna give them a shot,” he said. The residents told him that they couldn’t leave the immediate area because they sold crack that couldn’t be left unattended. Barbara Wakeen, the owner of Correctional Nutrition Consultants, which provides nutritional advice and creates menus for jails and prisons across the country, said some administrators forbid her from using fresh fruit, claiming that inmates use it for “pruno,” a prison wine, or shove it down the toilets to clog them. He mixed spices together over and over again in his kitchen before finally arriving at the right combination for his seafood gumbo ramen. The ramen comes in four flavors: seafood gumbo, chicken taco, chicken fajita, and lamb stew, which Freeman said he developed for Muslims. Freeman’s gumbo, taken from his grandmother’s recipe, became so beloved that he landed a licensing deal to sell it frozen in grocery stores. Oh, that guy’s doing good!” he continued. He said he would prioritize hiring ex-felons, many of whom struggle to find jobs after being incarcerated. Cheesy tuna ramen; Get your protein fix with this tried and true ramen recipe favorite. The bills, held together with a rubber band, were handed to him underneath a table at a club. Taylor started his own company, the Connecticut-based Live Healthy Snacks, after serving a stint in prison for tax crimes; he was dismayed by the dearth of nutritional items available in the commissary.