Monday, March 27, 2006

Paldo Korean Broad Noodle

Sometimes you open a package of ramen and you know it's going to be a winner. Other times you open a package of ramen and you know it's going to be a dud. And then, there are those rare surprises when you think it's a dud but it ends up being a winner.

Paldo Korean Broad Noodle is one of those rare surprises. It weighs in as the biggest ramen yet, 123 grams, but it's worth every bite.

The noodles come with a single flavoring packet, which looks like a slimy brown liquid roughly resembling soy sauce. The package did not identify a specific flavor like beef or seafood. So with low expectations, I squeezed out the liquid into the noodles and set it aside while I prepared the egg and vegetables, assuming it would be some generic weak soy sauce flavor.

Lo and behold, a few minutes later I turned back and the brown gunk had become a flavorful red broth with little hot oil bubbles around the edges!

Better yet, the taste of the ramen blew me away. While calling the noodles "broad" is a bit of an overstatement, they are slightly bigger than typical ramen noodles and have a nice heft and chewy texture. They also absorbed the aroma of the broth, which itself was slightly spicy, garlicky, and unique. The ingredient list identifies the unique taste as a "red pepper sauce," something not often found in instant ramen. The taste was intense but not overwhelming, spicy but not inedible (like certain other Korean ramens).

I usually don't drink most of the broth in ramen because of the sodium and preservatives. But this time, it was "good till the last drop!"

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