Sunday, December 09, 2007

Nissin Demae - Beef Flavor

I already reviewed this pack of ramen almost 2 years ago, but I figured it was time to revisit this popular ramen made by Nissin Demae. It doesn't look like the packaging has changed at all in the past two years, which doesn't surprise me since this is exactly how I remember these packets from my childhood. Nissin Demae has achieved a lot of success in the United States, mostly due to excellent distribution, conservative flavors, and marketing.

When I tasted the broth, it was a little more complex than I had remembered. The flavor is predominantly beef, but there are also some spices to liven up the broth. It actually reminded me a bit of Pho due to its complicated identity. I don't know if Nissin Demae has altered its recipe, but I thought the broth was quite good.

The noodles are exactly as I expected from eating packets of Nissin Demae noodles in the past. I consider them to be typical instant noodles, fairly flavorless with a slight nuttiness and springy crunch. But the main overall flavor comes from the broth and the broth is quite good here. Interestingly, the color of the broth looks much lighter in this picture than in my picture from two years ago, so perhaps the folks at Nissin Demae have altered their recipe and improved the flavor of the broth.

Nissin Demae - Beef Flavor - 7.0/10

Teumsae Ramyon

When I was purchasing these noodles at the local Korean grocery store, the cashier warned me that these were particularly spicy. I shrugged him off, since I have eaten countless packets of spicy Korean instant noodles and lived to tell the tale. Teumsae is a noodle bar chain in South Korea specializing in fresh ramyon bowls, and they have decided to produce an instant noodle that customers can make and enjoy at home. The "Teumsae Dishes" page on their website has priceless poorly translated quotes, including the following ones:

  • While two people eat it, nobody knows even if the other dies.
  • Chewy squid and the smoothe (sic) mussel conveys the freshness of ocean and the spicy taste makes your stuffy heart cooly
  • It is well known among the young people especially, the young ladies, for it gives double pleasure of fantastic taste and exciting feeling of sauce dipping.
  • Have a cool summer with the Ice-ramyun to fill the sultry summer body with cool energy.

Upon tasting the broth, I quickly concluded that these were undoubtedly the spiciest instant noodles I have ever eaten. There is little you can taste except the intense heat radiating from the broth and noodles. The flavor of the broth really did remind me of some noodle bowls that I've had at Korean restaurants. Of course the noodles don't taste as good as fresh noodles, but they did have the typical thick chewy Korean instant noodle taste that goes well with spicy broth.

People could save a lot of money on their heating bills if they started eating these noodles! They will definitely warm you up and probably require you to find something to wipe the sweat away from your brow, even if it is freezing outside. I couldn't say it better than Teumsae's own website:
  • It only has never forgetting taste from various spices to turn you into 20 years of Teumsae love, right from the moment it touches your tongue.
Teumsae Ramyon - 8.5/10

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Nong Shim - Kal Gook Soo

These noodles are meant to imitate the same dish as Samyang Food's KalGugSu Noodle Soup. The original dish is served with thin, flat noodles and has a shellfish based broth. I have had a lot of poor experiences with seafood flavored instant noodles, but in general, the Korean noodle manufacturers seem to have done a pretty good job. The key, in my opinion, is to stay away from shrimp and crab and stick to shellfish flavorings like clam and mussels. It also helps if they make the broth spicy, like Nong Shim's Neoguri Seafood & Spicy noodles.

I must say that the smell from these noodles is quite strong. Even before I added boiling water, the smell of clams began emanating from the powder I poured on the noodles. After adding water, I felt like I was at a fishing pier. The broth smelled and tasted like salty clam broth. The flavor was pretty good and the disgusting factor was acceptably low. There were some floating yellow tofu strips that I thought were unnecessary.

The noodles included are different from Nong Shim's typical noodles. They are wide and flat and I found that they tended to stick together more than the usual round noodles. Despite being flat, they needed longer to cook in order to fully separate and soften. Overall, they were acceptable but there was nothing remarkable about their taste. These noodles are OK if you are craving some clam-flavored broth, but my advice is just to steer clear of seafood flavored instant noodles.

Nong Shim - Kal Gook Soo - 5.5/10

Paldo - Hwa Ramen

The Chinese character for fire is displayed prominently on the front of this package, leaving no doubt the intended flavoring of these noodles. I like this package; it conjures up a mental image of a hot coal or something else too hot to even hold. It is a little odd that the packaging proudly boasts that these noodles are now "with soy peptide". But perhaps that is not weird for the Korean consumers that these noodles are targeted towards.

Without a doubt, these noodles truly pack a hot and spicy punch. The broth is cough-inducingly and sweat-provokingly spicy. As with all Paldo noodles, they are thick and chewy with not a lot of flavor. But your tastebuds will be numb anyways upon sipping the broth. The advertised "soy peptide" refers to these small vegetable protein cakes that are included. As usual, I think these things are just weird and don't taste particularly good. I really don't know why they seem to be popping up everywhere in these instant noodle packages.

This is a good pack of instant noodles to pick on a cold day when you need something to warm you up. Trust me, this one will definitely warm you up although it won't provide much besides heat. I rather enjoyed it and also thought the packaging was quite fun and unique.

Paldo - Hwa Ramen - 7.5/10

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Jin Ramyon - Mild Taste

These noodles have nearly the identical packaging as Jin Ramyon - Hot Taste except that the color scheme has been changed to blue instead of red. Here, they have also used a slightly different picture that includes a couple slices of beef. The raw egg yolk is still prominently in the picture. The package also proudly advertises that this pack of instant noodles is MSG Free, which is quite an accomplishment because these things are usually full of MSG.

The noodles were thick, chewy, and flavorless as I expected from trying the Hot Taste of these noodles. The biggest surprise was that the broth was a little bit spicy. I had been expecting a flavor completely devoid of heat but actually there was a pleasant peppery spice to the soup. In fact, the broth tasted quite good, combining flavors of pepper, soy sauce, mushroom, and beef. Much better than the Hot Taste flavor made by these guys.

I wasn't thrilled with this pack of instant noodles since the noodles themselves are quite disappointing. However, the broth was a pleasant surprise and was definitely flavorful and savory despite having no MSG. I recommend the Mild Taste much more than the Hot Taste for Jin Ramyon.

Jin Ramyon - Mild Taste - 5.5/10

Jin Ramyon - Hot Taste

I don't think I'll ever fully understand why ramen manufacturers choose to put pictures of raw eggs on the front of their packages. But Ottogi Ramyon, makers of Jin Ramyon have chosen to do just that. In Korean cuisine, it is customary to crack a raw egg into your boiling hot soup at the dinner table. In that case, though, the egg cooks immediately and doesn't sit on top of the soup looking raw.

Ottogi Ramyon has very little distribution in the US and I've only seen them in one supermarket in my life. This is typical of many imported ramen, however, since it is difficult to compete with such tight profit margins on instant noodles. The noodles here were thick and chewy but lacked flavor. The broth was spicy, but not nearly as spicy as some of the other Korean instant noodles that I've had recently. In fact, it was a little disappointing that the broth wasn't spicier, since I had been expecting a real sweat-inducing lava soup.

There isn't much that's exciting about these noodles. The broth is mildly spicy, but not especially flavorful and the noodles themselves are quite forgettable. There are much better Korean spicy instant noodles so pick up another pack.

Jin Ramyon - Hot Taste - 3.0/10

Saturday, November 10, 2007

San Francisco Curly Pasta Noodle Soup - Extra Hot

I was really surprised to discover these noodles were made in the USA. I have never seen them before despite having been to countless American grocery stores and Asian markets. Finally, I found them in a Korean supermarket and decided to give them a try. Here's the website for SF Curly Pasta if you'd like to check them out, they've got some cool pictures of their ramen factory.

Although these are American made noodles, they still have the description printed in 4 languages (English, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese). Maybe they plan on exporting this package to other countries. Since I picked these up in the Korean supermarket and there is a picture of two chilies on the front, I expected these to be quite spicy. Sure enough, they were cough-inducingly spicy! The flavor of the broth really reminded me of Korean instant noodles.

True to their name, the noodles themselves are very curly. Instant noodles are purposely curly so that they can be packed tightly together, but these took curliness to a new level! I suspect that the curliness appeals to Americans who would have an easier time eating these noodles with a fork. For an Asian person eating noodles with chopsticks, the curliness doesn't make a difference in ease of eating. I enjoyed the curliness in my mouth as well, since I tended to get more flavor in each bite.

This noodle soup was powerfully spicy with nice hints of onion and mushroom. I rather enjoyed it, but to be honest, it is one in a sea of very similar spicy Korean instant noodles. Oh wait, this one wasn't even Korean, it's American!

San Francisco Curly Pasta Noodle Soup - Extra Hot - 6.5/10

Sapporo Ichiban - Shrimp Flavor

I think Sapporo Ichiban's neon pink packaging is meant to evoke the image of succulent cooked shrimp. But wait a minute, aren't shrimp more of an orangey-red color than pink? But no matter, this color helps to clearly distinguish this flavor versus the brown, green, red, or orange packets.

Sapporo Ichiban has gained a strong foothold in the US and it's easy to see why. The flavors are good but still extremely conservative. The American version of the packaging has been designed not to scare away the consumer; it resembles the Top Ramen packaging quite closely. There are no "weird" things like seaweed, textured vegetable protein, tofu, or kimchi involved.

I felt that the shrimp flavor here was almost nonexistent. I guess it is better than the aquarium water flavored seafood noodles that I have had before, but this one really tasted like beef instead of shrimp. Sapporo Ichiban broths always taste good because they include a healthy dose of salt and MSG (should that be unhealthy?). The noodles themselves are crunchy and have a slight onion taste to them. This was a very plain pack of noodles that was very similar to original flavor and beef flavor. For the unadventurous, these are your noodles!

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Sapporo Ichiban - Shrimp Flavor - 5.0/10

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Paldo - Stir Fried Kimchi Noodles

I usually think of Paldo as one of the cheaper and lesser Korean brands. I got this pack from the Korean supermarket and it looks quite different from every other Paldo pack I've ever had. Notice that this one is different from the Paldo Kimchi Flavor that I already reviewed. The package proudly indicates that stirfried kimchi is inside, which really intrigued me as I've never seen anything like that before.

The kimchi came in a very large packet that was well sealed to prevent any possible leakage. Inside was a lot of liquid and the kimchi itself. This was quite unusual because vegetables are almost always dehydrated in instant noodles. This saves on weight and also prolongs the shelf life.

There were quite a few pieces of kimchi in the package; the kimchi pouch contained its own weight measurement and claimed to contain 40g of it. You can't really see all the kimchi in the picture because it tended to sink to the bottom. I think next time I try this one, the kimchi should be added right at the end so that it doesn't get buried during the stirring process.

The Paldo noodles are typical Korean noodles. They are thick and chewy and provide a tasty contrast to the spicy soup. I thought that the flavor of the broth and especially the kimchi was a little bit too sour and bitter. The appeal of kimchi is that it is able to combine many different flavors, including spiciness, saltiness, savoriness, and a hint of sweetness. However, I felt that the flavor in these noodles was too sour and didn't really taste like kimchi. That was a shame, because the included kimchi was an interesting idea and I really wanted to like it.

Paldo - Stir Fried Kimchi Noodles - 3.5/10

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sapporo Ichiban - Original Flavor

Sapporo Ichiban seems to be one of the most popular brands of instant noodles in the US. I see them everywhere, even in the local convenience stores and grocery stores. I got these from the Korean supermarket, even though they are not Korean. Sapporo Ichiban is a Japanese company, but they are so popular in the US that they have their own manufacturing facilities here. As you can see, this package has no Japanese writing on it since it is the American edition designed to compete with the likes of Nissin, Top Ramen, and Maruchan.

I think Sapporo Ichiban is the best of the bottom-tier of ramen. By bottom-tier, I mean the ones that you can find in the American grocery store. Sapporo Ichiban's noodles are thick, chewy and nutty with good flavor. In the case of Original Flavor, the broth has a good savory identity. It tastes mostly of soy sauce with hints of onion and beef. There is just one foil seasoning powder packet that makes these noodles quick and easy with a minimum of unnecessary oil.

You can't go wrong with Sapporo Ichiban because their noodles are tasty and filling. The broths are plain yet have enough variation to keep them from being boring. If you're not feeling too adventurous, then I recommend Sapporo Ichiban to give you a decent fix of ramen.

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Sapporo Ichiban - Original Flavor - 7.0/10

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Indomie Instant Noodles - Onion Chicken Flavor

Here comes yet another flavor from Indomie. I think their strategy is to package all possible combinations of their huge array of flavor packets and call them each a new flavor. In some cases, such as Indomie's Mi Goreng, this is highly successful. In other cases, such as this one, the broth really lacks any distinctive quality.

In a word, I would call these noodles bland. I was disappointed that Indomie didn't include fried red onion, since they are known to do this in their instant noodle packages. The broth tastes a little bit like onion and a little bit like chicken but it is not very strong. After my first sip, I realized that these noodles were practically begging for a healthy dose of Sriracha sauce. I was happy to oblige them and turned the broth a fiery red color.

If you are not familiar with Sriracha sauce, I highly recommend you pick up a bottle at your neighborhood Asian grocery store. These noodles provide a perfect backdrop for Sriracha sauce because they are very plain on their own and need an additional kick to liven them up. On their own, I would definitely not recommend these noodles but they taste pretty good with a big dollop of Sriracha.

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Indomie Instant Noodles - Onion Chicken Flavor - 3.5/10

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Indomie Instant Noodles - Chicken Curry Flavor

Thanks to 99 Ranch Market, I have recently discovered the very wide range of flavors that Indomie offers. One of those is Chicken Curry Flavor. The packaging proudly indicates that this pack now comes with fried onion. The instructions indicate that the fried onion is to be added right at the end as a garnish.

This pack of noodles comes with 4 seasoning sachets. I've passed the point where I am impressed by Indomie's high number of seasoning pouches and see it just as an annoyance. The flavor of the broth is remarkably similar to the Mie Sedaap Jelas Terasa Sedapnya. It is a mix of lemon and curry with very little chicken taste.

The lemon flavor for the curry is a little bit unusual for someone that is more used to the spicy Indian-style curry. I am guessing that this is the Indonesian style of curry rather than the Indian or Western styles. The fried red onion is a nice finishing touch to these noodles. As I have noted before, Indomie's noodles are nothing special and they usually rely on complex flavoring to provide the majority of enjoyment. For me, the curry was a little bit strange but I'm sure that people that prefer this style of curry will enjoy these noodles.

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Indomie Instant Noodles - Chicken Curry Flavor - 5.0/10

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Unif Tung-I Ramen Noodles - Chinese Onion Flavor

When I cooked these noodles and started eating them, they seemed a little familiar to me. It turns out I already blogged about them about a year and half ago! I decided to write a review anyways, though, in case my opinions had changed. I would like to mention that these are quite similar to the Unif Tung-I Instant Rice Noodles - Chinese Onion Flavor that I tried recently. As you might expect, the only difference is in the noodles themselves.

I am very familiar with Unif Tung-I's ramen noodles and I consider them to be a typical example of Taiwanese instant noodles. They have a nice nutty flavor and are deeply fried, which gives them a crispy brittleness out of the package that you wouldn't see out of Korean, Japanese, or other common instant noodles. However, upon cooking, the noodles become extremely soft yet keep some of their nutty flavor. I happen to enjoy Taiwanese instant noodles, but definitely don't expect the chewy noodles that you would find in Korean, Japanese or American instant noodles.

The broth for these noodles tastes salty and mild with a firm onion flavor. It is subtle and there is not a lot of flavor, but the taste is still satisfying and inoffensive. If you like fried red onions, you will like the flavor of these noodles. These instant noodles are a decent snack if you are looking for something that will not overwhelm your tastebuds. One and a half years later, though, I think I've discovered some better options that you could treat yourself to!

Unif Tung-I Ramen Noodles - Chinese Onion Flavor - 5.5/10

Monday, September 03, 2007

Myojo Chukazanmai - Oriental Flavor

Myojo Chukazanmai is one of those brands that fans of fresh Japanese ramen really enjoy. I was really surprised to see that this brand had an "Oriental Flavor". Usually, you'd only see that flavor applied to a generic Asian-style broth for a really cheap instant noodle like Cup Noodles or Maruchan Instant Lunch. I would have figured that Myojo Chukazanmai could have picked all their flavors out of the pantheon of Japanese ramen flavors, including Shoyo, Shio, Miso, Tonkotsu, and countless others.

I really had no idea what this broth was going to taste like, since it was marketed only as the generic "Oriental Flavor". It ended up tasting like garlic and sesame, which was quite nice. There was also a slight flavor of creamy nuttiness, not unlike what you would get in a Tonkotsu broth. The noodles in Myojo Chukazanmai's offerings are thin and chewy and seem undercooked despite how long you cook them. They are not fried very deeply and are similar to the fresh noodles you would get in a ramen restaurant. They also taste a little bit starchy, which helps add to the "fresh ramen" taste.

Altogether, this was a decent bowl of ramen. To be honest, I prefer the more "instant" tasting ramen noodles. In other words, the ones that taste like they have been fried in palm oil. I'd leave the fresh ramen to the places that actually make it fresh! But if you are in a place where you just can't get access to a ramen restaurant, then I would recommend this to you when the craving strikes.

Myojo Chukazanmai - Oriental Flavor - 5.5/10

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Indomie Instant Noodles - Shrimp Flavor

I am usually not a fan of seafood flavored ramen. They often come out tasting like aquarium water. However, seafood soups are a staple of Chinese and Korean cuisine and so the neverending array of artificial seafood flavored instant noodles continues. This pack is from IndoMie and is called the Rasa Kaldu Udang flavor. Conveniently, they also translated the name into English (something that they don't always do on their packaging).

Indomie's most popular offering by far is their Mi Goreng. This is for good reason, since the flavors are extremely well executed, with 4 or 5 unique spice packets, depending on your variant. The shrimp flavor, on the other hand, only has two spice packets, one for chili powder and one for the shrimp flavoring. Unlike the Mi Goreng, the shrimp flavor instant noodles are served in a broth.

The Indomie noodles are plain and typical instant noodles. They aren't particularly flavorful since they are usually served with an intense sauce in the Mi Goreng. Here, the shrimp flavor is nice and subtle. It definitely tastes artificial, almost like the manufactured shrimp flavor in Maruchan's shrimp noodles. I was appreciative that there was no aquarium water taste, but overall unimpressed because I have so often seen Indomie do incredible things with their flavor combinations. I don't think their noodle soups are very good, so I would recommend to stick to their dry noodle products like Mi Goreng and Mi Goreng Rasa Baso Sapi.

Indomie Instant Noodles - Shrimp Flavor - 3.5/10

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Unif Tung-I Ramen Noodles - Artificial Chicken Flavor

Artificial chicken flavor seems like an odd thing to proudly display on the front of a ramen package. Since its flavoring comes in the form of a dried powder, it seems safe to say that the chicken flavor is artificial. Why not just say "chicken flavor" like every other pack of ramen? If a pack of ramen is artificial chicken flavor, why would it have a picture of shrimp and fish cakes on the cover? These intriguing questions drove me to pick up this pack at the local 99 Ranch Market to try out.

The noodles themselves were very thin and did have a light nutty flavor. They were pretty typical Taiwanese noodles in that they seemed to be thin and fried a little bit longer than other styles of instant noodles. The broth really didn't taste like chicken at all. Instead, it had a light taste of sesame and salt. It wasn't unpleasant, but certainly lacked distinctive flavor. These noodles do soak up an impressive amount of water, so be sure to add enough to leave you with some broth. I had to add a little extra at the end to accommodate the "soak factor".

This is about as unassuming as they come. The noodles are thin and flavorless and the broth is about as simple as can be. There is nothing bad about these noodles, they are really just nothing special. I would recommend skipping them unless you are also intrigued like I am by the concept of "artificial chicken flavor".

Unif Tung-I Ramen Noodles - Artificial Chicken Flavor - 3.0/10

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Paldo Korean Noodle - Chicken Flavor

Paldo competes in the very crowded Korean instant noodle market. Here in the US, the Paldo packs tend to be a little cheaper than the analogous Samyang or Nong Shim offerings. I had a friend in college who relied on cases of Paldo for subsistence; it was still cheap and the flavor was better than the ultra-cheap American ramen.

The Paldo noodles are thick and chewy like most Korean instant noodles. The pack also contains a lot of noodles: 120g to be exact. There were some strange flat orange squares of textured vegetable protein which I found quite repulsive. I really don't know why Paldo decided to include these, since they were completely out of place and tasted funny as well.

The broth tasted just like chicken broth. Nothing exciting, just the flavor of salt and chicken. There were some scallions and dehydrated carrots in the broth, but I couldn't stop being disgusted by the protein squares. There really wasn't anything remarkable or memorable about these noodles so I wouldn't recommend these. I would recommend going with Nissin Demae instead.

Paldo Korean Noodle - Chicken Flavor - 4.0/10

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Indomie - Soto Mie Flavor

This pack of noodles is made by Indomie and is imported from Indonesia. The flavor is "soto mie", which is a type of noodle soup common in Indonesia. I don't know too much about it, but Wikipedia's page has a little bit more information on Sotos.

Indomie's instant noodles usually have very strong and complex flavors. I am not familiar with Indonesian cuisine at all, and the closest thing I can think of to Indomie's flavors in general is Thai cuisine. They are usually a mix of spicy, sweet, sour, and salty all in one. With that said, I was surprised to discover that this packet had a relatively simple flavor. The broth tasted mostly of lime with a little spiciness and a curry taste, probably from turmeric. However, it was mild to the point of being bland and wasn't a particularly savory or interesting flavor.

The noodles themselves were also boring. Much less flavorful than the typical Japanese and Korean noodles, these were bland and did nothing to improve this dish. I never noticed how bland these noodles were in the past, because they were always coated with Indomie's superb blend of sauces and spices in Mi Goreng Rasa Baso Sapi and Mi Goreng. While those were delicious offerings, I would suggest staying away from this one. You might enjoy it if you enjoy the original dish on which this is based. It remains to be seen whether or not any of Indomie's noodle soups are good, or whether they only excel at dry noodles.

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Indomie - Soto Mie Flavor - 2.0/10

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Unif Tung-I Instant Rice Noodle - Chinese Onion Flavor

This pack of noodles comes from Taiwan and contains rice noodles (mifun) instead of the usual ramen. Note that these noodles are different from rice vermicelli, in case that is what you are looking for. It is quite small (62g) but rice noodles tend to absorb a lot more water than ramen noodles, so it feels like you are eating more than 62g. The flavor of these is based on fried red onion, which is a very common ingredient in Chinese dishes such as fried rice and fried mifun.

The rice noodles are very soft and don't really have much flavor, especially compared to ramen noodles. In this case, they are pretty much tasteless filler to provide contrast with the strongly flavored broth. That's not to say that they seem out of place, however; mifun is commonly used in this manner in Chinese cuisine.

The broth is nice and savory, tasting of pepper and fried red onion. As you can see from the picture, there is a good amount of scallions and fried red onions, which adds a little color and variety of texture. I like the broth, but it is almost boring because this is such a basic and common flavor. But that is just my own personal preference, so if you like the flavor of fried red onion, then you should definitely try this pack!

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Unif Tung-I Instant Rice Noodle - Chinese Onion Flavor - 6.0/10

Sapporo Ichiban - Beef Flavor

I was extremely surprised to discover that this is the first review of Sapporo Ichiban on this website. I grew up eating these all the time, but for some reason I've been focusing on more exotic varietals recently. This is one of the most common imported brands of ramen in the US; I think I have even seen it at the local grocery store (Ralph's), although it is still much cheaper to buy at the local Asian supermarket (99 Ranch Market). Sapporo Ichiban is imported from Japan and is a major competitor to the Nissin line of instant noodles.

There is only one flavor packet in the Sapporo Ichiban package, so it is quick and convenient to make (as if instant noodles weren't already quick and convenient enough!). The noodles themselves turn out whiter than the packaging indicates, although that's no big deal. Fresh ramen is generally yellowish, so I guess that's why they made the picture more yellow. These noodles are thick and chewy and have a delicious nutty flavor. Sapporo Ichiban instant noodles are on the larger side (100g), so you do get a lot of noodles.

The broth is nice and intensely beefy. There are also a few scallions which give the broth a little more flavor, although it is still tastes quite simple. Despite the straightforward flavor of the broth, it is still has a nice hearty taste, which is quite typical of the Sapporo Ichiban brands. The noodles themselves are able to absorb quite a bit of the broth's flavor, which is nice. I enjoy this pack of noodles because it is relatively plain, yet contains flavorful noodles and no offending qualities.

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Sapporo Ichiban - Beef Flavor - 8.0/10

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Ve Wong - Peppered Beef Flavor

This flavor was my favorite pack of noodles growing up so I was very excited to revisit it and see if my opinion had changed. These noodles come from Taiwan. This is notable because Taiwan is famous for their massively popular style of Beef Noodle Soup.

Taiwanese instant noodles are almost always recognizable from the fact that they are slightly thinner than their Korean and Japanese counterparts. To avoid creating a thin tasteless product (like the American Cup Noodle and Maruchan noodles), the Taiwanese instant noodle manufacturers tend to fry their noodles longer to give more of a nutty flavor. The result is a delicious flavorful noodle that still tastes light and is able to absorb much of the broth flavor.

The broth in these noodles is absolutely fantastic. The beef and pepper flavors are definitely there, but there are still a lot more indescribable hints of flavor that really make the broth seem like something ordered from a restaurant. One of the flavor packets tends to clump into little black bursts of peppery flavor. Sounds a little strange, but these burst clumps are amazingly good. There is also a lot of dehydrated cabbage in this pack that plumps up nicely and adds a nice sweet contrast to the broth. I can't say enough nice things about these noodles and highly recommend them.

Ve Wong - Peppered Beef Flavor - 10.0/10

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