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