Thursday, October 23, 2008

Super Noodles - Mild Mexican Chili Flavour

One thing that I love about Super Noodles is that they sometimes have very festive packaging. This package makes you feel like you are in a Mexican cantina, enjoying an ice cold margarita and some delicious tacos al pastor. From a practical point of view, the brightly colored packaging grabs your eye in the supermarket aisle and makes you just a little bit more likely to try this flavor out.

Upon my first bite, I was expecting strong flavors of cumin, chili, onion, and garlic. While all of these flavors were indeed there, they were quite mild. Looking at the picture of the noodles, you can tell that the flavoring is not as strong as it could be. As usual, the Super Noodles themselves are quite high quality. They have just the right amount of inherent flavor and springy texture needed without being bland or soggy.

I thought that these noodles were pretty good, but I wished that they had kicked up the flavor a few notches. I guess I should have placed more emphasis on the word "Mild" on the package rather than focusing on the wildly festive sombrero. While I did enjoy these noodles, I probably won't be getting them again as there was nothing particularly great about them.

Super Noodles - Mild Mexican Chili Flavour - 5.0/10

Tiger Tiger Cup Noodles - Thai Spice Satay Style

There was no way I could resist this pack of noodles with its catchy slogan: "Unleash the Taste". Knowing that there was a fork inside, I could barely contain my excitement as I ripped open the box to discover...a cheap plastic cup inside. Why couldn't they just sell the cup like every other brand does? I guess they feel the need to add some additional useless packaging in order to stand out from the crowd.

I love a good satay, but these noodles didn't resemble satay in the slightest. The soup seemed to contain corn starch or some other thickening agent because it quickly became one gluey and starchy mess. The taste was quite bland and didn't have much good flavor at all.

It is very rare that I am tempted to throw away a partially eaten instant noodle, but in this case I was strongly tempted to do so. Nevertheless, I forged on for the sake of this review. There is nothing good to say about these noodles except that they have attractive packaging. I will definitely be avoiding anything of the Tiger Tiger brand in the future.

Tiger Tiger Cup Noodles - Thai Spice Satay Style - 0.0/10

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention this: the fork inside was pathetically small and completely unusable.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Super Noodles To Go - Grilled Steak Flavour

Batchelors have recently introduced the Super Noodles To Go line to compete with the Pot Noodle franchise in the cup noodles department. I usually try to avoid this type of instant noodle for a couple reasons. First, the noodles tend to be very inferior; I don't know why this has to be the case, but these cup noodles are always filled with puny tasteless noodles. The second reason I usually avoid these noodles is that they are a complete waste of packaging and usually include non-recyclable styrofoam. With that said, I couldn't pass up this cup of Grilled Steak Flavour, as this is a flavor that Super Noodles doesn't make in the brick form.

True to form, the noodles inside are the crappy thin strings that are found in cup noodles across the world. How hard would it be to put some decent noodles in there? I don't know why they don't just put their regular noodles in, since Super Noodles make some pretty good noodles in brick form. Perhaps they need the noodles to be thin so that they cook very easily, even when the water isn't quite boiling.

Block form Super Noodles aren't meant to be eaten with broth, but this cup of noodles was designed to include broth. I was pleasantly surprised that the broth was beefy and savory. The dried sweet peas and corn were a nice touch as well, although hardly surprising for this type of product. To be honest, this was one of the better cup style instant noodles that I've had. However, they just don't hold a candle to a good brick style instant noodle package.

Super Noodles To Go - Grilled Steak Flavour - 4.5/10

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Samyang Foods - U-Dong Flavor Noodle

Samyang make an Udon flavored instant noodle called Pojangmacha. The packaging of these noodles closely resembles the Pojangmacha packaging and these appear to be a rebranded version of those noodles. I suspect that the Pojangmacha brand is sold within Korea where the customers would be familiar with the term meaning a street vendor. Outside of Korea, most people would be unfamiliar with the term and it would simply be sold as U-Dong Flavor Noodle.

I was very relieved to find that the stiff piece of seaweed in Pojangmacha has been eliminated in this package. The noodles are Samyang's typical product: thick, chewy, and flavorful. The broth is quite mild but has tastes of onion, salt, and fish. There are tons of scallions to provide bursts of flavor.

I quite enjoyed these noodles despite the mild broth. It bears little resemblance to the Japanese style udon that most of us are familiar with, but still provides a satisfying experience if one is looking for a simple and hearty broth. Typically I avoid this kind of noodles due to their plainness, but it's nice to have one or two in the cupboard for those days when our tastebuds need a break.

Samyang Foods - U-Dong Flavor Noodle - 6.0/10

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Samyang Foods - Kimchi Flavor Noodle

I've already reviewed this pack of instant noodles over two years ago, but I figured it was worth another try. They've changed the packaging, so it's possible they've changed the recipe as well. The Korean name for these noodles is much more prominent in this package although the graphics and layout remain nearly identical. It's possible that I've just obtained a different regional variant of these noodles, but there's no way for me to know for sure. The phrase "NO MSG" also appears for more prominently, perhaps reflecting an updated health consciousness.

I usually like Samyang's noodles thanks to their thick and chewy quality, and this pack of noodles is no exception to the rule. They have plenty of flavor and provide a nice contrast to the spicy soup. They also give you a lot of noodles, in this case 120g.

The broth in this soup is not very spicy compared to some of Samyang's other products. However, it does have a distinctive pickled cabbage taste which I never noticed before. This is a nice touch but it comes across slightly spoiled tasting instead of tasting like kimchi. They also include small dehydrated cabbage chunks to add to the kimchi theme. These noodles are pretty good, but I wish they had made it a lot spicier.

Order From

Samyang Foods - Kimchi Flavor Noodle - 7.0/10

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Tesco Instant Noodles - Chow Mein Flavour

Tesco's line of instant noodles are color coded so that you can grab the flavour you crave at a glance. The packaging is fairly plain but has the cute quirk that the second "o" in "Noodles" is shaped like a mouth slurping a noodle. It's small touches like this that sway my decision when I am picking out a pack of noodles.

Unlike most noodles reviewed on this site, the Tesco instant noodles are meant to be eaten dry. The typical method of cooking involves adding a relatively small amount of water (~300mL) to a saucepan and cooking the noodles until all the water is gone. I believe the dry noodle style reflects the British and Irish palate where noodle soups would be very rare at Chinese restaurants. It's a shame since noodle soups would be the perfect thing to warm up in the cold weather of the British Isles.

The Tesco instant noodles are undoubtedly high quality. They maintain their springiness yet are soft in the mouth. The chow mein flavouring and nicely subtle and contains hints of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and onion. It is fairly unassuming but also unmistakably Asian in flavour. Overall, this is a pack of noodles that I am happy to slurp whenever I am looking for a basic pack of noodles that is not too flavourful.

Tesco Instant Noodles - Chow Mein Flavour - 7.0/10

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Yeul Ramyon - Hot Taste

Yeul Ramyon is a Korean instant noodle made by Ottogi Ramyon, the manufacturer of Jin Ramyon. Yeul Ramyon has many of the typical characteristics of Korean ramen. It comes in a large package (120g), the noodles are thick and chewy and the broth is spicy. I really don't know how this pack is supposed to differ from the Jin Ramyon Spicy Taste, but I guess that this one does not have any beef flavoring in the broth.

These noodles were nothing unusual but were still pretty good. The noodles were thick and chewy like most Korean noodles. There were plenty of mushrooms, scallions and carrots which added some nice bursts of flavor. The soup broth tasted a bit peppery and was not very spicy compared to most Korean ramen.

I enjoyed this ramen but felt that it tasted exactly like Jin Ramyon Hot Taste and most other Korean instant noodles. To be honest, next time I would just buy whatever spicy Korean ramen was on sale the most at the local Asian grocery store. They are all about the same and all pretty good.

Yeul Ramyon - Hot Taste - 5.0/10

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Maruchan Ramen - Oriental Flavor

What happens if you take away all flavorings from a broth except for Monosodium Glutamate? You slap the "Oriental Flavor" label on it and watch as the profits roll in! Although I'm not sure how high Maruchan's profit margins can be since these packs are on sale for 12 cents at Ralph's.

The broth in these noodles tastes surprisingly good. There really is no flavor here aside from umami, but umami is delicious. Still, I decided to add some Sriracha sauce since the flavor was still quite simple and needed a little more complexity.

This pack of noodles is about as basic as you can get. The noodles are pretty low quality and the broth consists of just MSG flavored soup. It doesn't taste bad at all, but it just doesn't have the complexity and flavor that I usually prefer out of my instant noodles. Still, you can't ask for much more than this for only 12 cents.

Maruchan Ramen - Oriental Flavor - 3.5/10

Maruchan Ramen - Chicken Flavor

Maruchan is not afraid of saturating their soups with Monosodium Glutamate, better known as MSG. This chemical has been subject to much controversy which I won't get into now. All Maruchan noodles do have the unmistakable taste of Umami, which I like to call the 5th taste.

It's extremely difficult to describe what umami tastes like. I guess it's sort of like the difficulty in explaining the taste of sweet or salty. This broth tastes strongly of umami, although there is a bit of chicken flavor that tastes like it came from a bouillon cube. I won't complain about the Maruchan noodles here because I have done plenty of that already in previous posts.

The flavor of this broth is quite pleasant from the MSG, but I still felt that it lacked interestingness. So, I added a big dose of Sriracha sauce to liven up the flavor. Sriracha sauce goes very well with umami flavored broths; that's why you often see it at Vietnamese restaurants where the broth is naturally laden with MSG. I wouldn't particularly recommend this pack of ramen, but it is cheap and inoffensive if that is what you are looking for.

Maruchan Ramen - Chicken Flavor - 3.5/10

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Maruchan Ramen - Beef Flavor

You can't beat the price of cheap American ramen. This particular pack cost me 12 cents at Ralph's. At first, I thought that Maruchan had put a picture of a raw egg yolk on the front of their package. Upon closer inspection, however, it actually looks like some kind of pickled radish.

Most Americans are familiar with the Maruchan brand. It tends to show up in vending machines due to the convenience of their Instant Lunch line and low cost. When I ate these noodles, I was disappointed by the poor quality in the noodles themselves. They tasted mealy and lacked the springiness and crunchiness that is usually present in instant noodles. They were limp and heavy and had very little flavor.

The broth in these noodles was decent. It tasted like a beef and onion broth. However, I couldn't get around the fact that the noodles themselves were so low quality. I recommend to pay a little bit more and get better quality instant noodles. These noodles are completely different than the ones found in the Instant Lunch cups and I actually prefer the Instant Lunch noodles to these.

Maruchan Ramen - Beef Flavor - 2.5/10

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nong Shim - Seafood Ramyun

Seafood-flavored instant noodles are notorious for being disgusting due to overwhelming seafood flavor. However, since seafood broths are such an important part of Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Taiwanese cuisine, the seafood-flavored instant noodles are an essential part of a ramen manufacturer's lineup.

The noodle brick came in the convenient circular shape. Inconveniently, however, the noodles had been broken into a few pieces during transit. My first thought upon sipping the broth was that these noodles did not really taste like seafood at all. Instead, the spiciness was quite powerful and overwhelmed the seafood taste at first. This is a pretty common seafood strategy among Korean noodle-makers since most of the seafood noodle soups in Korean cuisine are quite spicy anyway.

After a few more sips, I started to taste the seafood identity of this broth. It was just a basic fish flavor but went quite well with the noodles. I probably wouldn't get these noodles again because I prefer the basic "hot and spicy" flavor without the seafood taste. There is nothing wrong with the seafood flavor here, it just seems a little unnecessary to me.

Order Now from

Nong Shim - Seafood Ramyun - 6.0/10

Nong Shim - Mu-Pama Tang Myun

To be honest, I'm not sure what Mupama means. I think it is some sort of beef and radish broth, but I have never had it at a Korean restaurant or noodle stand. I am generally quite satisfied with Nong Shim's products, so I figured I would give this a shot despite not really knowing what to expect.

The flavor of the broth in the Mu-Pama Tang Myun was quite good. There flavor was primarily beef and scallion which always makes for a nice soup base. There was also a few pieces of dehydrated cabbage, which is unusual but enjoyable. The noodles were thick and chewy with plenty of weight and substance.

Overall, I enjoyed these noodles despite not knowing what dish they were meant to evoke. The broth is a bit spicy, which was a nice surprise. But it's nowhere near the spiciness level of some of the instant noodles that I have been profiling recently. I would recommend trying this one out if you happen to see it, but I know that it is quite rare to find in the US.

Nong Shim - Mu-Pama Tang Myun - 8.0/10

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Nong Shim - Japanese Style Udon Noodle Soup

Udon noodle soup is one of my favorite fresh dishes, but instant versions of udon have usually sorely disappointed me. I understand the difficulty in manufacturing a noodle that can have 12 months of shelf life, yet reconstitute into the billowy soft noodle that udon requires. I was very interested to see how well Nong Shim could do, since their other offerings are mostly top-notch.

The noodles came in a vacuum-sealed package and seemed to be partially dehydrated. They were certainly not dry and rock hard like the typical ramen package, but they were still much stiffer and drier than udon noodles should be. The thickness of each noodle seemed right, unlike Samyang's halfhearted attempt at udon where they just used their regular instant noodle.

Upon tasting the broth and noodles, I almost had to throw this one in the garbage. The noodles are not soft at all and remain stiff with a strong wheat flavor. The texture on each one is grainy like a ramen noodle, not silky smooth like udon should be. In addition, the broth tasted like soy sauce rather than the delicious umami-loaded seaweed broth that udon should have.

I really don't think it is possible with today's technology to make an instant udon noodle soup with a long shelf life. The udon noodles are just too delicate to stand up to the partial or full dehydrating that long shelf life requires. I would recommend going with a fresh udon package instead. Another option is to buy fresh udon noodles from your local Asian grocer and then making your own broth from scratch or buying a udon broth base. I have tried both of those options and they have both come out vastly superior to the Nong Shim Udon noodles.

Order Now from

Nong Shim - Japanese Style Udon Noodle Soup - 0.0/10