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.

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

8 comments:

eunheeyoung said...

Udon Noodle soup from Nong Shim is one of my favorites. I guesss you had to check the expiration date, before you tried that. Specially the noodle is very soft and chewy compared to the dried ones. I just encourage you to try again with a fresh one.
Belive me,

jaxj said...

Nong Shim is by far the best instant udon option out there imo- I agree with the previous comment, check the expiration! Also make sure that you let the noodles sit in the hot broth for a little bit (5 - 10 min) or just put everything (noodles, broth, water, and crunchies) in the microwave for 4 minutes on high which is what I do since I'm impatient....

good luck and I hope you give Nong Shim another shot!

Anonymous said...

Nong Shim udon is my favorite! I love the taste and the noodles don't feel like "instant noodle" fare to me at all. I think you should give them another chance.

Anonymous said...

One thing about the broth; the "umami" flavor that you covet comes directly from artificial MSG for nearly all instant udons *except* this one. Also, it's quite similar to authentic Japanese soup bases imo. It also sounds like you didn't cook the noodles long enough. While I find it sad that one could mess up making instant noodles, you should give it another try, it's actually considered a decent udon (for instant noodles) among the Japanese.

Anonymous said...

~.....

xxpornxx said...

A really good way to make these awesome noodles taste good is to buy some soy sauce , not just normal asian soy sauce , but get the Kecap Manis or SWEET soy sauce and put about 3-4 spoonfuls in , mix it up and eat . It tastes way good! Better than the standard shit

Wendy said...

This is the best instant udon. Unlike other udon, it even comes with the liquid soup base! Your judgement is unfair in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Did you remember to rinse it?
I never this kind but I had the nong shim instant udon bowl kind. The instructions were to add hot water , stand for 2 minutes and pour it out. Then mix seasoning and soup base with the noodles and add more water and let it stand for a couple more minutes. It tastes pretty good.