A couple days ago, I was making lunch for my son and decided to dig into my goodie box from Orderramen.com. After digging through things, I decided to try something I'd never had, Nongshim Potato Noodle Soup. These noodles, as the title suggests, are made with potato flour, but as I found out they are not gluten free, the 2nd ingredient on the package is wheat gluten. (This is not an issue for me, but I know it is for some people). The soup base is a beef base, with a slight spiciness, and it comes with a dried vegetable pack that includes green onion and large garlic slices. The noodles were quite firm after cooking, not in a bad way, but in a way that suggests that they would hold together for a long time.
Unfortunately after I cooked these, I made a mistake, I drained them. What I found is that these noodles, when drained, tend to stick together, and they get worse as they sit on your plate. I had to cut them with a knife so that my kid could eat them without picking up the entire pile of noodles at once. We both liked the flavor, but I really recommend eating these as a soup! If I eat these again as a soup, I'll do a more thorough review.
Note: these are not available yet via Orderramen.com, but there's lots of other good stuff there including Nongshim Black, one of my favorites.
Nick from OrderRamen.com sent me a goodie box of ramen last week. The box featured some new flavors that are supposed to be good as well as some old favorites like Sapporo Ichiban. First a quick review of Sapporo Ichiban. When the box came my kid and I were both excited, but since he doesn't like spicy stuff, I picked out the non-spicy stuff and let him choose. After much deliberation he settled on the Sapporo Ichiban beef flavor noodles. I cooked them my favorite way for making dry noodles, that is, add half of the flavor pack to the water, boil, drain. Then add the noodles back to the pot, and sprinkle seasoning while stirring. I was able to share this secret technique with my 3 year old as he "helped" me.
I managed to sneak a few bites before my kid noticed and I must say that I still like Sapporo Ichiban ramen. It is simple and good tasting. The texture is good and the seasoning is not too strong. My kid ate the rest, so he's a fan too.
The noodles themselves are made with "Moroheiya" aka "mallow leaf" which, according to the Japanese Health Ministry, "contains great amounts of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers in quantities that surpass most known vegetables and herbs".
This leaf gives the noodles a green color and they remain slightly chewy after cooking. The packet comes with some dried veggies, seasoning, and oil/sauce. I cooked these up in a couple minutes, drained, added seasonings, and stirred it up. The flavor was an interesting mix of sweet, savory, and just a very slight spiciness. The dried vegetables, mainly carrots, corn, and I believe cabbage, added some nice extra flavor. The oil really added a lot to this dish. I ended up only using about 2/3rds of the seasoning since it was in danger of becoming too salty. I really enjoyed these noodles. They felt healthier, but tasted better than regular noodles.
Today for lunch, I decided to dig into my box of goodies from RamenPlace.com. I decided on the Long Kow Crystal Noodle (Spicy Sesame Paste) flavor. The noodles in this are the translucent crystal noodles, which are thin and have a good flavor and texture. Also included was a soup cube, a compressed cube version of the standard flavor pack, and sesame paste. I made a mistake when I boiled the water in that I didn't boil enough, so I'd recommend you boil 2 cups or more so you don't run out like I did.
After adding the extra water, I stirred in the soup cube and sat down to eat. The last step of prep is adding the sesame paste. This proved to be difficult. I ended up using the back end of my fork to scrape out the paste. I then stirred the noodles, but a couple chunks of the sesame paste remained. I think next time, I need to warm the paste so that it's easier to extract and dissolve. I have a few more of this type of ramen, so if I figure out the trick, I'll post it here.
Despite my issues with cooking this, I have to say that this ramen was delicious. The noodles were awesome, almost invisible in the soup and with a great texture. The broth was spicy, but not over the top. The soup cube has some seaweed in it that added some flavor and texture. The sesame paste added a note of sesame which is always good on noodles.
I finished the noodles and then gulped the soup. The flavor of the bowl was excellent overall. I don't do star ratings here (that's Hans' gig), but I did enjoy this. I wish the bowl was slightly larger perhaps, and I wish I had a better method for extracting and mixing the sesame paste, but all in all, I liked this one.
Sorry there's no more pictures today. The noodles are so transparent that the picture of the bowl, with flash, made the bowl look empty!
Tonight I opened the crown jewel of my box o’ ramen from Orderramen.com, NongShim Shin Ramyun Black. NongShim released NonShim Shin Ramyun Black, a gourmet style ramen, to celebrate their 25th anniversary of Shin ramyun and I think that they really hit the mark with it. It has two soup base packets and a pack of dehydrated vegetables and beef. As I cooked it, I could immediately smell the garlic and spice coming from the pan. It cooked for about 5 minutes (4-5 minutes are recommended) until the noodles were soft but still chewy. When it was done, the broth was orange which promised a good spice and not at all thin or watery. The flavor lived up to the aromas. The ramen had a good spice that left a little burn on your tongue. I could also really taste the beef and garlic. Overall the flavor was perfect for a cold fall night. The dehydrated vegetables and beef were good and I'm pretty sure I saw a couple large slices of garlic in there too. The best part is that this ramen really fills you up, I am totally stuffed. I think this is because this ramen pack is larger than your standard size and the noodles are not as thin.
Now this ramen is gourmet, and so it costs a bit more than your average ramen, but in my opinion, it's worth it. This ramen is the 1%.
I took a few pictures of the bowl, but my camera mangled the colors so I'm not posting them. Here is a pre-cook shot:
If you’ve “ever dreamed to open your own Ramen restaurant with a Panda" then you might enjoy playing Ramen Delight. The basic goal is "Make Ramen, Get Money", but the gameplay makes it much more fun than that. You have to have quick fingers in order to serve a variety of customers, including: an emo kid, a ninja, and a sumo. Also the order in which you build your ramen bowl matters in this game. Did you know that adding the broth last makes your ramen "delightful"? This game is very well designed and has a great tutorial that perhaps was a tad too long for someone who just wants to jump-in and learn from their mistakes. It's playable on iPhone 3GS and later devices and costs $1.99.
I pulled the Mama Pork Flavored Ramen out of my Ramenbox tonight and cooked it up. I was interested in this mainly because it was on-top, well, right underneath the onion flavored ramen that came double wrapped. (I am saving that one for when my wife is not home to complain about the smell).
Anyway, this ramen has a unique feature, the spice packet has a side packet that contains chili powder. This let me easily control the level of spice, although for me that was simple, just dump in all the chili powder.
Something else that I noticed at the bottom, ramen packets are recyclable. Right below the ramen symbol I saw "Product of Thailand, For export only". I wonder why it is export only? Perhaps because there is no Thai on the packet for instructions or ingredient?
When I dumped the noodles into the water, I found a new surprise, there's a 2nd flavor packet in there. It was a paste of some sort, so I saved it and added it to the noodles after I strained them. I think it had most of the good flavor in it, but I'm not 100% sure.
Anyway, the flavor was good for this ramen. I should have gone with my gut and ate it as soup, but I really enjoyed the texture of the noodles. The spice left a nice tingle on my lips but was not too much. I find myself without too much to say otherwise about the flavor, mainly, it was porky. I guess it's a good thing that food reviewer is not my full-time job.
While the noodles and carrots were cooking, I chopped some ham and green onions, which I had in the fridge.
Here is the finished product:
Now onto the review. The soup ended up salty, mainly because I cooked it too long in too wide of a pan and I also added ham. That was my fault. Other than that, this noodles were good, but I found the flavor to be lacking something. It's probably my least favorite so far, but it would make a good base for a dish if you could add something else to give it flavor (ham, carrots, and green onions were not enough).
I was still hungry after dinner so I cooked up some ramen from my Ramenbox. I picked out the Paldo Bibim Men which looked to be spicy and contains, "addition more 8% apple juice in soup".
The noodle brick was larger than the normal one, so I knew that this would be a filling snack. There was no dry seasoning, instead a packet of liquid that has "paste soup" printed on the side provided the flavor. The seasoning smelled spicy and was a fiery dark red color indicative of the chili powder inside. One surprise to me (since I never remember to read the description before eating) was the sweet taste that accompanied the spice. I didn't get much other distinguishing flavors here, so I think this one would be improved with some add-ins like soy sauce, onions, carrots, chicken, etc. Overall I liked this ramen, but it looks like it's going to be tough to top the Paldo Fire Cup.
PS - My after cooking picture was blurry, so no after cooking pic today.
This ramen had no seasoning packet as I'd come to expect, but instead had a packet of what I think was soy sauce and another packet of sesame oil with garlic. The noodles had a good consistency and cooked faster than the directions said. After draining the cooked noodles, I opened the seasoning packet and there was an amazing aroma of garlic with a bit of sesame oil mixed in. Before adding the seasoning, I added some chopped grilled chicken that I had in the fridge, poured the seasonings on top and then sprinkled some sesame seeds on top of that.
My son really enjoyed these noodles and the chicken, but I thought that they needed more seasoning. The garlic really came through, but the sesame and soy sauce were muted. I'd eat these again, but they are not my favorite. If you have the same issue, maybe try more soy sauce and if you have it, you could add more sesame oil or sesame seeds.