Sapporo Ichiban Original

For lunch today I dug into the Ramenbox and picked out the Sapporo Ichiban original flavor. I wanted to eat this as a soup, so I started by adding some carrots to the boiling water.

Starting the carrots and about to add the noodles.

While the noodles and carrots were cooking, I chopped some ham and green onions, which I had in the fridge.

Ham and green onions

Here is the finished product:

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).

The Guy with a PhD in Noodles

Fark.com has come through again with a link about a 70-year old who holds a PhD in noodles. He wrote a book about the subject as well called (in English) “1,300 Years of Noodle Culture in Japan”, but I think it’s only available in Japanese. Read the article, this guy sounds dedicated…

“I simply wondered why ramen and soba noodles always rank high in Japanese favorite food surveys,” Ayao Okumura, 72, said.

His book, “Nihon men-shoku-bunka no 1,300-nen” (1,300 years of noodle culture in Japan), won the Tsuji Shizuo Shokubunka-sho food culture prize in spring. The book was the culmination of two years of fieldwork.

Although he is a well-known expert in traditional foods, Okumura believes a person can always learn something, no matter how old he or she is. So he entered Mimasaka University’s graduate school in Okayama Prefecture shortly before turning 70 and chose noodles for his doctoral thesis.

Late Night Snack from Ramenbox

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”.

Spicy and sweet Paldo Bibim Men ramen

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.

Knitting Ramen With Chopsticks

Yes, just what the title says. I can only imagine the boredom that led to this.

From the Toronto Sun

Knitter Carissa Browning learned that quickly when she decided to see if she could turn noodles and chopsticks into “something unusual.”

Knitting is her main hobby, says Browning, 27, who lives in a Dallas suburb and works at Starbucks. Her most complicated project thus far has been a traditional sweater for her husband with a pattern of skulls and crossbones.

WuMu Garlic and Sesame Ramen

Today for lunch I dug through my Ramenbox made my son and the Garlic and Sesame Ramen.

WuMu Garlic and Sesame, waiting for the water to boil

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.

WuMu after cooking with added chicken and sesame seeds

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.

Paldo Fire Cup and Chlorella For Lunch

Today for lunch I had some of the Ramenbox ramen, the instant Paldo Fire Cup and when I got hungry again later I had the poorly named Chlorella “Green Team Cup” ramen.


The Paldo Fire Cup was great, it was a good level of spice and the spice stayed on your tongue, but just in the background. I liked the green onions which added a small crunch, and I enjoyed the tiny bit of sweat on my brow that showed up as I finished the hot and spicy bowl. I had trouble identifying many flavors other than spice, but I found that I didn’t mind. The flavor was complex enough to be enjoyable and the spice level was just right for me. The Paldo Fire Cup contained “soy peptides” which apparently might make me fly and also be invisible or maybe are just good for you.

You can see from the picture below what the Paldo fire cup spice looked like when I dumped it in, basically it looked like I just added 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper:

Now onto the Chlorella (Paldo Green Tea Cup).

This ramen was one of the more interesting flavor mixes that I’ve had in awhile. Despite my initial reaction that it might be named after a disease, it is in fact named after a type of algae, also called Chlorella, which is supposed to be good for you to eat.

When I opened the cup after adding the water and waiting the 3 minutes, I immediately smelled an “ocean” smell, to me it smelled like seaweed and oysters, so I was certainly getting that coming through. The little bits of meat in there appeared to me to be oysters and tasted as such also. The noodles themselves are greenish, due to the chlorella and green tea most likely. I didn’t get too much green tea flavor coming through, but I did like this one. I managed to scald my tongue when eating the Fire Cup, so I missed more of the subtleties with this one, and I’d have to say that I enjoyed the Fire Cup more. Note that the darker spot in the pic is just where I didn’t stir the noodles enough after dumping in the seasoning.

Overall, I was ordering a RamenBox of just these two, I’d order 15 Fire Cups and 5 of these.

Look What Came in the Mail

Look what I got in the mail today!

I’m going to try this one tomorrow for lunch:

I will write up some reviews of these as I try them. I’m especially curious about the large shittake ramen package.

PS – The FTC has some BS about bloggers reporting when they review free stuff, so I got free stuff, and I like free stuff, so that’s my disclaimer.

Tokyo’s Ramen Retsuden Festival

The Wall Street Journal has a tasty story about the Retsuden Ramen festival in Tokyo. The festival unfortunately ended today, but it sounds pretty fun. I didn’t quite follow from the story if you could sample anything without buying, it sounds instead like you pay per bowl, so basically it’s like having a bunch of great vendors in one spot (like a Taste of City X event).

I enjoyed this description:

Ramen fans queue up to buy a “one-bowl” ticket for 800 yen (about $9) at the entrance to the event, held in a public square in front of a large office building, and then select the shop they want to try. It’s a tough choice, as the nine shops at the event at any one time are all dishing out top-quality ramen.

We tried a bowl of Mr. Aoyama’s ramen, which combines several classic influences in a thick, porky soup, topped with slow-roasted pork belly, greens and grated yuzu, an Asian citrus fruit. Despite the fresh citrus undertones, the bowl packed a delicious, meaty punch — like consuming a pig in liquid form.

mmmmm… liquid pig…

Jamiroquai Now Used to Sell Ramen Noodles

If you are old like me then you remember back when MTV showed what is called “music videos” (kids, you may need to ask your parents about them). One of the videos featured this guy in a funny hat in a grey room with a sliding floor. This video has basically been taken as-is, dubbed over in Japanese, and is now an ad for Nissin Ramen. I have no idea what they say in the ad, but I’m going to guess that it resembles the Mister Sparkle commercial from the Simpsons episode.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RS2pgJoCk0

Thanks to Urlesque for the link.

Ramen Costs More in Jail

It seems that jail is like a movie theater in that they know that they can gouge you for the snacks, the good news is that you don’t have to watch Ben Affleck or Nicholas CoppolaCage films in jail most nights. I know that around here (in Colorado), ramen is not 10 cents a pack, even at Sams Club, but it is certainly not $1.06 per pack either.

From PhillyBurbs.com:

The price of instant noodles and candy bars in the Bucks County Prison became a subject of discussion this week as the county commissioners considered a contract with a company to supply snacks, clothing and toiletries to inmates.

A female inmate interviewed during a 2008 inspection complained that Ramen noodles available for 10 cents in a food store cost $1.06 in the prison, according to notes Marseglia provided. The price of Ramen is now listed as 95 cents. Another prisoner complained in a March letter to Marseglia about the $2.75 price of Little Debbie Snack Cakes.

After the meeting, Marseglia said dissatisfaction among prisoners is harmful to the atmosphere at the facility.

“When you treat people in such a way that you make people feel they are being gouged, you create a hostile environment and you put our workers at risk,” Marseglia said. “When you put our workers at risk, you are putting tax dollars at risk. And you’re certainly not creating an environment where you can change people’s attitudes about society.”