March 7, 2014

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Sakura Noodle Inc.

Interview With Sakura Noodle Inc * Product Samples From Sakura Noodle Inc * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Chicken Flavor * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Oriental Flavor * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Mushroom Flavor * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Shrimp Flavor * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Hot & Spicy Flavor *

There are many kind of noodles on the market of many different gauges. Udon is a thick and chewy noodle enjoyed around the world, but not often seen in a Meet The Manufacturer. No more! I had the fortune to get an email from Mami Cindy Suzuki, VP of Sakura Noodle, Inc. She agreed to do and interview and send some samples! Here is the interview, and thus, we begin a new Meet The Manufacturer for Sakura Noodle Inc. of Los Angeles, California.

THERAMENRATER>  Thank you very much for agreeing to do this interview! Could we start off with some information about Sakura Noodle; when was Sakura Noodle founded, where and by who?

SAKURANOODLEINC> Sakura Noodle Inc. was founded by Shohachi Suzuki back in 1983. Born and raised in HaMAMAtsu, Japan, Shohachi wanted to bring and share delicious Japanese noodles to the US.

TRR> For those of my readers who are not familiar with your line of products, could you tell us a little about them?

SNI> We manufacture varieties of Oriental style noodles. Our goal is to make fresh noodles that are easy to prepare at home or in restaurants and taste great. Our specialty is Udon noodles, which are a thick wheat flour noodle that can be enjoyed in soup or stir-fried. We also make fresh Ramen, Yakisoba, Chowmein, Soba…etc.

TRR> What is the story behind the name?

SNI> Sakura means cherry blossom in Japanese. It is also known as the symbol of Japan. We wanted to be a symbol of delicious food and our name to be easy to remember.

TRR> Is Sakura Noodle involved in the local community around you?

SNI> Yes, at Sakura Noodle, we do our best to be involved with our local communities. Many temples, churches, and missions in our areas use the noodles we donate for raising funds in festivals and events.

TRR> Why do you think noodles are such a popular food?

SNI> I believe noodles are very popular because they’re simply delicious! Why wouldn’t anyone enjoy noodles? Noodles are also easy to prepare, inexpensive yet very filling. Noodles have such a wide variety of choices that you never get bored eating them.

TRR> You are located in Los Angeles, California. Can you tell us a little about where you factory is and life in the big city?

SNI> Los Angeles is the center of everything. We are consistently surrounded by great food and energetic people. We are located next to Little Tokyo which felt like a appropriate place for our factory.

TRR> Are there any new products that will be coming out soon that you could tell us about?

SNI> We are actually in the middle of processing and testing out a delicious, Gluten-free, no MSG, Vegetarian Udon and Ramen. We are hoping they hit the shelves by 2015!

TRR> Can you tell us about the different varieties of noodles you produce and how they differ?

SNI> The main difference in the noodles are the size which makes the textures very unique. When the textures change, the flavor of the soup and sauce that goes with the noodles change also.

  • Udon: Thick, wide wheat flour noodles. Traditionally, Udon is enjoyed in a clear fish based broth soup, garnished with green onions, Kamaboko (fish cakes), bean curds and eggs. Yaki-udon is stir-fried Udon, seasoned either soy sauced based or yakisoba sauce. (cooked with cabbage, meat, onion…etc)
  • Ramen: Thin wheat noodle that can be wavy or straight, depending on the soup or origin of the noodles. (Different regions and cities of Japan have different ramen shapes and soup bases)
  • Yakisoba/Chow Mein: Literally means “fried-noodle” and is cooked in sauce. Yakisoba is usually soy sauce flavored and chow mein can be cooked with oyster sauce.
  • Soba: Buckwheat noodles that are typically enjoyed in fish based soups. There is a tradition in Japan where we eat Toshikoshi Soba. Toshikoshi means “year-crossing” and we eat toshikoshi soba to let go of any hardship of the year to a better New Year.

TRR> A lot of people wonder about the health factors (sodium, etc) when it comes to instant noodles. How do you recommend people made instant noodles a healthy part of their diet?

SNI> I understand; noodle lovers like myself would love to eat noodles all day, everyday but health comes first. Noodles contain high sodium, so it’s important not to eat too much. Sodium is mostly in the soup so we recommend adding extra vegetables. If you go a couple of days with mostly noodles in your diet, try switching to rice or bread instead. Try not to eat just noodle and soup but to make sure you garnish with some meat and vegetables.

TRR> Do you make/sell products other than noodles?

SNI> At this moment, our focus is to make our noodles even better. We hope in the future we can extend our varieties.

TRR> What was your first product?

SNI> Our very first products were Udon. We produced Udon for use in restaurants. Therefore, Udon is still our specialty.

TRR> How does the process in which you make your noodles differ from other brands?

SNI> Our noodles are special because unlike other instant noodles, it is fresh. We do not freeze or dry our noodles but have a very long shelf life and do not need to be refrigerated or frozen, ever. What is better than fresh food?

TRR> Where are your products available?

SNI> Our products are available at your local grocery stores and Asian super markets. Many restaurants use our noodles also so chances are, maybe you have already tried our noodles. You can also order them on our website at It is very convenient and easy! Like us on facebook to receive a coupon for $10 off your purchase of $50 or more.

TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, do you add anything or have any recommendations?

SNI> I love to be creative when it comes to making my noodles.
One of my favorite recipes:
Makes 1 serving

1 pack of Sakura Noodle, Chikara brand Udon w/ soup (any flavor will work but Hot&Spicy is my favorite)
Pieces of Kimchi (maybe about 1/2 cup:cut into small pieces
1 garlic clove (minced)
1/4 onion (cut small)
1 1/2 cup of water with chicken bullion or chicken broth
1/2 cup peeled shrimp (maybe about 4 pieces)
small piece of chicken (diced)
1 egg

In a medium pot, turn heat on and add oil. When pot is hot enough, add kimchi, shrimp, chicken, onion and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes or until brown and soft. Add water and bouillon/chicken broth. When water starts to boil, add soup packet ad mix until completely dissolved. Add noodle and cook for 2 minutes (make sure to mix once in a while to loosen noodles), drop the eggs and enjoy!

TRR> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn more about Sakura Noodle!

SNI> This was a wonderful opportunity. Thank you very much Mr. Lienesch!

What a great interview! Thanks to Mami Cindy Suzuki at Sakura Noodle Inc.! On with the reviews!

Interview With Sakura Noodle Inc * Product Samples From Sakura Noodle Inc * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Chicken Flavor * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Oriental Flavor * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Mushroom Flavor * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Shrimp Flavor * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Hot & Spicy Flavor *

Products cooked according to package instructions. Product reviews done prior to adding any additional ingredients.

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