Category Archives: * Stars 0 – 1.0

#2287: Master Kong Artificial Abalone Crab Flavor Instant Noodle

Here’s one sent to me by Colin – thanks again! So these have been a real conundrum for me for quite a long time. The little chef on the logo is definitely different from the regular Master Kong chef, but I can’t get to the bottom of the exact name of this brand and so it’s Master Kong?

I dunno – I’ve gotten hold of the distributor via the phone number on the back of the package but really haven’t gotten a straight answer. If anyone’s in New York – check this place out perhaps? Would love to straighten it out once and for all. Anyhoo, this is a new flavor – abalone crab. I’ve seen abalone chicken quite a bit but never abalone crab. Let’s give it a try!

Here’s the back of the pack (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. The package doesn’t list an exact amount of water to use, so as with other Master Kong varieties I’ve reviewed, 500ml will be used. Add everything into a bowl and add 500ml boiling water. Cover for 4 minutes. Stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The dry base sachet.

A light mixture.

The sauce sachet.

Dark and oily.

The vegetables sachet.

A medium amount for an instant.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added crab claw fishcake, coriander and Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts. The noodles were alright – plentiful too. Nothing to write home about. What is to write home about is the flavor. Write a warning letter home! I mean this was just plain funky; seemed initially like a crab stick kind of scent and essence but it just turned into this not food kind of taste that I just couldn’t stomach whatsoever. Couldn’t pour this down the drain fast enough. Oh and the vegetables hydrated decently. 0.0 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 6909146402430.

Here’s Master Kong’s Braised Beef big cup – this is excellent stuff!

A video about different kinds of Chinese noodles.

#2264: Unif Tung-I Instant Vegetarian Beehoon Rice Vermicelli

I think I should explain the symbol in the upper right hand corner before anything else. While the symbol may bring up thoughts of World War II, this actually has nothing to do with oppression; this is a Buddhist symbol denoting that it is safe for those who practice strict vegetarianism. Here’s a little from wikipedia about it:

In China, Korea and Vietnam, monks are expected to abstain from meat. In Taiwan, Buddhist monks, nuns, and most lay followers eat no animal products or the fetid vegetables – traditionally garlic, Allium chinense, asafoetida, shallot, and Allium victorialis (victory onion or mountain leek), although in modern times this rule is often interpreted to include other vegetables of the oniongenus, as well as coriander – this is called Su vegetarianism. Some Zhaijiao lay adherents do not eat any meat.

As for the symbol, it is considered an ancient symbol of auspiciousness in Hindu and Buddhist culture. It is immediately recognizable in the West however with Nazi Germany. Here’s some about that –

At the end of 20th century, and early 21st century, confusion and controversy has occurred when consumer goods bearing the Buddhist symbol have been exported to North America, and mistakenly interpreted by Western consumers as a Nazi symbol.

When a ten-year-old boy in Lynbrook, New York, bought a set of Pokémoncards imported from Japan in 1999, two of the cards contained the left-facing Buddhist swastika. The boy’s parents misinterpreted the symbol as a Nazi swastika, which is right-facing with 45 degree rotation, and filed a complaint to the manufacturer. Nintendo of America announced that the cards would be discontinued, explaining that what was acceptable in one culture was not necessarily so in another; their action was welcomed by the Anti-Defamation League who recognised that there was no intention to be offensive but said that international commerce meant that “isolating [the Swastika] in Asia would just create more problems”.[135]

In 2002, Christmas crackers containing plastic toy red pandas sporting swastikas were pulled from shelves after complaints from consumers in Canada. The manufacturer, based in China, said the symbol was presented in a traditional sense and not as a reference to the Nazis, and apologized to the customers for the cross-cultural mixup.[136] In 2007, Spanish fashion chain Zara withdrew a handbag from its stores after a customer in Britain complained swastikas were embroidered on it. The bags were made by a supplier in India and inspired by commonly used Hindu symbols, which include the swastika.[137]

I think it’s a little sad that instances such as this could have been times when the public in the West could have been made to understand that this symbol has been used by religions to denote auspiciousness and vegetarianism for a lot longer than in WWII. But instead of learning, it gets pulled from sight in the marketplace. Let’s give this vegetarian rice vermicelli a try.

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Does not contains meat. To prepare, add package contents to a bowl and add 500ml boiling water. Cover for 2 minutes. Stir and enjoy!

The rice vermicelli.

A dry base sachet.

Powder and vegetables.

An oil sachet.

Smells like sesame oil.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts and tofu puff. The vermicelli didn’t hydrated as it should have in two minutes and was a little stiff and kind of had that dry spiderweb kind of quality I dislike. The broth was nicely accommodated by seaweed but the sesame oil and earthy flavor just didn’t work for me at all. 0.5 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 8888217006105.

Buddhism in Taiwan: Religion and the State, 1660-1990

A little short showing fun in Taiwan.

#2238: Asian Thai Foods Rumpum Gundruk Flavour

Here’s one sent by Marvin R. from Texas – thanks again! This one’s from Nepal and says it’s ‘gundruk’ flavor. Gundruk? Wikipedia?

Gundruk (Nepali: गुन्द्रुक, (Pickled Leafy Vegetables) About this sound Listen ) is fermented leafy green vegetable and is a popular food in Nepal and claimed to be one of the national dishes. It is popular not only in Nepal but also in every gorkhali or Nepalese diaspora household worldwide.[1] The annual production of gundruk in Nepal is estimated at 2,000 tons and most of the production is carried out at the household level.[2] Gundruk is obtained from the fermentation of leafy vegetables (saag; Nepali: साग). It is served as a side dish with the main meal and is also used as an appetizer. Gundruk is an important source of minerals particularly during the off-season when the diet consists of mostly starchytubers and maize which tend to be low in minerals.[2]

Wow – getting interesting around here – yesterday’s review was bagna cauda, today’s is gundruk. Let’s check it out!

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. to prepare, add noodle block to 240ml boiling water and cook stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Stir and enjoy! Altervately, you can eat it straight from the bag as a snack.

The noodle block.

A dual sachet.

A powder base with some bits in there.

Seasoned oil.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, sous vide chicken, coriander and chilli flake. The noodles were alright; they had a good chew and a nice backbone. The flavor though. I really can’t say this is a flavor I can savor. The little broth the noodles didn’t soak up was this army green color with an acidic and earthy taste. Not to my liking at all. 0.5 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 9506000022574.


Asian Thai Foods also make a line called Preeti – and looks like they have pizza varieties now!

#2219: Fantastic Noodles Crispy Bacon Flavour

Here’s one I got from Jen in Australia a while back – thanks! I was waiting for the right time to review this. I thought maybe cooking some bacon sous vide style and then frying it up could be pretty epic. I did the sous vide-ing and my wife will be frying the bacon. Ready for meat candy time? Let’s do it!

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add sachet contents and boiling water to cover the noodles. Cover for 3 minutes. Stir and enjoy!

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).

The noodle block.

The dry soup base.

An ultralight powder.

The vegetables sachet.

Says its a seasonal vegetable mixture.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added applewood smoked bacon that was cooked ‘sous vide’ style with an immersion cooker for 21 hours and then seared on one side, a lightly toasted slice of white bread and a slow fried egg. The noodles came out decently; however were a little on the soft and mushy side. The broth was almost all slurped up by the noodles and was almost completely just a salt festival. I really would have to reach to call it bacon flavored. The vegetables hydrated well but seemed like the odd ones at the ‘let’s pretend to be bacon’ costume party. Saddened and disappointed. 1.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 9310155650502.

If you can’t get enough bacon, you should probably click here

The instructions on making sous vide bacon. I use an Anova sous vide I got as a gift from NuTek – thanks again! I think the nicest part of immersion cooking is the lack of cleanup – really nice. Actually the best part is the food; I’ve done countless chicken breasts in this thing for 2 hours at 146 degrees farenheit and it comes out so amazingly good!

#2208: Roland Ramen Japanese Style Quick-Cooking Alimentary Paste With Chicken Artificially Flavored Soup Base

A big thanks to Colin for finding and sending me this one! Okay, so I have been trying to get this one for a while; anything by Roland honestly. I called them, emailed them, and always got the same reply – ‘we don’t send sample.’ I really love it when companies have such a rigid policy against basically what amounts to free advertising. This one is made in Singapore for Roland company here in the USA, and I have a feeling it’s a private label by Tat Hui/KOKA – all boils down to one aspect which is a giveaway. Let’s check this one out and I’ll show you what that is.

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add noodle block and soup base sachet to 3 cups water and cook for 3 minutes. Stir and enjoy! NOTE – while I will be using the mentioned 3 cups of water on this one, I think the only reason 3 cups are mentioned is directly related to the nutrition facts – note it says this pack is 3 servings. I think 3 cups is going to make this exceedingly bland, but we’ll see.

The noodle block.

The soup base sachet.

A light powder.

Finished (click to enlarge). The noodles came out decently; nothing fancy, but a decent instant noodle. The broth however was definitely bland. This is almost completely due to the called for 3 cups of water. I’m sure 400ml would have done just fine for this one. Not only that, I kind of get the feeling that even with that lesser amount of water it still would have been leaning toward the bland side. 0.25 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 041224722002.

Roland Ramen, Chicken, 3 Ounce (Pack of 90)

Something completely unrelated.