Here’s a cup I found at Carrefour in Taipei, Taiwan during my trip in November of 2016. I’ve never seen this one before and from what it looks like, it’s made for the Chinese/Taiwanese market. At least the packaging in Chinese gives that away. Also, I can see that it’s referencing www.nongshim.com – not a .cn or .tw, so these should be made in South Korea. It also has a little banner proclaiming ‘number one’ but unsure what that’s referring to. Anyways, let’s see what we have here and give these seaweed noodles a try!
Nongshim Seaweed Instant Noodle Cup – South Korea
Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Unsure if it contains meat but check for yourself. To prepare, add in sachet contents and boiling water to fill line and let steep covered for 3 minutes. Stir and enjoy!
Looks to be onion and red pepper among other things.
A dry base sachet.
Has an interesting odor to it; kind of musty.
A tall narrow sachet.
Here is where the seaweed is hanging out, augmented with sesame seeds.
Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts and spring onion. The noodles were pretty good – definitely thinner than Nongshim’s ramyun. Not too bad. The broth had a little pinch of heat to it and otherwise everything was seaweed overload. I like seaweed, but generally not in this kind of extreme. In conclusion, if you love seaweed overload, this is for you. 0.5 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 031146263738.
Here’s another one from Colin – thanks! I did a little research and really came up with very little. I did find there is a kind of spicy, savory snack mix with the same name, but this is a soup noodle and now a snack noodle so I’m a little confused. This one’s being reviewed actually on New Year’s Eve! Let’s check it out.
Knorr Chatt Patta Instant Noodles – Pakistan
Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add noodles and seasoning to 2 cups of boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Stir and enjoy!
The noodle block.
The ‘tastemaker’ sachet.
A coarse powder.
Finished (click to enlarge). Added coriander, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts and white onion. The noodles were good – in quantity and quality with a nice little bounce. The broth was definitely not my cup of tea. It was kind of a sour, tart and acrid affair – maybe like fermented leafy vegetables? I don’t know, but I really wasn’t a fan of the taste. Nonetheless, its unique flavor was compelling. 1.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 8961014177510.
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!
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:
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”.
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. 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.
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.
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) Listen (help·info)) 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. 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. 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.
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.
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.