Interview With Nona Lim * Product Samples From Nona Lim * Nona Lim Pad See Ew Rice Noodles + Vietnamese Pho Broth * Nona Lim Pad See Ew Rice Noodles + Spicy Szechuan Broth * Nona Lim Hakata Ramen + Miso Ramen Broth * Nona Lim Hakata Ramen + Thai Curry & Lime Broth * Nona Lim Pad Thai Rice Noodles + Vietnamese Pho Broth * Nona Lim Whole Wheat Ramen + Spicy Szechuan Broth * Nona Lim Tokyo Ramen + Miso Ramen Broth * Nona Lim Laksa Rice Noodles + Thai Curry & Lime Broth
I had heard about a company here in the states that was making noodles and broth that you could mix and match. I thought it sounded interesting and so I contacted them. Well, they were enthusiastic about Meet Ther Manufacturer and here we are! Let’s start things with this interview with Ada Yim – Marketing Coordinator for Nona Lim Foods.
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of Nona Lim?
NONA LIM> As a former professional competitive fencer, Nona discovered the power of food as functional medicine. She discovered that her body responded by recovering faster when fueled with whole, clean foods. With that philosophy, she created a healing, nutrient-dense, non-inflammatory meal program made with fresh, plant-rich, whole food ingredients and clean preparations made from scratch. Word spread, and the Nona Lim brand quickly built a cult following in the Bay Area.
Today, we are a nation-wide brand and offer a variety of prepared meals and soups, broths, and noodles that you can customize to make-it-your-own. Infused with the Asian flavors and spices of Nona’s childhood in Singapore, we focus on whole clean food with no additives, no preservatives, low sodium, and low sugar. Our products are dairy free, mostly gluten free, and 100% crap-free.
TRR> What was the first product you made?
NONA LIM> The first product offerings we had were our vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free soups. From there, we quickly expanded into bone broths, ramens, and noodles, providing an easy solution to healthy meals.
TRR> Your company is located in California, USA. Can you tell us a little about your locale?
NONA LIM> We are based in Oakland, California and extremely fortunate to have access to fresh, wholesome ingredients with plenty of sunshine. Because of this accessibility to healthy, fresh foods, we are able to source most of our ingredients from local, nearby farms.
TRR> Can you tell us about the varieties of noodles you make?
NONA LIM> We make 2 types of noodles: rice noodles and ramen noodles, each with its own 3 varieties. We have a Laksa Rice Noodle, Pad Thai Rice Noodle, and Pad See Ew Rice Noodle. The Laksa Rice Noodle is most similar to the shape of a spaghetti noodle. Each one of our rice noodles are gluten-free and halal certified with a delicious, slurpy mouth feel.
We also have 3 varieties of ramen noodles: Tokyo Ramen, Hakata Ramen, and Whole Wheat Ramen. Tokyo Ramen is most similar to the type of noodles at any ramen shop. It is a thick, curly, yellow noodle that has a great texture and bite. Our Whole Wheat Ramen is based off of the Tokyo Ramen except made with whole wheat flour as a homage to our healthy California-inspired roots. Our Hakata Ramen is made to reflect ramen from the Hakata region of Japan. This noodle is thin, slightly wavy, and white. It has a softer texture than the Tokyo Ramen. All our ramen noodles are made with kansui to maintain the authenticity of the classic bouncy bite of ramen.
TRR> How many noodle products do you produce every year?
NONA LIM> We don’t only produce oodles of noodles, but we are constantly developing new types of noodle products and different flavors for our fans.
TRR> How does your noodle making process differ from other instant noodle manufacturers?
NONA LIM> Our noodles are made fresh and never dried or fried. They can be kept frozen if you can’t finish everything at once. At the store, you would see them in the refrigerated section hanging out with the other fresh pastas.
TRR> Apart from noodles, you make a range of broths. Can you tell my readers about them?
NONA LIM> We make a variety of bone broths and vegetable broths from scratch. Bone broth is not only great as a sipping broth and very healthy for you because of the extracted vitamins, minerals, and collagen, but also is a great base for a hot bowl of noodles.
TRR> Can you suggest pairings for your products, for example which noodle to what broth might be nice?
NONA LIM> We love to have our Tokyo Ramen with our Thai Curry & Lime Chicken Bone Broth. It’s our absolute superstar flavor, and always our favorite to showcase for someone getting introduced to our products. A close second is our Laksa Rice Noodle with our Vietnamese Pho Beef Bone Broth. It tastes just like a bowl of pho except made with clean, healthy ingredients and no msg!
Our noodles are also great without broth as a stir-fry or a saucy dish. Pad Thai and Pad See Ew are both great as traditional stir-fry. Try our ramens with a peanut sauce or a curry sauce with some sesame and fresh green onions on top as garnish.
TRR> Are there any other products you make?
NONA LIM> We have a line of convenient Heat & Sip cups that feature a variety of our most popular soups and bone broths. These cups are perfect for on-the-go as a quick breakfast, caffeinated alternative, or an afternoon pick-me-up.
TRR> A lot of people are concerned with their sodium intake. How would you recommend people enjoy your product as part of a healthy meal?
NONA LIM> We have a variety of soups and broths that fits for every kind of diet. Our soups are all gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. Many like the Zucchini Soup or Carrot Ginger Soup have a much lower sodium content than typical packaged soups available on the market. Likewise, our broths have lower sodium or high protein alternatives. If someone is looking for a lower sodium broth, we suggest our Miso Broth paired with rice noodles.
TRR> Are you involved in in your local community or participate in charities?
NONA LIM> We host a rotating internship program for international students throughout the year. We currently host several students from Japan, but have also hosted students from Singapore, Korea, and Vietnam. Our team also supports local events like San Francisco Pride Day, and regularly give back to local charities like the Alameda Food Bank and Feed the Children.
TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?
NONA LIM> We are always developing new flavors and new products! Follow us on social media @nonalimfoods or sign up on our website to be part of our mailing list to be the first to know and score sweet insider deals.
TRR> In what countries are your products popular? Do people enjoy them differently in different places?
NONA LIM> We showcase different Asian cultures through our products. Our popular Thai Curry & Lime Chicken Bone Broth was inspired from the tasty Tom Kha broth from Thai restaurants. Typically speaking, chicken or seafood is added in as a drinking soup or with rice noodles as a dish. We do the same but use whatever fresh ingredients we can find from the farmers market. We don’t think there is a “right” way or a “wrong” way to enjoy something delicious, as long as it tastes good to you!
TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, what do you like to add to them to make them extra special?
NONA LIM> For myself, I love to add slices of grilled lemongrass chicken with some bean sprouts, baby bok choi, enoki mushrooms, and jalapeno slices on top of a big hearty bowl of Thai Curry & Lime Chicken Bone Broth with Laksa Rice Noodles. It’s the easiest dish to put together and simple to “dress up” if I am sharing with company- people are always so impressed with how delicious it tastes for such minimal effort.
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about Nona Lim and your products!
Alright! Thank you very much to Ada, Micki and everyone else at Nona Lim for making this series happen.