I was contacted by a gentleman from Taiwan who seemed very passionate about a brand of instant noodles he wanted to share with me. They’re all Vegan-friendly and sound very fancy. Here’s the interview I conducted with Richard Huang, who works at a Meimen restaurant in Taiwan.
Interview With Meimen – Taiwan
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of Meimen?
MEIMEN> Master Lee Fengshan formed the Meimen group from a personal desire to help people, and encourage others to do the same.
In the early 2000’s, Master Lee recognized the negative effect of industrialization on food quality and associated health problems, and started a chain of Meimen vegetarian restaurants who’s purpose was to nurture its customers with truly healthy foods. New recipes are always crafted and tested to ensure they are nutritious and easy to digest. As time went by, Meimen expanded into instant noodles, handmade tea, and special water maintaining the same goals of protecting people’s health.
Now, Meimen has helped tens of thousands of people through different methods. We hope that this world will be more peaceful and that everyone will be happy and healthy.
Here is our official website: http://www.meimen.org/
The English version is still under development, but you can always contact me if you wish to learn more.
TRR> What was the first product you made?
MEIMEN> Noodles in Tomato & Tofu Soup
In the below picture, you can see the first product in our restaurant: Noodles in Tomato & Tofu Soup.
TRR> Your company is located in Taiwan. Can you tell us a little about your country?
MEIMEN> Taiwan is a tropical island, which means we have various kinds of ingredients to create different kinds of delicacies, especially fruits, rice, and vegetables. Also, Taiwan is a vegetarian-friendly country. CNN has selected TOP 10 best cities for vegans, and Taipei is on the list. We can have many kinds of delicious fruits and vegetables all season. Therefore, some unique foods have been invented. Below are pictures of some famous Taiwanese vegetarian dishes:
(Vegetarian Steamed Stinky Tofu)
(Sour and Spicy Soup)
TRR> Can you tell us about the varieties of noodles you make?
MEIMEN> Our noodles can be divided into two categories: one is restaurant dishes, the other is instant noodles.
In restaurant noodles category, we have two major types of noodles: soup noodle and dried noodle. Here are a few popular dishes:
1. Meimen Garden Noodle Soup
This product is made with stewed mushrooms, Chinese cabbage and handmade ramen. The stock contains the essence of vegetables’ nutrition, and you can taste the sweetness of Chinese cabbage when you eat the soup. The handmade ramen can also absorb the soup and make the consistency of noodle taste even better!
2.Southeast Asia Style Curry Set Meal
The main ingredients in this dish are marinated dried bean curd, curry, eggplant, pineapple, potato, bean sprouts, okra and several other spices. We also offer lemon for customers to adjust their flavor. The spiciness of curry and the sourness of lemon and pineapple are well balanced. The scent of curry stimulates your hunger for delicacy. Not to mention, the delicious marinated dried bean curds are perfectly soaked with the curry soup. If you love to have a tropical culinary adventure for your tongue, this dish would be your top choice!
3. Qing Dynasty Style Cold Noodles
This dish originates from Qing Dynasty’s secret recipe. It was a dish that was specially made for the emperor. It is prepared with cucumber, carrots, bean sprouts, dried bean curd, and mushroom. These five kinds of food symbolize the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, water. Each element can be linked with each own color: green, red, yellow, white, and black. With the principle of five elements, we redesigned this dish to not only nourish your organs, but also decrease the amount of negative energy in your body. Come and enjoy this wonderful dish!
As for instant noodles, in the below pictures, you can see there are three flavors of our instant noodles. Tomato noodle, Sour and Spicy noodle, and noodles with bean paste.
(Tomato Soup Noodle)
(Sour and Spicy Noodle)
(Noodles with Bean Paste)
TRR> What does the name ‘Meimen’ mean?
MEIMEN> In Chinese characters, Meimen is written like this梅門. 梅means plum blossom. It is Taiwan’s national flower, and it also represents strong perseverance. 門means gate. 梅門in Chinese sounds like 沒門(no gates), which means that we welcome people from all over the world, no matter what your religion is or where you come from. This is in line with the original teachings of Master Lee’s Meimen.
TRR> You mentioned in your initial contact that Meimen not only has a line of noodles but restaurants?
MEIMEN> Yes, that is correct. Currently, we have four restaurants: Meimen Garden(梅門防空洞), Meimen SJT (梅門食踐堂),Meimen Muse(梅門大山象樂), and MeimenZen(梅門六調通).
TRR> In what countries are your products available?
MEIMEN> Taiwan and Hong-Kong
TRR> How does your noodle making process differ from other instant noodle manufacturers?
MEIMEN> Our noodles
1. Are steamed, not deep-fried
2. Contain Non-GMO soybean for our tofu
3. Are made with Chinese yam
4. Contains less sodium than other brands of instant noodles
5. rely on Vitamin E as a preservative, instead of Sodium Benzoate
We list all ingredients on our packaging, so the user can make an educated decision on truthful facts.
TRR> Are noodles the only products you make?
MEIMEN> No. We also have high-quality water, handmade tea, and handmade sauce. On special holiday, such as the Moon Festival and Dragon Boat Festival, we also sell mooncakes and rice dumplings.
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?
MEIMEN> Our instant noodles were designed to allow people to eat them every day without having to worry about absorbing too much sodium or other chemicals. As mentioned, our noodles contain less sodium than other brands.
TRR> Are you involved in your local community or participate in charities?
MEIMEN> I am a part-time voluntary worker. When I am free, I usually go to our restaurants and help our members.
TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?
MEIMEN> We design new products from time to time. If we have any new products, we will show it on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/meimengarden/
TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, what do you like to add to them to make them extra special?
MEIMEN> Fresh vegetables like corn and cabbage. Also, you can add some spicy sauce. You can also mix two kinds of our noodle together if you are really hungry!
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about Meimen and your products!
MEIMEN> You are welcome! Hope we can keep in touch. Next time when you come to Taiwan, I can bring you to our restaurant and have a feast, you will love it!