Author Archives: Hans "The Ramen Rater" Lienesch

A-Sha Sends Rainbow Noodles & Nuts From Taiwan

Like colorful things? Looks no further! These are a trip to be sure – and there are some tasty treats other than noodles in here as well! Let’s check em out!

A-Sha Sends Rainbow Noodles & Nuts – Taiwan

#3257: Samyang Foods Buldak Hot Chicken Flavor Topokki – South Korea

#3257: Samyang Foods Buldak Hot Chicken Flavor Topokki - South Korea

Okay, alright. It’s another Buldak spicy thing and this time its not topokki and ramen, it’s just topokki. What’s exciting about this is that this is the export version. I’m usually not happy about getting export versions; I want the local versions; te ones that people in their respective countries find at the store. But what’s cool is that this is now available in the United States – and I’ve seen it here recently. This is original Buldak Bokkeummyun flavor – there’s also a Carbo version as well. For those of you who are asking ‘what’s a topokki?!’ here’s a little info from Wikipedia –

Tteok-bokki (떡볶이) or stir-fried rice cakes is a popular Korean food made from small-sized garae-tteok (long, white, cylinder-shaped rice cakes) called tteokmyeon (떡면; “rice cake noodles”) or commonly tteok-bokki-tteok(떡볶이 떡; “tteok-bokki rice cakes”).[1][2] Fish cakes, boiled eggs, and scallions are some of the most commonly added ingredients. It can be seasoned with either spicy gochujang (chili paste) or non-spicy ganjang (soy sauce)-based sauce; the former being the most typical form,[3], while the latter is less common and sometimes called gungjung-tteok-bokki (royal court tteok-bokki). Today, variations also include curry-tteok-bokki, cream sauce-tteok-bokki, jajang-tteok-bokki, seafood-tteok-bokki, galbi-tteok-bokki and so on. Tteok-bokki is commonly purchased and eaten at bunsikjip (snack bars) as well as pojangmacha (street stalls). There are also dedicated restaurants for tteok-bokki, where it is referred to as jeugseog tteok-bokki (impromptu tteok-bokki).

Ingredients such as seafoodshort ribsinstant noodleschewy noodles are also added to the dish.

Haemul-tteok-bokki, (해물떡볶이; “seafood tteok-bokki”) uses seafood as a sub ingredient.

Galbi-tteok-bokki (갈비떡볶이; “short ribs tteok-bokki”) is a tteok-bokki uses short ribs as an ingredient.

Ra-bokki (라볶이; “instant noodles tteok-bokki”) and jjol-bokki (쫄볶이; “chewy noodles tteok-bokki”), are quite similar. They both add noodles to tteok-bokki. ra-bokki and jjol-bokki differs from the kind of noodles added to tteok-bokki. ra-bokki adds ramyeon noodle, and jjol-bokki adds chewy noodles which are used to make jjol-myeon.

Alright – let’s cook it up and I’ll do my best to lay waste to it.

Samyang Foods Buldak Hot Chicken Flavor Topokki – South Korea

#3257: Samyang Foods Buldak Hot Chicken Flavor Topokki - South Korea

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add topokki and sauce to the bowl. Add water to fill line (note it’s much lower than on most noole cups. Microwave at 1000W for 2 minutes and 30 seconds with the lid on.  Finally, stir and enjoy!

#3257: Samyang Foods Buldak Hot Chicken Flavor Topokki - South Korea

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).

#3257: Samyang Foods Buldak Hot Chicken Flavor Topokki - South Korea

An included spork!

#3257: Samyang Foods Buldak Hot Chicken Flavor Topokki - South Korea

The sextet of tines here are daunting! Check this out for a full list of forks – it’s really quite fascinating!

#3257: Samyang Foods Buldak Hot Chicken Flavor Topokki - South Korea

The pouch of topokki.

#3257: Samyang Foods Buldak Hot Chicken Flavor Topokki - South Korea

A wet sachet containing the spicy sauce.

Finished (click to enlarge). Chewy topokki is of good quality and plentiful. The sauce is sweet and very spicy. It’s tasty as well as hot – the heat level reminds me of the topokki buldak ramen they produce. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 8801073910270.

#3257: Samyang Foods Buldak Hot Chicken Flavor Topokki - South Korea

Buldak Tteokbokki Korean Rice Cake Instant Korean Snack Tteok Tteokbokki Rice Cake (spicy, 1)

Watch me cook on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

#3256 Ramen Hero Classic Tonkotsu Ramen – United States

#3256 Ramen Hero Classic Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

This is the last of the four varieties sent to me by Ramen Hero – I will say I’ve asked if they want to send more. I really love working with this product – it’s a lot of fun for me. Not only that, they’re really quite good. Hopefully it’ll pan out – and I’ll also find out how that fancy seaweed is done up!

I got an email asking if I was interested in trying overnight delivery ramen. Hey – why not, right? So, here we are! Ramen Hero is based in the Bay Area and serves a few surrounding states at the time of this post – check their site for current service area. You pick your ramen, pay, and they’ll overnight you a set of ingredients to make a bowl of ramen at home – including garnish! Not bad. Let’s give this one a try – they send four and since they’re perishable, I’m going to do them over the next couple days.

Ramen Hero Classic Tonkotsu Ramen – United States

#3256 Ramen Hero Classic Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

Here are the labels from the front and back of the packaging (click to enlarge). Contains pork. To prepare, boil the large soup pouch for 10 minutes. when there’s 2 minutes left, boil your noodles in a separate pot, stirring often. Also at the 1 1/2 minute point, drop the bags with the garnish in with the soup pouch to let them thaw (if needed). Finally, drain your noodles, add them to a bowl, empty the pouch of broth into your bowl, garnish, and enjoy!

#3256 Ramen Hero Classic Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

The noodles.

#3256 Ramen Hero Classic Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

The large pouch of broth.

#3256 Ramen Hero Classic Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

Pork belly chashu!

#3256 Ramen Hero Classic Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

Seaweed.

#3256 Ramen Hero Classic Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

Kizami shoga (pickled ginger).

#3256 Ramen Hero Classic Tonkotsu Ramen - United States

Kikurage (wood ear mushroom).

Finished (click to enlarge). In addition to the supplied garnish, I added spring onion, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, shichimi togarashi, and sesame seeds. I forgot to add the seaweed on the last one (shrug) so used it on this one. The noodles – great chew, firmness and mouthfeel. The broth was rich, although a little on the saltier side. Nonetheless, in concert with the included pairings (the kikurage was particularly nice), things were quite good. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

Watch me cook on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

#3255 Ramen Hero Classic Shoyu Ramen – United States

#3255 Ramen Hero Classic Shoyu Ramen - United States

I usually try to review at least two varieties a day and yesterday I did the last two Ramen Hero varieties and it was a lot of fun. It’s pretty neat to be able to do up all the garnish that came with it – and the printed seaweed was really neat, too!

I got an email asking if I was interested in trying overnight delivery ramen. Hey – why not, right? So, here we are! Ramen Hero is based in the Bay Area and serves a few surrounding states at the time of this post – check their site for current service area. You pick your ramen, pay, and they’ll overnight you a set of ingredients to make a bowl of ramen at home – including garnish! Not bad. Let’s give this one a try – they send four and since they’re perishable, I’m going to do them over the next couple days.

Ramen Hero Classic Shoyu Ramen – United States

#3255 Ramen Hero Classic Shoyu Ramen - United States

Here are the labels from front and back (click to enlarge). Contains pork. To prepare, boil the large soup pouch for 10 minutes. when there’s 2 minutes left, boil your noodles in a seperate pot, stirring often. Also at the 1 1/2 minute point, drop the bags with the garnish in with the soup pouch to let them thaw (if needed). Finally, drain your noodles, add them to a bowl, empty the pouch of broth into your bowl, garnish, and enjoy!

#3255 Ramen Hero Classic Shoyu Ramen - United States

The noodles.

#3255 Ramen Hero Classic Shoyu Ramen - United States

A large pouch with the broth.

#3255 Ramen Hero Classic Shoyu Ramen - United States

Pork belly chashu!

#3255 Ramen Hero Classic Shoyu Ramen - United States

Calcium printed seaweed. Okay, I need to find out how they do this or where they get it done.

#3255 Ramen Hero Classic Shoyu Ramen - United States

Narutomaki (fish cake)

#3255 Ramen Hero Classic Shoyu Ramen - United States

Menma (pickled bamboo shoots).

Finished (click to enlarge). Aside from the above ingredients I added soft egg, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, spring onion, shichimi togarashi, and sesame seeds. Noodles just keep coming out very nicely. Broth was on point as well and in concert with the supplied garnish was a very nice bowl. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

Watch me cook on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

Unboxing The September 2019 Zenpop Spicy & Savory Pack – Japan

Dig on ramen? Check out one of these neat Zenpop boxes! Use the coupon code RAMENRATER for a discount!

Unboxing The September 2019 Zenpop Spicy & Savory Pack – Japan

#3254: Mom’s Dry Noodle / Blue Elephant Red Curry – Taiwan

#3327: Mom's Dry Noodle / Blue Elephant Red Curry - Taiwan

Two weeks. Two long weeks. I haven’t done a review in two weeks!! Our apartment got remodeled, plus I had a sinus infection that basically knocked out my sense of taste. Yeah – that wasn’t cool at all. But I’m back – back to walking, and today back to reviewing. The remodel is done and I’m enjoying my noodles once again!

I think the fact that I love curry is probably on my sleeve. This is something I am very fascinated with – a collaboration between a Thai company and a Taiwanese company. How’s it going to taste? I’ve not a clue, but if it’s anything like Mom’s Dry Noodle has put out before, I know I’m in for a treat. Let’s find out!

Mom’s Dry Noodle / Blue Elephant Red Curry – Taiwan

#3327: Mom's Dry Noodle / Blue Elephant Red Curry - Taiwan

Detail of the outer packaging (click to enlarge). Unsure if it contains meat – check for yourself. To prepare, boil noodles for 6 minutes. Drain. Add in sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#3327: Mom's Dry Noodle / Blue Elephant Red Curry - Taiwan

Inside the large outer package are three individual servings.

Detail of the packaging (click to enlarge).

The noodle block.

A wet sachet of red curry.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added sauteed beef, red and green bell pepper, white onion, pineapple, and fresh basil. Noodles are soft and a very large quantity. They’re a perfect match for the red curry which is aromatic and tasty, however not overwhelming. A very apt pairing with an elegant balance. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 4717011158304.

Moms Dan Dan Dry Noodle 17.36 Oz.

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THE ALL TIME BEST PRISON RAMEN BURRITO IN THE WORLD! TEXAS BEEF!

PRISON RAMEN BURRITO

Big thanks to Nick Bizarro – I found Maruchan Texas Beef Ramen Noodle Soup on eBay a little while back and asked if anyone wanted to buy them (it was a 24 pack and I only wanted two) and he did!

So, what’s the big deal?

THE ALL TIME BEST PRISON RAMEN BURRITO IN THE WORLD! TEXAS BEEF!

PRISON RAMEN BURRITO Maruchan Texas Beef

The pack is clear to discourage smuggling contraband into prison – or, I suppose out of prison. You can only (usually) but these as a prison inmate. I contacted the distributor of these and they were incredibly uninterested and standoffish about getting samples to me.

“You can only purchase them from correctional facilities.”
“I have to be in a jail or prison to get them?”
“Yes.”
“But say I don’t want to go to prison?”
“Then you’re not going to get these varieties, sir.”

It was sheer luck that I got these when I did. It’s been a search going on for over 5 years. I’ve heard mention of Texas Beef many times and though ‘what are these people talking about?!’ Not only that, the distributor as well as the manufacturer are incredibly tight lipped and not forthcoming with info on these. But they exist and many people in prisons have them every day.

Here’s my attempt at making a prison burrito. It should be noted that the noodles would most likely be cooked in a bag rather than on the stove, but This is how I did it. Also, you can substitute Maruchan Picante Beef Ramen for these – Maruchan said in an answer to a consumer question I saw that they’re the same thing. Curious if anyone will try their hand at this and send some pictures! I think I foresee people with their prison ramen burritos posing with them proudly flashing the peace sign. Enjoy!

Finished (click to enlarge). Made with Maruchan Texas Beef Ramen Noodle Soup, Doritos Nacho flavor, Chee-Tos Flamin Hot, fried garlic, minced Slim Jim, Bufalo Clasica hot sauce, spring onion, and Easy Cheese – American. The flavor was decent and the texture was rather meaty. It reminded me of when we used to take microwave burritos and but them in a baking dish and dumped a can of enchilada sauce on them and baked in the over for 45 minutes. Amazingly orange and quite tasty to be honest!

#3253: Ramen Hero Classic Miso Ramen – United States

#3253: Ramen Hero Classic Miso Ramen - United States

I got an email asking if I was interested in trying overnight delivery ramen. Hey – why not, right? So, here we are! Ramen Hero is based in the Bay Area and serves a few surrounding states at the time of this post – check their site for current service area. You pick your ramen, pay, and they’ll overnight you a set of ingredients to make a bowl of ramen at home – including garnish! Not bad. Let’s give this one a try – they send four and since they’re perishable, I’m going to do them over the next couple days.

Ramen Hero Classic Miso Ramen – United States

#3253: Ramen Hero Classic Miso Ramen - United States

Here’s the labels from the front and back (click to enlarge). Contains pork. To prepare, boil the large soup pouch for 10 minutes. when there’s 2 minutes left, boil your noodles in a seperate pot, stirring often. Also at the 1 1/2 minute point, drop the bags with the garnish in with the soup pouch to let them thaw (if needed). Finally, drain your noodles, add them to a bowl, empty the pouch of broth into your bowl, garnish, and enjoy!

#3253: Ramen Hero Classic Miso Ramen - United States

Fresh ramen noodles.

#3253: Ramen Hero Classic Miso Ramen - United States

A large pouch of miso ramen broth.

#3253: Ramen Hero Classic Miso Ramen - United States

Chashu pork belly!

#3253: Ramen Hero Classic Miso Ramen - United States

Neato seaweed!

#3253: Ramen Hero Classic Miso Ramen - United States

A special ground beef.

Pickled bamboo shoots (menma).

#3253: Ramen Hero Classic Miso Ramen - United States

Finished (click to enlarge). Aside from the included garnish, I added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, spring onion, corn, soft egg, and black sesame seeds. Noodles are great – definitely nice to have fresh ones here – and thy come out just right. The broth is a tasty miso – just rich enough. The included garnish was great – especially that ground beef which added a little sweetness. Bamboo shots were crisp, chashu was tasty too. I really loved the seaweed having the print on it – that was really fun to work with. Putting everything together was pretty simple too. 4.75 out of 5.0 stars.

Watch me cook on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

#3252: Shin Horng Lukang Thin Noodles Ginger & Sesame Oil Flavor – Taiwan

Shin Horng Lukang Thin Noodles Ginger & Sesame Oil Flavor - Taiwan

I often end up at 99 Ranch Market to pick up mung bean sprouts, other produce, and other things once every week or so. It’s a chain of Asian markets that started on the west coast but after looking at their site, they’ve popped up all over the United States – which is good – they’ve got lots of neat stuff.

It’s neat because The Ramen Rater and 99 Ranch Market have some special history. When I first started the site, I lived far from any Asian grocery stores. I got about 60 reviews in and had a five or six year hiatus. When I met my wife and I moved to Edmonds in 2010, we lived about a five minute walk from one. That rekindled my flame for instant noodles and reviewing and really was the reason you’re seeing this review today; if we hadn’t moved to that spot, I’m unsure the site would’ve ever gone forward.

I see new products popping up there all the time in the noodle aisle. Taiwanese products in particular. I saw this one last visit and thought ‘this looks interesting.’ Never seen this brand before and ginger sesame sounds good. So I got it. The hunt for the noodle is something I really love. The obscure, the never before seen. Honestly, it’s a thrill for me – perhaps in the same way some people spend their kids’ college savings at the racetrack. On the upside, this gamble is not going to break the bank. Anyways, yeah it’s something I thoroughly enjoy and here is the fruit of my search – something new.

Shin Horng Lukang Thin Noodles Ginger & Sesame Oil Flavor – Taiwan

The import/distributor’s sticker (click to enlarge).

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, boil noodles 1~2 minutes. Drain. Add 70ml water. Add sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

Shin Horng Lukang Thin Noodles Ginger & Sesame Oil Flavor - Taiwan

This was a nice surprise – shelf-stable fresh noodles.

Shin Horng Lukang Thin Noodles Ginger & Sesame Oil Flavor - Taiwan

A large wet sachet.

Shin Horng Lukang Thin Noodles Ginger & Sesame Oil Flavor - Taiwan

Finished (click to enlarge). Added sauteed beef, egg, scallion, pickled ginger, sesame seeds, and pepper flake. I used a pair of kitchen scissors to make two crosscuts of the noodles. The noodles are indeed thin with a sturdy tooth. The flavor is just excellent. A strong showing of both ginger and sesame oil taste – super savory and delicious. Hard not to put this one down. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4710575369995.

Mama Lieu’s Kitchen: A Cookbook Memoir of Delicious Taiwanese and Chinese Home Cooking for My Children

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#3251: Hokkaido Furano Ramen Tomikawa Ramen – Japan

#3251: Furano Ramen Tomikawa Ramen - Japan

This one was in a Ramen Trunk subscription box.These boxes are full of extremely high end varieties that you’ll never find in the United States or anywhere outside Japan! Check out this link and use coupon code RAMENRATER20OFF for 20% off any single box or subscription!

Here’s what they had to say about this particular variety – “Tomikawa ramenprimarily contains a shoyu (soy sauce) based broth but the recipe here involves the complex combination of chicken stock, seaweed, and a balanced hint of sardine essence combined perfectly to deliver a beautiful golden broth. Topping off the delicate bowl of ramen is a pack of fragrant chicken oil. Use at you discretion and taste preference. The noodles contained in this pack are a common medium thickness with a high protein content. As a recognition for Furano Ramen’s dedication to finding the perfect balanced taste, this Tomikawa ramen was listed in the Michelin Hokkaido Guide 2012.”

Sounds neat let’s hit it!

Furano Ramen Tomikawa Ramen – Japan

#3251: Furano Ramen Tomikawa Ramen - Japan

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Unsure what meat is in here, but sure there’s meat. To prepare, boil noodles for 5~6 minutes. Drain. Add sachet contents to 300ml boiling water. Add noodles and soup to a bowl. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#3251: Furano Ramen Tomikawa Ramen - Japan

The noodle block.

#3251: Furano Ramen Tomikawa Ramen - Japan

A large wet soup base sachet.

#3251: Furano Ramen Tomikawa Ramen - Japan

Looks like a dry sachet of onion.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added soft egg, chashu pork, spring onion, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, habanero togarashi, and black sesame seeds. Noodles were on point with a unique chew which worked well. Broth was fantastic and tasty. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.  JAN bar code 4571327730070.

#3251: Furano Ramen Tomikawa Ramen - Japan

Hokkaido: A History of Ethnic Transition and Development on Japan’s Northern Island

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#3250: Jinmailang Cup Noodles Chicken & Mushroom Flavor – United States

#3250: Jinmailang Cup Noodles Chicken & Mushroom Flavor - United States

This is an interesting one. Made in China for the US market. I found this one at a Fred Meyer supermarket here in Lynnwood – the last place I’d expect to see something like this. It’s nice to see stores expanding these kinds of things. Let’s give it a try!

Jinmailang Cup Noodles Chicken & Mushroom Flavor – United States

#3250: Jinmailang Cup Noodles Chicken & Mushroom Flavor - United States

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

#3250: Jinmailang Cup Noodles Chicken & Mushroom Flavor - United States

An included fork!

#3250: Jinmailang Cup Noodles Chicken & Mushroom Flavor - United States

The noodle block.

#3250: Jinmailang Cup Noodles Chicken & Mushroom Flavor - United States

A dry soup base sachet.

#3250: Jinmailang Cup Noodles Chicken & Mushroom Flavor - United States

A wet seasoned oil sachet.

#3250: Jinmailang Cup Noodles Chicken & Mushroom Flavor - United States

A vegetables dry sachet.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added soft egg, baked chicken, sansyo, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, and spring onion. The noodles were on the spongy side which was unfortunate. The broth had a slight chiekn flavor that was overridden by funky mushroom. Not among my favorites. 1.0 out of 5.0 stars.  UPC bar code 6921555527252.

#3250: Jinmailang Cup Noodles Chicken & Mushroom Flavor - United States

JML INSTANT NOODLE Artificial Spicy BEEF FLAVOR-5 small bags

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Happy Birthday, Singapore! New Products From Prima Taste

Some new stuff just arrived! Perfect timing too, as it’s Singapore’s 54th birthday!Let’s check it out!

Happy Birthday, Singapore! New Products From Prima Taste