Category Archives: Howsler Foods

Top Ten Best Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019

Top Ten Best Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019

This is my list of my all time favorites (compiled up to review #3132). These are the best and most memorable varieties – some you’ll be able to find easily, some you won’t. In the images you see, you’ll see garnished bowls of noodles. Note – reviewing is done BEFORE products have anything externally added by myself, and I follow directions on the package – for better or for worse. I should also note that going forward, the official last day for companies to submit varieties to be considered for the annual top ten will be January 31st. That’s enough – let’s have a look at The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition!

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

Video Presentation

A special presentation of The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition.

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

#10: Indomie Real Meat Mi Instan Goreng Rendang – Indonesia

Top Ten Best Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019

The first Indomie variety on the list in years and it’s really amazing. Basically take their Mi Goreng Rendang and include a sachet of real rendang in a retort pouch. This comes after recently hearing that Indomie Rendang is hard to find here in the United States, something I was surprised to hear since it’s such a popular product and such a good one. Original review

#9: Sau Tao Tom Yum Kung Flavour Ramen – Hong Kong

Top Ten Best Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019

I’ve become enamored and thrilled with the straight ramen noodle varieties in recent years – especially ones from Hong Kong which have been on the last two The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time lists. This is Sau Tao’s first appearance on the list. A Thai flavor is delivered masterfully – broth has a great richness and crispness of tom yum kung – spicy and lemongrass and shrimp notes play together very well. Original review

#8: Mom’s Dry Noodle Dan Dan Noodle – Taiwan

Top Ten Best Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019

It’s second year on The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time, Mom’s Dry Noodles’ Dan Dan Noodle is just wonderful stuff. A broth-free offering with gourmet Taiwanese dry noodles, and myriad sauces that harmonize, salty, spicy, sweet and other flavors masterfully. Flavorful and deep. Original review

#7: Red Chef Green Tom Yum Soup Noodles – Malaysia

Top Ten Best Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019

Another one returning to The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time list, Red Chef’s Green Tom Yum Soup Noodles feature a fried noodle with a great mouthfeel and quantity. They work well with the broth which is like a mashup of tom yum and green curry. The spiciness and flavors are just great – it might seem like a strange gimmicky kind of thing but definitely not. I love the new and this is a new flavor for the instant noodle world. Original review

#6: Prima Taste Singapore Curry Wholegrain La Mian – Singapore

Top Ten Best Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019

Since a very young age when my mother would cook curried chicken livers over rice, I’ve absolutely loved curry. This one is just mind blowing and has been on the top ten for years and years. The noodles are thick and chewy  – and have a rustic kind of feel to them. Marry that to the broth which comes from a large sachet of curry paste and one full of coconut milk powder, you end up with a rich, luxuriant experience you’ll love. I should note they also have a version with non-wholegrain noodles which is also very impressive. Original review

#5: CarJEN Nyonya Curry Laksa – Malaysia

Top Ten Best Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019

Back again with their rich curry noodle, CarJEN brings something very special to the table in their Nyonya Curry Laksa. You dip the paste seen on the spoon into the broth to flavor it and it has little bits of shrimp in there that really are a nice addition. Sweetness, spiciness, richness from coconut milk powder, and a nice plump noodle makes this so tasty and memorable. Original Review

#4: A-Sha Gourmet Braised Beef Noodle Soup – Taiwan

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

This is the highest position a Taiwanese variety has achieved in The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time before – congratulations, Taiwan! For a long time, I’ve really enjoyed this style of noodle from Taiwan. It’s wide, with a center line which is thicker, and the sides are thinner – which gives them a very unique and wonderful mouthfeel. I’ve also always thought that these would just sing is in a broth (usually they are presented with a combination of sauces but no broth). The soup is rich with a strong beef flavor and hint of Sichuan peppercorn that do not overwhelm. The nice part is the inclusion of real beef in here. It should be noted that there is a special version of this that comes out during Lunar New Year which includes Wagyu beef – very expensive at a whopping $15USD per serving!, but very tasty as well. Original review

#3: Liangchengmei Biang Biang Men – China

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

My wife Kit saw this while we were up in Canada and it piqued my curiosity so thought hey let’s give it a try. Noodles are very broad – over an inch. The flavoring is just superb – to use a word I normally don’t, this is yummy. What’s interesting too is that they included meat – at least I thought it was meat – it’s made from soy protein! Unique, delicious, and the highest a Chinese variety has achieved on The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time to date. Congratulations! Original review

#2: Red Chef Spicy Sakura Prawn Soup Noodles – Malaysia

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

Let the prawn-slaught begin! Returning to the #2 spot this year, we have a Red Chef variety that just gives and gives when it comes to sweet and savory prawn flavor. This umami bomb has a nice chewy noodle that is complimented by just the sweetest, strongest prawn broth with an excellent thickness and just the right amount of spiciness. What’s more they include a sachet of crispy onions to put on top that round things out so well. If you want to have a prawn freak out, this is an indispensable tool. Original review

#1: Prima Taste Singapore Wholegrain Laksa La Mian — Singapore

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

For the fourth year in a row, Prima Taste wins with it’s excellent Wholegrain Laksa. If  abandoned on an island with only a life supply of instant noodles, I’d want them to be these, period. Hearty artisan noodles which are thick and of good quantity are combined with a broth which has a strong flavor and richness from coconut milk powder. A flavorful and striking noodle dish. Original review

What’s New

Instant Noodle Recipe Time

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

In the last year, I’ve decided to start doing videos for each on of my reviews and as of April 3rd, I’ve done 295 episodes. You can watch me cook and garnish everything as I sit at my stove. People have commented ‘why do you sit?’ Well, it’s a lot easier to record the show that way. Why do you wear sunglasses all the time? I’m legally blind and light sensitive. I answer a lot of questions about what I do from reader questions as well as talk about what I’m up to and give opinions and chatter about anything that crosses my mind. The show comes out every single day at 2pm Seattle time. Check out the show here.

The Chocolate Break

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

What began as something to try once has become a project my wife Kit and I do regularly. The Chocolate Break is where we try chocolate from around the world – and give our opinions on them. I’m proud to announce that www.thechocolatebreak.com is up and has rundowns of every single episode! Check it out and let us know what you think!

Big Changes For Me

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2019 Edition

Some of you have been noticing I’ve been losing weight – thank you! In fact I’ve been working hard on that. Reviews I do are usually involving me eating maybe 5% of a bowl of noodles, if that. Everything else goes down the drain.

I keep my regime to around 1200~1500 calories a day. I’ve also been doing a lot of walking with my daughter Miriam. With her stroller decked out with lots of lights and a really loud speaker (I usually play a lot of Primus, Herbie Hancock, Sepultura, Deodato, and Tobacco), we walk all over town. My feet hurt, too! If you put together our walking from April 1st and April 2nd, it comes to 21.12 miles (33.989km)! No, that is NOT a typo. My doctor told me I had high cholesterol back in October and I decided to make some changes. I’ll find out how I’ve done later this month and let you guys know how I’ve done so far.

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

It’s been quite a year of reviewing as far as Taiwan is concerned. I brought back a trove of varieties I’d never had the chance to try before. Really opened my eyes many varieties that people had recommended I try over the years. This is the top ten – the best Taiwanese varieties I’ve tried from the over 2,500+ reviews I’ve posted to date. As always, if I’ve not tried your noodles, please contact me! I’m interested! Let’s check it out!

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

A special video presentation of The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition.

#10: Kiki Noodles Sichuan Spices Flavor Noodle

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

Noodles are thin with a great chew to them. The flavor is excellent – there’s a sweetness and a fire! I really like how the pepper is in a sachet – gives one the option for how hot they like their noodles. Original review

#9: Mom’s Dry Noodle Sichuan Spicy Flavor

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The scalloped edges, the width, the chew are great and in fact, I could chew on these forever – not that they’re overly chewy and would require such. The spicy Sichuan pepper flavor coats and satisfies. Furthermore, it’s not a one trick pony and in the end, it’s spicy and very tasty as well. Original review

#8: Mom’s Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The noodles are flat and a little broader with a very serious chew to them. The flavor is very unique. It’s a kind of crisp black vinegar hit along with a spicy oil hit to it. It’s like ping pong; you notice the heat, then the vinegar, then the heat. Original review

#7: TTL Sesame Oil Chicken With Rice Wine Noodle

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The noodles are soft and plentiful – very nice. A soft noodle works very well here in a sea of chicken flavored broth. The notes of ginger and sesame go well with the rice wine. Finally, the real chicken is really good. Original review

#6: Uni-President Man Han Feast Super Hot Pot Beef Flavor Instant Noodles

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

Here’s one I’d been hoping to try. Recommended to me quite a few times, this one features a soft noodle with a rich beef broth. The heat isn’t too much and the beef really adds a nice extra. Original review

#5: Kiki Noodles Scallion Oil & Soy Sauce Flavor Noodle

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The noodles are thin and have a very agreeable mouthfeel. The flavor is a sweet kind of onion hit which is quite tasty. Original review

#4: Tseng Noodle Scallion With Sichuan Pepper Flavor

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

A wide noodle with scalloped edges. These have the bonus of a thin edge and thicker center, giving a delicate as well as hearty aspect. The flavor is very good – a soy bump, some onion hit, then the Sichuan pepper oil. It all works together magnificently. Original review

#3: Little Cook Thailand Green Curry Instant Noodle

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

This bowl, in fact, is two bowls. One you steep the noodles in. The second? Drain the broth from the first by poking holes in the lid and pour into it. The noodle is accompanied by a spicy green curry and chunks of vegetable and real chicken. The broth slurping soup worked well too. Original review

#2: Xiao Ban Mian Traditional Shallot & Onion Oil Noodle

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

Start with a thin kind of rectangular noodle with a strong chew. The flavor that comes with it is a sweet and savory shallot and scallion oil – and it works so well. Who would think something so simple could be so delightful. Original review

#1: Mom’s Dry Noodle Dan Dan Noodle

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The noodles came out with a very nice chew. They aren’t mushy whatsoever and have a confident backbone. The flavor is very good as well. The notes of sesame, Sichuan pepper oil, Sichuan pepper in the dry mix, sesame sauce as well as soy sauce all work together and play well with each other; nobody’s feet get stepped on. Simple yet complex. Original review

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom’s Dry Noodle Vegan Chilli With Sesame Sauce

Mom’s Dry Noodle Vegan Chilli With Sesame Sauce - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

A lot of people these days are giving up meat and switching to the Vegan lifestyle. So, what’s the difference between Vegetarian and Vegan? It seems like there are many different ‘flavors’ of Vegetarianism. For example, I have a friend who claims to be vegetarian, however he eats bacon, eggs and Jack In The Box fast food tacos. Here’s what wikipedia has to say about Veganism:

Veganism is both the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals.[9] A follower of either the diet or the philosophy is known as a vegan (pronounced vee-gən).

Distinctions are sometimes made between several categories of veganism. Dietary vegans refrain from ingesting animal products. This means avoiding not only meat but also egg and dairy products and other animal-derived foodstuffs.[n 1] Some dietary vegans choose to wear clothing that includes animal products (for example, leather or wool).[15] The term ethical vegan is often applied to those who extend the philosophy beyond diet into other areas of their lives. This philosophy means opposing the use of animal products for any purpose.[n 2] Environmental veganism refers to avoiding animal products on the premise that harvesting or industrial farming of animals is environmentally damaging and unsustainable.[20]

The term vegan was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson when he co-founded the Vegan Society in England. At first this meant “non-dairy vegetarian” and later “the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals”.[21] Interest in veganism increased in the 2010s; more vegan shops opened, and vegan options became increasingly available in more supermarkets and restaurants in many countries.[22]

Vegan diets tend to be higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and phytochemicals, and lower in dietary energy, saturated fat, cholesterol, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12.[n 3] Well-planned vegan diets can reduce the risk of some types of chronic disease including heart disease.[24] Vegan diets are regarded as appropriate for all stages of the life-cycle by the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, and Dietitians of Canada.[25] Because uncontaminated plant foods do not provide vitamin B12 (which is produced by microorganisms such as bacteria), researchers agree that vegans should eat B12-fortified foods or take a supplement.[n 4]

I always thought that Veganism just was about food, but apparently it can reach into other aspects of life as well. Let’s take a look at this spicy Vegan spicy chilli and sesame variety from Mom’s Dry Noodle.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Vegan Chilli With Sesame Sauce – Taiwan

Mom’s Dry Noodle Vegan Chilli With Sesame Sauce - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). The manufacturer has told me that this is Vegan friendly. To prepare, first add noodle block to a pot of water and boil for 5 1/2 minutes. Then drain. Add in sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

Mom’s Dry Noodle Vegan Chilli With Sesame Sauce - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

One of four servings in the package.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Vegan Chilli With Sesame Sauce - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

The noodle block.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Vegan Chilli With Sesame Sauce - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

A liquid sachet.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Vegan Chilli With Sesame Sauce - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Looks like soy sauce.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Vegan Chilli With Sesame Sauce - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

A tan colored liquid in a sachet.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Vegan Chilli With Sesame Sauce - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Definitely the sesame saucer.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Vegan Chilli With Sesame Sauce - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Finally, we have an oil sachet.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Vegan Chilli With Sesame Sauce - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

A spicy chilli oil.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, sliced shallot and garlic and spiralized cucumber. The noodles are great – nice chew and good quantity. The flavor is very strong – that nice kind of peanutty sesame sauce and then a really good spicy bite from Sichuan pepper oil. Ties together nicely. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4717011150018.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Vegan Chilli With Sesame Sauce - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Find Mom’s Dry Noodle Products at Rakuten

A short documentary about Veganism.

Meet The Manufacturer: #2313: Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Oil With Garlic Flavor Thin Noodle

Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Oil With Garlic Flavor Thin Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant noodles

This looks very interesting. Check out how thin these noodles are! Sesame and garlic are great flavors to marry together as well. So we’ve seen sesame sauce – the tan colored peanutty kind of stuff and today it’s sesame oil – a much lighter fare. Let’s have a look!

Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Oil With Garlic Flavor Thin Noodle – Taiwan

Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Oil With Garlic Flavor Thin Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant noodles

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add noodles to a pot of boiling water and cook 2-3 minutes. Drain. Add 2 tablespoons water and sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Oil With Garlic Flavor Thin Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant noodles

These almost look so thin they’re like rice vermicelli!

Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Oil With Garlic Flavor Thin Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant noodles

The first of two sachets.

Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Oil With Garlic Flavor Thin Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant noodles

A dark liquid.

Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Oil With Garlic Flavor Thin Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant noodles

A dry sachet.

Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Oil With Garlic Flavor Thin Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant noodles

Has a strong garlic scent.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added sous vide chicken, cucumber and carrot. The noodles are exceedingly thin. They don’t clump which is nice, and the oil keeps them separated.  The flavor is of garlic and sesame oil. I found the garlic overwhelms the sesame a bit. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4717011150261.

Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Oil With Garlic Flavor Thin Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant noodles

Find Xiao  Ban  Mian on Rakuten

A tour of the factory in Taichung where these noodles are manufactured.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom’s Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Here’s one I really like. It has what I like to call a ‘back and forth effect flavor.’ It’s like you get one flavor lingering then your palate gets the hint of another flavor, then back to the first. It’s really unique in this way – reminds me of one of my favorite hot sauces – not in the taste, mind you, but this kind of back and forth. Let’s check it out!

Mom’s Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor – Taiwan

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Here’s the back of the outer package (click to enlarge). The manufacturer has assured me that this is Vegan friendly.. To prepare, boil a pot of water. Add in noodle block and cook for 5 1/2 minutes. Drain. Finally, add in sachet contents. Stir and enjoy!

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

The package contains 4 servings like this.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

A different style of noodle block.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

The first of 3 liquid sachets.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Has a kind of soy scent.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Another liquid sachet.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Black vinegar I believe.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

A final liquid sachet.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Looks like a spicy oil.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added spiralized cucumber, baby corn and garlic. I really like these noodles. They are flat and a little broader with a very serious chew to them. The flavor is very unique. It’s a kind of crisp black vinegar hit along with a spicy oil hit to it. It’s like ping pong; you notice the heat, then the vinegar, then the heat. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 4717011150117.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Find Mom’s Dry Noodle Products at Rakuten

Mom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp among other varieties being featured on a popular Taiwanese TV show.

Meet The Manufacturer: #2312: Xiao Ban Mian Traditional Shallot & Onion Oil Noodle

Xiao Ban Mian Traditional Shallot & Onion Oil Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

During my trip to Taiwan in November of 2016, I had the opportunity to try the three varieties of the new Xiao Ban Mian line. I remember this one in particular; it was really quite good and I only got a bite or two of it – my sister actually scarfed this one down quickly! Now, back in the controlled environment of my noodle lab (sounds more amazing than it is, really), I’m really excited to give this a try. Let’s check it out!

Xiao Ban Mian Traditional Shallot & Onion Oil Noodle – Taiwan

Xiao Ban Mian Traditional Shallot & Onion Oil Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add noodles to a pot of boiling water and cook for 6-7 minutes. Drain. Add noodles, sachet contents and 2 tablespoons of water to a bowl. Stir and enjoy!

Xiao Ban Mian Traditional Shallot & Onion Oil Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Ther packages contain three servings. This is one of the servings of noodles.

Xiao Ban Mian Traditional Shallot & Onion Oil Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

A dry sachet.

Xiao Ban Mian Traditional Shallot & Onion Oil Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Shallot? Onion? Neither? It’s granular.

Xiao Ban Mian Traditional Shallot & Onion Oil Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

A liquid sachet.

Xiao Ban Mian Traditional Shallot & Onion Oil Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Has a nice kind of onion scent.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added fried onion, cucumber, pork and chilli flake. The noodles have a perfect gauge and chew. Furthermore, they come off extremely premium. The flavor is out of this world – Just a perfect marriage of shallot and sesame – goes together very well. There’s the perfect amount of flavor to this dish – not too salty, not bland. A perfect balance. I’m definitely thrilled to have tried this – mind blowing stuff! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4717011150278.

Xiao Ban Mian Traditional Shallot & Onion Oil Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Find Xiao  Ban Mian on Rakuten

A tour of the factory in Taichung where these noodles are manufactured.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom’s Dry Noodle Sichuan Spicy Flavor

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodles Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant NoodlesSo I remember the first time I tried this one a couple years ago. Indeed, it is spicy! Sichuan pepper is a little different kind of spicy in contrast to a jalapeno or wasabi – here’s a little info about the Sichuan pepper from wikipedia:

Sichuan pepper’s unique aroma and flavour is not hot or pungent like black, white, or chili peppers. Instead, it has slight lemony overtones and creates a tingly numbness in the mouth (caused by its 3% of hydroxy alpha sanshool) that sets the stage for hot spices. According to Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking, they are not simply pungent; “they produce a strange, tingling, buzzing, numbing sensation that is something like the effect of drinks with carbonation or of a mild electric current (touching the terminals of a nine-volt battery to the tongue).

Sanshools appear to act on several different kinds of nerve endings at once, induce sensitivity to touch and cold in nerves that are ordinarily nonsensitive, and so perhaps cause a kind of general neurological confusion.”

Recipes often suggest lightly toasting the tiny seed pods, then crushing them before adding them to food. Only the husks are used; the shiny black seeds are discarded or ignored as they have a very gritty, sand-like texture. The spice is generally added at the last moment. Star anise and ginger are often used with it in spicy Sichuan cuisine. It has an alkaline pH and a numbing effect on the lips when eaten in larger doses.

Ma la sauce (Chinese: 麻辣; pinyin: málà; literally “numbing and spicy”), common in Sichuan cooking, is a combination of Sichuan pepper and chili pepper, and it is a key ingredient in má là hot pot, the Sichuan version of the traditional Chinese dish. It is also a common flavouring in Sichuan baked goods such as sweetened cakes and biscuits.[citation needed] Beijingmicrobrewery Great Leap Brewing uses Sichuan peppercorns, offset by honey, as a flavouring adjunct in its Honey Ma Blonde.[12]

Sichuan pepper is also available as an oil (Chinese: 花椒油, marketed as either “Sichuan pepper oil”, “Bunge prickly ash oil”, or “huajiao oil”). In this form, it is best used in stir-fry noodle dishes without hot spices.[citation needed] The recipe may include ginger oil and brown sugar cooked with a base of noodles and vegetables, then rice vinegar and Sichuan pepper oil are added after cooking.[citation needed]

Indeed tingling and numbing going on here. As a matter of fact, yeah, that’s kind of something I would say describes the sensation very well. Definitely easier to understand if you have it firsthand of course. Of course, it’s kind of like explaining chocolate to someone who’s never tasted anything sweet. Ultimately, let’s give this one another look – it was #1 on my Top Ten Taiwan list in 2014!

 Mom’s Dry Noodles Sichuan Spicy Flavor – Taiwan

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodles Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant Noodles

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains meat. To prepare, add noodle block to a pot of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain. Add sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodles Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant Noodles

One of the four servings in the package.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodles Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant Noodles

The noodle block.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodles Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant Noodles

The first of three sachets.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodles Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant Noodles

A kind of soy mixture.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodles Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant Noodles

A reddish liquid.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodles Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant Noodles

A paste with a spicy scent.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodles Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant Noodles

An oil sachet.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodles Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant Noodles

An oil with a deep yellow hue.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Chinese sausage, carrot, spring onion and fried onion. So I have to say I love these noodles! The scalloped edges, the width, the chew are great and in fact, I could chew on these forever – not that they’re overly chewy and would require such. The spicy Sichuan pepper flavor coats and satisfies. Furthermore, it’s not a one trick pony and in the end, it’s spicy and very tasty as well. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4717011150001.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodles Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Instant Noodles

Find Mom’s Dry Noodle Products at Rakuten

A visit to the factory in Taichung where the noodles are produced.

Meet The Manufacturer: #2311: Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Sauce Matcha Noodle

Meet The Manufacturer: #2311: Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Sauce Matcha Noodle - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan - instant noodles

Xian Bian Mian is a new line from Howsler Foods. They all use straight noodles and are a bit different from the Mom’s Dry Noodle line. These tall narrow packs have three servings in each. So matcha has become really popular – but what is it? Let’s ask wikipedia:

matcha (抹茶?, pronounced [mat.tɕa][n 1]) is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea. It is special in two aspects of farming and processing: the green tea plants for matcha are shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest, and the stems and veins are removed in processing. During shaded growth, the plant Camellia sinensis produces more theanine and caffeine. This combination of chemicals is considered to account for the calm energy people might feel from drinking m atcha. The powder form of m atcha is consumed differently from tea leaves or tea bags, and is dissolved in a liquid, typically water or milk.

The traditional Chinese and Japanese tea ceremony centers on the preparation, serving, and drinking of matcha as hot tea and embodies a meditative spiritual style. In modern times, matcha also has come to be used to flavor and dye foods such as mochi and soba noodles, green tea ice cream, matcha lattes, and a variety of Japanese wagashi confectionery. Often, the former is referred to as ceremonial-grade matcha, meaning that the matcha powder is good enough for tea ceremony. The latter is referred to as culinary-grade matcha, but there is no standard industry definition or requirements for either.

Blends of matcha are given poetic names known as chamei (“tea names”) either by the producing plantation, shop, or creator of the blend, or, by the grand master of a particular tea tradition. When a blend is named by the grand master of a tea ceremony lineage, it becomes known as the master’s konomi, or a Butcher block of Leaf.

Let’s have a look!

Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Sauce Matcha Noodle – Taiwan

Meet The Manufacturer: #2311: Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Sauce Matcha Noodle - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan - instant noodles

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add noodles to a pot of boiling water and cook for 6-7 minutes. Drain. Add noodles, sachet contents and 2 tablespoons of water to a bowl. Finally, stir and enjoy!

Meet The Manufacturer: #2311: Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Sauce Matcha Noodle - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan - instant noodles

One of the three portions of noodles.

Meet The Manufacturer: #2311: Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Sauce Matcha Noodle - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan - instant noodles

A liquid sachet.

Meet The Manufacturer: #2311: Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Sauce Matcha Noodle - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan - instant noodles

Sesame sauce.

Meet The Manufacturer: #2311: Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Sauce Matcha Noodle - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan - instant noodles

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, shredded carrot and Chinese yam. So the noodles came out with a great chewiness and quality to them. Furthermore, they definitely had a strong matcha scent when cooking. Indeed, the sauce is thick and coated everything quite well. Moreover, it had a strong peanut kind of taste to it. Unfortunately, the bitter green tea taste was a little too much for me, but if you like that flavor, this should be up your alley. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 4717011150285.

Meet The Manufacturer: #2311: Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Sauce Matcha Noodle - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan - instant noodles

Find Xiao Ban Mian on Rakuten

A tour of the factory in Taichung where these noodles are manufactured.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp Flavor

Mom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp Flavor - Taiwan - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Here’s one I’ve liked for a while . In fact, it’s on the Taiwanese op Ten list! I really like shrimp as well as onion! I thought since I’ve had the opportunity to try a nice amount of Taiwanese food now, I’d share this info about their food from wikipedia:

Pork, seafood, chicken, rice, and soy are very common ingredients. Beef is far less common, and some Taiwanese (particularly the elderly generation) still refrain from eating it.[1] This is in part due to the considerations of some Taiwanese Buddhists, a traditional reluctance towards slaughtering precious cattle needed for agriculture, and an emotional attachment and feeling of gratitude and thanks to the animals traditionally used for very hard labour.[1] However, due to influences from the influx of out of province Chinese in the early 1900s, the Taiwanese version of beef noodle soup is now one of the most popular dishes in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s cuisine has also been influenced by its geographic location. Living on a crowded island, the Taiwanese had to look aside from the farmlands for sources of protein. As a result, seafood figures prominently in their cuisine. This seafood encompasses many different things, from large fish such as tuna and grouper, to sardines and even smaller fish such as anchovies. Crustaceans, squid, and cuttlefish are also eaten.
A pork keⁿ, a thick soup with tofu and surimi-coated pork
Because of the island’s sub-tropical location, Taiwan has an abundant supply of various fruit, such as papayas, starfruit, melons, and citrus fruit. A wide variety of tropical fruits, imported and native, are also enjoyed in Taiwan. Other agricultural products in general are rice, corn, tea, pork, poultry, beef, fish, and other fruits and vegetables. Fresh ingredients in Taiwan are readily available from markets.

In many of their dishes, the Taiwanese have shown their creativity in their selection of spices. Taiwanese cuisine relies on an abundant array of seasonings for flavour: soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, fermented black beans, pickled radish, pickled mustard greens, peanuts, chili peppers, cilantro (sometimes called Chinese parsley), and a local variety of basil (九層塔; káu-chàn-tha̍h; “nine story pagoda”).

An important part of Taiwanese cuisine are xiaochi,[2] substantial snacks along the lines of Spanish tapas or Levantine meze.

The Taiwanese xiaochi has gained much reputation internationally. Many travelers go to Taiwan just for xiǎochī. The most common place to enjoy xiǎochī in Taiwan is in a night market. Each night market also has its own famous xiǎochī.

Moreover, the Taiwanese xiǎochī has been improving to a higher level. Nowadays, Taiwanese xiǎochī not only served in night markets but some luxury and high-end restaurants. The prices usually jump 100% or even higher in the restaurants. Also, the Taiwanese government supports the Taiwanese xiǎochī and has held national xiǎochī events in Taiwan regularly.

Let’s give this one a try.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp Flavor – Taiwan

Mom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp Flavor - Taiwan - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains shrimp. To prepare, boil a pot of water. Add in noodle block and cook for 5 1/2 minutes. Drain. Finally, add in sachet contents. Stir and enjoy!

Mom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp Flavor - Taiwan - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

The package contains 4 servings like this.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp Flavor - Taiwan - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

The noodle block.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp Flavor - Taiwan - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

A dry sachet.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp Flavor - Taiwan - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Looks like shrimp and chives perhaps?

Mom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp Flavor - Taiwan - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

A liquid sachet.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp Flavor - Taiwan - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Dark – maybe soy sauce.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp Flavor - Taiwan - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

A second liquid sachet.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp Flavor - Taiwan - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

The onion oil.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added spiralized carrot, sliced spring onion and a shrimp. Good gauge and chew once again to these fine noodles. The flavor is amazing! I gave it 5 stars last time but I feel like I should give it 6 although that isn’t possible! The taste is a great shrimp and onion fusion – sweet and absolutely delicious. Okay, I’m saying it. yummy. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 4717011150018.

Mom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp Flavor - Taiwan - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater

Find Mom’s Dry Noodle Products at Rakuten

Mom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp among other varieties being featured on a popular Taiwanese TV show.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom’s Dry Noodle Pepper & Sesame Sauce

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Pepper & Sesame Sauce - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan

So today we kick off Meet The Manufacturer with a unique variety – pepper and sesame sauce. First, this is black pepper, not hot chill. Second, sesame sauce is completely different from sesame oil. Sesame sauce has a more peanut butter kind of texture and flavor whereas sesame oil has that strong sesame scent and saltiness. Let’s dig into this one and get things started!

Mom’s Dry Noodle Pepper & Sesame Sauce – Taiwan

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Pepper & Sesame Sauce - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). The manufacturer has assured me it is Vegan friendly. To prepare, first add noodle block to a pot of water and boil for 5 1/2 minutes. Then drain. Add in sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Pepper & Sesame Sauce - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan

The package contains 4 servings like this.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Pepper & Sesame Sauce - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan

The noodle block.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Pepper & Sesame Sauce - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan

A dry sachet.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Pepper & Sesame Sauce - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan

Pepper! Made me sneeze!

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Pepper & Sesame Sauce - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan

The first of three liquid sachets.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Pepper & Sesame Sauce - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan

Smells like a soy sauce.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Pepper & Sesame Sauce - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan

The second liquid sachet.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Pepper & Sesame Sauce - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan

Has a kind of peanut scent to it.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Pepper & Sesame Sauce - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan

An oil sachet.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Pepper & Sesame Sauce - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan

A deep orange colored oil.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, shredded carrot and Chinese yam. The noodles came out very well – good chew and gauge. I really liked how the sesame and pepper played off of eachother; worked very well. 4.25 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4717011150186.

Meet The Manufacturer: Re-Review: Mom's Dry Noodle Pepper & Sesame Sauce - The Ramen Rater - Taiwan

Find Mom’s Dry Noodle Products at Rakuten

I visited Mom’s Dry Noodle back in November, 2016. We traveled south to Tainan to visit a noodle factory – don’t worry, I won’t quit my day job when it comes to folding them, but flipping – that I can do!

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Howsler Foods (2 of 2)

Since Meet The Manufacturer can be up to 15 reviews, I told Kyle over at Howsler foods that I’d be able to re-review varieties he’d sent before. He was pretty happy about this and so here’s a box of them. So, let’s pop it open!

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Howsler Foods (2 of 2) – Taiwan

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Howsler Foods (2 of 2) - Mom's Dry Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Here are five bags. Each has four individual servings within.

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Howsler Foods (2 of 2) - Mom's Dry Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

So this is simply awesome (click to enlarge). As I’ve said in the past, I see the Taiwanese dry noodle companies to be ‘master of simplicity.’ I think the colors are really great! Thanks to Howsler Foods for sending them all again!

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Howsler Foods (1 of 2)

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Howsler Foods (1 of 2) - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Here’s the first box from Howsler Foods. So let’s crack it open!

Product Samples From Howsler Foods (1 of 2) – Taiwan

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Howsler Foods (1 of 2) - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Well packed, indeed!

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Howsler Foods (1 of 2) - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Here is one of the three new Xiao Ban Mian varieties (click to enlarge).

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Howsler Foods (1 of 2) - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

A new poster (click to enlarge). Co-founder Kyle Kao autographed it for me! Thanks – this will go onto the Wall Of Fame soon as it’s laminated.

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Howsler Foods (1 of 2) - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

A nice bowl (click to enlarge). So I often ask companies if they want to send a special bowl for pictures. Thank you!

Meet The Manufacturer: Product Samples From Howsler Foods (1 of 2) - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Two little jars of spicy sauce (click to enlarge). So these are full of a spicy sauce! Thanks again!