Category Archives: Xiao Ban Mian

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2020 Edition

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2020 Edition

This is the seventh year of the Top Ten Taiwan Instant Noodles list! Every year, I’m truly amazed at the innovation and unique varieties coming from the beautiful island of Taiwan. If you haven’t had the experience of visiting, you really should – the food, the culture – it truly has been a life changing experience for me. Growing up, all I knew of Taiwan was labels on products that simply said ‘made in Taiwan’ – but it so much more. One aspect is the noodle, and they’re really unique and delicious. This is a list of my favorite out of the reviews I’ve done up to number 3,284. Many images you will see have garnish, however only the base product before any is added is what’s reviewed, as in all of my reviews. I hope you enjoy this year’s list and consider trying some of these great varieties if you’ve not tried before – they’re really great! With that, here’s the Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2020 Edition.

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2020 Edition

Video Presentation

Watch me talk about each variety of The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2020 Edition. A special addition this year is a list at the end of honorable mentions!

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2020 Edition

#10: A-Sha Dry Noodle Dan Zai Noodle

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2020 Edition

The noodles have a flat and broad gauge and an excellent chewiness I’ve come to expect from the A-Sha line of products. The flavor is very good – a kind of spicy, salty, slightly sweet and then this savoriness to it – lots of spices that I can really only describe as tasking like Taiwan. Original review

#9: Three Meters Noodles Shallot Taste

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2020 Edition

Nice gauge and light chew. The flavor was just mind-blowingly good and I am thoroughly excited about this one. The shallot flavor is just right – not too salty, not too pushy – just exactly perfect. Original review

#8: TTL Pickled Vegetable Beef With Hua Diao Liquor

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2020 Edition

This one I enjoyed immensely – lots of noodles, but the broth was the show stopper. The combo of the liquor and the rich beef broth was very savory. Add vegetables and real beef from the retort pouch and there’s why it’s on this list. Original review

#7: Shin Horng Lukang Thin Noodles Ginger & Sesame Oil Flavor

#7: Shin Horng Lukang Thin Noodles Ginger & Sesame Oil Flavor

A very recent review. Found this at a local store and the combo of ginger and sesame was intriguing. Take a thin noodle and combine it aptly with the aforementioned flavors and there you go. Very tasty ginger and sesame are in the forefront and it’s just plain umami incarnate. Original review

#6: Tseng Noodle Scallion With Sichuan Pepper Flavor

#6: Tseng Noodle Scallion With Sichuan Pepper Flavor

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

#5: Little Cook Thailand Green Curry Chicken

#5: Little Cook Thailand Green Curry Chicken

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

#4: Xiao Ban Mian Traditional Shallot & Scallion Oil Noodle

#4: Xiao Ban Mian Traditional Shallot & Scallion Oil Noodle

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

#3: Mom’s Dry Noodle Blue Elephant Curries

#3: Mom's Dry Noodle Blue Elephant Curries

I think it’s safe to say most people who follow this website are keen on the fact that I love Thai food and I love curry. What’s neat here is that these curries – one red and one green – pair so well with a Taiwanese noodle – and naturally so. Savory curries and dry noodles marry in such a way that a perfect balance of two cuisines harmonize rather than find conflict or dissonance. Impressive! Original reviews 1 & 2

#2: Mom’s Dry Noodle Dan Dan Noodle

#2: Mom’s Dry Noodle Dan Dan Noodle

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

#1: A-Sha Gourmet Braised Beef Noodle

#1: A-Sha Gourmet Braised Beef Noodle

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

Updates

Top Ten Lists

Spiciest Instant Noodles 2020

Usually, this Taiwan list would have been released 3 weeks ago – the spicy list would’ve been released last month – what gives?! Well, I’ve been busy. With my 3 year old son Miles home from preschool all summer, time has been spent with him a lot more. Setting up a green screen is a lot more difficult with him and his little sister Miriam running around like banshees in our apartment. I’ve been busy with something else as well…

Weight Loss

The Ramen Rater Diet

In October of 2018, my doctor (who is Taiwanese I should mention!) Gave me a talk. It was the talk I’d gotten many times from him and other doctors: you need to lose weight. He said also that my cholesterol was very high. He told me this on the right day at the right time I suppose and I decided to go all in. I did my first The Ramen Rater Diet video in April after I visited my doctor in April, having lost 65 pounds. I’ve kept it up and lost a lot more since then, and the next video will be out towards the end of October – after a year of eating healthy and exercising every day (I walk a lot – up to 25 miles in a day), I’ll do a big update and share more of what I do and how I do it with you. Many folks have taken my advice and are getting healthier as well, which is very humbling. I think if I can make a big change like this, anyone can!

#3054: Xiao Ban Mian Spicy Meat Paste Flavor Noodle – Taiwan

#3054: Xiao Ban Mian Spicy Meat Paste Flavor Noodle - Taiwan

I’ve tried all three of the other Xiao Ban Mian flavors. Their Traditional Shallot & Onion Oil variety hit #2 on the Top Ten Taiwan list last year. I’m stoked to be able to try this one – really don’t know what to expect, honestly. This is completely different from the rest. Let’s dive in!

Xiao Ban Mian Spicy Meat Paste Flavor Noodle – Taiwan

#3054: Xiao Ban Mian Spicy Meat Paste Flavor Noodle - Taiwan

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Guessing it contains meat from the name. To prepare, Add a bundle of noodles and cook 6~7 minutes. Drain. Add in sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#3054: Xiao Ban Mian Spicy Meat Paste Flavor Noodle - Taiwan

This packge has three servings. Note how the noodles are a little broad and flat unlike the other varieties’ noodles.

#3054: Xiao Ban Mian Spicy Meat Paste Flavor Noodle - Taiwan

On of the liquid sachets.

#3054: Xiao Ban Mian Spicy Meat Paste Flavor Noodle - Taiwan

A thick sauce.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added sliced red pepper, soft egg, fried onion and scallions. The noodles are excellent – thicker gauge providing a very hearty chew, yet not over chewy. The flavoring has a nice little punch of Sichuan pepper and it light and a little meaty. All wraps together very well. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 4717011150728.

#3054: Xiao Ban Mian Spicy Meat Paste Flavor Noodle - Taiwan

Taiwan Film Directors: A Treasure Island (Film and Culture Series)

Watch me cook this one up on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

New Labeling & New Products from Mom’s Dry Noodle – Unboxing Time

New Labeling & New Products from Mom's Dry Noodle - Unboxing Time

Was really looking forward to this one – product samples from Mom’s Dry Noodle. A couple new ones in here – a meat one from Xiao Ban Mian and a new flavor from the Mom’s Dry Noodle line! Let’s get to it and take a look!

New Labeling & New Products from Mom’s Dry Noodle – Taiwan

This is one big, heavy box! Thank you very much!

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2018 Edition | 2018台灣十大泡麵排行

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2018 Edition

Another year gone by – hard to believe. As usual, many, many Taiwanese varieties have crossed my desk. This list comes as I’m about to hit 3,000 reviews as well. Pretty crazy. These are my favorite Taiwanese varieties out of all my reviews up to #2,943. As always, if you want me to try something I’ve not – drop me a line. With that, let’s check out The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2018 Edition!

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2018 Edition

Video Presentation

A visual presentation of The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2018 Edition.

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2018 Edition

#10: Three Meters Noodles Spicy Taste

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2018 Edition

The noodles gauge and chew are really great – very impressed. The flavor is different than many Sichuan spicy varieties – it has a balance which I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend. Original review

#9: Wu-Mu Ma Jiou Mian Xian : Hua-Tiau Chiew Chicken Flavor

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2018 Edition

The noodles are very good – like premium instants,. Liked the texture and chew on them very much. The broth had a very tasty and complex taste – I really liked the chicken taste augmented with the wolfberry and wine – it worked together in perfect harmony. Original review

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

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2018 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

#7: A-Sha Dan Zai Noodle

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2018 Edition

The noodles have a flat and broad gauge and an excellent chewiness I’ve come to expect from the A-Sha line of products. The flavor is very good – a kind of spicy, salty, slightly sweet and then this savoriness to it – lots of spices that I can really only describe as tasking like Taiwan. Original review

#6: Three Meters Noodles Shallot Taste

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2018 Edition

Nice gauge and light chew. The flavor was just mind-blowingly good and I am thoroughly excited about this one. The shallot flavor is just right – not too salty, not too pushy – just exactly perfect. Original review

#5: Tseng Noodle Scallion With Sichuan Pepper Flavor

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2018 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

#4: Little Cook Thailand Green Curry Instant Noodle

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2018 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

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

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2018 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

#2: TTL White Wine Carbonara Noodle – Taiwan

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2018 Edition

Much to my chagrin, TTL keeps coming out with interesting varieties. TTL stands for Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor – and they always have some kind of alcohol with their products. This one comes with a retort pouch will of creamy sauce and pork which is augmented by a sachet of white wine. A sipping soup is made with a separate sachet. The combination is apt and Very delicious. Original review

#1: Mom’s Dry Noodle Dan Dan Noodle

The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2018 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

Guess What?

Did you know there’s a YouTube channel for The Ramen Rater? There is! I’ve been doing Spicy Noodle Mukbang videos, Unboxing Time With The Ramen Rater where I open boxes I received for the first time in from of a camera, Top Ten Lists and more! I’d really appreciate it if you’d check out The Ramen Rater’s YouTube Channel and subscribe – click the little bell too – that way, you’ll know right when a new video comes out! Here are a couple special announcement I want to make I’m particularly proud of.

New Shows On YouTube From The Ramen Rater

Do you like reading my reviews and seeing what I’m adding to not only Taiwanese instant noodles but others from around the world? I’m proud to present Instant Noodle Recipe Time! This is a daily show where I let you watch me cook the instant noodles I review and garnish them! This is an unedited show where I talk directly to you like an old friend. New episodes come out daily at 2pm (1400h GMT-8).

I’ve been wanting to do a show with my wife Kit for a long time, and I finally figured out something she would like. May I proudly present The Chocolate Break – a show where we try different varieties of chocolate we find. I find something to bring and my wife does as well. We then talk about it, try it, and give our opinions on it. It’s been a lot of fun for us and really interesting too! I was always hunting for new varieties of instant noodles at the store – but now she’s enjoying the hunt for something new and unique to try. New episodes comes out every week on Thursdays at !!am (1100hrs GMT-8).

Samples From Xiao Ban Mian

Thought it would be good to do a re-review of these – they’re some of my favorite noodles from Taiwan – on this year’s top ten list too! Let’s look within!

Samples From Xiao Ban Mian – Taiwan

After opening the two flaps…

Here they are (click to enlarge)! Really looking forward to trying these again! Thanks!

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

Well folks it’s that time again. This one’s a big deal – the list that people from around the world have been waiting for every year. Since the last list came out, I’ve reviewed over 400 varieties of instant noodles – a new record in one year for me. So many good ones this year! These are my absolute favorites of the over 2,400 reviews of instant noodles I’ve posted to date. There are some big announcements at the end of the video, so make sure to check them out! As always, I invite instant noodle makers to contact me so I can try your noodles! Now without further ado, The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition!

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

The video presentation of The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition with special announcements!

#10: Paldo Budae Jigae Ramyun – South Korea

#10: Paldo Budae Jigae Ramyun - South Korea - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Here’s a new one – Budae Jigae. This dish came to be when US troops shared their rations with the locals during the Korean War. The Koreans added the hot dogs, cheese, luncheon loafd, pork and beans and macaroni to a traditional soup and boom – Budae Jigae. The noodles here are thick and chewy, the broth slightly spicy and has a nice oiliness. Augmented by a sachet of oil that smells like hot dogs and garnish which includes sausage, beans and macaroni, this is a unique and really great variety! Original review

#9: Xiao Ban Mian Shallot & Scallion Oil Noodle – Taiwan

#9: Xiao Ban Mian Shallot & Scallion Oil Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

I got to see where these are made in Taiwan last year! I got to try them while there and then tried again for review and both times came to the same conclusion – they’re excellent. The noodles are plentiful and have a very nice chew. The flavor is really great – tasty and full of shallot and scallion flavor. Another example of Taiwan’s mastery of simplicity in the dry noodle genre. Original review

#8: Nissin Demae Ramen Straight Noodle Black Garlic Oil Tonkotsu Flavour Instant Noodle – Hong Kong

#8: Nissin Demae Ramen Straight Noodle Black Garlic Oil Tonkotsu Flavour Instant Noodle - Hong Kong - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Hong Kong’s first appearance on the annual top ten. First, these noodles are very good – nice chew and round gauge. Very impressed. Next, the broth is just perfection; a creamy pork tonkotsu broth, savory and rich, is enhanced by the addition of black garlic oil. Original review

#7: Nyor Nyar Penang White Curry Instant Noodle – Malaysia

#7: Nyor Nyar Penang White Curry Instant Noodle - Malaysia - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

I’ve tried a lot of Penang White Curry varieties. I thought new ones had stopped cropping up a while back, and then I get to try this one and I’m just floored. This one’s perfect. Excellent plump noodles and a broth that’s thick and rich; with spiciness and strong flavors. Everything harmonizes together perfectly. Original review

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

#6: Prima Taste Singapore Curry Wholegrain La Mian - Singapore - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

The original Curry La Mian made its debut on the 2013 list. In 2016, the Wholegrain version entered into the list – and with good reason. The noodles are hearty and have a kind of rustic, artisan mouth feel. They are perfect for the broth – a thick lavish curry which come from a huge sachet of paste and is made wonderful with lots of coconut milk powder. Original review

#5: MyKuali Penang Red Tom Yum Goong Noodle – Malaysia

#5: MyKuali Penang Red Tom Yum Goong Noodle - Malaysia - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

In short, this is exactly the same kind of flavor I experienced on the exotic resort island of Langkawi off the coast of Malaysia. The noodles are just right – great gauge and chew and perfectly plump. The broth is thick and strong. Spicy flavor, heavy on the lemongrass and lots of shrimp taste. Unique and authentic. Original review

#4: CarJEN Nyonya Curry Laksa  – Malaysia

#4: CarJEN Nyonya Curry Laksa - Malaysia - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

I have had the fortune to know this variety for three years and it’s been on the list for 3 years. Why? Well, the noodles are very good – they look like your basic instant but they really have a nice feel and chew. The broth comes from a curry pasta, coconut powder and a special dipping sauce. You can put the sauce in a spoon and dip it into the broth (or you can just put it all in). Creamy and rich – this is excellence. Original review

#3: Nissin Straits Kitchen/Straits Reborn Laksa – Singapore

#3: Nissin Straits Kitchen/Straits Reborn Laksa - Singapore - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Why the two names? Well, Nissin Singapore just changed the name from Kitchen to Reborn. This one’s great – extra nice noodles in here. Also, a very rich, strong broth. Finally, there’s the sachet of laksa leaf which you can sprinkle on top to add a savory finish. Original review

#2: MyKuali Penang Spicy Prawn Soup Noodle – Malaysia

#3: Nissin Straits Kitchen/Straits Reborn Laksa - Singapore - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

This one used to be called Hokkien Prawn Noodle. This is a dive into prawn land to be sure. First off the noodles are the same MyKuali has had in all their varieties – just perfect. The broth here is oily, thick and exploding with prawn flavor. It’s very sweet and has a great level of spiciness. To top it off (quite literally), a sachet of the best fried onions in any instant I’ve tried add a savory crunch to the bowl. Beautiful and delicious . Original review

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

#1: Prima Taste Singapore Laksa Wholegrain La Mian - Singapore - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

For the second year in a row, Prima Taste leads the pack with their Wholegrain La Mian. Their regular non-wholegrain version was #1 in 2013. The wholegrain noodle has vaulted it up high – Really high. The noodle has a hearty chew and texture I love. The broth is a harmony is paste and coconut milk powder that has great taste and richness. It all comes together in a crescendo is flavor and texture which is masterfully delivered. Original review

Announcements

The Ramen Rater For Windows 10 Platforms

Got a Windows Phone? A Surface tablet? Running Windows 10 on your PC? Then you’re in luck! The Ramen Rater for Windows is in the Windows Store – and it’s free. You can search by keyword or barcode, have quick access to recent reviews and top ten lists, and when a new review is posted, you’ll get a notification! This app was made by Kamran from Ramen Regret Rater – thanks again! Check it out today! Don’t forget – you can also get The Ramen Rater apps for iPhone and Android – both have barcode scanning as well. Find then in the appstores!

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: #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: #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: 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!

 

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Howsler Foods

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Howsler Foods

Interview With Howsler Foods * Product Samples From Howsler Foods (1 of 2) * Product Samples From Howsler Foods (2 of 2)Mom’s Dry Noodle Pepper & Sesame Sauce FlavorMom’s Dry Noodle Onion Oil & Shrimp FlavorXiao Ban Mian Sesame Sauce Matcha NoodleMom’s Dry Noodle Sichuan Spicy FlavorXiao Ban Mian Traditional Shallot & Onion Oil NoodleMom’s Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor * Xiao Ban Mian Sesame Oil With Garlic Flavor Thin NoodleMom’s Dry Noodle Vegan Chilli With Sesame Sauce

I had the opportunity last November to visit Taiwan and let me just say – Taiwan is an amazing and wonderful place. I was invited by Howsler Foods, makers of Mom’s Dry Noodle and the new Xiao Ban Mian, to visit their company in Taipei and noodle factories in Tainan and Taichung. All about the trip can be found here. I realized though that even though I’d reviewed their products many times in the past, I’d never done a Meet The Manufacturer. So here we go! Here’s the interview I conducted with Co-Founder Kyle Kao.

Interview With Howsler Foods – Taiwan

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for taking part in Meet The Manufacturer! To start the interview, can you tell me how Howsler Foods started and its history?

HOWSLER FOODS> The company was established in Sept 2013. PrioR to that, Perry and I spent about almost one year surveying the market and researching the perfect noodle to fit our flavor. Then we came out our first brand “Mom’s Dry Noodle” AKA “Lao Ma Noodle”. Mom’s Dry Noodle was first only distributed and sold through online orders and within just a year, over two million servings have been sold at the incredible rate of one serving every 8 seconds. In addition to Taiwan, our noodles are also being sold throughout China, Hong Kong, and the US. It is now is carried in a few supermarket chains locally as well.

TRR> What was the first product you made?

HOWSLER FOODS> Our first product was Sichuan Spicy Flavor and it got very successful.

TRR> You make special sauces to flavor the noodles. Can you walk us through how they are made?

HOWSLER FOODS> When we were developing our flavors, we would always have the same mindset that we are making a safe and healthy sauce to cater to people like how we do to our families. So most of our ingredients are from every household kitchen like soy sauce, sesame oil, cooking oil, broad bean paste, and even real foods like shallot.

TRR> Your headquarters are located in Taipei, Taiwan. What is life like there?

HOWSLER FOODS> Taiwan is a beautiful island. It was called “Formosa,” meaning “beautiful,” a name given by Portuguese explorers passing by on the way to Japan in the 16th century. It is its dramatic and fertile beauty that has made Taiwan attractive to foreign powers such as the Portuguese as well as the Spanish, Japanese, and Dutch – all of which tried their hand at colonial rule. Because of the different colonizations, you would see different style of historical sites like Chikan Tower in Tainan and Fort San Domingo in Taipei.

Taiwan is surrounded by the sea and there are beaches around the entire coast. Taiwan is famous for our food too. There is a saying that in Taiwan, there is a snack shop every three steps and a restaurant every five. The island has a great culinary culture and Taiwanese people love to cook and really love to eat. Our famous dishes are minced pork rice, beef noodle soup, Taiwan style pop corn chicken, oyster omelet and more.

TRR> Can you tell us about the varieties of noodles you make?

HOWSLER FOODS> With Mom’s Dry Noodle, we currently have five flavors, Sichuan Spicy, Green Onion & Shrimp, Vegan Chili with Sesame Sauce, Spicy & Sour, Pepper & Sesame.

TRR> How many noodle products do you produce every year?

HOWSLER FOODS> We average produce 1.7 – 2 million servings per year.

TRR> Do you make varieties suitable for Vegetarians? Vegans?

HOWSLER FOODS> Yes, most of our products are vegan friendly such as the Vegan Chili With Sesame, Sour and Spicy, Pepper and Sesame of Mom’s Dry Noodle, Matcha of Xiao ban mian.

TRR> Why the name Howsler Foods?

HOWSLER FOODS> Howsler is direct translated from the pronunciation in Mandarin. If you used pinyi, it would be Hao Shi le (好食樂). I made up the spelling as the English name.

TRR> Why the name Mom’s Dry Noodle?

HOWSLER FOODS> The main reason we used Mom’s is because the founder Perry used to own a hotpot restaurant called Lao Ma Spicy Hotpot. Lao ma means Mom or mother in English. The Sichuan spicy flavor came from his restaurant menu. Most of our product lines are dry noodle. That’s why.

TRR> Why the name Xiao Ban Mian?

HOWSLER FOODS> Xiao in Chinese mean small, youth, simple, the message we want to deliver to the consumer is that this noodle is simple and delicious. You can cook this at home anytime you like.

TRR> Your varieties don’t have broth. Have you thought of making a soup variety?

HOWSLER FOODS> Yes, we are currently developing a soup base variety. It should be out between Apr to Jun.

TRR> What kinds of noodles are used in your products? What are the differences between them?

HOWSLER FOODS> We strictly use sun-dried noodle because it’s made straight from dough and sun-dried to a certain level of water content so it can preserve in room temperature without using any preservation.

TRR> A lot of people are concerned with their sodium intake. How would you recommend people enjoy your product and do you take this into consideration during production/R&D?

HOWSLER FOODS> Most of our products are lower sodium content than the instant noodle. We will consider developing some low sodium flavor in the future.

TRR> Are you involved in in your local community or participate in charities?

HOWSLER FOODS> Yes, we involved with a lot of donations to the local shelters and orphanages.

TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?

HOWSLER FOODS> Both product lines will have new varieties coming out. It’s all in our pipeline!

TRR> In what countries are your products popular? Do people enjoy them differently in different places?

HOWSLER FOODS> We are currently selling in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macau, North America, we’ve gave sample to Japan distributor. They are very interested in working with us. It should be in their market in 2017.

TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, what do you like to add to them to make them extra special (garnish, etc)?

HOWSLER FOODS> I usually add some vegetable and few slices of meat and some boiled egg. It would do the job!

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about Howsler Foods and your products!

Well, there you go! I’d like to thank Kyle Kao, Perry Chen, James Lee and everyone else for making me feel welcome in Taiwan and making this Meet The Manufacturer happen! Let’s begin!