Here’s another instant ramen bowl from Zenpop. Zenpop offers boxes of ramen among other things from Japan – pretty good stuff and definitely worth checking out! Here’s what they have to say about this variety –
“Moyashi (bean sprouts) are not the most glamorous vegetable, but the crunchiness is essential to complete Sanma Men, a local ramen in Yokohama City. The thick shoyu flavored soup, the thick noodles, and stir-fried vegetables including moyashi form a great harmony. Add dried veg first but both the seasoning packets AFTER cooking.”
Let me say something right here – I do think the mung bean sprout is the most glamorous vegetable in the kingdom of vegetables, penultimate to onions of course. Anyways, let’s check out this bowl from New Touch!
New Touch Yokohama Sanma Men – Japan
Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Contains chicken and pork. To prepare, add the vegetable sachet and boiling water to the fill line. Cover for 3 minutes. Add in powder and liquid base sachets. Finally, stir and enjoy!
Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion. The noodles were too spongy for my taste. A standard gauge as well. The broth had a kind of sesame-nutty taste to it and the introduction of the only slightly crunchy bean sprouts wasn’t a big seller for me. 2.75 out of 5.0 stars. JAN bar code 4903088001913.
Here’s another one sent by Javier over at Box From Japan. Box From Japan is a subscription service where you can get 4 unique bowls of instant ramen – direct from Japan – they also have subscription packages for Japanese snacks and candy as well as some other things – definitely worth a look – thanks again for sending this along!
Today it’s Kyoto backfat shoyu. Here’s a little about shoyu from Wikipedia –
Shōyu (醤油, “soy sauce”) ramen is the oldest of the five, it has a clear brown broth, based on a chicken and vegetable (or sometimes fish or beef) stock with plenty of soy sauce added resulting in a soup that is tangy, salty, and savory yet still fairly light on the palate. Shōyu ramen usually has curly noodles rather than straight ones, but this is not always the case. It is often adorned with marinated bamboo shoots or menma, green onions, kamaboko (fish cakes), nori (seaweed), boiled eggs, bean sprouts or black pepper; occasionally the soup will also contain chili oil or Chinese spices, and some shops serve sliced beef instead of the usual chāshū.
Also, here’s some from Lucky Peach about Kyoto’s ramen varieties –
Given Kyoto’s cultural reputation, you might expect its ramen to be a rarefied and refined reworking of the humble noodle soup. But the old capital is home to two distinct types of down-home ramen: the thinner assari-kei shoyu ramen, and a thick, gritty chicken-soup kotteri-kei ramen, both of which are referred to as “Kyoto ramen.” The former is a blend of pork and chicken broth, with a dark soy base; the latter is a rich porridge-like soup culled mostly from chicken, topped with spicy bean paste, chives, garlic, and pungent local kujnoegi onions—it’s quite popular with the town’s large student population.
Style/tare: Shoyu. Toppings: Assari-kei: roast pork, scallions, bamboo shoots, nori; some shops offer pats of butter. Kotteri-kei: roast pork, scallions, bamboo shoots, spicy chives, minced garlic, chili bean paste, white pepper.
Alkright – let’s check out this variety from Japan!
New Touch Sugo-men Kyoto Backfat Shoyu Ramen – Japan
Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Contains pork. To prepare, add pork sachet contents and 430ml boiling water. Cover and steep for 5 minutes. Add in liquid sachet and stir well. Finally, top with spring onion garnish sachet content and enjoy!
Finished (click to enlarge). The noodles are thin and round in shape. They have a nice chew to them, not overly so, and a decent quantity. Definitely on the premium end of the stick. The broth is a shoyu – kind of has a brewed soy sauce hit to it; kind of a more earthy, almost burnt taste that I wasn’t completely enamored with. However, the thickness and oiliness of the broth was very nice. The chashu pork was good although thin. The menma had a kind of mushroom consistency to it in some parts, slightly crunchy in others – depending of course of the thickness. The mountain of spring onion was pretty epic. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. JAN bar code 4903088010380.
Went to Uwajimaya, a local Japanese grocery store chain in the northwest the other day. So I found that you can get chashu pork there – it’s really nice for Japanese instants since I can slap one on top! Indeed what I do is get a few packs of it from the deli and then bag them individually and throw them in the freezer – it’s pricy stuff, but done this way it really stretches it a long way. So $15 or pork will yield me about 18-20 slices and since it’s frozen, it’ll last nicely until I’ve done that many Japanese reviews.
While there, we noticed a couple varieties of these cups. I hadn’t seen them before and thought why not get them. This is tanmen, not to be confused with tantanmen. While tantanmen features pork, tanmen usually is more about seafood. This one appears to be a variety inspired by a place called T’s Restaurant which it looks like is a Vegan friendly place. So let’s check it out.
New Touch T’s Restaurant Sura Tanmen – Japan
Here’s the distributor’s sticker (click to enlarge). Indeed it appears to contain no meat or fish ingredients.
Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add in dry sachet and boiling water to fill line (approx 270ml). Cover and steep for 4 minutes. Add in liquid sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!
The noodle block. Noodles appear to be very thin. Also, the block appears to be very dense.
The dry base sachet.
Looks like bean sprouts and possibly TVP among other things.
The liquid base sachet.
Deep and dark with a strong scent.
Finished (click to enlarge). The noodles came out well. Thin and round in shape, they have a decent chew and backbone. However, they are easily broken when pursed by the lips. The broth has a lot of flavor for being a vegetarian variety. A kind of vinegar and sweet taste. The broth is augmented by little bits that hydrated very well. Indeed, a tasty cup of noodles! 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. JAN bar code 4903088011394.
Here’s another one sent to me by Javier from Box From Japan. Box From Japan has subscriptions for all sorts of neat Japanese things. I regret to say that I was informed that they won’t be taking subscriptions for their ramen boxes for now – hopefully that will start again soon. He mentioned that you can purchase instant noodles from them here. Here’s what he had to say about this particular variety:
Local ramen of Sano City in Tochigi Prefecture. The noodles that are made in Aotake are genuine. Famous ramen with many fans all over Japan. Noodle: Non-fried noodle that is smooth on the outside and chewy on the inside. Wide noodle. Soup: With a slow simmered chicken bone flavor as a base and added pork and savory herbs, the final taste is full of chicken oil and spices. Soup that is refreshing yet filled with meat and rich flavors. Ingredients: Roasted pork, bamboo shoots, green onion.
Sounds good on this cold day! Let’s check it out!
Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Contains pork and chicken. To prepare, add in contents of vegetables sachet. Add boiling water to fill line and let steep covered for 4 minutes. Add in liquid and solid sachet contents. Stir and enjoy!
Finished (click to enlarge). Noodles are slightly wide and flat. They have a strong chew and nice disposition; I liked them. The broth is very good – a hearty chicken and pork taste which fills the guttyworks with a satisfying feeling. The included pork and bamboo shoots worked very well and spring onion rounds out the bowl. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. JAN bar code 4903088004884.
Here’s one that has been at the bottom of the noodle hamper for a while . Kind of an interesting one; kimchi from Japan eh? Let’s delve into it and see how it tastes!
Here we have a distributor/import sticker (click image to enlarge). Contains fish and pork – and peanut brittle sauce? Yep – that’s what it says!
Detail from the side panels (click image to enlarge). To prepare, add dry seasoning sachet content to bowl and add in 360ml boiling water. Steep for 3 minutes and stir. Add in contents of garnish sachet and enjoy!
Detail of the lid (click image to enlarge).
The noodle block.
The dry soup base sachet.
Has a seafood scent.
The garnish sachet.
Has a nice kimchi scent.
Finished (click image to enlarge). Added nothing. The noodles have a decent texture and gauge – about what you’d expect from an instant bowl although there’s no sponginess which is a good thing. The flavor of the broth is salty and slightly spicy with a subtle thickness and kind of vegetable taste. The garnish was impressive with decent kimchi flavor and a goodly amount to be sure. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. JAS bar code number 4903088008035.