Tag Archives: 2012

#2012: MAMA Vegetarian Instant Noodles Shiitake Flavour

The last of four varieties especially made for the Nine Emporer Gods festival time of year. During the festival, people take only vegetarian dishes – no meat! Let’s have a look in this one and give it a try, eh?

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Vegetarian. To prepare, add package contents to a bowl. Add 350ml boiling water and cover for 3 minutes. Stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The powder soup base.

Has a kind of mushroomy scent.

The oil sachet.

Has a kind of sesame aroma.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added tofu puffs. The noodles came out just fine – good gauge and chew. The broth… Well, I imagine if you like shiitake mushrooms a LOT, this might be for you. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan. 2.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 8850987101847.

The tom yum variety is also exceedingly good – 10 Packages Mama Vegetarian Instant Noodles Tom Yum Flavour

An interview with Ms. Pojjanee of MAMA noodles.

#978: Meet The Manufacturer – Sun Noodle Ramen Pork Flavor

Here’s another of the Sun Noodle line – pork flavor ramen! Let’s check it out!

As you can see these are fresh ramen. The way you cook them in different from an instant block (click image to enlarge).

Here are the fresh noodles in a little baggie. There are two of these included.

Here’s the broth mix. Tonkotsu is a pork bone broth.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added hard boiled egg, green onion, sweet onion, chopped ham with garlic, narutomaki and Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. The noodles are suberb – it is no wonder that ramen restaurants pick these to use. They are so nice and fresh and quite elastic. I have never understood the plusses or minuses of elasticity, but have heard many comment on a good noodle’s elasticity and these have elasticity! The broth is excellent as well – a deep and flavorful pork bone broth with a great balance of flavor, saltiness and depth. This is top-notch stuff. Easy 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 085315400035.

Here’s a video made mentioning Sub Noodle during the Japan Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Meet The Manufacturer: Sun Noodle Interview

Welcome to another installment of Meet The Manufacturer! This time, it’s Sun Noodle – purveyor of fresh ramen noodles and other fine products. Here’s an interview I did with them via email.

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for agreeing to do this interview! Could we start off with some information about Sun Noodle; when was Sun Noodle founded, where and by who?

SUN NOODLE> Sun Noodle is a family-owned business which manufactures fresh noodles, gyoza (pot sticker) and wonton wrappers; as well as an importer and distributor of Japanese noodle soup bases and sauces.  The
company was founded in 1981 by Hidehito “Hide” Uki in Honolulu, Hawaii.  With the growing demand of Sun Noodle products in the mainland, Sun Noodle California was established in 2004, now located in Rancho
Dominguez, California; then Sun Noodle New Jersey (Teterboro, New Jersey) set foot in 2012 to meet the demands of the East Coast.

TRR> For those of my readers who are not familiar with your line of products, could you tell us a little about them?

SN> We produce a wide variety of noodle products for both food service markets and for retail markets.  First off, we have our assorted ramen(s):

  • Shoyu Ramen
  • Miso Ramen
  • Tonkotsu Ramen
  • Shio “Vegetable” Ramen
  • Tantanmen (“Spicy Sesame”)
  • Hiyashi Chuka (“Cold Ramen”)
  • Cold Ramen with Gomadare (Cold Ramen with Sesame Seed Sauce)

We produce other types of Japanese noodles as well:  Yakisoba, Udon, Nihon Soba (Buckwheat), Wakana Soba (Spinach), and Okinawa Soba.  The great thing about being in Hawaii is that it has opened Sun Noodle to many different types of cultures.  With that, we produce Chinese noodles as well as “local” noodles of Hawaii.  We have Chow Mein, Chow Fun (also known as Look Fun), Cake Noodle, and Saimin Noodles.

TRR> What is the story behind the name Sun Noodle?

SN> The meaning of the “Sun” in Sun Noodle is twofold.  Hidehito Uki was attending Hawaii Pacific College for about a year before starting up the noodle business.  He said that when he thinks about Hawaii, the first
thing that comes to mind is the sun (and the beautiful ocean, of course!).  The second meaning behind “Sun” is that the Sun as the center of the solar system is the most powerful of its kind.  Without it, many living
things cannot survive and Hide believes that the sun provides people with positive energy.  Like the sun, Sun Noodle strives to be the best at providing quality noodles, providing noodles to give people the same type of
positive energy.

TRR> Is Sun Noodle involved in the local community around you?

SN> Yes, we are involved in our local communities at all three locations:  Hawaii, California and in New Jersey.  Every year, we make charitable donations to non-profit organizations.  In Hawaii, we participate in
the annual Okinawan Festival, which strives to perpetuate the culture with the community of Hawaii.  We are also actively involved with the youth soccer community in Hawaii.  In California, Sun Noodle is involved with
various Japanese Festivals and other Japan related events such as the Summer Festival at the Mitsuwa Market and the Japanese Food and Sake Festival.  We recently started serving ramen at UC Santa Barbara and hold
ramen classes at our local cooking schools from time to time.  With the recent devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Sun Noodle New Jersey took part in an event with Chef Ivan Orkin to raise funds for the victims
affected by the hurricane.

TRR> How many miles of noodles would you estimate you produce a year?

SN> 600,600 miles of noodles.

TRR> Are there any new products that will be coming out soon that you could tell us about?

SN> For the professional use, we have some new frozen soup stocks and NO-MSG “tare,” sauce that enhances the flavor or body of the ramen broth.  The retail packs will be redesigned to be more appealing to the customer.

TRR> Can you tell us about the different varieties of noodles you produce and how they differ?

SN> Our main business is to manufacture different styles of ramen noodles tailored to the restaurants needs.  Besides ramen noodles, we also manufacture yakisoba, Okinawa soba, Japanese buckwheat soba, udon, and pasta.

TRR> A lot of people wonder about the health factors (sodium, etc) when it comes to instant noodles. How do you recommend people made instant noodles a healthy part of their diet?

SN> The key here is moderation.  Like all other types of food, it’s about consuming them in moderation – enjoy a bowl of ramen say once a week rather than…everyday.  Also, because some bowls of ramen have higher
levels of sodium, it’s important to balance that out by drinking lots of water.

TRR> Do you make/sell products other than noodles?

SN> Yes, we make gyoza or “pot sticker” wrappers and wonton wrappers and we also sell noodle soup bases and
sauces.

TRR> What was your first product?

SN> Our first product was the ramen noodles

TRR> I initially found out about you via a mention on the trailer for the award-winning short film ‘Ramen Dreams‘  – can  you tell us about it and your involvement?

SN> Keizo of GO RAMEN! (www.goramen.com) is a good friend of ours and it is our goal to support anyone with a ramen dream.  ‘Ramen Dreams’ is a short documentary film about Keizo’s life to pursue his ultimate ramen
dream.  The film was featured at the NY Food Film Festival and we wanted to support him any way possible throughout the process.  The night of the Food Film Festival, we provided the ramen noodles to be served
after the film showing.

TRR> How does the process in which you make your noodles differ from other brands?

SN> Each company has their own secrets of making noodles. We take care of sourcing the best wheat flour, using artisanal techniques (water temp, flour temp, pressing the dough gradually, adjusting the thickness by
.1 mm for the customer) and doing the best we can to tailor make our ramen noodles for restaurants across the country.

TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, do you add anything or have any recommendations?

SN> Traditional toppings are great [“cha-shu” (sliced char siu), “menma” (bamboo shoots), “nori” (dried seaweed), etc.] but also using local ingredients available at your nearby supermarket is a great way to play
around with flavors.

TRR> Where can people find your products?

SN> You can find our products at most Asian supermarkets such as Uwajimaya, Nijiya Market and Mitsuwa Supermarket.  If you’d like more information on the accessibility of our products in your area, you can email
us at our website on www.sunnoodle.com.  We are more than happy to help you.

TRR> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn more about Sun Noodle!

There you have it! My thanks to Hisae and Kenshiro Uki for making this happen and everyone else at Sun Noodle! Watch for a series of reviews of their products during the next weeks!

Interview * Product Samples From Sun Noodle * Sun Noodle Yakisoba Japanese Style Stir Fry Noodles With Powdered Sauce * Sun Noodle Ramen Pork Flavor * Sun Noodle Nama Soba Buckwheat Noodle * Sun Noodle Cold Ramen Soy Sauce Vinaigrette Sauce With Honey Apple Added * Sun Noodle Ramen Miso Flavor * Sun Noodle Tantanmen Spicy Sesame Flavor Ramen (Mild) * Sun Noodle Ramen Shoyu Flavor

Pardoning The Turkey Until Tomorrow: The Ramen Rater’s Thanksgiving Breakfast Feast

I am in charge of throwing the turkey in the oven this year at noon. I figured breakfast shouldn’t have anything turkey like involved and pardon the turkey at least ramen-wise for a day. Then Black Friday will be a day that the turkeys will cower – planning on using turkey in some ramen meals for the next week or so – should be awesome! But for now, here’s something I decided to make for breakfast. By the way, here’s what I did for 2011’s Thanksgiving.

Everything But Turkey Thanksgiving Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 1 Nongshim Bowl Noodle Soup Savory Beef (or any other noodles, although these were easy in the microwave)
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • ham
  • minced garlic
  • 2 slices processed cheese
  • minced garlic
  • Dua Belibis chili sauce (Sriracha or any other spicy sauce – omit if you don’t like)
  • 1 tbsp oil

Method

  1. Put a pan on the stove and add oil. Heat.
  2. Break your eggs into a little bowl and scramble. Take the ham you have and cut it up.
  3. Cook the Bowl Noodle in the microwave. Usually you cook for three minutes then let it sit for one – don’t! After the three minutes, take it out, stir well and drain very well.
  4. Drop noodles in the pan and fry it up. Stir and stir so it doesn’t stick. Add garlic.
  5. Once the noodles are becoming crisp, add ham and stir in, then add eggs and combine.
  6. Cover and lower heat. Cook for a couple minutes.
  7. At this point, the bottom will be nice and crisp. Flip the whole thing into a bowl. Garnish with cheese and Dua Belibis.

Here’s what you end up with. Note that there’s beef flavored noodles, chicken eggs and pork ham. Even some cheese made from cow’s milk. Everything in there’s not turkey! It came out really good – dig in and Happy Thanksgiving!

Some Thanksgiving FAILS!

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Finally, here’s 15 minutes of last yewar’s insanest Black Friday footage. Is acting liker a complete moron really workth a product that costs pennies for a company to make? Home electronics aren’t a great trade for injuries and silliness such as this…  I mean it’s just stuff…

Speaking of stuff… Here’s George Carlin’s take on it.

#824: Meet The Manufacturer: Paldo Cucumber Bibim Men

Here’s something different – Cucumber Bibim Men! Bibimbap is a common Korean dish involving a sauce with mixed vegetables and rice. The ‘Men’ here is pronounced ‘main’ as in chow mein as in noodles. So what this is is a cold noodle deal – you boil the noodles and veggies, drain and rinse with cold water a few times, add the liquid packet and stir it together. Curious if I’m going to like this – I’ve had Bibim Men a long time ago, but my tastes have changed so we’ll see.

Here’s the back of the packaging (click image to enlarge).

The noodle block.

The vegetable packet.

Bits of cucumber?

The liquid packet.

Lots of liquid here and has a strong cucumber scent.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added some hard boiled egg with Krazy Mixed Up Salt, and some oven baked chicken with a little Dua Belibis chili sauce. I can say that I am very happily surprised. Good gauge on the noodles as usual from Paldo. The flavoring that coats it all is delicious – spicy and full of cucumber flavor. Finally, the vegetables – pieces of cucumber that rehydrated quite nicely – and they’re crunchy! I am also happy to report that this is really great cold. I’m sold – another winner here! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars! UPC bar code 8809296881223 .

A Bibim Men commercial

Here’s an old one!

Birthday Noodles From My Sister!

My birthday’s on Wednesday! Yay! My sister went up to Canada and called me and rattled off a ton of brands and names of instant noodles and got me a ton of them!

Wow how awesome! Tons of new stuff! Yay!

Wow look at this! Nong Shim Shrimp Shin Ramyun? Awesome! Thanks my sister! Love you!

The Ramen Rater: Momofuku Ando Day January 19th, 2012

SPECIAL: Momofuku Ando’s 105th Birthday Google Doodles and more explained here

2015 The Ramen Rater’s Momofuku Ando Day here!

Today I was looking through a Wikipedia entry all about the creator of instant noodles, Momofuku Ando. Much to my surprise, I noticed that there is a day commemorating him called Momofuku Ando Day! What’s strange about this is that it was founded by some healthcare workers – at a  Dallas, Texas hospital!

What’s not so strange about this is why a day exists to honor the man.

Momofuku Ando was born into a rich Taiwanese family in 1910. His parents died when he was young and he spent most of his youth in the care of his grandparents who ran a textile business.He started his own textile business in Taiwan during the 30’s. After World War II, he moved to Japan and took the Japanese name Momofuku Ando (his birthname was Chinese – Wu Pai-fu).
Things didn’t go so well for him in Japan – after becoming a Japanese citizen, he was sent to jail for two years for tax evasion. His business was lost.
After jail, he didn’t give up. He started a new business in Osaka, Japan that produced salt.
Times were hard in Japan after World War II. The Japanese were told by their government that they should eat bread made from wheat flour that was supplied by the United States. Noodles wre the standard fare of Japanese folks and Ando saw an opportunity here. Why wouldn’t they want to eat noodles instead of bread? The government insisted that the companies that made noodles were too small to supply everyone.Ando decided that he would try to fill the demand. He is quoted as saying, “Peace will come to the world when the people have enough to eat.”
After a lot of hard work, 1958 proved a good year with the first instant noodles to be invented. Simply called Chikin ramen, they were a little pricy when they came out. After a bit of time, they came down in price. Now they’re considered to be one of the cheapest foods you can get.

The holiday? Well, the folks at that hospital thought that such a motto, “Peace will come to the world when the people have enough to eat” was great – they found Momofuku Ando’s contribution of a cheap, easily prepared footstuff for the people of the world was deserving of recognition. So on that day, they would conduct fundraisers and donation drives for those without food and in need.

I think that’s pretty awesome – a Taiwanese guy whose parents die goes into the textile business in the footsteps of his grandparents, moves to Japan, is jailed, finds freedom again and begins a company that becomes synonymous with a full belly everywhere in the world and get a commemorative day from a Texas hospital!

It didn’t say why January 19th was the magic  Momofuku Ando Day’s date – here’;s what it does say:

  Momofuku Ando Day was established January 2007 at a small hospital in Dallas, Texas. Recognizing the genius life of the man whose product has fed millions, a group of healthcare workers first celebrated the day on January 19, 2007. Each participating employee brought several packages of favorite ramen flavors to a banquet table from which employees could sample. The second year, January 2008, participating employees developed unique dishes using ramen as the prime ingredient. The Day also kicked off the “It Starts With Me” campaign promoting charitable giving and customer service. Unfortunately, the hospital was corporately closed in June 2008. In January 2009, several of the transferred employees continued Momofuku Ando Day by sharing it with their new coworkers at a sister facility. Understanding that ramen has been a staple food for victims of disaster and the poverty-stricken, as well as for college students and those wanting a quick meal, Momofuku Ando Day became an endeavor to help feed those in need by fundraising for charitable organizations, or simply calling attention to poverty or hunger through ramen or food donations to local food banks and free meal kitchens. The day has since been celebrated the second Friday of January to allow Mr. Ando due recognition. (Wikipedia)

I think January 19th, 2012 should be celebrated as Momofuku Ando Day. If I had some Chikin ramen I’d review it, so I think I’ll have to do something a little less authentic. But yeah – MOMOFUKU ANDO DAY 2012! Sounds like a plan. Spread the word! Eat some instant noodles and be charitable towards your fellow being!!!

Here are some links:

Momofuku Ando – Wikipedia | Link

Momofuku Ando Japan Times Obituary | Link

Momofuku Ando’s Mew York Times Obituary | Link

The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum In Osaka, Japan
English | Japanese


A video about the Momofuku Ando museum in Japan.


The Cup Noodle museum. I don’t know but I would be way more excited than this guy is!


This is pretty bizarre.


David Chang runs the Momofuku restaurant.

New Year, New Domain: www.theramenrater.com

For awhile now, I’ve known that having the site be The Ramen Rater and having the ‘the’ out of the domain name was a kind of bad idea, I thought I’d fix it by adding wwww.theramenrater.com. So you will be able to go to www.ramenrater.com or www.theramenrater.com. Like that? No? Yes? Well, okay then.

 

– TRR