Tag Archives: apple

#2139: Fuku Superior Soup Instant Noodle (Made In Thailand)

Here’s a special one sent by Apple Daily news of Hong Kong. They asked if I’d do a comparison between this, the Thai version and the Vietnamese version of the Fuku Superior Soup for a special news story. Now these are both made in different places, but they’re for the Hong Kong market. anyways I figured hey – why not? This sounds interesting – let’s take a look!

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free. to prepare, add noodle block to 500ml boiling water and cook 3 minutes. Add in contents of sachet. Stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The soup base sachet.

A granular powder with flecks in it.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion in the shape of a letter ‘T.’ The noodles in this one have a nice gauge but are on the softer side; not a bad thing, but a little more chewiness would have been nice. The broth has a very tasty kind of salty, eggy, sweet and garlic taste to it. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4897878650019.

The rice noodle version – NISSIN FUKU SUPERIOR SOUP INSTANT RICE NOODLE 65gX5

Nissin HK surprises people at the airport – man, now I want to visit HK even more…

#2138: Fuku Superior Soup Instant Noodle (Made In Vietnam)

This is the second of two – they’re both sold in Hong Kong, yet made in different places – Thailand and Vietnam. This is the one manufactured in Vietnam. I was sent this along with quite a few other to review as part of a special feature for Apple Daily HK. So, let’s crack this one open and see what we have here.

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add noodle block to 500ml boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Add in sachet contents. stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The soup base sachet.

A powdery mixture with little flecks throughout.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion in the shape of a ‘V.’ The noodles are good – decent gauge and a little soft. The broth has a kind of sweet but sour aftertaste which I have found present in many Vietnamese instant varieties; maybe different garlic, maybe different sugar – unsure. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4897878650019.

The rice noodle version – NISSIN FUKU SUPERIOR SOUP INSTANT RICE NOODLE 65gX5

Nissin HK surprises people at the airport – man, now I want to visit HK even more…

#2137: Nissin Demae Ramen Spicy Curry Flavour Instant Noodle

Here’s the first in the special series I did for Apple Daily of Hong Kong.I have always been a fan of curry, especially spicy curry. However, lately it’s pretty far and few between I get to review ones that are this far east – usually they’ve been from Singapore or Malaysia and not Hong Kong. Sounds good to me! Let’s check it out!

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains pork and chicken. To prepare, add noodle block to 500ml boiling water and cook 3 minutes. Add in sachet contents. Stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The soup base sachet.

Certainly smells like curry!

Finished (click to enlarge). Added coriander, carved squid and ito togarashi. The noodles come out in that nice Nissin way – good gauge and chew. The curry variety I’ve been able to purchase in the USA that’s from Hong Kong over the years is very similar. It’s got a nice kind of British curry taste to it – unlike the sweet curry you find in Japan, this one has just the light edge of black pepperiness to it. It’s a flavor I remember when my mom would make curried chicken livers when I was a kid. The spiciness is there – not extreme but a little reminder that it does say spicy on the package. 4.25 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4897878000043.

Nissin Demae Ramen, Curry, 3.5 oz (30 packs)

A Nissin Demae Ramen TV commercial.

#2136: Nissin Demae Ramen Roast Beef Flavour Instant Noodle

Here’s another I reviewed as part of a collaboration with Apple Daily news. Nothing like a good beef instant noodle! I remember a couple years ago being told that Chinese sausage is popular to put in with beef instant noodles, so I think that’ll be what gets put in today – haven’t used it in a long time. Just to reassure you, nothing gets scored after I put any external ingredients in. That’s the way I always review; I think you’ll agree that’s the only fair way to do it. anyways, let’s get started!

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains beef and pork. To prepare, cook noodles in 500ml boiling water for 3 minutes. Add in contents of sachets. Stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The soup base sachet.

Smells reasonably beeflike!

Liquid sauce sachet.

A nice beefy little paste.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sptous, chilli flake, baby corn, spring onion, Chinese sausage and coriander. The noodles come out with the most standard gauge of them all. Good chew and nice quantity. The broth has a nice oiliness to it. It has a good beef flavor and the slightest tease of spiciness. A great beef flavored instant. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 4897878000104.

Nissin Demae Ramen Variety Pack (6 Flavors)

A series of Nissin Demae Itcho TV spots – pretty freakin’ awesome!

#2135: Doll Instant Noodle Supreme Abalone And Chicken Flavour

Another one I reviewed as part of a series of Hong Kong varieties in conjunction with an interview by Apple Daily news of HK. I have a feeling if you dig through my reviews for the word abalone, you’re not going to find scads of varieties I’ve been very fond of. I’m hoping this might be one I enjoy, but I have my doubts. I guess the only way to find out it to try it with an open mind and mouth. Let’s give it a go!

The back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains fish and chicken. To prepare, add noodle block to 500ml boiling water and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Add in sachet contents. Stir and enjoy!

These noodles look different from the ones I’ve been sampling from Hong Kong – much thinner.

The dry soup base sachet.

A granular mixture with little flecks throughout.

A seasoned oil sachet.

Looks very abalone!

Finished (click to enlarge). The noodles are thinner and have a sturdier chew than the rest of the instant I’ve been sampling from Hong Kong lately. The broth though is more chicken than abalone I think and the whole thing just rubs me the wrong way. Like I said, I wasn’t expecting this would be to my liking from the outset, and with an open mind and a sad tongue, this one gets 2.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4892333102348.

Doll Instant Noodles, Artificial Chicken, 36.63 Ounce (Pack of 5)

An older Doll instant noodle TV commercial.

#2134: Four Seas Chicken Flavour Instant Noodle

Another one from the series of Hong Kong reviews I did for HK’s Apple Daily news. They sent a few varieties for me to try and review for a feature story – what’s nice is I haven’t reviewed any of them before so that’s pretty cool! Anyways, this one’s chicken flavored – let’s crack it open and see what we have here.

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains chicken. To prepare, add noodle block to 600ml boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Add in sachet contents. Stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The dry soup base sachet.

Has a chicken scent.

A liquid sachet.

An oily concoction.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, sesame seeds, baby corn and baked chicken with salt and pepper. The noodles hydrated nicely and had a decent gauge; not spongy either. The broth has a kind of chicken broth/natural chicken taste to it I liked. It had a little oiliness which was good too – like that cooked for hours kind of chicken broth we all like. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4892616015433.

Easy Hong Kong Cooking at Home

A nice stroll through the streets of Hong Kong showing the food available.

#2092: Doll Instant Noodle Preserved Vegetable Flavour

Here’s another one I reviewed as part of a collaboration with Hong Kong’s Apple Daily news. They sent me a bunch of varieties – this is the second vegetable-centered one from Doll. Let’s check it out!

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add noodle block to 500ml boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Add in dry sachet and stir. Top with pickled vegetables and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The dry soup base sachet.

Flecked with little bits of vegetable.

The pickled vegetable sauce.

Has a slightly piquant scent!

Finished (click to enlarge). The noodles are very nice in gauge and texture – something I’ve come to expect from Doll pack noodles. The broth is kind of like a broccoli spinach flavored one, not at all bland, but slightly bitter. The pickled vegetables go well with it and are of good quality. The preserved bits of mustard are good. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4892333102096.

Doll Instant Noodles- Sesame Oil Flavor, 100-Grams (Pack of 30)

A Doll Instant Noodle TV commercial from 1985

#2069: Doll Instant Noodle Vegetarian Flavour

This is another one from the series I did for Apple Daily news of Hong Kong. I haven’t had any of this Doill series in ages and I remember I liked them very much. Vegetarian though; usually a tough sell for me. Let’s give it a try!

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. to prepare, add noodle block to 500ml boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Add in sachet contents. Stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The soup base sachet.

A granular mixture.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, coriander, spring onion, chilli flake and baby corn. The noodles are superb here – good backbone and gauge. My favorite Doll noodles are from this line. The broth has a mushroom taste – not at all weak, and almost tastes beefy. A very nice vegetarian variant. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4892333100658.

Doll Instant Noodles- Sesame Oil Flavor, 100-Grams (Pack of 30)

A Doll Instant Noodle TV commercial from 1985.

Try This Fall Curry Recipe With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers!

I’ve been a huge fan of curry over the years. I’ve made all sorts of sauces and soups and this is one of my favorites – works great with leftover turkey and some easily found ingredients – check it out and if you try it, let me know what you think!

 

The Ramen Rater’s Fall Curry

Ingredients

Preparation

You can make this on the stove of in a Crock Pot – I think the Crock Pot is best. First, empty the pumpkin, coconut milk and chicken broth into what you’re cooking in and get to a simmer. Add in as much or as little of the masaman curry as you like – you should note it’s strong so start with a little and add a little more and more until it suits your taste. I usually like just under 1/2 a can. This is also a good time to add some salt – start with a little and keep stirring and tasting until it’s just right. Next, cut up the carrot into small pieces, as well as the onion and add in. Add in your leftover turkey next (break into pieces first). Let this simmer for about 20 minutes. Cut up the potatoes any way you like and add in (remember, the thinner you slice the potato, the more chance it’ll mush into the soup). Let the soup simmer about 30 more minutes. Then finally slice your apple into mice little wedges, tossing the core and seedy bits. Drop in the apple and cook a final 20-30 minutes, depending on how soft you want it. That’s it! You’ve got a pumpkin apple soup with curry that is really thick. This works really great over rice. If you would like it more soupy, add more chicken broth – another can should do it.

My Experiences With Having My Own Website

I thought some of you might be interested about my experiences with having my own website. Why? Because maybe you’re thinking about starting a blog or website and don’t know where to start. Anyways, here’s my entire history of websites, the ups and downs and everything in between.

Around 1995, I had an AMD K6-2 400MHz desktop with a CGA monitor. Yep, CGA. Text! This was  pretty limiting, and I used Lynx and PINES – all that early days stuff. It was the Internet – ooh! Was pretty cool. I’d had a few BBSes in the late 80’s and early 90’s I ran. That was a lot of fun – except the fact that calling a town less than 20 miles away was long distance where I lived. Time passed though and I got a better computer and the phone company decided to allow people to call that little town 20 miles away as part of local calling.

Around 1998, I got a hold of an old Apple Performa 6320CD. I had been tinkering with Netscape Communicator’s Netscape Composer app – it was like a WYSIWYG web page design app – easy to use and fun. I started running a web server off of the Apple (WebStar) and in the next year got cable broadband. Ah the speed! No more connect tones – it was all so nice.

In 2001, I found out about this company called NameZero. They offered a free one year’s worth of any domain name. Anything! So, I started registering some domain names. I used DHS.org to redirect the domains to my server, and everything worked pretty well. I played around with Flash animation a bit, and it was a lot of fun.

In 2002, I registered www.ramenrater.com and made a simple table in Netscape Composer. These very short and simple reviews were where everything started, albeit quite inept and nothing more than a curiosity at the time. I did about 50-60 reviews on and off for the next year or so and then stopped when I started the Atkins’ Diet and switched to reviewing hot sauces with www.saucerater.com. That was a lot of fun – I did kind of the same thing – contacting hot sauce makers and asking for samples, and met a lot of nice people. But after 250+ reviews, I found most of them to be about the same and had all but dropped off the diet too.

In 2009, I thought why not do something with The Ramen Rater again. I copy/pasted the reviews over onto a Blogger.com site and thought maybe it would be fun to start again. I did maybe 5 reviews.

Later in the year, my life became turned upside down from divorce. I ended up moving back to the little town that didn’t have long distance way back in the day and lived in a friend’s garage. Times were tough, and instant noodles again seemed like something of a respite. I got a $9 single electric burner, had a pot, and had my computer. I was using a Wi-Fi antenna that was spotty at best to share signal with my friend whose router was in the house about 50 feet away. I decided to also move my site over to WordPress.com, the free option.

In December, I found the woman of my dreams through an online dating site – she was all the way down in California and it seemed an impossibility; I don’t drive as I’m legally blind, I’m poor, and that was just so far away. The first night we talked for six hours. The following days were amazing – Christmas Eve we talked on the phone for a total of 14 hours. She was going through an ugly divorce as well, and we connected through mutual understanding of how horrible it felt. Christmas Day, she asked if I would like to come and spend New Year’s with her and she sent me a plane ticket. The worst time of my life became the best and things started happening.

We moved into a small apartment just north of Seattle in early 2010. The lucky part was that it was near a lot of Asian grocery stores. Where I’d lived before, Asian groceries weren’t easily gotten to, and so reviewing now was easy. I started walking to the store every day and buying a pack of instant noodles to bring home and review.

I used 1&1 at this point as my domain registrar, and WordPress.com for hosting, which was free. Easy peasy.

Fast forward to 2012. The site was garnering some attention – the Top Ten List was released. I got in a couple newspapers. Nongshim America had us down to visit. I thought ‘wouldn’t it be neat to have an Android app for people to use to access the website?’ I put out an ad on Craigslist to see if I’d get a bite. I did get quite a few of them, which were mostly spam and was really annoyed. Then I got one from a fellow in Oregon who thought it sounded interesting.

To do the app, the site would need to be hosted by a real hosting provider. After lots of discussion, we partnered up and he started funding The Ramen Rater being hosted at WPEngine.com. WPEngine is a really nice hosting provider – main idea is that they host WordPress – that’s about it. What’s more is that they also give you a ‘sandbox’ for developing your site in the background without actually messing with your site as it’s online. I spent a few months resizing images, giving them all a naming convention, and watermarking everything. It was a lot of hard work but it all got done and it launched in March of 2013.

Since the site wasn’t hosted by WordPress.com anymore, this allowed more freedom. We could host advertising, make serious modifications like The Big List and a special mobile theme, which were all things not allowed with WordPress.com’s free plan. This was great! Only one problem – the site wasn’t generating much money at all and WPEngine was expensive. Really expensive.

Some hosts charge a flat rate for a certain amount of bandwidth. WPEngine charged a flat rate for 100,000 pageviews a month, and then charged a dollar for every 1,000 over. In August, the site hhit 170,000 pageviews and my partner was ready to bail on it. I can’t blame him; it was a lot of money.

At this point I was faced with a choice: what hosting provider do I go with? I looked around and kept seeing HostGator. I thought hey – $15 a month isn’t bad… I can afford that!

So then the process of transferring the site from WPEngine over to HostGator began. It was an arduous journey. What we found was that the WPEngine install of WordPress is rather proprietary; lots of bells and whistles that they add in which made it very difficult to transfer. Finally, the site was transferred to a clean install of WordPress. All Was well, but I was on my own. Pretty daunting. There was some security when the site was on WordPress.com – except the fact that I couldn’t really do a full backup, everything worked and worked well. I felt like if something went wrong and no partner who had a lot of experience, I could be doomed.

At the beginning, I really liked HostGator. They were very nice and everything seemed to work fine. Then it happened – database crashed. Then again. The shared hosting was way too crummy. I ended up having to switch to one of their VPS solutions. $50/month for a single 1.13GHz core, 768MB RAM, 30GB of space and 500GB of bandwidth. Well, this was all fine until I got the database crashing again. Their support said ‘oh – it’s probably because you need a better plan.’ Great. $50 a month and it’s still running poorly. A few weeks later, I got an email. They had upgraded everyone’s hosting plan on my level and now it was a 2.23GHz core, 1GB RAM and 60GB storage. Still, the site was a slug.

Now it’s 2014. I’d gotten a couple advertisers and wanted everything working nicely. I decided to ask a fellow at MOZ.com, an SEO expert who had mentioned my top ten list in one of his articles if there were better hosting providers for the same price. He tweeted to his 300,000+ followers and asked what they thought. Lo and behold, my salvation was here.

Price and speed weren’t the only issues with HostGator. For some reason, they couldn’t invoice me. No clue why, but they said that it only affected a few people and I would just have to tell them monthly to send me a bill. Screw that – that’s ridiculous. Not only that, they were quite rude when I asked if I could get some kind of perk for doing their job for them. The billing/invoicing really was disturbingly inept from the start, and so when I found out about A Small Orange, I was really interested.

For the same $50/mo, I was looking at 2 2.5GHz cores (Xeon), 2GB RAM, 40GB drive space and 1TB of monthly throughput. They also assured me that their billing works just fine.

I also decided that I wanted to transfer my domain to them. 1&1 was still tending to my domains. Moving away from them was an absolute pain in the ass. It was very slow – I know there’s a required time for transfer by ICANN rules, but they use the most allowed. It was horrible. That’s why the site was down for a whole week around the end of March.

A Small Orange facilitated the transfer from HostGator over to their servers quickly and flawlessly. What’s more, they had a deal on April 1st to double your RAM and disk space if you upgrade to the next tier. So now it’s 2 2.5GHz Cores, 5GB RAM, 100GB space and 1.2TB of bandwidth for $60/month. Their service is fast, dependable, and they’re really quite nice – tech support seems to actually read your questions rather than just ‘sort of’ read them and really help you. I’ve not needed to use tech support really much at all.

In closing, my recommendations would be first to look at everyone out there. Going for the cheap-o $15/mo shared hosting isn’t always the best bet; especially if you’re running a WordPress install and expect a lot of traffic. Second, the most expensive hosting doesn’t necessarily mean it’s what you need. Again, research a bit. You can always research later. Finally, for those of you with the burning question: how do I get a ton of people coming to my website/blog. I don’t know. All I do is post every day. I try to be descriptive and include a lot of pictures and a video. Most everything is of my own mind with some referenced material from YouTube and Wikipedia, but most it’s just all my writing and pics. People seem to like that, thankfully and it’s taken a lot of time to make it to this point. If you want to start a blog, just do it and ad to it every day. It’s a lot of fun!

UPDATE: So there’s a new chapter in the story of hosting. So while at the beginning AS Small Orange was absolutely wonderful, downtime and outages kept happening. You see, at first they were awesome – personable and reliable. Then they got bought out but a big company called EIG. EIG buys small hosting companies and adds them to their flock of dozens – one is HostGator. Sure enough, as EIG moved in, A Small Orange’s service and quality diminished bit by bit until I was ready to leave. Even leaving was hard; they didn’t want to refund the $ I’d paid for that month, but after some pushing, I got it back.

So I had to change hosts; something I’m not a big fan of. It’s like moving to a new house – got to make sure you’ve got everything ready and packed up. Well, I went with a company called People’s Host. Being a Bernie Sanders fan, I liked the sound of the name. I also liked how anti-EIG they were. I spent some time talking to a guy named Adam about the transfer. Everything he told me happened and everything went through perfectly smooth. It’s going well and anytime I have an issue, I get a response. They’re fast, knowledgeable and good people. So I’m currently very happy. The end!

 

Top Ten List: The Past Two Days Have Been Amazing!

So these last two days have been crazy – so many people from Taiwan just coming in droves to the site and declaring their passion for the instant noodles of their country! You should be proud of yourselves; I’m never going to look at Taiwanese noodles the same again, that’s for sure! I’m sure I’ll be reviewing more very soon so keep your eyes on The Ramen Rater!

A quick note for new/media people: I’m GMT-7 (Pacific Daylight Time – just north of Seattle). I’m very open to doing interviews to whomever would like to – be it Taiwanese or agencies from other countries. Please contact me via this link and I will reply ASAP. Would really love the opportunity to say hello to all the deicated instant noodle fans out there!

Thank You,

– Hans Lienesch, The Ramen Rater

#635: Ottogi Buckwheat Bibim Ramyon

Otay! It’s time for some cold noodles – not usually my favorite but we’ll just have to give them a try.

Rinse and stir – sounds simple enough (click image to enlarge).

Maybe it’s the 70’s Japanese hard rock I’m listening to, but this block of buckwheat noodles looks really cool.

The liquid sauce packet.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Well, I didn’t like it. The noodles were okay but a little too elastic for my texture tastes. The flavoring was spicy and a little cider-like. The whole cold thing was too much for me. Was fun to make though! 1.1 out of 5.0 stars. UPC barcode 645175550013 .

Tokyo band – Voluntary Mother Earth doing “Cheeseburger Baby”

Petalo Juglar