I’m pretty sure this is the first Baijia bowl I’ve reviewed. For the longest time, I was extremely leery of these; I have a couple Baijia products I really disliked. However, after some time, I found that my tastes have really changed (especially after tring different things overseas and reviewing hundreds of instant noodles) and now I’m keen on giving them a new look. Well, let’s check this one out!
Finished (click to enlarge). Added thin sliced beef, spring onion, crushed red pepper and star anise. The vermicelli has a kind of sliminess on the outside with more of a chewiness inside. It’s easier to eat if you use a pair of kitchen scissors and make a couple snips through all of it. The broth has a nicely spicy taste to it. The vegetables hydrated well – the beans went surprisingly well in this one. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 6926410321136.
I’ve been checking out a few of these Baijia varieties recently, and they’ve been interesting. When I first started reviewing, I generally found the flavors and varieties to be pretty horrid, but after a few years , I’m starting to come around. Pickled cabbage and fish, eh? Well, let’s have a look.
The distributor/import sticker (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself.
The back of the package (click to enlarge). To prepare, add package contents to a bowl. Add 500ml boiling water and cover for 5-6 minutes. Stir and enjoy!
Sweet potato vermicelli.
A dry seasonings sachet.
A very bright white mixture.
The liquid soup base.
Thick like a sauce.
The vegetables sachet.
A decent quantity.
Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion. The vermicelli hydrated well – I cut twice with kitchen scissors to make it more manageable with a fork. They’re a little slimy but have a nice gauge and feel to them. The broth on the other hand wasn’t really my thing. Although spicy, the ‘pickled’ aspect was just a bit too acidic. 1.5 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 6926410392563.
So the last one of these broad noodles I tried I made incorrectly (yeah, it happens once in a blue moon) and I’ll re-review it soon. See, the first one was a broth free variant and I just assumed that the rest would be. Well, it looks like the one I tired first was the exception to the rule. Anyways, let’s have a look at this beef flavored variety from Sichuan Baijia.
Import/distributor’s sticker (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself.
Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). To prepare, add noodle block and sachet contents to 600ml boiling water and steep for 6 minutes. Stir and enjoy!
The wrapped broad noodle block.
A liquid sachet.
Has a nice sweet beef scent.
A dry seasonings sachet.
Looks like peas and veggies in a white powder, quite likely MSG.
Finished (click to enlarge). Added sauteed beef and spring onion with some fried garlic on top. The noodles were very wide and flat – they had a nice texture and worked well here. The broth has a nice beef flavor with a bit of a sting of heat to it – almost an acrid sting. The included vegetables hydrated well. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 6926410320160.
NOTE: I assumed that all of the Sichuan Baijia Broad Noodle series were supposed to be drained. This was apparently was NOT supposed to be drained, hence the review score of 0 stars. It will be re-reviewed soon! Thanks to Bundi R. for bringing this to my attention.
It’s always awesome when I go to the store with my poor vision and my wife sees something and asks me if I’ve tried it. Sure enough, this was one of those occasions. I recently had the Sichuan Baijia Artificial Spicy Fei Chang a couple of weeks ago – it had been on my bottom ten list for years and really kind of one of the main reasons I wasn’t reviewing Baijia stuff so much. After not trying it in 5 years, I found that my tastebuds had done a bit of a metamorphosis. Where I found this more traditional Chinese flavor horrible before, I found it much more to my liking. So now at the store, I’m looking at Baijia in a different way. Today, I’ll try something I’ve not seen before – a broad noodle. I’ve seen broad noodles before, but not this broad – you’ll see what I mean. I want to thank Bobby Y. for helping me decipher the cooking instructions.
Distributor’s stickers (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself.
Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). To prepare, add noodle block and vegetable sachet to 600ml boiling water and steep for 5 minutes. Drain. Add in contents of other sachets and stir. Enjoy!
The noodle block – definitely broad noodles.
A dry sachet.
Light powder and vegetables.
A liquid sachet.
Has a slight black vinegar scent along with a beef scent.
Finished (click to enlarge). Added some beef. The broad noodles hydrated very well. They have a good chew to them and were easily navigable. Good quantity too. The flavor was hideous. I am thoroughly bummed about this, too. The saltiness was off the charts – inedible! I also noticed that the sodium contents was 3,120mg according to the package – 155% of daily value. Yikes. It hurt to eat. 0.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 6926410320900.
It’s always awesome when I go to the store with my poor vision and my wife sees something and asks me if I’ve tried it. Sure enough, this was one of those occasions. I recently had the Sichuan Baijia Artificial Spicy Fei Chang a couple of weeks ago – it had been on my bottom ten list for years and really kind of one of the main reasons I wasn’t reviewing Baijia stuff so much. After not trying it in 5 years, I found that my tastebuds had done a bit of a metamorphosis. Where I found this more traditional Chinese flavor horrible before, I found it much more to my liking. So now at the store, I’m looking at Baijia in a different way. Today, I’ll try something I’ve not seen before – a broad noodle. I’ve seen broad noodles before, but not this broad – you’ll see what I mean. I want to thank Bobby Y. for helping me decipher the cooking instructions – hope the Blue Jays did good in the ALCS and won the World Series!
Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check to make sure. To prepare, add noodle block and vegetable sachet to 600ml boiling water and steep for 5 minutes. Drain. Add in contents of other sachets and stir. Enjoy!
The noodle block – see what I mean by broad?
The dry ingredients sachet.
Some vegetable and powder.
The chili oil sachet.
A deep and dark color.
The vegetables sachet.
Some carrot it seems.
Finished. Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, Chinese sausage and spring onion. The noodles are very broad and hydrated well. They have a nice chewiness to them. The flavor is excellent – a nice oily spiciness, a slight sweetness and a kind of puckery taste as well. The vegetable hydrated very well. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 6926410320115.
To those of you have followed my blogs and my Bottom Ten lists for a while, you know what this is. To those who haven’t, let me introduce you to this one. In my original review, I was really put off by this one. I thought it had some kind of ‘dirt and urine’ odor to it. But this is a new version. First, what’s fei chang? Here’s something I found on a blog called Food And Drink Chengdu:
Pork intestine (fei chang) is the starting point of some of the most loved local dishes in Sichuan. It is stewed, stir fried, stirred into hot pot, adds richness to dishes like bean soup, and gets the dry pot treatment, among others. I once watched a couple of guys buying a huge length of it in the supermarket with the obvious anticipation that one of my compatriots might show picking out a top grade steak. I get why it is so popular – there is a chewy outside and a tender inside to the organ that gives it both absorbency and ‘kou gan’ (mouthfeel), but I only order it at reputable places since it has to be cleaned and prepared carefully or the barnyard notes get a little too much for my taste. A popular way to eat fei chang is in soup with rice noodles – fei chang fen. Many of the shops selling fei chang fen in Chengdu advertise Bai Jia style.
So just to reiterate, we’re talking pork intestines, something most Westerners would become very queasy just thinking about. This is artificially flavored, so no pork intestine in here. I did try pork intestine in Penang – actually requested it. I had it fried and crispy – and was reminiscent of chicharones (pork rinds). Anyways, someday I’ll have to try the real deal… I have received plenty of heated comments about the original review and my thoughts on it being really foul tasting stuff:
Gillian writes – well you just have to be the epitome of ignorant white trash, don’t you sweetie? Different cultures have different things in which they call tasty, and these special szechuan peppers and herbs are very delicious to Chinese taste. Respect other people’s culture, isn’t this the first thing you learn in college? Oh right, you probably never went to college and still live in your parent’s basement. Anyways, I eat these regularly, and for your information, you didn’t even cook this correctly. You’re supposed to put everything in a bowl, pour hot water in it, and cover it and let it sit for 5 minutes, you dimwit. The consistency is no where near what you described. Don’t blame the product for your ignorance, you’ll just be the laughing stalk in the eyes of 1.3 billion people in China.
Sophia writes – seriously. This is my all time fav in college. I don’t care the “urine” whatever smell you mentioned. The smell is just right. Fei chang is a popular ingredients in Chinese cuisine. Just like chicken feet, pork head, beef tongue, etc, those kinds of stuff. Not bizarre at all. It can be found in almost all east and southeast Asian cuisines. You don’t judge Asian food if you think that is bizarre. And the dark color noodle, that’s because it’s not flour noodle! Rice noodle could have such color if sweet potato is added as minor. Taste is awesomely spicy and I love it. I used to keep at least 3 of these in dorm. The package is poor, even safety might be a potential problem, but seriously, you don’t question the taste. You just don’t know the food, that’s it.
Veganvetzak writes – Thanks for the review of what I’m sitting down to for lunch. In a remote location. Without any other options. Damn.
Comments like these have kind of haunted me for the last five years. Did I really cook them wrong? Was it a bad pack? Am I ignorant white trash? I have gone back numerous times to revisit the review, and recently noticed the comment about the new version being a little different. I’ve tried so many new flavors in the last five years from so many places I’m not sure the ignorant label applies, But I think today is the day to give this one another try. I really do hope I like it; I guess we’ll just have to see. With that, let’s begin.
Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. Also note almost 4 grams of sodium – making it the highest sodium content of any instant noodle product I’ve seen yet, I believe. To prepare, add all ingredients into a bowl. Add 500-600ml boiling water (I’ll do 550ml). Not sure if it says to cover, but I will cover the bowl for 5-6 minutes (going with 5 1/2). Stir and enjoy!
An extremely large ‘nest’ of vermicelli, made from sweet potato and tapioca.
The dry ingredients sachet.
Vegetables and powder – guessing the fine white powder is monosodium glutamate.
A liquid sachet.
A thick oily liquid.
A paste sachet.
Very thick and has a kind of sweet herbed scent.
Finished (click image to enlarge). Added Chinese sausage, white onion, spring onion, green bell pepper and Goat Horn pepper from Dwayne. The vermicelli hydrated wonderfully at 5 1/2 minutes. I used a pair of kitchen scissors to make them more easily navigable. They weren’t bad and that’s mainly because of the broth. First off, yes. When I first tried this I was most certainly an ignorant gwai-lo – or at least my tongue was five years ago. I would say the broth has a nice rich herbed flavor – lots of star anise, maybe some clove and cinnamon. To be honest, it reminds me of flavors I would more associate with duck, but it works quite well with the noodles. The beans hydrated very well in the allotted time as well. Since this is a new version, it supersedes the old and will no longer appear on the bottom ten list going forward. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 6926410320030.
After trying over 1,700 instant noodle varieties, it is expected that some of them will be on this list. Why? Well, some just make me wretch. They’re the ones that get a score of one to zero stars. Not to say that there are some folks out there who like them, but that hypothetical someone would not be myself. With that, here’s the new The Ramen Rater’s Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2015 Edition.
The Ramen Rater’s Bottom Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time 2015 Edition video.
#10: Unzen Mushroom Honpo Shiitake Nutritious Noodle – Japan
A reader had been looking high and low for these noodles and I helped her find where they came from. As a thank you, she sent me a pack. Well, I’m glad someone likes these, but I really didn’t. There were large pieces of mushroom in a gelatinous gravy substance, and the orange stuff was reminiscent of phlegm. Original review here
#9: Mitoku Brown Rice Ramen – Japan
While the only issue with the noodles were a little crumbly mushiness, the broth was the culprit that brought this one to the Bottom Ten yard. Bitter and earthy – like coffee grounds or dirt. Original review here
#8: Nan Jie Cun Hot-Dry Instant Noodles Chilli Flavour – China
I had such high hopes for this one. These noodles are made in the last true Communist cist in China. There’s no money! You work, you go to the store and get what you need, you go home. Fascinating. These were just plain gross; I dunno – maybe I just don’t like monotone flavors. The ingredients were good, just all came together as a pile of yuck.Original preview here
#7: Nan Hsing Vegetarian Rice Noodles – Taiwan
The noodles were akin to cobwebs – not the ones spiders make, but the fake ones you get for Halloween. The veggies didn’t hydrate well at all, and the broth wasn’t much. Couldn’t eat it. Original review here
#6: Paldo Green Tea Chlorella Noodles – South Korea
While this company makes some noodles I really enjoy, they also make this one which I deplore. It’s just got such a funky flavor to it and a smell I can’t take.Original review here
#5: Fu Chang Chinese Noodle Company Pork, Seafood & Noodles Combo – United States
The noodles in this one were really mushy, and while it had a retort pouch with meat and seafood, it was really nasty. Original review here
#4: Azami Kimchee Noodle Soup – Canada
This cup has a lot of issues. The noodles were at the lowest end of the spectrum. The ended up crumbly and almost rubbery with no character or flavor whatsoever. Then, the broth was pretty darn bland, with just a hint of spiciness. Original review here
A strong ‘dirt and urine’ scent accompanied by slimy sweet potato noodles. As it turns out, Fei Chang relates to fried pork intestines.Original review here
#2: One Dish Asia Japanese Ramen Noodle – United States
This one comes with a fresh noodle pouch. They didn’t have a very fresh texture; more mushy. The bamboo shoots (which more resembled overcooked carrot and I had to consult the ingredients to figure what they were) were mushy as well. The broth had an acidic and a flavor reminiscent of the teriyaki flavor I’ve encountered in bad teriyaki instant flavors. A hot mess. Original review here
#1: Baijia Single Noble Black Bone Chicken Flavor Instant Sweet Potato Noodles – China
Here is my least favorite variety of all. Retaining it’s #1 ranking again this year, its slimy sweet potato noodles, thick, greasy broth and horrid veggies that didn’t hydrate well was just a flavor, texture, and complete food hole nightmare for me.. This was just horrible stuff that I couldn’t stand. Original review here
So yesterday we went to the new Asian Food Center on 130th and Aurora southwest of here. Was hoping to find a lot of new varieties I hadn’t tried yet and found a couple – and this is one of them. I haven’t had much luck at all with Baijia products in the past – I think it’s just a taste that doesn’t translate well for me. However, I never met an instant noodle I hadn’t tried before that I didn’t want to. So with that, let’s have a look at this Sichuan Baijia variety.
The import/distributor’s sticker (click image to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself.
Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). To prepare, add thread and all sachet contents to a bowl. Add 500ml boiling water and cover for 5-6 minutes. Stir and enjoy!
So it’s not a wheat noodle, rice vermicelli or bean thread. This is a sweet potato thread.
A dry base sachet.
Not sure if this was originally powder or if it is a pickled vegetable and powder mix.
A paste sachet.
Has an acrid scent.
The solid ingredients sachet.
Looks like spring onion and peas.
Finished (click image to enlarge). Added mung bean sprouts, beef and white onion. The thread hydrated very nicely. I recommend using kitchen scissors to cut them to reasonable lengths once cooked. They are lightly chewy and have a likable gauge. The broth was very interesting. A strong heat and a kind of acidic taste – black vinegar I think. A lot of other flavors linger around in it as well. The beans or peas hydrated very well in this one and were a welcome addition. I liked this one far more than any Baijia variety I’ve tried in the past – maybe it’s time to try more of them. 3.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 6932760690112.
In the past reviews of Baijia products, I haven’t been really stoked. I have been told by those keen on Sichuan cuisine that this is good stuff, but I think I’m not one of those who are keen on Sichuan cuisine. Regardless, I shall try this with an open mind. Let’s have a go at this one.
Here’s the back of the package – click to enlarge.
The sweet potato thread.
The powder seasoning.
These usually look gross but are very good.
The veggie packet.
Lots of these little bean-like bits.
Finished (click image to enlarge). The noodles soaked up most of the liquid and really I must say there is a huge amount of them. The noodles are a little hard to eat; maybe using scissors to cut them before the meal would be helpful as in the way naengmyon is served in Korea. The noodles are thin and don’t separate very well. They aren’t slimy but have a gelatinous texture. They are easily broken by pursing the lips. The broth (what was left after the engorging by the noodles) was interesting,. First, very spicy and has a black pepper taste. Also has an almost vinegary acidity that almost acts like a component of the spiciness. The veggies are disappointing as they don’t really re-hydrate as one would expect. I must say this is a lot better than I expected, but I still definitely cannot eat the the whole thing by any stretch of the imagination. It’s very salty and very heavy. I would say that one of these packs could easily feed two people – kind of has that ‘stick to your ribsy’ kind of way to it like rice and beans in its fillingness. So far, probably the best Baijia I’ve had. 2.75 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 6926410321396 – get it here.
This one was sent by Michelle L. of New York! Unfortunately, for this one I have exceedingly low expectations. Every Baijia product I’ve tried has been just plain gross in my opinion.
The side panels (click image to enlarge).
Hey – a fork!
Thick liquid seasoning starting on left, powder seasoning in the middle and finally beans on the right.
Otis Pug and Daisy Pug are out cold…
So they cannot be held responsible for that vile looking thing.
Finished (click image to enlarge). While this was pretty horrible, it wasn’t as horrible as I expected. First, the noodles were not too bad themselves; they weren’t as clumpy as usual. The broth was all but gone and the bean things were as funky and odd as always. The problem as with all of the Baijia products I’ve tried thus far was the flavor. First, it’s spicy – nothing wrong with that, but it’s like a ridiculously strong black pepper kind of spicy. Also, it’s very salty too. All in all, I felt a little funky after eating a couple of bites – I deem this non-palatable. 0.5 out of 5.0 stars. UPC barcode 6926410321341 – get the pack version here.
Baijia with rice noodles eh? Sounds different – hope it’s better than all the others I’ve tried!
Four packets – going clockwise from top left: veggie-thingies, very dark liquid, powder seasoning, slightly less dark liquid.
Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge).
Here’s everything atop the rice thread. When I initially opened the package, I got a whiff – a horrible smelling whiff. A kind of vinegar scent.
Click image to enlarge. Okay, let’s try this. Oh wow – alright so the noodles are better than the noodles I’ve had in all of the other Baijia products. But then there’s the taste. Hot and sour doesn’t even begin to describe. The broth is greasier than can be tolerated and the flavor is like a chemically-induced spicy with vinegar and I don’t know what. This is wretched and I couldn’t eat more than one bite. Easily one of the worst instant noodles I’ve had in my life. 0 out of 5 stars. That a big round one.