Tag Archives: california

Re-Review: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored Soup

Re-Review: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored Soup - United States - The Ramen Rater - サッポロ一番

There are some varieties that I hear people raving out about a lot and I start thinking ‘I should re-review this one.’ Well, today’s the day. I even have a little story about these which is sort of funny.

So we went to a furniture place a few years ago. We needed to get a couch – actually we went to a few places. I was being a cheapskate and getting annoyed at how much it costs to get something to sit on. Seriously;I mean, it’s a big pillow with wood inside, right? I thought hey – $400 is insane but we could shell out $400 I guess. Well, after a long conversation about couches and me being a cheapskate, my wife and I went to one last place. I finally found the couch I was into.

This thing had buttons on the side that made each seat recline and it was really comfy. I figure yeah it’s about $1200, but what the hell – my wife’s happy, I’m happy because it’s literally a comfortable electric chair – it’s a win-win situation right? Well, I then found out shopping for a couch is kind of like shopping for a car.

You go to the dealership and spend hours sitting, waiting, schmoozing and finally get out of therewith a new thing. At the dealership – drives me nuts when we get a new car, they have the balls to say ‘congratulations!’ I always thought I should just say ‘no congratulations for putting us on the hook for a recurring payment for 36 months.’ Anyways.

So during the schmoozing process, it’s the standard questions and chit chat at the furniture store. What do you do? When I tell anybody about reviewing instant noodles I get a couple of regular answers ‘wow – I didn’t know there were that many kinds of instant noodles,’ ‘wow that’s amazing’ and ‘don’t you get sick of reviewing instant noodles?’ Well, this guy started going off about Sapporo Ichiban noodles. He would talk about how great it was that a pack has 4 grams of fiber. I mean, I’m getting a couch and getting an education from this guy about being older and having a hard time taking a dump. It was kind of awkward but then again kind of fascinating that this guy was really okay with sharing his bowel habits with a total stranger while trying to sell him something.

Anyways, that’s my funny Sapporo Ichiban story. Here’s a little about the company from Wikipedia –

Sapporo Ichiban (サッポロ一番?) is a brand of instant noodles (most of them ramen) made by Sanyo Foods.

Sapporo Ichiban has found a market outside Japan, most notably with consumers in Hong Kong, the United States, Mexico, Argentina and Canada.

Sapporo Ichiban literally means “Sapporo’s number one [noodle]”, but there is no particular relation between Sapporo Ichiban and the city of Sapporo, Hokkaido, where the company has only a small sales branch

Sapporo Ichiban has found a market outside Japan, most notably with consumers in Hong Kong, the United States, Mexico, Argentina and Canada.

Ramen flavors include:

  • “Original” (Red package) a mild soy sauce flavor, debuted in stores January 1966.
  • Miso (Orange package), debuted in stores September 1968.
  • Shio (Salt) (Black and Red package), debuted in stores August 1971.
  • Tonkotsu (Gold package)
  • Chicken (Green package)
  • Beef (Brown package)
  • Shrimp (Pink package)
  • Hot & Spicy Chicken (Green and Red package)
  • Original Cup
  • Chicken Cup
  • Beef Cup
  • Shrimp Cup

So there you are – some background and a kind of weird story. Let’s check it out!

Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored Soup – United States

Re-Review: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored Soup - United States - The Ramen Rater - サッポロ一番

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains chicken and beef. To prepare, add noodle block to 2 cups (500ml on package, 473ml in reality) boiling water and cook 3 minutes. Add in soup base sachet. Finally, stir and enjoy!

Re-Review: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored Soup - United States - The Ramen Rater - サッポロ一番

The noodle block.

Re-Review: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored Soup - United States - The Ramen Rater - サッポロ一番

The soup base sachet.

Re-Review: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored Soup - United States - The Ramen Rater - サッポロ一番

A light powder with dark flecks here and there.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, spring onion, beef and shichimi togarashi. The noodles are heavy and very plentiful. This is a heavy noodle block – pretty impressive. The broth has a salty beef taste which works well. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 076186000035.

Re-Review: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored Soup - United States - The Ramen Rater - サッポロ一番

Japanese Style Noodle Soup (Beef Flavor) – 3.5oz [Pack of 6]

A vintage TV commercial

#1966: Wei Lih GGE Noodle Snack Wheat Crackers Soy Sauce Ramen

Here’s another one I got down in Pleasanton, California a month or so ago. GGE is an abbreviation for Good Good Eat, as in ‘everybody loves good good eat.’ Kind of strange but we are talking about Taiwanese snack noodles here (see Leisure Meatballs). Anyways, let’s rip this bag open and check this snack out.

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself.. To prepare, open bag and enjoy!

These appear to be scored strips of noodle dough that have been fried.

Finished (click to enlarge). The noodle strips have a nice crunch – not hard as a rock or light as a feather, but somewhere in the middle range, maybe a little closer to the harder end of the stick. They have a nice texture and a good soy sauce flavor. For a snack, these get 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 074410705862.

Wei Lih GGE Wheat Crackers Soy Sauce Ramen, 2.82 Oz (Pack of 5)

Wei Lih’s most well known product is showcased in this commercial.

#1944: Wei Lih GGE Noodle Snack Wheat Crackers Hot Spicy

Here’s one I got at the 99 Ranch down in Pleasanton, California a couple of weeks ago. So the GGE stands for Good Good Eat, as in ‘everybody loves good good eat.’ Yeah, I know – kind of weird. But hey – this is a Taiwanese snack noodle and they can be pretty interesting (see Leisure Meatballs). Anyways, let’s crack this bag open and look inside.


Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, open bag and enjoy!

Different lengths of noodles. They have the season already in them.

Finished (click to enlarge). The noodles are great – differing lengths – some very long. They have a light crunch and a kind of chili-cheese flavor to them. Arriba! For a snack, these get 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 074410727932.

Wei Lih GGE Wheat Crackers Hot Spicy, 2.82 Oz (Pack of 5)

A Wei Lih TV commercial.

#1846: Nissin Chow Mein Premium Savory Sauce And Restaurant Quality Noodles Roast Chicken Flavor

Here’s a new one that you should be able to find pretty easily in the store if you’re in the United States. Nissin has been coming out with a few new varieties lately and this is one of them – let’s have a peek under the hood of this tray!

Detail from the bottom (click to enlarge). Contains chicken. To prepare, open lid halfway and  remove sachets and add room temp water to fill line. Microwave 5 minutes (1000w). Add in sachet contents and mix well. Enjoy!

The noodle block.

The dry powder sachet.

Has a chicken scent.

The ‘Savory Sauce’ sachet.

Has a chicken stock scent.

Some vegetable bits from the bottom of the tray – looks like carrot!

Had a nice noodle lunch with Andy!

Finished (click to enlarge). Added baked chicken seasoned with salt and pepper. The noodles came out really well; soft and definitely comfort-food textured. The flavor was a strong salty chicken and had an oiliness to it which really did give it the flavor of roast chicken – kind of like rotisserie chicken. Best chicken flavor noodle I’ve had in a ages! Very impressed with this one! 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 070662088210.

Here’s the regular chicken variety – Nissin Chow Mein Q&E Chicken, 4-Ounce Units (Pack of 8)

An advertisement for Nissin Chow Mein.

#1622: Nongshim Quick2 Hot & Spicy Noodle Soup With Habanero & Lime

Quick2 is a new one from Nongshim America. The 2 has to do with the cooking time of two minutes. I find this one interesting; kind of a departure from their more premium lines and if you notice the color and lines, it more resembles a pack version of a Nongshim Bowl Noodle in graphic design. Let’s have a look at Nongshim Quick2 and see what’s inside!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Contains beef. To prepare, boil 500ml water and add noodle block and sachet contents. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Enjoy!

The noodle block.

The soup base sachet. Note the very coarse cut on the top and bottom of the sachet.

Has a nice beef and spicy scent.

The vegetable sachet.

A nice little mixture.


Finished (click image to enlarge). Added beef, broccoli and white onion. The noodles are thinner than standard ramyun and have a light texture which was very good. The broth was better than I expected to be honest – it’s spicy and has a very nice beef and spices flavor. The vegetables hydrated well. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 031146029181.

Note the package design on these – Nongshim Hot & Spicy Noodle Bowl, 3.03 Ounce Bowls (Pack of 12)

A new Nongshim Shin Ramyun TV commercial! The Hispanic market is a big consumer of instant noodles and companies want to let ’em know what they’ve got!

#1563: Nongshim Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup (New Edition)

Before you go crazy and say ‘what you’ve never reviewed Shin Ramyun before,’ just listen for a second. So this is the new packaging they rolled out recently. I thought it was worth as whole new review as they’be had the old packaging on this one for eons and eons.

Here is the old packaging. As you can see, the new one’s very red. Red and angry! Rrawr! Let’s get cooking!

 Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Contains beef. To prepare, add noodle block and contents of sachets to 550ml boiling water and cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Enjoy!

The noodle block.

The soup base sachet.

Smells spicy!

The vegetables sachet.

Looks like green onion, mushroom and a little pepper possibly.


Finished (click image to enlarge). Added beef and sweet onion sauteed in soy sauce and some sliced spring onion. The noodles are thick and luxuriant as well as plentiful. Good chew. The broth has a nice kind of beef flavor with a nice heat to it that is accessible to many. The vegetables are a nice touch as well. I don’t know if it’s different from the old packaged version, but I sure enjoyed it today. 4.25 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 031146150601.

 This is one seriously ubiquitous product – however if you can’t find it, your can get it here.

A Nongshim Shin Ramyun TV commercial from South Korea.

#1503: Nongshim Bowl Noodle Soup Shrimp Habanero Lime Flavor

It’s been so long since I’ve reviewed a new Bowl Noodle! I remeber a few years ago I was hunting high and low for certain varieties, many long gone. I remember the beef anfd ginger flavor was pretty good! Then they switched over to these microwaveable versions instead of the foam bowls – and I like them better! Curious how this one will be.

Something special with this review – it’s a double review! I used to review hot sauces a few years back – here’s a link to my old site, now mothballed. I got an email from the folks at TOKI Hot Sauce recently. They are trying to get their product going! It’s a Korean inspired hot sauce! They’ve got a Kickstarter campaign running at the moment – why not check them out? I’m going to cook up some nice shrimp to go with this one and slather them in the sauce! Let’s check both of these products out!

Here’s the back of the cardboard outer packaging (click image to enlarge). Contains both beef and fish products.

Here’s detail of the lid (click image to enlarge). To prepare, take the lid off completely. Add in the sachet contents and add room temperature water to the fill line. Microwave for 3-4 minutes (see the noodle texture chart!). Stir and enjoy! You can also do the same thing with boiling water.

The noodle block.

The soup base sachet.

Has a lime scent.

Here’s just a few of the little bits from the bottom of the bowl.


Finished (click image to enlarge). Added shrimp sauteed with Toki Hot Sauce, green onion, sweet onion, lime and bell pepper. The noodles have a nice texture to them – that comforty-buttery thing going on. The broth has a spicy and lime hit and a lighter shrimp flavor in the background which I would have enjoyed more of. The vegetable and shrimp bits while sparing hydrated well. 3.25 out of 5.0 stars. The Toki Hot Sauce has a decent punch of heat, and is a nice balance of sweetness with a familiar gochujang kind of flavor. Like a teriyaki gochujang wham-bam – good stuff! Worth trying! UPC bar code 031146026128.

Here’s a 6 variety pack of different Nongshim Bowl Noodle Soups!

Here’s a vid showing where these Nongshim Bowl Noodle Soups are made – in rancho Cucamonga, California!

#1463: Maruchan Instant Lunch California Vegetable Ramen Noodles With Vegetables

I want to send a special thank you to Craig Y. over at Maruchan for facilitating the process of getting Instant Lunch California Vegetable into my hands! Much appreciated! I hunted high and low for these and couldn’t find them! There are lots of products sold around the United States – and some do better in some areas than others. A good example would be the King Cake. Most people where I live don’t know what a King Cake is, however folks in Louisiana definitely do – it’s a special cake enjoyed around Mardi Gras. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about King Cakes:

A king cake (sometimes rendered as kingcake, kings’ cake, king’s cake, or three kings cake) is a type of cake associated in a number of countries with the festival of Epiphany at the end of the Christmas season; in other places, it is associated with the pre-Lenten celebrations of Mardi Gras/Carnival.

What started out as a dry French bread type dough with sugar on top and a bean inside 30 years ago, is now a sweet, sugary and iced Danish type dough that is braided with cinnamon inside and a plastic doll underneath. King Cakes are made of a cinnamon filled dough in the shape of a hollow circle. They have a glazed topping and are sprinkled with colored sugar. Hundreds of thousands of King Cakes are eaten in New Orleans during the Carnival season.

The cake often has a small plastic baby (said to represent Baby Jesus) inside (or sometimes placed underneath), and the person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket has various privileges and obligations.[1]

A company that makes cakes would probably not focus their King Cake varieties in the northwest as it would make more sense to sell them in Louisiana, right? Well, when companies like Maruchan decide where to sell which varieties, it goes much more deep than that, but it’s the same kind of thing. One might say ‘but hey – you were looking for it; they should sell it where you’re at!’ Although that’s a nice thought, I only eat one of each variety usually, so my single Instant Lunch purchase probably wouldn’t sway the distribution of a large company. But thanks, hypothetical person! Anyways, let’s have a look at this interesting instant noodle cup!

Here’s the back of the cardboard outer (click image to enlargContains chicken broth. To prepare, open lid halfway and add boiling water to fill line. Cover and let steep for 3 minutes and stir. Enjoy! One thing though – a LOT of people like to mention to me that they microwave these things. No! If you add water and microwave, you’re doing it wrong. If you want to include a microwave in you noodle-preparation doings, just take a cup and add water and heat that, then add it to the cup. This has been a public service announcement from The Ramen Rater – helping you correctly prepare your instant noodles since 2002.

Here’s detail from the lid (click image to enlarge). Notice what it says here – boil the water in a separate container! Also, don’t give it to little kids – you wouldn’t give a toddler a latte from Starbucks, would you? It’s hot stuff – use common sense!

The cup, exposed from the cardboard outer.

The noodle block. They’re pre-seasoned.

Here we have some of the loose California vegetable mixture that was loose in the cup. What is in the California vegetable mix you ask? Carrot, green peas, green beans, onion, celery, cabbage and garlic.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sweet onion, bell pepper and peas. The noodles are flat and narrow. They hydrated perfectly and didn’t have any inkling of sponginess. The broth is that of a vegetable flavor; kind of a melange that I think most familiar with prepared and processed foods would sum up as ‘garden vegetable.’ The supplied veggies hydrated extremely well – especially the peas, which often can go one way or the other – these were just right. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 041789001260.

You can find Maruchan Instant Lunch California Vegetable on Amazon!

Here’s a video showing how to do up a fusion recipe with Maruchan’s Roast Chicken Yakisoba.

#1444: Maruchan Instant Lunch Jalapeno Cheddar Flavor Ramen Noodles

Woo-hoo! I’ve been looking for a couple varieties by Maruchan for a while and this is one of them. I want to thank Craig Y. and all the nice folks at Maruchan for getting this one in my hands! I’m sure someone out there is going to say ‘Hard to find? It’s at every store around me!’ One thing though is that not every product is marketed or distributed to every area. One example of this kind of thing is a soda called Cheerwine. It’s quite popular and easily found in the southern United States, but it’s relatively unknown on the west coast. Anyways, Jalapeno Cheddar noodles sounds pretty neat! Let’s have a look at this one.

Here’s the detail from the cardboard outer (click image to enlarge). Contains chicken. To prepare, add boiling water to inside fill line. Cover and let sit for 3 minutes. Stir and enjoy!

The noodle cup, sans cardboard outer.

Detail of the lid (click image to enlarge).

The noodle block. All seasonings are infused into the block.


Finished (click image to enlarge). Added bell peppers and beef sauteed in a little Worcestershire and some sliced green onion. The noodles are broad and flat – which lent well to the flavor I think. The noodles are just chewy and crumbly enough – definitely in the comfort food range of texture. The broth is of a creamy jalapeno cheese flavor. After 3 minutes of steeping, the broth is, well, brothy. After a stir and another minute to cool, the broth gained more of a sauce kind of thickening. The jalapeno flavor is there, however the heat is very, very mild. so if you like the flavor of jalapeno but not the heat, you’ll like this one. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 041789001673.

I think this is my favorite Maruchan commercial – it’s kind of fascinating to see the melding of such divergent cultures – Japanese ramen absorbed into Mexican culture. Besides, I think Mariachi bands are pretty awesome.

#1441: Nissin Souper Meal Chili Picante Chicken With Lime Flavor Ramen Noodle Soup

Wow check this big sucker out! Nissin’s Souper Meals are exactly that – super sized! This was sent over by the nice folks over at Nissin Foods USA the other day – thanks! Let’s peel the lid off of this one and have a peek inside…

Detail of the side panels (click image to enlarge). Contains chicken. To prepare, tear off lid and empty sachets into bowl. Fill to line with room temperature water. Microwave for 4 1/2 minutes, then let sit for 2 more. Stir and enjoy!

Detail of the lid (click image to enlarge).

The noodle block.

Powder soup base sachet.

A lot of powder! Has a tangy spicy scent.

A dehydrated vegetables sachet.

A decent amount.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added grilled chicken, red, yellow and orange bell pepper, sweet onion, frozen corn and lime. The noodles are on the more floppy end of the spectrum, but the comforty slight crumble end which is good. There are a lot of noodles too! The broth has a spicy, lime and slight chicken mood to it. The supplied veggies hydrated well – especially the corn. If you’re hungry, this will definitely fill that void of yours!  3.5 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 070662007051.

Okay I couldn’t resist this one. This is the story of a man and his love for Souper Meal.

Brand New Products From Nongshim America!

Here’s something I’ve been waiting for – three new products from Nongshim America! Let’s see what’s inside!

On the left we have Harmony. It’s a broth-free variety that has a chipotle pepper flavor to it. What’s neat is that you can sever is hot or cold – cold sounds good for the summer! On the right is their new Spicy tonkotsu – I don’t know a lot about it except it mentions pork in thje ingredients, so it’s a pork broth – sweet! What I find interesting is that on the edge of the packs it says “Nongshim Black Class Noodle Dish.”

Shrimp is good. Habanero spicy. Lime compliments both of those – very curious how this new bowl will be – been a while since they came out with a new Bowl Noodle! Thank go to Ray and Nikki and all the other great folks at Nongshim America for sending these samples!

#1427: Miso Ramen At Osaka Ramen In Dublin, California

Last week, we went on our big summer vacation! We drove from Lynnwood, WA all the way to Livermore, CA – over 800 miles. Did it in 14 hours – only 3 quick stops, too! We did a bunch of neat stuff – went to the Alameda County Fair, caught a Giants game in San Francisco, and went out for ramen – and not the instant kind. Nope – this is the moment I think many of you have been wanting to see more of. It’s not going to be a common thing around here anytime soon, but I thought I’d share my experience.


Here’s my wife Kit – she got yakiudon – like yakisoba but of course with udon noodles.

Kit’s mom Cathy who got California Roll.

Andy went with a Tonkotsu kid’s meal – you get a bowl of tonkotsu and a dessert!

finally, myself – I decided to go with a miso with corn and had them put in some chashu as well.

So we drank some tea.

Then waited a couple of minutes.

Then the food arrived! Here’s Kit’s yakiudon.

Andy’s pork tonkotsu.

Finally, my miso ramen (click image to enlarge). I wish the pictures came out better, but I only had my cellphone with me – should’ve had something a little better – my apologies. The broth was really nice and rich, the corn very complimentary, the noodles just right and the chashu not what I expected. I haven’t had chashu before and I thought it would be a bit less soft and a little more chewy. It was quite good though. I nabbed some slurps of Andy’s tonkotsu broth and liked that even more – I think I’ll try a bowl of tonkotsu next time.  All in all, the service was friendly, fast and the food was excellent. I’d recommend this place to noodle fans – as being 3.75 out of 5.0 stars.

Here’s Andy’s dessert, a small scoop of strawberry ice cream. He played with that little umbrella for the rest of our vacation – I think he even brought it back up here. He really likes it, LOL!  Should you want to check this place out, here’s the address:

Osaka Ramen
4288 Dublin Blvd
Ste 118
Dublin, CA94568

Here’s a tour of Dublin, California’s downtown.