Today we have a Zenpop.JP variety – so what’s Zenpop? They’re a subscription service for all things Japanese! Definitely, check them out. By the way, use coupon code RAMENRATER to get $2 off! Here’s what they had to say about this one -‘Dashi is essential for most Japanese dishes including udon. This healthy udon is low in sodium and moreover, it contains GABA which helps lower the blood pressure, reduce the stress, and make you relaxed. Of course, it’s super tasty too.’ Alright – let’s crack it open!
Acecook Chicken Dashi Udon – Japan
Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Contains pork, chicken and fish. To prepare, add boiling water to fill line and cover for 4 minutes. Add in sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!
Finished (click to enlarge). The udon is very soft and plentiful. A wide and flat shape and slight chew. The broth was very good. A kind of chicken and soy with the very slightest of fish notes. Included bits were welcome – definitely a comfortable one for the winter months. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. JAN bar code 4901071278786.
Found this one at Uwajimaya a few months back. We decided to go down to a dim sum restaurant nearby called Ocean Star. It used to be Sun Ya – a place I went to growing up and I hadn’t been back since they changed hands a couple years back.
I really was a bummed – I miss the way that Sun Yan was before – food was hotter, etcetera. I should note though that we got to Ocean Star later in the day so it was definitely after prime time for dim sum, so definitely will give it another chance.
So this one has nothing to do with dim sum – that’s something I should make clear right off the bat. Dim sum is a Chinese thing – not Japanese. But Uwajimaya is nearby and has good parking in the Seattle International District, so we park there and then walk around and come back, spend a bit at Uwajimaya and get our parking validated. I’ve been a fan of wasabi for a while – however, I didn’t know exactly what this variety was when I got it that day. I thought ‘hey – this isn’t one I’ve reviewed’ so I picked it up. Let’s check out this wasabi infused tempura udon!
Finished (click to enlarge). Udon hydrated pretty well in 5 minutes. The broth has a kind of bonito and wasabi flavor to it that was kind of strange to me. The tempura was nice and crisp – nice with the seaweed back. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. JAN bar code 4902105241288.
Well, here we are with the last of this Meet The Manufacturer. It’s been a lot of fun and I hope it;s been a neat one for everyone to see! I want to personally thank Mr. Okabayashi for all of his help throughout this process! Many were hard for me to figure out the names on and he was very quick to help. Not only that, he made sure there was a great variety to choose from for Meet The Manufacturer. So again, thank you very much! Today’s review will be this large bowl – the same shape as the Nissin UFO bowls. This is part of their Donbei line. You might wonder – so what’s yakiudon? Well, simply put yaki means fried. So, these are thicker noodles than what you would find in yakisoba. Let’s check this out!
Detail from the bottom of the bowl (click to enlarge). Contains meat. To prepare, open lid halfway. Add in vegetable sachet and boiling water to fill line. Let steep for 5 minutes. Use drain spout and drain off all water. Add in contents of liquid sachet. Stir and enjoy!
Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, kizami shoga, spring onion, sesame seeds and nanami togarashi. The udon hydrated very nicely. Lots of it too. The flavor is definitely like a sweet shoyu kind of thing which was pretty good. I will admit the Worcestershire flavor inherent to yakiudon’s classic way is more to my liking, but I’ve been surprised at these change-ups – there’s even a shio yakisoba around that I’ve liked. The included vegetables and garnish were very good . 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. JAN bar code 4902105231227.
Here’s another one that was sent to me by Javier over at Box From Japan – thanks! Box From Japan is a subscription service – you can get a box sent to you every month with some great noodles within! It says in the leaflet sent with the box that this has a duck flavor and a sweetness to it. Let’s check it out!
Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Contains duck. To prepare, empty dry sachet into bowl. Add boilingwa ter to fill line and cover for 3 minutes. Add in liquid sachet. stir and enjoy!
Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, kizami shoga and spring onion. The noodles had a different consistency than I’m used to – very interesting and it seemed fitting for duck. It was almost more earthy; not in flavor but in texture. The broth was probably the best duck I’ve had yet – it’s not too strong, not too weak. I also liked the duck meatloaf bits and other garnish – everything hydrated very well. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. JAN bar code 4902105040843.
Found this one at Uwajimaya, a Japanese grocery store chain up here in the Pacific Northwest. I’m always keen on trying a new yakisoba; I usually enjoy them with a little karashi mayo! So this variety is dashi shoyu flavor. Dashi is used to make broth for traditional Japanese ramen, and shoyu is soy sauce. Let’s have a look at this one from Japanese company Acecook.
Detail of the side panels (click image to enlarge).
Here’s the lid (click image to enlarge). Contains egg. To prepare, open lid halfway and take out sachet. Fill to line with boiling water and close for 3 minutes. Open pour spout and drain. Add in contents of sachet and stir. Enjoy!
The noodle block.
The seasoning liquid.
Has a salty soy scent.
Here’s some of the dehydrated vegetables, of which cabbage is prominent.
Finished (click image to enlarge). Added shrimp, mung bean sprouts and Kewpie mayonnaise. The noodles has a nice gauge and feel- very standard for an instant yakisoba. The flavoring. It was way too salty and over powering. To be honest, it almost had a kind of coffee element to it that was bitter as well. 2.25 out of 5.0 stars. JAN bar code 4901071222222.
Udon is a very popular noodle in Japan and around the world. It’s characterized by being really thick. My wife’s a big fan of udon – they’re her favorite noodles! But what is katsuo dashi? Well, katsuo is the Japanese name for Skipjack tuna, a variety which is popular all over Asia. Dashi on the other hand is a little less simple. Here’s what Wikipedia had to say
The most common form of dashi is a simple broth or fish stock made by heating water containing kombu (edible kelp) and kezurikatsuo (shavings of katsuobushi – preserved, fermented bonito) to near-boiling, then straining the resultant liquid. The element of umami, considered one of the five basic tastes in Japan, is introduced into dashi from the use of katsuobushi. Katsuobushi is especially high in sodium inosinate, which is identified as one source of umami.
A loanword from the Japanese (うま味?), umami can be translated as “pleasant savory taste”. This particular writing was chosen by Professor Kikunae Ikeda from umai (うまい) “delicious” and mi (味) “taste”. The kanji 旨味 are used for a more general sense of a food as delicious.
People taste umami through receptors for glutamate, commonly found in its salt form as the food additive monosodium glutamate (MSG). For that reason, scientists consider umami to be distinct from saltiness.
Umami really is an interesting concept that isn’t really well known here in the United States, but is used in foods throughout the world. Worth reading up on! Let’s open up this one and see what’s inside!
Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Not sure if it contains meat, but pretty sure it contains fish. To prepare, add one noodle pouch contents to 300ml boiling water. Cook for two minutes. Add contents of one of the sachets and stir. enjoy!
In the package, you get three servings, so three of these noodle pouches.
Three of these soup base sachets as well.
Here’s the soup base – has a nice katsuo scent.
Finished (click image to enlarge). Added kamaboko, sweet onion, kizami shoga (pickled ginger), egg and green onion. The udon noodle is really good in this one. The texture is quite soft compared to most I’ve had and it has a really nice mouthfeel to it. The broth is well done with a nice katsuo flavor which doesn’t overwhelm. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 4901959070662.