Tag Archives: dragonfly

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Chinese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2014

China: the birthplace of the noodle. Billions of serving of instant noodles are consumed there every year – more than any other country in the world!  I thought today being Chinese New Year (more widely known as Lunar New Year), it would be an opportune time to release a list of my favorite instant noodles that are made in China. These are the most memorable and finest varieties I have enjoyed from China of the 1,290+ I’ve reviewed over the years.

#10: Chencun Noodle Spicy Beef

This variety features rice noodles and a really great spicy beef flavor. I would consider it hearty; something I don’t usually find in a rice noodle based variety. Original review here

#9: Dragonfly Instant Noodles Onion Flavor

This is one of the best onion flavored varieties I’ve ever had. Dragonfly’s noodles are plentiful and of good quality. The onion flavor is full and rich. A bowl I look back on fondly. Original review here

#8: Master Kong Spicy Beef

Spicy beef? You got it! Excellent beef flavor and thick broth along with a slew of great noodles. Original review here

#7: JML Instant Noodle Artificial Stew Beef Flavour

You may be sensing a theme here – beef! What I find most engaging about Chinese beef varieties is that they have this little bit of sweetness that sets them apart from other region’s varieties. This one’s no different and quite enjoyable. Original review here

#6: Uni-President Unif-100 Pickled Cayenne Flavor Beef Ramen

The broth is interesting; it has a sort of beef-vinegar-spicy triumvirate melding together. Usually I’m not a big fan of vinegar and beef, but this worked well. The little peppers? They’re salty and pretty hot. They’re like pickled peppers. Original review here

#5: Dragonfly Instant Noodles Artificial Pork Ribs Flavor

Excellent noodles. The broth has a really nice sweet and meaty flavor – rich and excellent. Original review here

#4: Master Kong Premium Taste Roasted Beef Noodle

Seriously excellent beef flavor in this one. Very rich! Original review here

#3: Dragonfly Instant Noodles Artificial Hot & Sour Shrimp Flavor

Combine full, almost buttery noodles with a broth that has an almost tom yum flavor. Truly unique. Original review here

#2: Dragonfly Artificial Beef Flavor Instant Noodles

Beef again? Yes. Beef is a great flavor and so good in this one. A great beef flavor with an almost bacon like finish. Not only that, the carrot and cabbage hydrate perfectly and add a little crunch. Original review here

#1: Master Kong Potatoes & Stewed Beef Instant Noodles

The broth and noodles come together masterfully and this honestly tastes so good I’m going to say I’m truly sad I don’t have any more of it! It literally tastes like a dish centering on beef and potatoes. I love it. Original review here

Thank you for reading! I hope that if you have a favorite variety from China I’ve not yet reviewed or represent a Chinese instant noodle company that you will contact me. I would definitely like to have a broader base of Chinese varieties to sample and share with the world!

Reader Tip: Selecting & Using Fish Sauce With Your Ramen!

A reader named Don D. decided to share some wisdom about fish sauce. I’ve really never used it or known much about it. This was a really good read and I thought it deserved sharing with everyone!

An absolute necessity for any serious Rameneer is a bottle of NUOC MAM (Vietnamese) or NAM PLA (Thai) fish sauce, especially for any SE Asian dishes.  I’m not going to get into the details of the flavor other than to tell you its made of fermented anchovies (if you find that idea disgusting try to remember that fermented anchovies is one of the primary ingredients in Worscestershire Sauce).  What I’d like to do though, is give your acolytes a little info on what to look for and a couple of  brands to buy.

Like wine and olive oil, all Nuoc Mam (nook-mom) or Nam Pla (nom-plah) is not born equal, so to help you decide  which to buy, look for the following:

  1.   The ingredients should list only three items, anchovies, salt and water,  more indicates a lesser quality “diluted” product.
  2.   “Ni” or “Thuong Hang”, indicates  the sauce is a first run off the  fermenting vats, (similar to the meaning of “extra  virgin cold-pressed olive oil”). Later runs are  cheaper, diluted with water, and not so flavorful.
  3.   “Ca Com” refers to a specific species of anchovy which is considered the ultimate fish for the sauce.
  4.  The sauce should be a perfectly clear ” deep tea” color with no cloudiness or residue in the bottom of the glass, not plastic, bottle.

Here are three superior brands to look for:  PHU QUOC,  THREE CRABS,  DRAGONFLY and if you can’t find the first three, you can try the more commonly available, not-so-terribly-wonderful- but-still-perfectly-acceptable, TIPAROS.  There are plenty of other  good brands not mentioned here , so if you follow the guidelines above, you’re practically guaranteed a  a quality sauce.
To use it, simply give your finished ramen a couple of generous shakes, a swirl with your chopsticks and go for it, but beware….like Ramen, it’s highly addictive!

Right on – thanks for the info!

#871: Dragonfly Instant Noodles Artificial Hot & Sour Shrimp Flavor

Time for breakfast! Been waiting to try this one for just the right day. Just look at those enormous shrimp on that package! Jeez! I’m sure this will make for a good breakfast. Got this one at the local H Mart. By the way – today is a holiday – check out what Wikipedia says about it:

Constitution Day (or Citizenship Day) is an American federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. It is observed on September 17, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787.[2]

The law establishing the holiday was created in 2004 with the passage of an amendment by Senator Robert Byrd to the Omnibus spending bill of 2004.[3] Before this law was enacted, the holiday was known as “Citizenship Day”. In addition to renaming the holiday “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” the act mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day.[4] In May 2005, the United States Department of Education announced the enactment of this law and that it would apply to any school receiving federal funds of any kind.[5] This holiday is not observed by granting time off work for federal employees.

So happy Constitution Day! Happy Citizenship Day! Noodle time!!!

The back of the packaging (click to enlarge).

This is a big noodle block!

Here’s the dry seasoning.

A fine powder.

Liquid base.

Has a strong lemon scent – very tom yum.

Veggies!

Nice mixture.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added some veggies, two fried egg with Krazy Mixed Up Salt and some Crystal Hot Sauce. The Noodles are excellent – buttery and plentiful. Nice chew. The broth has a great citrus and spicy taste – very much like tom yum soup. I’m always impressed by the quality of these; they’re inexpensive and really good! 4.0 out of 5.0 stars! UPC bar code 721557450925 – get it here!

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Evan Osnos talks about a viral video that made Chinese citizens stand up; Nigeriatown in Guangzhou; and other signs of a new China. Chicago, May 1, 2009.

Here’s the video he’s talking about.

#851: Dragonfly Artificial Pork Ribs Flavor Instant Noodles

Hey awesome – picked this up at H Mart on Friday. I’ve had the pack but not the bowl! Time to try it!

The side panels – click to enlarge.

Hey a fork!

The noodle block.

The dry powder seasoning.

A very fine powder.

The liquid base.

Has a nice smell.

Veggies!

Not a huge amount but not bad.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added onions, broccoli, red bell pepper, Huy Fong Sriracha chili sauce, a fried egg and some Krazy Mixed Up Salt. The noodles aren’t bad – soaked up a lot of the flavor of the broth which was nice. They were a little chewier than I expected, but not in a negative way. The broth was great – had a nice warm, hearty, slightly sweet and full flavor to it. Decent vegetables too.  like this stuff! 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 7215574508576 .

A beautiful thing!

2012 is the year of the dragon

#832: Dragonfly Mee-Goreng Dry Ramen Noodles

Found this the other day at KS Mart in Lynnwood (that’s where I git my kimchi!). This is from China – never had a Chinese made mee-goreng before! Usually I like the Dragonfly stuff though. Let’s give this a go!

Back of the package (click image to enlarge).

This is a big noodle block for mee-goreng! Rad!

The dry seasonings.

Kind of a sweet and garlic-onion taste.

Liquid packet.

Looks like seasoned oil and maybe some sweet soy sauce in there.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added some veggies, some roast beef I sauteed with garlic, a fried egg with some Krazy Mixed Up Salt and some Dua Belibis hot chili sauce. The noodles are thin and very springy. The flsavor is interesting – not like Indomie Mie Goreng – it’s got a strong anise taste and is kind of sweet, but has no spiciness at all. Interesting stuff – a lot of it, too. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 721557450253 .

Shanghai in 1973 – this is awesome!

Stevie Winwood – Shanghai Noodle Factory

#684: Dragonfly Instant Noodles Artificial Seafood Flavor

I’ve been waiting a while to have some things in first before trying this one. I wanted to have some seafood to add to it or something interesting. Well, I had two something interestings to add to it, so let’s check this one out!

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

As of this point, Dragonfly’s noodles have never failed to satisfy. Anice texture and gauge – really very nice.

Here’s the powdered seasoning packet.

This is the packet contents. For my birthday, my wife, son and I went to Seattle to Uwajimaya and found these little bowls. Well, I’m sure they’re sake cups but I needed something like a glass/ceramic pinch bowl for showing packet contents – and these are perfect!

Here’s the vegetable packet.

A nice amount of veggies here.

Finally, some seasoned oil.

It’s funny – the ingredients of this packet mention nothing about fish at all but it has a strong seafood scent!

My son and I shared noodles today and we tried a couple of ingredients I added to this one – Kamaboko and Naruto – I did a post about it here if you’d like to check it out!

Finished (click image to enlarge). As I mentioned, I added kamaboko, naruto and an egg. I also added one piece of sushinori (seaweed). This was a pretty good bowl of noodles. I really liked the noodles themselves – same as always. The broth though was a bit lighter in flavor than I expected. Dragonfly’s stuff is usually quite flavorful but this was a tad  less so. The veggies were nice – carrot bits were crisp as usual. All in all, quite good. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. UPC barcode 721557450932 – get some here.

Part 2 of the Sagan series – thanks again to taintedbloop!

Amazing old school computer room from 1983!

#657: Dragonfly Instant Noodles Onion Flavor

Another pack of Dragonfly brand noodles from China… Onion was great in a big bowl version – how will it be in a pack? Let’s see…

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

Three packets – clockwise from top left we have seasoned oil, powder seasoning and veggies.

Here are the seasonings on a plate – the oil was very aromatic and had a very nice onion scent.

Alas, our poor noodle block has been broken in transit from store to home! Here’s a small chunk of it.

Finished (click image to enlarge). I added an egg while cooking the noodles. Got a little baby bok choy to toss in at 99 Ranch Market as well as some Ajishima Kimchi Furikake rice seasoning. The noodles were very nice as usual. The onion flavor was perfectly balanced with the saltiness of the broth; not overpowering and not weak.  The veggies were regular but not extremely abundant. Good bowl of noodles – 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. UPC barcode 721557450949 .

The Texas Onion Festival 2011 – This looks like a rad place to go get onion rings!

Booker T. & The M.G.s doing ‘Green Onions’ – I got to see these guys in the 90’s at Bumbershoot for maybe 20 minutes – was awesome!

#653: Dragonfly Instant Noodles Artificial Pork Ribs Flavor

I thought today would be a nice day to have some pork ribs in noodle form! I wonder how it’ll be? I think it’ll pass the test as it’s yet another Dragonfly product. I know it’s wintertime and all but I think that Punksatawnee Phil’s Groundhog Day prediction was incorrect. He saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter. On  the bright side, statistics show he’s been correct  – 39% of the time.

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

Clockwise from top: veggies, dry seasoning and finally the seasoned oil.

Seasonings ready to go!

Finished (click image to enlarge). I added a two egg omelet with a little Lindberg Snider Porterhouse & Roast seasoning and a dash of Chef Paul Prudhomme’s de Arbol chile powder. Since it was a bowl of pork noodles, I went with a little ham. Great noodles as usual. The broth was great too – a little bit of spicy and sweet and a nice meaty flavor. Love this stuff – 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC barcode 721557450956 .

This looks absolutely delicious. Yes – I’ll be happy to eat that!

This is pure awesome!

#650: Dragonfly Instant Noodles Artificial Chicken Flavor

The last time I had Dragonfly brand noodles they were in a bowl and cooked by steeping. This time around it’s boiling in a pot. I remember how much I really enjoyed these Chinese noodles! Let’s see how they are in a pack.

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

Here’s the noodle block in all of its tasty glory. I remember these wre like a very light pasta and really were quite nice.

Three packets – clockwise from the top we have the veggies, the seasoned oil and the dry powder seasoning.

As you can see, there’s a good amount of veggies. I remember that these bulked up quite a bit and tasted very fresh.

Click image to enlarge. This is gonna be good! I tried the noodles and broth pre-additions by the way. I added two fried eggs with a little Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Salt and fried shallots, some oven roasted turkey lunch meat, some kizami shoga (pickled ginger) and a little zip of Huy Fong Sriracha (red rooster) sauce.

The noodles were even better this time; they were luxuriant and had a nice color to them. They weren’t tough but they weren’t too soft either. They were about as spot on for an instant noodle as I’ve had. The broth was very tasty – full of chicken taste. The veggies were prevalent, abundant and everywhere with a good crunch (especially when it came to the slivers of carrot). A fine bowl of noodles and with everything I added a meal fit for a king! I like this stuff a lot – I’ll be reviewing the Onion Flavor soon and I’m sure that’s going to be quite amazing in pack form too – 4.0 out of 5.0 stars – worth getting especially when so cheap! UPC barcode 721557450918 – I think this is it here.

Post meal techno chicken.

Welcome to limbo.

#523: Dragonfly Artificial Hot & Sour Shrimp Flavor Instant Noodles

Hate to say it but this is the last of the Dragonfly brand bowls I found at H-Mart… Bummer! I guess there’s a pork flavor out there in this line so hopefully I’ll end up scoring that one next time I go to H-Mart. Hot & sour shrimp… Sounds like Tom Yum flavor… I guess we’ll see…

Powder seasoning on the left and veggies on the right. Looks good so far – also there’s a fork included!

BABAGA!!! That’s quite a big interesting packet they threw in here! In the ingredient senction, this is called the ‘sauce pack.’ This is something I haven’t come across so far in my exploration of Dragonfly noodle bowls. Lemongrass, galangal, shrimp extract, kaffir lime leaves, lemon juice, garlic. Sounds like shrimp paste to me!

Paste, veggies and powder awaiting the scalding pain of boiling water.

Click image to enlarge. Added a couple pan-scrambled eggs. Put a couple shakes of salt and pepper on them too. So the noodles are typical Dragonfly – plentiful and bright, tasty and filling. The vegetables were everywhere and very tasty – even the carrot slivers were crunchy! Finally, the broth was perfection. It had a true shrimp and lemon and slight heat that was balanced in just the right amounts. Awesome – 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. Highly recommended for fans of Tum Yum flavor! Get it here.

How to make Hot & Sour Shrimp Soup at home!

Big Red soda – this stuff is really different, but I’ve never seen it in a container like this…

#518: Dragonfly Artificial Chicken Flavor Instant Noodles

This is a big bowl of noodles from China. So far, I’ve tried Dragonfly’s Onion, Seafood and Beef flavors. I’m really happy with how nice those have been and eager to try this one!

Yes, another big bowl. Lots of meal action!

Three packets from left to right: seasoned oil, veggies and powder seasoning.

A decent amount of seasonings on the noodle block. The oil was sesame oil-like. Hmmm…

Click image to enlarge. I added two pan scrambled eggs with a few shakes of Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Salt on top. The noodles are golden and luxuriant – and quite plentiful as they were in the other Dragonfly big bowls. The flavor is awesome – very chicken. Well done chicken too – like they put some thought into it and didn’t do it up in an ‘everything with some salt and fake buttery onion flavor tastes like chicken’ way. This tastes like niceness in a paper bowl. The veggies plumped up nicely. What a nice meal! I worked today and its 5pm and just having my first meal of the day. Refreshing and fulfilling! 4.5 out of 5.0 stars!

#513: Dragonfly Artificial Onion Flavor Instant Noodles

I was kind of tripped out by this bowl of noodles: artificial onion? Why would they need to go the artificial route on this one?  Well, why don’t I look at the ingredients. Oh look! Onion powder and onion oil. I’m confused… Anyways, here we go…

Hey a fork! From left to right we have seasoning oil (which has onion oil in it), veggie (which have scallions which are like onions) and the dry powder seasoning (that has onion powder in it).

Ah how they all await the boiling water!

Click image to enlarge. Today I found a new hot sauce at the grocery store – Tabasco Buffalo Style! Kind of like Texas Pete hot sauce with a little extra kick. So what I did was I started frying a couple eggs. When the whites started to congeal, I used a fork and popped the yolks and stirred the eggs just a little bit and added some of the hot sauce. At the end I added a little touch of pepper and Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning.

Okay, with that said I am quite happy with this one. So far with the bigger Dragonfly bowls I’ve had I’ve noticed each really tried to match the flavor that it’s purporting on the label. This wasn’t a super salty painfully onion flavored bowl by any means. The onion flavor was very good and deep. It had a decent oilyness that worked well – and the veggies were very plentiful. The noodles were not above average but just fine. I liked this a lot – 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.

This is some awesome oddness you must see!

Can someone please explain what’s going on here?