Tag Archives: food

#3132: Liangchengmei Food Biang Biang Mian – China

#3132: Liangchengmei Food Biang Biang Mian - China

Here’s another Lianchengmei product that my wife found while we were perusing the aisles at Foodyworld up in Richmond, BC. She found one a while back – 30″ Hot Bird, a fire noodle clone. What’s Biang Biang? Here’s what Wikipedia had to say –

Biangbiang noodles, alternatively known as youpo chemian in Chinese, are a type of noodles popular in the cuisine of China‘s Shaanxi Province. The noodles, touted as one of the “eight strange wonders of Shaanxi” (陕西八大怪), are described as being like a belt, owing to their thickness and length.

The noodle is broad and hand-made. It was originally part of a poor man’s meal in the countryside, but has recently become renowned due to the unique character used in its name. Dishes with this noodle are often topped with lots of red hot peppers for the cold winter in Shaanxi.

Made up of 58 strokes in its traditional form[Note 1] (42 in simplified Chinese), the Chinese character for biáng is one of the most complex Chinese characters in contemporary usage,[2] although the character is not found in modern dictionaries or even in the Kangxi dictionary.

The character is composed of  (speak; 7 strokes) in the middle flanked by  (tiny; 2×3 strokes) on both sides. Below it,  (horse; 10 strokes) is similarly flanked by  (grow; 2×8 strokes). This central block itself is surrounded by  (moon; 4 strokes) to the left,  (heart; 4 strokes) below, and (knife; 2 strokes) to the right. These in turn are surrounded by a second layer of characters, namely  (cave; 5 strokes) on the top and  (walk; 4 strokes[Note 1]) curving around the left and bottom.

Let’s give this one a try. I should mention – the man on the front has perforation around him, so you can pop him out for whatever use you so desire. By the way big thanks to Kyle K. for help in translation!

Liangchengmei Food Biang Biang Mian – China

#3132: Liangchengmei Food Biang Biang Mian - China

Detail of the distributor/import sticker (click to enlarge).

#3132: Liangchengmei Food Biang Biang Mian - China

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, cook noodles for 5~10 minutes. Drain. Add in sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#3132: Liangchengmei Food Biang Biang Mian - China

Very wide noodle – like a belt or lasagna!

#3132: Liangchengmei Food Biang Biang Mian - China

Two large sachets.

#3132: Liangchengmei Food Biang Biang Mian - China

A sachet with chunky stuff.

#3132: Liangchengmei Food Biang Biang Mian - China

Finished (click to enlarge). Added barbecued pork, spring onion, and Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts. Wow. Okay so the noodles are very broad and chewy – very enjoyable. The flavor that coats them is just as savory as can be, with a very nice bit of spiciness which isn’t overwhelming; marrying flavor and heat expertly. Included chunks of TVP that is so believable it’s scary; a pure delight. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 6928988700528.

#3168: Liangchengmei Food Biang Biang Mian - China

Sichuan Chinese Cuisine: Spicy and Delicious Recipes of China

Watch me cook on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Lemonilo – Indonesia

Interview With Lemonilo * Product Samples From LemoniloLemonilo Mie Instan Alami Rasa Mie Goreng

Recently, I saw an article about a company in Indonesia making healthy Mi Goreng. I’d tried a couple varieties in the past actually, and thought these sounded unique so dropped a line. They responded, and here we are! Let’s start with an interview with Michiko Sutanto, Marketing & Partnership Manager.

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Lemonilo – Indonesia

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of Lemonilo? Who started it and why?

LEMONILO> Three young and energetic Indonesians that are dreaming of making Indonesians healthier and happier founded Lemonilo in 2016. They are Shinta Nurfauzia, Ronald Wijaya and Johannes Ardiant. They were annoyed that unhealthy lifestyle that is prevalent in Indonesia has resulted in diseases such as diabetes (Indonesia is top five in the world). So, they established Lemonilo with a mission to make Indonesians healthier and happier through affordable & practical healthy products (think about online & affordable version of Wholefoods). For their first product, they need to ensure that Indonesians will be crazy about it. One of the “national dishes” that make Indonesian unhealthy is instant noodle (Indonesia made it to rank 2 after China). In Indonesia, we know that instant noodle are super unhealthy but we love it so much, we hear moms tell their kids “kids, once every two weeks (to eat instant noodle)” instead of banning it entirely. So, they decided to create the healthy alternative of instant noodle: Lemonilo All-Natural Instant Noodle to help Indonesians satisfy their crave over instant noodles without abandoning their health. Aside from the instant noodle, the companies have also launched other products such as all-natural stock powder, instant seasoning, cooking oil, and will launch more.

TRR> Why the name Lemonilo – what does it mean?

LEMONILO> Lemon – top of mind of healthy food
Nilo – warrior (from celtic language)

When the co-founders think about a name for the company, they want a name that Indonesians will associate it directly with “health” but sounds unique. So, they created an online survey in which they asked what is the healthiest food according to the Indonesian respondents (involving ~300 people). Lemon came as a winner. So they created a second poll in which they asked the respondents to pick one among “Lemon-something” names (they were Lemonilo, Lemonola, Lemonalo, Lemonetc.) Lemonilo won.

TRR> Can you tell us about the varieties of noodles you make?

LEMONILO> We currently have “fried noodle” (mee goreng or chow mien) flavor only, but soup based noodle will be launched soon. What’s unique about our instant noodle though:
– 100% natural (no preservatives, no coloring—the green color came from spinach, no MSG added)
– Low gluten
– Low calories (only 283 per portion)
– Oven baked (not fried at all)

TRR> I’ve read that your products are for those interested in healthy options – can you tell us a little about this and why you’ve chosen this course?

LEMONILO> Please read answer No. 1.

TRR> Your company is located in Indonesia. Can you tell us a little about your locale?

LEMONILO> Indonesia is a country of 260 million people. Indonesia’s middle upper class has a sufficient knowledge on the importance of healthy lifestyle. C+ class Indonesians are growing in their health concern. But the majority of us do not have the realization yet, mainly are due to the folk foods that contain a lot of grease, coconut milk, oils, and meats. So, can say that Lemonilo targets ~90 million Indonesian people (the middle & affluent class).

TRR> How does your noodle making process differ from other instant noodle manufacturers?

LEMONILO> We use oven baked process instead of frying it, that’s why it is lower in calorie. It’s also 100% natural (no preservatives, no coloring—the green color came from spinach, no MSG added) and low gluten.

TRR> How do you decide on what varieties to produce?

LEMONILO> We see:
– Sales data in our platform and market research (i.e. Indonesian global FMCG spending, Indonesian pantry product preference)
– We create the sample first, and do internal & external concept test
– Develop when we have high approval rate

TRR> Apart from noodles, are there other products you produce or plan to produce?

LEMONILO> Currently we have 9 other products, aside from the instant noodle:
– Beef stock powder
– Chicken stock powder
– Mushroom stock powder (vegan)
– Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice) Instant Seasoning
– Nasi Goreng Kari (Curry Fried Rice) Instant Seasoning
– Ayam Goreng Lengkuas (Indonesian-style Fried Chicken) Instant Seasoning
– Tepung Kremes (Chicken Crunch) Instant Seasoning
– Coconut Cooking Oil

TRR> Can you suggest pairings for your products, like meats, seafood or vegetables?

LEMONILO> We like it better to eat it as it is. But it’s basically good with anything (seafood/chicken and vegetable + egg on the side—anything!)

TRR> A lot of people are concerned with their sodium intake. How would you recommend people enjoy your product as part of a healthy meal?

LEMONILO> Our product is low in sodium, so they do not have to be concerned about it.

TRR> Are you involved in in your local community or participate in charities?

LEMONILO> Yes, the company have two continuing events:
– Lemonilo Fit Club
o Series of “active” events involving Lemonizen (how we call our consumers) such as working out together, DIY workshops, to inspire others to live a healthier & more sustainable life.
o We hold the event once every two months.
– Lemonilo Care
o We allow Lemonizen to give charity in our online platform to a specific cause
o We work together with local charity partner to distribute the charity proceed

TRR> In what countries are your products available?

LEMONILO> Currently in Indonesia only.

TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, what do you like to add to them to make them extra special?

LEMONILO> Extra chili and boiled egg.

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about Lemonilo and your products!

 

Thank you very much! Let’s get started!

Binders Full Of Women? Nope – Noodles

Binders Full Of Women? Nope - Noodles

Since my 200th review or so, I’ve been keeping the packaging from the instant noodles I review. Why? Well, there are a few reasons. First, it’s kind of a physical representation of the varieties I’ve sampled. Also (and more importantly), the bar codes are on them all. These can be added as tags to the posts and be added. I started adding bar codes in the tags around review 800 or so. The Ramen Rater apps all have bar code scanning capability and so adding these in makes the app more functional for the site. Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of tedious work to do in that area. Anyways, Someone asked about how I store my noodle packaging and was curious to see some binders, so here you go!

Binders Full Of Women? Nope – Noodles

Here’s a video of me going through some of the older and the newest binder I’m filling!

#2234: Paldo Bibim Men

SPECIAL ELECTION MESSAGE

I wanted to take a second to talk about the events that have happened concerning the Presidential election here in the United States. I’ve got to say, I wasn’t expecting the outcome we’ve seen here. I live in Washington state – a very Liberal state – where Bernie Sanders won over 80% of the votes for the primary. Personally, I think we’d have a different President today if the DNC hadn’t played politics and made it impossible for him to win. Our delegates here all went for Clinton – even though the people voted otherwise. I decided not to vote for either Clinton or Trump as I didn’t like either of them. My friend Raffael over at Happy Souper in Germany has posted a review – and he mentioned people there are kind of freaked out about our new President. I guess we’ll see what happens. I’ll keep reviewing noodles. I did this video a long time ago – wish he would’ve gotten the nomination. 

Today I’ll be trying something new sent to me by Yongmin Park of Paldo – thank you very much! I’ve been really wanting to review the bowl version of Bibim Men for a long time and finally I got one! It’s funny; I’m sure this is as easy to get as anything in South Korea – like going to the convenience store here and getting a Pepsi… But this variety had eluded me for a long time. No longer! Let’s give it a try!

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add boiling water to fill line and let steep for 3 minutes. Use a chopstick and poke holes in the designated spots on the lid (there are three of them) and use them as a drain spout. Add in liquid sachet contents. Stir and enjoy!

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge). Note the three marks on top to create the drain.

The noodle block.

The liquid sachet.

Has a sweet and spicy scent.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added hard boiled egg, spring onion, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts and red pepper strands. This is such a nice match; you have the cold noodle which has a good denseness to it – kind of like the cold causes the noodle to contract a little. Then, you have a spicy sweet sauce which meets with the noodle and is just devourable. I really love this one – seriously good and simple; noodles and sauce. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 8801128503594.

Paldo Bibim Men Cup Noodle 2-pack

A recent Paldo Bibim Men TV spot.

The Ramen Rater’s Trip To Thailand: Day 5 – River Kwai & Goodbye

Day 1 * Day 2 * Day 3 * Day 4 * Day 5 * Day 6

Woke up at this amazing place – Heard a strange sound coming from outside and figured out it was the sound of the Buddhist monks chanting – it echoes everywhere and was quite ethereal. Decided to head down for some breakfast.

Here’s the lobby.

Strolled around and checked it out outside.

It kind of weird to realize you’re in the jungle, but it’s probably the same when people from here come to where I’m from and think ‘wow, I’m in the forest.’

After checking out the place we came back and met up with everyone. Then we took a cruise!

We rode on a big flat barge that was pulled by a little boat. This is the Kwai River.

The famous Bridge On The River Kwai.

I think I’m wrong on this one – it’s not Burma but Cambodia. By the way – notice the music in the background?

We stopped to visit the memorial to those who died building the bridge in WW2.

It was a pretty sad place to be honest. What was amazing though is that I ended up having a conversation about politics, global food sourcing and war with a guy from the UK and a guy from Scandinavia. Was really cool.

Staying out of the hot sun, playing with the parents’ iPad.

A boat full of partiers on the Mekong Delta.

They gave everyone these little tightly wrapped cold towels – was nice to put on your neck after walking to the war memorial – very hot day.

Talking noodles on the return trip.

A large golden Buddha on the shore of the Kwai river. There were quite a few amazing sights by the water – temples and statues everywhere.

We ended up where we began, at the Dheva Mantra resort to have some lunch.

Quite an array of fruit!

Had some slow cooked eggs, Chinese sausage, cucumber and rice. Then it was a long bus ride back to Bangkok.

For our last night in Bangkok, we ended up getting to stay in a corner suite on the 29th floor.

2015_6_9_tt5_027

The view was just amazing here – really something to behold.

We had a bit of time before the big farewell dinner, so we went and checked out one of the places I’ve been dying to go to in Asia – a 7-11. You might say ‘but why?’ Well…

Well, need I say more? Instant noodles of all kinds and brands – and mostly ones I’ve never seen before or have access to here. I decided to get a couple bags of them and hope they’d make it through US customs, but figured they wouldn’t. But, a worthy gamble since I don’t know when I’ll have the chance to try this again!

Was nice to finally meet Ms. Ratha (far left) – she also was very pivotal in setting up the trip. Gonna miss everyone!

The dinner was international style and they had the largest ham and beef roast I’ve ever seen. I went straight for the seafood – huge river prawn, squid, mussels and some asparagus. What was also amazing is that once you finish a beer, another one kept magically appearing. At one point I looked at my sister and said ‘watch this.’ I finished my beer, set it down and then started counting backward from 5. Right before I had a chance to say one, a hand appeared removing my empty glass and a full one appeared right there.

Everyone was presented a special commemorative framed piece of golden artwork – was really nice of them!

Right before going to sleep there was a knock at the door. Three of the ladies from Thai President Foods brought me this – mee crob! I had mentioned that I would love to try it while in Thailand. They actually went out and found me some! Was really nice! Imagine a Thai rice krispy treat, sticky and full of spices, peppers, and more. I’m really going to miss this – it’s been such an amazing trip.

#1673: Lishan Food Manufacturing Black Cock Brand Vegetarian Chicken Noodle

Some days are tougher than others. This is one of them. This has been the focus of my ire for the past hour or so. I have been trying to figure out what it’s called exactly, and hoping to find an ‘official’ website for it. No dice. I asked some people on facebook and got a little help, though. The brand is 力山食品工廠. From what I gather, you steep these, but with how much water I am unsure. It’s also got some other interesting things inside, aside from the swastika on the package and twin dragons. The swastika isn’t a reference to Nazi Germany, however to Buddhists who are vegetarian, as well as not allowed to eat ‘fetid’ vegetables like garlic or shallots. Anyways, let’s look inside this unique Taiwanese variant!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Says it is vegetarian. To prepare, add noodles and contents of sachets to a bowl. Cover with boiling water and cover with lid for 3 minutes. Stir and enjoy!

The noodle pack. Very thin fried wheat noodles.

A sachet ofr soup base.

Has a slight scent.

A couple sachets with what looks like weed in them.

A kind of pickled cabbage perhaps or very seasoned cabbage.

Finished (click image to enlarge). The noodles are thin like rice vermicelli but from wheat. They are fascinating and pretty good. The broth has a chicken flavor and a little sweetness to it. The little ‘buds’ of vegetable were absorbed and you can see little flecks of it throughout. It’s like pickled cabbage bits. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 4712275000055.

Lonely Planet Taiwan (Travel Guide) – Thinking of travelling to Taiwan or just want to find out about it’s culture and local sights? These Lonely Planet guides are pretty cool!

A video about Taiwanese Buddhists and related foods.

#1397: Wu-Mu Steam Seafood Flavor Ramen

Here’s something from Taiwan. These noodles aren’t fried – they’re steamed. This lowers the fat content by quite a bit, although they will break your teeth if you try eating them like snack noodles! Most of Wu-Mu’s products are this way and they’re usually pretty good. This is a four pack – you get four of everything! Let”s have a look inside.

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). To prepare, add one noodle block to 550ml boiling water for 3 minutes. Add one seasoning sachet and one oil sachet and stir. Enjoy!

Here’s one of the four noodle blocks.

One of the four seasoning sachets.

Powder and bits and pieces including little narutomaki.

One of the four shrimp infused oil sachets.

Has a faint shrimp scent.

 

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sweet onion, green onion and narutomaki. The noodles are broad and flat. The seem of higher quality and have a fresh sense to them. The broth has a buttery seafood flavor which was nice. The seaweed and narutomaki that was included were of reasonable quality. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 4710175565551.

A Wu-Mu advertisement in Mandarin.

Top Ten 2014 Re-Review: MyKuali Penang White Curry Noodle

Last June, I’d never heard of Penang, nor really had tried many varieties of Malaysian instant noodles for that matter. I had no clue what to expect and was absolutely elated with this one – my core interest in reviewing instant noodles is that I want to try new things every day. This was definitely something new to me. Let’s look inside the package and see why it’s on the 2014 top ten list!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Contains crustaceans. To prepare, boil 380ml water and cook noodle block for 3 minutes. Add in contents of sachets, mix well and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The seasoning powder sachet.

Has a nice seafood scent.

The paste sachet.

Wow – such a strong and bright curry scent!

The non-dairy creamer sachet.

A very light powder.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added mint, prawn flavor fish balls, sweet onion, tofu puff and Chinese long bean. The noodles are excellent – perfect gauge and chew. Quantity was just right, too. The broth is a luxuriant escapade for the palate – a strong curry with ferocious heat. Definitely not thin either – it’s quite hearty. It’s so neat – I’ve reviewed so many different instant noodles and the industry never fails to come up with something new and revolutionary that makes the taste buds sing! Fantastic stuff! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 9555655005197.

MyKuali Penang White Curry Noodle (8 Packs)

A news story mentioning how these noodles placed in The Ramen Rater’s Ten Spiciest Instant Noodles Of All Time 2013!

The Ramen Rater’s 3rd Annual Momofuku Ando Day

Momofuku Ando (安藤 百福) – (March 5, 1910 – January 5, 2007)

Today is January 19th, 2014 – and you know what that means? Momofuku Ando Day! In 1958, Momofuku Ando invented the very first instant noodles and started Nissin Foods. I do a special video every year to commemorate the occasion (see below). First, here’s what the Nissin Foods USA website has to say about the man:

Nissin founder, Momofuku Ando, has always instilled a sense of commitment and quality in Nissin products. Today, Nissin’s corporate philosophy inspires this same commitment to taste, convenience, and quality. Mr. Ando began the company as part of a humble family operation back in 1948. Faced with sparse food sources after World War II, Mr. Ando realized that a quality, convenient ramen product would help to feed the masses. His goal was to create a satisfying ramen that could be eaten anywhere, anytime. In 1958, Nissin introduced “Chicken Ramen”, the first instant ramen. Ironically, it was considered a luxury item, since Japanese grocery stores sold fresh Japanese noodles (udon) at one-sixth the cost of Mr. Ando’s new food concept.

Still, Mr. Ando was convinced that his revolutionary new method of preparation would sell. The concept seemed simple enough. All users would have to do is simply remove the ramen from its package, place it in a bowl, add boiling water, cover the bowl, and wait three minutes. The conservative Japanese food industry, however, rejected the product as a novelty with no future. They had never been so wrong.

Soon, Chicken Ramen was selling beyond even Mr. Ando’s wildest expectations. Before you could say “instant”, more than ten companies were rushing to put their own versions out on the market. By the end of 1958, grocery shelves were crowded with this new staple for the Japanese kitchen. From this point on, Nissin Foods began introduction of a long list of successful and innovative ramen products.

Today, there are hundreds of instant noodle manufacturers in the world, creating new varieties of every flavor imaginable!

You may be wondering: why January 19th? Here’s what Wikipedia had to say about Momofuku Ando Day:

Momofuku Ando Day was established January 2007 at a small hospital in Dallas, Texas. Recognizing the genius life of the man whose product has fed billions, a group of healthcare workers first celebrated the day on January 19, 2007. Each participating employee brought several packages of favorite ramen flavors to a banquet table from which employees could sample. The second year, January 2008, participating employees developed unique dishes using ramen as the prime ingredient. The Day also kicked off the “It Starts With Me” campaign promoting charitable giving and customer service. Unfortunately, the hospital was corporately closed in June 2008. In January 2009, several of the transferred employees continued Momofuku Ando Day by sharing it with their new coworkers at a sister facility. Understanding that ramen has been a staple food for victims of disaster and the poverty-stricken, as well as for college students and those wanting a quick meal, Momofuku Ando Day became an endeavor to help feed those in need by fundraising for charitable organizations, or simply calling attention to poverty or hunger through ramen or food donations to local food banks and free meal kitchens. The day has since been celebrated the second Friday of January to allow Mr. Ando due recognition.

Personally, I think Momofuku Ando Day should be on the 19th. Why? Well, it’s easier to remember and just seems more respectful to be honest. Any way you slice it, his invention changed the world we live in and he definitely should get recognition!

Here’s my annual Momofuku Ando Day video! This year, I demonstrate the recipe my mom used to make me when I was a kid and ultimately the reason I started reviewing instant noodles.

Where To Get It: Waroeng Jajanan Indonesian Grocery Store

I’ve got a lot of reviews of Indonesian instant noodles coming up starting today and I thought ‘man, I need some Indonesian chilli sauce…’ Well lucky for me, there’s a nice Indonesian grocery just a few blocks away!

Every time I’ve been in there, everyone is really nice. This time was pretty cool – the lady working there had seen The Ramen Rater blog before! She was really helpful with some idea to add to noodles – a couple I’ve not tried before! The little shakers have a really tasty chilli and spice blend – one’s super spicy and one’s got a little anchovy in it and it also spicy. I’m gonna try the big crackers in the back  there – I’ve seen them in the YouTube videos I’ve seen of Indonesian hawker dishes. Sweet – gonna be making my stuff a little more authentic! What’s more is they have take out Indonesian dishes sometimes – I really want to try them soon!

They’ve got a great selection. If you’re looking for instant noodles by the way – they have some really good varieties of Indomie, Mi Sedaap and even Super Bihun!

 If you’re in the Seattle area, I recommend checking this place out!. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars from The Ramen Rater!

Waroeng Jajanan

22315 Highway 99 Suite I

Edmonds, WA 98026

Tel: 206-504-8733

Website: http://www.waroengjajanan.com/

Facebook: Link

#1004: Wai Wai Artificial Pork Flavor Instant Noodles

Here’s a little pack of Wai Wai noodles!

Here’s the sticker put on by the distributor.

Back of the packaging (click image to enlarge).

The noodle block. These are really good straight out of the package – crunchy and have a sesame taste.

Powder on the left, seasoned oil on the right.

A little packet of chili powder.

Chilli powder riding atop the powder seasoning.

Seasoned oil.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added some minced ham. The noodles are great – nice flavor and texture. They have a sesame-oil like flavor to them I enjoy. The broth is nice as well – a nice rich pork taste. The broth is extremely spicy when the chili powder is added in its entirety. 3.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 8850100101044 – get it here.

A Wai Wai TV commercial.

Meet The Manufacturer: Sun Noodle Interview

Welcome to another installment of Meet The Manufacturer! This time, it’s Sun Noodle – purveyor of fresh ramen noodles and other fine products. Here’s an interview I did with them via email.

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for agreeing to do this interview! Could we start off with some information about Sun Noodle; when was Sun Noodle founded, where and by who?

SUN NOODLE> Sun Noodle is a family-owned business which manufactures fresh noodles, gyoza (pot sticker) and wonton wrappers; as well as an importer and distributor of Japanese noodle soup bases and sauces.  The
company was founded in 1981 by Hidehito “Hide” Uki in Honolulu, Hawaii.  With the growing demand of Sun Noodle products in the mainland, Sun Noodle California was established in 2004, now located in Rancho
Dominguez, California; then Sun Noodle New Jersey (Teterboro, New Jersey) set foot in 2012 to meet the demands of the East Coast.

TRR> For those of my readers who are not familiar with your line of products, could you tell us a little about them?

SN> We produce a wide variety of noodle products for both food service markets and for retail markets.  First off, we have our assorted ramen(s):

  • Shoyu Ramen
  • Miso Ramen
  • Tonkotsu Ramen
  • Shio “Vegetable” Ramen
  • Tantanmen (“Spicy Sesame”)
  • Hiyashi Chuka (“Cold Ramen”)
  • Cold Ramen with Gomadare (Cold Ramen with Sesame Seed Sauce)

We produce other types of Japanese noodles as well:  Yakisoba, Udon, Nihon Soba (Buckwheat), Wakana Soba (Spinach), and Okinawa Soba.  The great thing about being in Hawaii is that it has opened Sun Noodle to many different types of cultures.  With that, we produce Chinese noodles as well as “local” noodles of Hawaii.  We have Chow Mein, Chow Fun (also known as Look Fun), Cake Noodle, and Saimin Noodles.

TRR> What is the story behind the name Sun Noodle?

SN> The meaning of the “Sun” in Sun Noodle is twofold.  Hidehito Uki was attending Hawaii Pacific College for about a year before starting up the noodle business.  He said that when he thinks about Hawaii, the first
thing that comes to mind is the sun (and the beautiful ocean, of course!).  The second meaning behind “Sun” is that the Sun as the center of the solar system is the most powerful of its kind.  Without it, many living
things cannot survive and Hide believes that the sun provides people with positive energy.  Like the sun, Sun Noodle strives to be the best at providing quality noodles, providing noodles to give people the same type of
positive energy.

TRR> Is Sun Noodle involved in the local community around you?

SN> Yes, we are involved in our local communities at all three locations:  Hawaii, California and in New Jersey.  Every year, we make charitable donations to non-profit organizations.  In Hawaii, we participate in
the annual Okinawan Festival, which strives to perpetuate the culture with the community of Hawaii.  We are also actively involved with the youth soccer community in Hawaii.  In California, Sun Noodle is involved with
various Japanese Festivals and other Japan related events such as the Summer Festival at the Mitsuwa Market and the Japanese Food and Sake Festival.  We recently started serving ramen at UC Santa Barbara and hold
ramen classes at our local cooking schools from time to time.  With the recent devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Sun Noodle New Jersey took part in an event with Chef Ivan Orkin to raise funds for the victims
affected by the hurricane.

TRR> How many miles of noodles would you estimate you produce a year?

SN> 600,600 miles of noodles.

TRR> Are there any new products that will be coming out soon that you could tell us about?

SN> For the professional use, we have some new frozen soup stocks and NO-MSG “tare,” sauce that enhances the flavor or body of the ramen broth.  The retail packs will be redesigned to be more appealing to the customer.

TRR> Can you tell us about the different varieties of noodles you produce and how they differ?

SN> Our main business is to manufacture different styles of ramen noodles tailored to the restaurants needs.  Besides ramen noodles, we also manufacture yakisoba, Okinawa soba, Japanese buckwheat soba, udon, and pasta.

TRR> A lot of people wonder about the health factors (sodium, etc) when it comes to instant noodles. How do you recommend people made instant noodles a healthy part of their diet?

SN> The key here is moderation.  Like all other types of food, it’s about consuming them in moderation – enjoy a bowl of ramen say once a week rather than…everyday.  Also, because some bowls of ramen have higher
levels of sodium, it’s important to balance that out by drinking lots of water.

TRR> Do you make/sell products other than noodles?

SN> Yes, we make gyoza or “pot sticker” wrappers and wonton wrappers and we also sell noodle soup bases and
sauces.

TRR> What was your first product?

SN> Our first product was the ramen noodles

TRR> I initially found out about you via a mention on the trailer for the award-winning short film ‘Ramen Dreams‘  – can  you tell us about it and your involvement?

SN> Keizo of GO RAMEN! (www.goramen.com) is a good friend of ours and it is our goal to support anyone with a ramen dream.  ‘Ramen Dreams’ is a short documentary film about Keizo’s life to pursue his ultimate ramen
dream.  The film was featured at the NY Food Film Festival and we wanted to support him any way possible throughout the process.  The night of the Food Film Festival, we provided the ramen noodles to be served
after the film showing.

TRR> How does the process in which you make your noodles differ from other brands?

SN> Each company has their own secrets of making noodles. We take care of sourcing the best wheat flour, using artisanal techniques (water temp, flour temp, pressing the dough gradually, adjusting the thickness by
.1 mm for the customer) and doing the best we can to tailor make our ramen noodles for restaurants across the country.

TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, do you add anything or have any recommendations?

SN> Traditional toppings are great [“cha-shu” (sliced char siu), “menma” (bamboo shoots), “nori” (dried seaweed), etc.] but also using local ingredients available at your nearby supermarket is a great way to play
around with flavors.

TRR> Where can people find your products?

SN> You can find our products at most Asian supermarkets such as Uwajimaya, Nijiya Market and Mitsuwa Supermarket.  If you’d like more information on the accessibility of our products in your area, you can email
us at our website on www.sunnoodle.com.  We are more than happy to help you.

TRR> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn more about Sun Noodle!

There you have it! My thanks to Hisae and Kenshiro Uki for making this happen and everyone else at Sun Noodle! Watch for a series of reviews of their products during the next weeks!

Interview * Product Samples From Sun Noodle * Sun Noodle Yakisoba Japanese Style Stir Fry Noodles With Powdered Sauce * Sun Noodle Ramen Pork Flavor * Sun Noodle Nama Soba Buckwheat Noodle * Sun Noodle Cold Ramen Soy Sauce Vinaigrette Sauce With Honey Apple Added * Sun Noodle Ramen Miso Flavor * Sun Noodle Tantanmen Spicy Sesame Flavor Ramen (Mild) * Sun Noodle Ramen Shoyu Flavor