Tag Archives: fresh

#2569: Yamachan Yokohama Tonkotsu Shoyu

#2569: Yamachan Yokohama Tonkotsu Shoyu - Japan - The Ramen Rater

So this is the last of the three fresh varieties sent to me by Yamachan – thank you again! First off, Yamachan is pretty easily found in the United States – I’ve not only seen their products in Japanese/Asian supermarkets but at higher-end domestic grocery stores. Here’s a little from Wikipedia on Tonkotsu and Shoyu Ramen –

Shōyu (醤油, “soy sauce”) ramen is the oldest of the five, it has a clear brown broth, based on a chicken and vegetable (or sometimes fish or beef) stock with plenty of soy sauce added resulting in a soup that is tangy, salty, and savory yet still fairly light on the palate. Shōyu ramen usually has curly noodles rather than straight ones, but this is not always the case. It is often adorned with marinated bamboo shoots or menma, green onions, kamaboko(fish cakes), nori (seaweed), boiled eggs, bean sprouts or black pepper; occasionally the soup will also contain chili oil or Chinese spices, and some shops serve sliced beef instead of the usual chāshū.

Tonkotsu ramen is a ramen dish that originated in FukuokaFukuoka Prefecture on the Kyushu island of Japan, and it is a specialty dish in Fukuoka and Kyushu. It was originally prepared as an affordable fast food for laborers at fish markets. Today, it is renowned for the significant time it can take to properly prepare the dish. The soup broth is based upon pork bones and other ingredients, which is typically boiled for several hours, and the dish is traditionally served with ramen noodles that are hard in the center and topped with sliced pork belly. In Fukuoka, Japan, tonkotsu ramen is referred to as Hakata ramen.

Alrighty – let’s check out this third and final new variety from Yamachan!

Yamachan Yokohama Tonkotsu Shoyu – United States

#2569: Yamachan Yokohama Tonkotsu Shoyu - Japan - The Ramen Rater

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains pork and chicken. To prepare, boil noodles in 800ml water for 3 minutes and drain. While boiling, combine sachet with 300ml boiling water and stir in. Finally, add noodles to a bowl and pour broth over them – slurp and enjoy!

#2569: Yamachan Yokohama Tonkotsu Shoyu - Japan - The Ramen Rater

The noodles – two servings in this pack.

#2569: Yamachan Yokohama Tonkotsu Shoyu - Japan - The Ramen Rater

The soup base.

#2569: Yamachan Yokohama Tonkotsu Shoyu - Japan - The Ramen Rater

Definitely looks like a mashup of shoyu and tonkotsu.

#2569: Yamachan Yokohama Tonkotsu Shoyu - Japan - The Ramen Rater

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, egg, spring onion and chashu pork. The noodles are thicker than the other varieties it seems and very good. They have a nice gauge and chewiness to them. The broth is salty with a strong tonkotsu flavor. It’s complemented by the shoyu taste as well – and very rich. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 767921011316.

Yokohama Yankee: My Family’s Five Generations as Outsiders in Japan

A short video about Yokohama, Japan

#2388: Hua Feng Three Fresh Delicacies Flavor Noodle

#2388: Hua Feng Three Fresh Delicacies Flavor Noodle - China - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Here’s one that was sent to me by Mengzhe Z. all the way from China! Thank you! He contacted me a while back asking me if I’d ever reviewed these Hua Feng noodles and I hadn’t. He says they’re his favorite. So, what are the three fresh delicacies? Well, we’re going with chicken, shrimp and egg from the package, however it might not be egg but onion or perhaps shallot. Maybe mushroom. Let’s check out this variety from Hua Feng, all the way from China!

Hua Feng Three Fresh Delicacies Flavor Noodle – China

#2388: Hua Feng Three Fresh Delicacies Flavor Noodle - China - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, we have an issue. See, it’s pretty common that Chinese varieties don’t show the amount of liquid to add. In the past, I’ve gone with 500ml for the larger packs. This one I’m going to go with 450ml. Add noodles to 450ml boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Add in sachet contents. Stir and enjoy!

#2388: Hua Feng Three Fresh Delicacies Flavor Noodle - China - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

The noodle block.

#2388: Hua Feng Three Fresh Delicacies Flavor Noodle - China - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

The powder base sachet.

#2388: Hua Feng Three Fresh Delicacies Flavor Noodle - China - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

A granular powder with some little bits in there.

#2388: Hua Feng Three Fresh Delicacies Flavor Noodle - China - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

a liquid sachet.

#2388: Hua Feng Three Fresh Delicacies Flavor Noodle - China - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Has an onion scent.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, hard boiled egg, spring onion, shrimp, baked chicken and chilli oil. The noodles came out great – nice gauge. Indeed as most, they have a soft, tender chew. As far as the broth is concerned, it is tasty. It has a kind of flavor that bounces around a bit, from chicken to shrimp in a way and then the onion taste kind of brings it all together. Also it has a nice oiliness which I enjoyed. 4.25 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 6901715209792.

The Year of the Rooster COLLECTORS Chinese Stamp Set / 10 Rooster stamps in this collection / China Post 2017 January Limited Edition


A Hua Feng TV commercial.

#2282: Samyang Foods Gold Jjamppong Fried Noodle

I’ve liked jjamppong for a while now. For those of you not familiar with it, it’s kind of like a spicy Korean seafood hnoodle soup. Let’s check it out!

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains seafood. To prepare, add noodles and sachet contents (except the oil) to 550ml boiling water for 5 minutes. Add in oil. Stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The soup base.

A lot of spicy smelling stuff!

The solid ingredients sachet.

Vegetables and seafood.

An oil sachet.

Spicy oil!

Finished (click to enlarge). Added carved squid, pork, shrimp, chopped garlic and spring onion and sauteed with La-Yu chilli oil and added. The noodles are very good – thick, slightly wide and chewy. Definitely on the gourmet spectrum. The broth has a rich kind of smoky and spicy seafood taste to it which is really great. The included garnish hydrated very well. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 8801073113213.

Samyang Godd Jjambbong Spicy Noodle Soup Ramen 5-pack

If you want to make jjamppong from scratch, check out this recipe! Maangchi makes a lot of videos on Korean cooking – great stuff!

#2270: Samyang Foods Fresh Bibimmyun Fried Noodle

The first time I tried bibimmyun a long time ago I really didn’t get it. Spicy, sweet, and worst of all, it was cold. Yep – when I first started reviewing, the thought of cold noodles made me cringe. I found this one recently at HMart and honestly have been holding back on it since I just reviewed a bibimmyun a couple weeks ago – but no more. It’s getting colder outside – rainy too. Bibimmyun is really a dish for the hot summer months when something cool and refreshing really hits the spot. Well, maybe there will be a sun break today even though the forecast is for 10 days straight of rain… Let’s check this one out!

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add noodle block and vegetable sachet contents to 600ml boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water. Add in contents of liquid sachet. Stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The liquid sachet.

Has a sweet and spicy scent.

The vegetables sachet.

Lots of stuff in there!

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, hard boiled egg and red pepper strands. The noodles really got thick and were of good quality here. The sauce was good – very standard kind of bibimmyun flavor most brands have. The vegetables hydrated well but were kind of unremarkable. Nonetheless, a nice plate of bibimmyun. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 8801073113251.

Samyang BIBIM MEN Oriental Style Noodle Spicy Cold Ramen 5-pack (Mi Kho Dai Han)

Samyang Foods makes the famous Fire Noodle Challenge noodle – here’s a recent video from them.

Re-Review: Samyang Foods Fresh Jjajang

Okay so I guess karma will get you. I dunno. Let me explain… So I got this pack along with a couple others at HMart a week or two ago (great store, HMart by the way) and they had one of this series in single packs to buy, but the other two were in 5 packs that were around $9 each. Well, I went to the trouble of opening a couple of the 5 packs and taking out one each . Now, I’m unsure if this is truly a horrible thing to do; I’m sure they just put them on the shelf with the others that are sold in singles. Plus hey – I got them at HMart (there – the third time I mentioned HMart! Ooh a fourth!), so if you want to get these you can find them there. Well, as it turns out I reviewed this one in May and now I’m reviewing it again! Wasn’t my plan to do a re-review today but here we are. So perhaps the pulling of single packs from the multipack is why this happened. But probably not; I’m just getting old. Anyways, this is a jjajang/zha jiang (black bean sauce) noodle. Let’s hit it!

The back of the package (click to enlarge). Unsure whether it contains meat. to prepare, add noodles and vegetables to 600ml boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Drain. Add in contents of powder and oil sachets. Stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The powder sachet.

A lot of powder.

The vegetables sachet.

Looks like vegetables and some TVP (textured vegetable protein).

A liquid sachet.

Oil!

Finished (click to enlarge). The noodles were thick and chewy and very premium. The sauce was serious business; a little spicy hit and a thick slather with a very hearty black bean flavor. The included vegetable and TVP really worked well. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 8801073113176.

Samyang God Jjajang Instant Noodle 650g (130g X5 Packs)

An old TV commercial for Samyang Foods Chacharoni.

Meet The Manufacturer: #1375: Takamori Tomato Spaghetti Napolitan

Thought a neat one to start with would be this. It’s kind of like a twist on yakisoba and spaghetti and sounded really neat. Let’s have a look!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Not sure if meat is present. To prepare, sautee some meat and veggies about halfway and set aside. Add a spoonful of water to a skillet and heat. Drop in the noodles and cook a little and then drop in the dry sachet content. Mix thoroughly and then add in your meat and veggies. Cook until done. Enjoy!

The fresh noodle pouch.

The flavoring sachet.

Has a nice tomato scent.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added thin sliced pork and sweet onion. The noodles have a nice thick gauge and very nice chewiness. They have a good, fresh character. The flavor is that of tomato with a very nice sweetness and herbed notes. The flavor isn’t overwhelming, nor leaving me wanting for more of it – just right! 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 4901959100307.

A little tour of Kumamoto’s shopping district.

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Takamori Kosan

Interview With Takamori Kosan * Product Samples From Takamori Kosan * Takamori Tomato Spaghetti Napolitan * Takamori Katsuo Dashi Udon * Takamori Yaki-Udon Mild Spicy Sauce * Takamori Yakisoba * Takamori Shio Yakisoba * Takamori Chanpon * Takamori Curry Udon * Takamori Hiyashi Chuka Lemon Sauce * Takamori Futomen Yakisoba * Takamori Hiyashi Udon Bonito Sauce * Takamori Yaki-Udon Roast Soy Sauce * Takamori Sukiyaki Style Noodle Stew * Takamori Red Pepper & Garlic Peperoncino

A couple months ago, I hadn’t heard about Takamori Kosan. A co-worker of my wife’s went to Hawaii and brought back some yakisoba for me that wasn’t on my big list. They were Takamori Kosan, and I found the company online and sent an email. I received a friendly reply from General Manager HYuji Hashimoto, who was interested in taking part in Meet The Manufacturer. Here is the interview I conducted with him.

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

TAKAMORI KOSAN> Founded in 1961 in Arao, Kumamoto by Takamori Family.

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

TK> We have 3 major product lines. Long Life fresh noodle (Udon, Yakisoba, Champon, Soft Spaghetti) is our primary products. We also produce TOKOROTEN (Agar jelly noodle) and diet jelly stuff.

TRR> What is the story behind the name?

TK> Takamori is the family name of the founder.

TRR> Is Takamori Kosan involved in the local community around you?

TK> Yes, we support the local event by providing our products.

TRR> Why do you think ramen is such a popular food?

TK> Ramen is well adapted to regional flavor. Each component, noodle, broth and toppings are very unique by region. Then, people can try various flavor and more importantly, at the reasonable price.

TRR> You are located in Kumamoto, Japan. Can you tell us about what it is like there?

TK> Kumamoto is not a major city like Tokyo, with 1.8Million population. Still have a beautiful natural resources are reserved. It is famous for agricultural products and with great water from underground. Weather is pretty mild and rare to have snow. I would say Washington State is somewhat similar image to me, not too big and have rich nature.

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

TK> We just through the major products renewal across our long selling products, which is so far well accepted. We are shipping them Hong Kong for export. We are also about to release the international version of UDON and YAKISOBA with full English text and meet all US FDA regulations.

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

TK> We cover major noodle category except for Ramen and Soba. We make variation with soup/sauce part, for example, we have 3 Yakisoba series with different flavor, spicy, mild and seafood. For Udon, hot broth, chilled dip style, and stir fry. Our soft spaghetti, we are marketing this over 45 years, are our flag ship line. Tomato, Tarako and Peperonccino are very popular items in Japan.

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?

TK> Any food regardless instant or not, should be taken with balance. We recommend adding vegetables, eggs and other to balance the nutrition. Japanese way of saying “HARA HACHIBU” means “80% full” is recommended.

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

TK> Yes, we do. TOKOROTEN (Agar Noodle) and Agar Jelly dessert products are other steam of our business. Our Agar jelly is very low calories targeted to diet purpose.

TRR> What was your first product?

TK> According to our record, tomato soft spaghetti is the oldest product among existing products today. It is 47 years old.

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

TK> Long life noodle is our key feature. There are not so many long life noodle supplier in Japan left, probably around 10 companies. Long life noodle is cost effective in room temperature logistics, storage and longer shelf life at the store.  Also our strategy is to focus on lower price range. We focus on the best mix of price and taste.

TRR> Where are your products available?

TK> Mostly, western part of Japan. We are shipping to Hong Kong, 759Stores and used to ship to the US, but the US shipment is now down as we obsoleted the product. Newer version will be ready in May 2014.

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

TK> For Udon, I like to add fresh egg and hot pepper. Other fry noodle, any vegetables left in the refrigerator at the time!  Japanese noodles are very flexible to match with various things, except for cheese to UDON broth … Try your favorite!

TRR> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn more about Takamori Kosan!

What a great interview! Let’s see what kind of delicious noodles Takamori Kosan manufactures! Thanks to Yuji for continuing to answer my questions – the packages are most in Japanese and he’s been really helpful!

Interview With Takamori Kosan * Product Samples From Takamori Kosan * Takamori Tomato Spaghetti Napolitan * Takamori Katsuo Dashi Udon * Takamori Yaki-Udon Mild Spicy Sauce * Takamori Yakisoba * Takamori Shio Yakisoba * Takamori Chanpon * Takamori Curry Udon * Takamori Hiyashi Chuka Lemon Sauce * Takamori Futomen Yakisoba * Takamori Hiyashi Udon Bonito Sauce * Takamori Yaki-Udon Roast Soy Sauce * Takamori Sukiyaki Style Noodle Stew * Takamori Red Pepper & Garlic Peperoncino

Meet The Manufacturer: #1336: Shirakiku Fresh Chow Mein Noodles With Seasoning

I’m sure you’re gonna say it – this looks familiar. Well, it’s part of a really neat coincidence that happened recently. I reviewed this one by Takamori Kosan of Japan the other day. Well, it was actually made by Sakura Noodle in Los angeles, California for the US market under their name! This one here is also made by Sakura Noodle but under the Shirakiku name. Are they different? Yep! If you look at the ingredients and nutrition facts on eacvh, there are some subtle differences. What’s interesting is that I contacted Takamori Kosan about doing a Meet The Manufacturer with them and they seem quite receptive, so keep an eye out for it coming soon! A day or so later, I was contacted by Sakura Noodle. I looked at their website and noticed this chow mein and asked if perhaps Takamori Kosan had contacted them, but they hadn’t – neat coincidence!

Something people might find odd is that mayonnaise is often a garnish for yakisoba. It comes in a variety of forms, from regular mayo to Karashi mayo, Wasabi mayo and so on. I have a squeeze bottle of mayonnaise, but I like the little packets that have come with other varieties of chow mein / yakisoba in the past. Since I have none of those, today I walk to the grocery store deli to see if I can purchase one during my daily constitutional. Let’s have a look inside the package and then I’m off to the store.

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Contains fish. To prepare, put a little oil in a pan and saute up some vegetables. Set vegetables aside. Add a tablespoon oil, two tablespoons water and the noodle block. Pan fry for 2-3 minutes. Return the veggies and sprinkle with contents of a sachet. Stir fry until veggies are all done. Enjoy!

The fresh chow mein noodle pouch.

The seasoning sachet.

Has a nice yakisoba sauce scent.

Man – it wasn’t raining earlier… But I was triumphant in acquiring a mayonnaise packet. Decided to do my whole walk of 2.3 miles in the rain. I figure the noodles will taste that much better when I get home.

 

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added cabbage, Busan fish cake, green onion, mayonnaise and green laver (seaweed). The noodles are nice – good chew. The flavor was quite nice – it’s yakisoba! 3.75 out of 5.0 stars.  UPC bar code 074410455033.

Here’s a short video displaying how one can make yakisoba at home.

#1321: Takamori Fresh Chow Mein Noodles With Seasoning

A co-worker named Joan at my wife’s work recently went to Hawaii and went out of her way to find something I hadn’t tried yet! She looked through the Big List and lo and behold, I hadn’t tried this chow mein! Thank you very much! These are fresh noodles, usually found in the cold section. They’re also a broth free variety. You might be more familiar with them as yakisoba, a noodle dish that can be found at little teriyaki joints all over. Let’s give this a try!

The back of the package (click image to enlarge). Package contains three noodle blocks and three seasoning sachets. Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, put a little oil in a pan and saute up some vegetables. Set vegetables aside. Add a tablespoon oil, two tablespoons water and the noodle block. Pan fry for 2-3 minutes. Return the veggies and sprinkle with contents of a sachet. Stir fry until veggies are all done. Enjoy!

A fresh noodle pouch. Note that there are three of these included.

Three of these sachets as well.

Smells like yakisoba seasoning!

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added grilled chicken, sweet onion, green onion and carrot. The noodles are an almost identical gauge to spaghetti noodles. They have a decent chew to them; a little chewier than spaghetti noodles. The flavor is quite good – salty, Worcestershire and enjoyable. The oil is a little bit of a gray area in this one; adds a bit of greasiness that could go either way. Good stuff. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 074410455033.

Here’s something I’ve not heard of before – Tokuroten.

#1290: Nongshim Sain Sain Garlic Teriyaki Fresh Cooked Udon Pasta

In March of 2012, I tried this new Garlic Teriyaki Udon by Nongshim – review #683. It was really great stuff – my wife Kit absolutely loved it (she doesn’t usually go crazy like I do for noodles, but this one was her fave). Well, a little while later, it was discontinued. Well, now it’s back and a little different. The first one had a whopping 3040mg of sodium per pack, but this new one has only 720mg for the whole thing. Let’s see how this one stacks up against the old version.

The back of the package (click image to enlarge). Contains tuna. To prepare, put the contents of the noodle pouch into the supplied bowl. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Add contents of flake and paste sachets and combine. Enjoy!

The fresh udon noodle pouch.

Soup paste sachet.

Less of a paste, more of a sauce.

The dry ingredient sachet.

Interesting stuff!

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added thin sliced beef, pineapple, garlic and shredded colby jack cheese. The noodles were great – excellent chewiness and nice wide udon gauge. The flavor was quite good – sweet and coated everything. It is hard to not compare this to the older version; the older version was a little better in my opinion. The cheese powder was so good with it, however it added so much sodium that it left me very sleepy. What I like about this version is that you can add whatever kind of cheese you like or none at all. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 031146016341.

While the noodles in this review are made in South Korea, many of the varieties we get here in the USA are made in the USA. Nongshim USA is in Rancho Cucamonga, California! Here’s a tour of their plant – a tour I was very fortunate to take in 2012.

#1125: Myojo Japanese Style Noodles Shio Flavor

Here’s another I got up at T&T Supermarket in Canada! Shio is one of four main categories of ramen in Japan (Tonkotsu, Shoyu and Miso being the others). Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about Shio:

Shio (“salt”) ramen is probably the oldest of the four and is a pale, clear, yellowish broth made with plenty of salt and any combination of chicken, vegetables, fish, and seaweed. Occasionally pork bones are also used, but they are not boiled as long as they are for tonkotsu ramen, so the soup remains light and clear. Chāshū is sometimes swapped for lean chicken meatballs, and pickled plums and kamaboko are popular toppings as well. Noodle texture and thickness varies among shio ramen, but they are usually straight rather than curly.

With that, let’s check out this fresh variety!

The back of the package (click image to enlarge). Chicken, wheat, egg and soybeans are listed in the ingredients.

Much like other fresh varieties, here is the little bag of noodles. You get three of these and three soup base packets.

One of the three soup base packets.

Has a nice color and rich scent.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added baked chicken with Lindberg-Snider Red Baron BBQ Seasoning, hard boiled egg, Vidalia onion and green onion. The noodles are great – they come out fresh and have a perfect chewiness. The broth has a nice soy and salt flavor with a nice chicken element to it. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 011152454184.

Here’s an ad for a Myojo cup product.

#1123: Maruchan’s Fresh Yaki-Soba Stir Fry Noodles With Seasoning Sauce Base

Here’s another one I was given by the nice folks at T&T Supermarket up in Canada – thanks again! I thought some fresh noodles would be nice for dinner tonight and I’ve wanted to try these for quite some time. Let’s check ’em out!

Here’s the importer’s sticker from the back (click to enlarge).

Here’s the back of the package without the sticker (click image to enlarge). Looks to be meat-free but have a look at the ingredients to make sure.

You get three servings – here’s one of them. Noodles in a bag.

You also get three packets of the powdered seasoning base.

 

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added beef, red bell pepper and Vidalia sweet onion. The noodles are nice and thin – they break up pretty quick in the water and oil and combine well with the sauce. The flavor is excellent – reminds me of yakisoba I would have at a little teriyaki and wok place we’ve gone to before. Great stuff! 4.25 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 041789008313.

This is the video I did for my 1000th review back in March! This is a different Maruchan Yakisoba – the dry noodle you can get in a tray form.