Tag Archives: friends

#622: Daikoku My Friend Vic Tanuki Udon Big Bowl

You might be viewing this website today because of the article they did about me in The Everett Herald – or not! Either way, I thought I’d break out something I found last week that I’m really stoked on. This is a bowl I got at Uwajimaya, a Japanese grocery in Seattle (there’s one in Bellevue, too).

If you’re new to noodles, let’s start with the name here. Tanuki? Well, you’re going to find this really bizarre – just have a look at this. I’ve noticed that when tanuki is mentioned, there’s going to be some tempura involved. Udon? It’s a thick, wider gauge noodle.  My Friend Vic? You got me – maybe y ou know him?

Click image to enlarge. When stuff like this ends up in stores here in the United States, they have to conform to our requirements as far as the nutrition facts labels and ingredients lists. What can be tough is deciphering the actual name of the instant noodle bowl (I don’t speak Japanese). Google to the rescue! If you take all the digits on the barcode from the label and enter it into Google, you’ll end up with a ton of links to Japanese online groceries – click Translate on the result and after clicking on a few of them, you can get the idea of what the noodles are titled.

Two packets here – powdered on the left and the tempura on the right. Nice to see there’s some seaweed included!

I like my tempura crunchy, so I leave it to the side for now. Here’s the noodles and powdered seasoning awaiting the water. Just like you’d expect, you fill it up to the line and cover it. I use an old yearbook – not mine – from 1987 I found at the Goodwill Outlet in Seattle.

Holy cow this looks awesome (click image to enlarge)! I added a fried egg and put a little Krazy Mixed Up Salt on top. I also added a little bit of Kizami Shoga, which is pickled ginger – not the kind you find with sushi that’s sweet but the sharp flavored kind. Let’s start with the noodles. They came out really nicely – they’re broad and thick – very tasty! Not very chewy, but not spongy. The broth is very tasty – salty, yes, but not ‘table salty.’ The good shoyu (soy sauce) flavor comes through. Then the tempura: crunchy and tasty – the seaweed is nice too! I really enjoyed this one a lot – Highly recommended! 4.75 out of 5.0 stars!

Here’s a vid of someone making what you’d find if you ordered tanuki udon in a Japanese restaurant.

Earlier this year, I was invited down to KIRO News/Radio 97.3FM and was interviewed by Rachel Belle!

The Ramen Rater News 2/13/2011

So today I reviewed the 300th unique ramen / instant noodle pack of this weird and fun hobby of mine. There’s been a lot of different things I’ve found enjoyable about this hobby: learning about different cultures, talking with people from around the world, and, most importantly, getting to eat some cheap and sometimes extremely good food.

I’ve learned some weird little things. A Welsh Onion is a leek. A groundnut is a peanut. Chili Mansi is chili and lime. If you make Wei Lih Jah Jan Mien incorrectly, it tastes like crap.

In the past feww years I have gotten some interesting correspondence. At one point, I was talking to some people that wanted me to do a guest spot on a Japanese television program about foreign folks who got ‘really into’ a particular Japanese thing. Unfortunately, the line producer decided to back off since at the time I was living in my friend’s garage.

A lot of people have emailed me asking where to get a particular brand or variety in their area. That’s sometimes difficult but usually I can steer them in a good direction with Google. Sometimes, people help me out with translations of text on foreign packaging.

Of course, the taste is what I’m in it for. It was really nice that review #300 was a five star. Nothing like green noodles, bright pink kizami shoga and a couple eggs in a blue ramen bowl.

So what’s next? Well, next to me is my ramen box with a ton of noodles in it. A lot of Lucky Me! brand bowl noodles and 4 or 5 Paldo Dosiracs.  That should last for a while- and I know where to get about 7 more kinds of that Wu-Mu stuff – there were all kinds like spicy tomato and spinach shitake… Nice looking stuff – steamed pork… So yeah – rest assured 300 is just a waypoint and not an end.

Anyways, that’s it for now. Stay tuned for more reviews and thank you to everyone who reads the site and comments. Remember I did put up a new forum so please use it – its for anyone who wants to. Also, let your friends on facebook know about The Ramen Rater too and get em’ to like it!

Best Regard & Good Eating!

The Ramen Rater