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Re-Review: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored Soup

Re-Review: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored Soup - United States - The Ramen Rater - サッポロ一番

There are some varieties that I hear people raving out about a lot and I start thinking ‘I should re-review this one.’ Well, today’s the day. I even have a little story about these which is sort of funny.

So we went to a furniture place a few years ago. We needed to get a couch – actually we went to a few places. I was being a cheapskate and getting annoyed at how much it costs to get something to sit on. Seriously;I mean, it’s a big pillow with wood inside, right? I thought hey – $400 is insane but we could shell out $400 I guess. Well, after a long conversation about couches and me being a cheapskate, my wife and I went to one last place. I finally found the couch I was into.

This thing had buttons on the side that made each seat recline and it was really comfy. I figure yeah it’s about $1200, but what the hell – my wife’s happy, I’m happy because it’s literally a comfortable electric chair – it’s a win-win situation right? Well, I then found out shopping for a couch is kind of like shopping for a car.

You go to the dealership and spend hours sitting, waiting, schmoozing and finally get out of therewith a new thing. At the dealership – drives me nuts when we get a new car, they have the balls to say ‘congratulations!’ I always thought I should just say ‘no congratulations for putting us on the hook for a recurring payment for 36 months.’ Anyways.

So during the schmoozing process, it’s the standard questions and chit chat at the furniture store. What do you do? When I tell anybody about reviewing instant noodles I get a couple of regular answers ‘wow – I didn’t know there were that many kinds of instant noodles,’ ‘wow that’s amazing’ and ‘don’t you get sick of reviewing instant noodles?’ Well, this guy started going off about Sapporo Ichiban noodles. He would talk about how great it was that a pack has 4 grams of fiber. I mean, I’m getting a couch and getting an education from this guy about being older and having a hard time taking a dump. It was kind of awkward but then again kind of fascinating that this guy was really okay with sharing his bowel habits with a total stranger while trying to sell him something.

Anyways, that’s my funny Sapporo Ichiban story. Here’s a little about the company from Wikipedia –

Sapporo Ichiban (サッポロ一番?) is a brand of instant noodles (most of them ramen) made by Sanyo Foods.

Sapporo Ichiban has found a market outside Japan, most notably with consumers in Hong Kong, the United States, Mexico, Argentina and Canada.

Sapporo Ichiban literally means “Sapporo’s number one [noodle]”, but there is no particular relation between Sapporo Ichiban and the city of Sapporo, Hokkaido, where the company has only a small sales branch

Sapporo Ichiban has found a market outside Japan, most notably with consumers in Hong Kong, the United States, Mexico, Argentina and Canada.

Ramen flavors include:

  • “Original” (Red package) a mild soy sauce flavor, debuted in stores January 1966.
  • Miso (Orange package), debuted in stores September 1968.
  • Shio (Salt) (Black and Red package), debuted in stores August 1971.
  • Tonkotsu (Gold package)
  • Chicken (Green package)
  • Beef (Brown package)
  • Shrimp (Pink package)
  • Hot & Spicy Chicken (Green and Red package)
  • Original Cup
  • Chicken Cup
  • Beef Cup
  • Shrimp Cup

So there you are – some background and a kind of weird story. Let’s check it out!

Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored Soup – United States

Re-Review: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored Soup - United States - The Ramen Rater - サッポロ一番

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains chicken and beef. To prepare, add noodle block to 2 cups (500ml on package, 473ml in reality) boiling water and cook 3 minutes. Add in soup base sachet. Finally, stir and enjoy!

Re-Review: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored Soup - United States - The Ramen Rater - サッポロ一番

The noodle block.

Re-Review: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored Soup - United States - The Ramen Rater - サッポロ一番

The soup base sachet.

Re-Review: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored Soup - United States - The Ramen Rater - サッポロ一番

A light powder with dark flecks here and there.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, spring onion, beef and shichimi togarashi. The noodles are heavy and very plentiful. This is a heavy noodle block – pretty impressive. The broth has a salty beef taste which works well. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 076186000035.

Re-Review: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored Soup - United States - The Ramen Rater - サッポロ一番

Japanese Style Noodle Soup (Beef Flavor) – 3.5oz [Pack of 6]

A vintage TV commercial

Re-Review: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Chicken Flavored Soup

I’ve been asked by quite a few people in the last few months to re-review this one. It sounds like a lot of you really enjoy this one!  One thing to note is that I’ve also been asked repeatedly about instant varieties that are vegetarian. Most instant noodles made in the USA will contain meat and/or seafood. Why? Well, it’s pretty hard to import chicken and beef into the United States. Standards for agricultural products are pretty strict, so the logic here is that if a foreign company builds a plant here, they don’t have to deal with these restrictions since they’re in the country, using US meat products in what they produce. Knowing this, if you stroll down the aisle of an Asian grocery store, you’ll see quite a few chicken, beef and other flavors which usually are imported and do not contain any beef, chicken or pork. So just a little tip from me – look and see where it’s made on the pack – it might have fish, but should be meat free. These noodles are made in Garden Grove, California. Southern California is the spot where most instant noodle companies that open up plants congregate – easy access to big seaports and centralized distribution has a lot (if not everything) to do with this. Anyways, let’s check out this much requested re-review of Sapporo Ichiban chicken noodles!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Contains chicken. To prepare, add noodle block to 500ml boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Add in contents of seasoning sachet, stir, and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The soup base sachet.

Has a nice chicken aroma.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added baked chicken with Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Pepper and Johnny’s Seafood & Poultry seasoning, spring onion and mung bean sprouts. The noodles had a very good chewiness to them – much firmer than many instants which was nice. The broth is a salty chicken affair – nice and strong a built to please the Us palate for sure. Great stuff! 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 076186000028.

Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles and Chicken Flavored Soup, 3.5-Ounce (Pack of 24)

Sapporo Ichiban is located in Garden Grove, CA. Here’s something a little different – this is the Garden Grove local TV channel – LIVE! It takes a second to buffer, so be a little patient.

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Instant Noodles Made In The USA Of All Time 2013 Edition

The instant noodle originated in 1958 in Japan, but since that time, they’ve expanded in popularity all over the world, including of course, the United States. Seeing this, instant noodle companies thought it wise to start building plants here in the 1970s. Since then, many brands operate factories here in the US, mostly in southern California. This is a list of my favorite varieties produced here, encompassing my over 1,100 reviews to date. With that, here’s your top ten, America!

#10: Nongshim Shin Bowl Noodle Soup

Shin Ramyun is one of the most popular instant noodles in South Korea. It’s spicy and beefy. This one here has that same great flavor and is microwaveable! A while back, they changed how they make their noodles for their line of bowls, and although they were great before, they’re even better now. Original review here

#9: Nissin Top Ramen Short Cuts Roast Chicken Flavor Ramen Noodle Soup

Nissin came out with this new line of noodles fairly recently. What’s unique about then is that they are a large box with a bag of seasoned noodles. You can use as little or as much as you like! The noodles are short and broad with a ‘comfort food’ appeal and a nice roast chicken flavor. Original review here

#8: Maruchan Bowl Hot & Spicy Shrimp Flavor Ramen Noodles With Vegetables

Maruchan has been known for a long time for their Instant Lunch line of noodles cups, but here we have something new for them – bowls! This one stood out for me – it had a ‘south of the border’ heat to it and was full of noodles of great quality. Spicy, but not so spicy most couldn’t handle it. Original review here

#7: Nissin Top Ramen Cucharealo Home-Style Picante Chicken Flavor

This is a serious fusion: the noodles are short and thin. I remember noodles kind of like these in other products when I was a kid, but always felt like I was getting way more soup than noodles. This one quells that need for more noodles – there’s plenty of them. The picante chicken flavor is excellent with notes of chili powder and cumin. Original review here

#6: Nissin Chow Mein Spicy Teriyaki Beef Flavor Chow Mein Noodles

I would have never thought that mixing teriyaki and spicy heat together would work, but it does. The combination is excellent – especially since the sauce coats everything so well. The vegetables hydrate nicely and it’s an all around great meal. Original review here

#5: Nongshim Chapagetti Roasted Chajang Noodle

Thick, slightly chewy noodles in a rich black bean sauce – excellent stuff. What’s also excellent is that you can make it in the microwave. It uses just a little water and the finished product has sucked it all up, leaving you with nice, saucy noodles. Original review here

#4: Maruchan Creamy Chicken Flavor Ramen Noodle Soup

I absolutely adore this stuff. Take your standard instant noodle and add a nice creamy chicken flavor. The broth has a really nice ‘stick to your ribs’ way about it. Whenever I’m under the weather, this is my go-to comfort noodle. Original review here

#3: Nongshim Shin Ramyun Black Premium Noodle Soup

After twenty years of Shin Ramyun, Nongshim decided to upgrade it. Enter Shin Ramyun Black. It has a richer broth, great noodles, and an amazing packet with nice veggies and beef – yes, beef. This one has little pieces of freeze dried beef that spring to life – and have an enjoyable chew and flavor! Original review here

#2: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles Chow Mein

This one requires a different approach to cooking, but it really pays off in the end. The noodles are cooked in very little water, which they slurp up rather quickly. Then you stir in the flavor packet and you’ve got some exceedingly wonderful chow. The flavor is reminiscent of yakisoba sauce; kind of a Worcestershire sauce thing going on. Then the fun part – a little packet of ‘green laver’ (powdered seaweed) is supplied for you to sprinkle on top. With it or without it, this one’s worth your time to try. Original review here

#1: Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja Flamin’ Hot & Nutty Noodle Soup

For regular followers of The Ramen Rater, this should be no surprise. I have been touting the greatness of this one back when it was only produced in South Korea. Happily, they make it in southern California now. Jinjja Jinjja (translates to Really Really) is a sumptuous sojourn to flavorland. Ramyun noodles are a little thicker and a little chewier than others. Combine that with a spicy and hearty pork broth, nice veggies and a packet with black sesame seeds and peanut powder. The result is absolutely perfect. Original review here

Re-Review: Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Original Flavored Soup

We went to Walmart on Black Friday! Well, let me explain – it was at 6pm or so, so the amount of crazy people was lower. It seems though that the Walmart we always go to has a surplus of crazy people usually. I imagine the early morning Black Friday folks would’ve been a scary lot. One thing I noticed was that they hadn’t bought all of the noodles, so I thought I’d get a couple to re-review. Here’s one of them last time I tried it, it was revirew #207. Hoping some new things to review come soon – only have one in the hamper that’s needing review… Re-reviews are fun though since they’re not been visited in so long.

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

The noodle block. Decently sized with a little more weight than I usually find in domestic packs. The noodles when sampled uncooked are a little different too – pretty good.

The lone seasoning packet.

The seasoning powder. Kind of has a soy flavor to it; I would think this one’s a soy sauce noodle perhaps?

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added stir fry veggies, hard boiled egg with Cavender’s Greek Seasoning, Thanksgiving turkey (the very last bits of it) and some Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. The noodles are good – large amoung and decent gauge. The broth is good too – strong soy and salt flavor. Good stuff! 3.5 out of 5.0 stars! UPC bar code 076186000011 – get it here!

Some older Sapporo Ichiban commercials

Looks like Sapporo Ichiban Shio Ramen has been around for a while – glad they finally brought it to the US!

#908: Sapporo Ichiban Oriental Noodle Soup Original Flavor Cup

Yet another one I am very surprised I haven’t reviewed in the past. Curious to see how this one fares.

Details from the back of the cardboard outer (click to enlarge). Look at that – it recommends using the microwave – I’ve not seen this before on the instructions for a cup noodle!

Here’s the cup itself.

Again notice the mention of microwaving the foam cup – what a trip!

Here’s the noodle block.

The soup base packet.

Here’s the powder itself.

Wow – a lot of veggies in this one – plenty of corn and little green bits!

Finished (click to enlarge). Added a hard boiled egg, baked chicken and some Krazy Mixed Up Salt. The noodles are decent – nice texture and good amount. The broth has a soy sauce taste and some hints of miso. The veggies are quite good – I’m impressed with not only the quantity but the quality. Corn is usually one that doesn’t want to re-hydrate very well and these do quite nicely. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 076186700010 – get it here.

A Sapporo Ichiban TV advertisement

Some Japanese TV commercials

Re-Review: Meet The Manufacturer: Paldo Teumsae Ramyun

I saw a YouTube video recently where a man is trying to handle the heat of this instant ramyun. He couldn’t – to the point of cursing these noodles. Another reason that Paldo’s Teumsae Ramyun is #1 on the Top Ten Spiciest Instant Noodles of All Time list. But Teumsae; what is that? Teumsae is a well known restaurant chain in Korea. They’re well known for their spicy ways as well!

The back of the packaging (click image to enlarge).

Big noodle block.

The fiery powder packet!

Here it is – a lot of burning fire awaiting your tastebuds!

The veggie packet.

Quite a bit of veggies in this one.

Finished (click image to enlarge). I added an egg, some onions, a slice of processed cheese and a bit of roast beef with Krazy Mixed Up Salt on top. As always, I sampled before I added everything. The noodles are thick and chewy. The broth is just plain mean! Yeah – this is the hottest and spiciest stuff out there that I’ve found. I had good reason to put this at #1 on that spiciest ramen list! The veggies are good too. Also, just to let you know how how this stuff is, it’s burning my mouth really good as I eat it with the egg and cheese and onions added – wow! 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 648436100613.

[AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”B00A6Z30C4″]

Here’s a guy in South Korea who checks out things – one of therm being a Teumsae restaurant!

This is pretty awesome – Korean fusion jazz using a lot of tradition instruments – called Oriental Express

#420: Sapporo Ichiban Beef Flavor With Natural & Artificial Flavors Oriental Noodle Soup

As promised, here’s another of Sapporo Ichiban’s cup line. Again, we see the cooked and ready product being inundated with more piping hot water. Weird picture…

Well, I’m sad to report that this one isn’t as nice as the chicken. The chicken contained actual chicken while this one contains beefish bits. Bit o’ Fake Beef! TSP (Textured Soy Protein) is used, which is kind of a cousin to TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein), which can be made to resemble all sorts of fake meats.

A single packet of flavored powder…

This is one thirsty cup awaiting some water…

Click image to enlarge. I really like how nicely the vegetables re-hydrate. The noodles were warm and hearty, and the broth was very beefy – and not super salty. I like it – a good cup of noodles. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. Get it here.

Found this music video while searching for one about textured vegetable protein.

#416: Sapporo Ichiban Chicken Flavor With Natural & Artificial Flavors Oriental Noodle Soup (Cup)

A couple things to start out with here as this picture is somewhat ridiculous. So they’re adding water to the cup. The water is up to the line already and not only that,  the contents appear to already be done cooking; the veggies are clearly re-hydrated.  Kind of weird I thought.

Look closely at the ingredients – something is in this one that usually isn’t present…

A single packet of seasoning. Common to the cups you’d see from Korea, not so much from a domestic.

A very nice looking amount of assorted vegetables ready for the pain of scalding hot boiling water.

Click image to enlarge. Finished product, unadulterated. So this one’s getting some good points. Why? Well first off, it looks like the above picture. Secondly, it contains chicken. This is a bit of a rarity to be honest and I really like that. The chicken wasn’t bad either. Third, lots of vegetables. The noodles weren’t crummy either. The only thing here was the saltiness – way overpowering. A little less and it would’ve been just right. I’m still quite impressed with this product though and giving it a 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. Get it here.