Tag Archives: gluten

Gluten-Free Japanese Ramen?! | Unboxing Time

gluten free jpanese ramen japan yamachan ramen z

In all the years of reviewing I’ve done, I’ve never seen a gluten-free ramen. Sure, I’ve seen rice noodles which generally are gluten free, but this is entirely different. Let’s take a first look at Ramen Z.

Gluten-Free Japanese Ramen?! – United States

Meet The Manufacturer: #2444: KOKA Silk Spicy Marinara Instant Rice Fettuccine

 

Meet The Manufacturer: #2444: KOKA Silk Spicy Marinara Instant Rice Fettuccine - Singapore - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - tat hui

Today it’s a rice noodle variety with an Italian twist: spicy marinara. So, what is marinara? Wikipedia, if you please –

Marinara (English: “mariner’s”) sauce is an Italian sauce that originated in Naples, usually made with tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and onions.[1][2] Its many variations can include the addition of capers, olives, spices, and a dash of wine.[3][4]

This sauce is widely used in Italian-American cuisine, which has greatly diverged from its Old World origins.

Italians refer to marinara sauce only in association with other recipes. For instance, spaghetti alla marinara literally translates to “spaghetti mariner’s style” (from the adjective marinara with the feminine suffix -a pertaining to salsa, Italian for “sauce”, and also to maniera, Italian for “style”), but tomato sauce alone in Italy is called sugo/salsa al/di pomodoro or pummarola (the latter being Neapolitan language).

Several folk theories exist as to the origin of this sauce: One version states that cooks aboard Neapolitan ships returning from the Americas invented marinara sauce in the mid-16th century after Spaniards introduced the tomato (a central Mexican “New World” fruit) to Europe. Another theory states this was a sauce prepared by the wives of Neapolitan sailors upon their return from sea.[5]

Historically, however, the first Italian cookbook to include tomato sauce,[6]Lo Scalco alla Moderna (The Modern Steward), was written by Italian chef Antonio Latini and was published in two volumes in 1692 and 1694. Latini served as the Steward of the First Minister to the Spanish Viceroy of Naples.[6][7][8] This early tomato sauce was more like a modern tomato salsa.

As you can see, there’s nothing about it being a part of Southeast Asian cuisine. However, iI have seen Italian flavor not only in this Singaporean variant but in Japanese, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Hong Kong brands. Let’s have a look at this seafood marinara.

KOKA Silk Spicy Marinara Instant Rice Fettuccine – Singapore

Meet The Manufacturer: #2444: KOKA Silk Spicy Marinara Instant Rice Fettuccine - Singapore - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - tat hui

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Cintains fish and shrimp. To prepare, Add sachets to bowl and add 400ml boiling water. Cover for 3 minutes. Finally, stir and enjoy!

Meet The Manufacturer: #2444: KOKA Silk Spicy Marinara Instant Rice Fettuccine - Singapore - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - tat hui

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).

Meet The Manufacturer: #2444: KOKA Silk Spicy Marinara Instant Rice Fettuccine - Singapore - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - tat hui

A pouch of rice fettuccine.

Meet The Manufacturer: #2444: KOKA Silk Spicy Marinara Instant Rice Fettuccine - Singapore - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - tat hui

A dual sachet.

Meet The Manufacturer: #2444: KOKA Silk Spicy Marinara Instant Rice Fettuccine - Singapore - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - tat hui

The seasoning powder.

Meet The Manufacturer: #2444: KOKA Silk Spicy Marinara Instant Rice Fettuccine - Singapore - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - tat hui

Seasoning oil.

Meet The Manufacturer: #2444: KOKA Silk Spicy Marinara Instant Rice Fettuccine - Singapore - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - tat hui

The garnish sachet.

Meet The Manufacturer: #2444: KOKA Silk Spicy Marinara Instant Rice Fettuccine - Singapore - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles - tat hui

Shrimp, chilli flake and coriander.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, sweet onion, coriander and 31-44ct shrimp. The rice fettuccine came out remarkably well. Indeed it is perfectly hydrated. I make a couple cross-cuts with a pair of kitchen scissors to make them easier to work with a fork. The broth is very tasty with a fresh taste of tomato and a bit of spiciness. Moreover, the broth definitely has a seafood feel to it – almost has a slight lemony hint to it. The vegetables hydrated very well and were complimentary. Also,m the shrimp that are included taste good and are of a decent quantity. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 8888056811229.

Koka Laksa Singapura (Rice Noodles, Bowl), 70-Grams (Pack of 12)

A KOKA Spicy Marinara TV advertisement.

#2328: Qin Zong Shaanxi Cold Noodle Hot & Sour Flavor

#2328: Qin Zong Shaanxi Cold Noodle Hot & Sour Flavor - China - The Ramen Rater - cold noodles

Another one from Colin – thanks again! Haven’t seen this brand previously. Always neat to start checking out a brand I’ve not reviewed after trying so many. But what’s Shanxi? Wikipedia, if you please:

Shanxi (Chinese: 山西; pinyin: About this sound Shānxī; postal: Shansi) is a province of China, located in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is “” (pinyin: Jìn), after the state of Jin that existed here during the Spring and Autumn period.

The name Shanxi means “West of the Mountains”, a reference to the province’s location west of the Taihang Mountains.[5] Shanxi borders Hebei to the east, Henan to the south, Shanxi to the west, and Inner Mongolia to the north and is made up mainly of a plateau bounded partly by mountain ranges. The capital of the province is Taiyuan.

Shanxi cuisine is most well known for its extensive use of vinegar as a condiment, as well as for a huge variety of noodle dishes, particularly knife-cut noodles or daoxiao mian (刀削面), which are served with a range of sauces. A dish originating from Taiyuan, the provincial capital, is Taiyuan Tounao (太原头脑, literally “Taiyuan Head”). It is a breakfast dish; a porridge-like stew made with mutton, Chinese yam (山药), lotus roots, astragalus membranaceus (黄芪, membranous milk vetch), tuber onions, and yellow cooking wine for additional aroma. It can be enjoyed by dipping pieces of unleavened flatbread into the soup, and is reputed to have medicinal properties. Pingyao is famous for its unique salt beef, while the areas around Wutai Shan are known for wild mushrooms. The most popular local spirit is fenjiu, a “light fragrance” variety of baijiu that is generally sweeter than other northern Chinese spirits.

Let’s check out this cold noodle from China!

Qin Zong Shaanxi Cold Noodle Hot & Sour Flavor – China

#2328: Qin Zong Shaanxi Cold Noodle Hot & Sour Flavor - China - The Ramen Rater - cold noodles

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add noodles and wheat gluten to a bowl. Cover with boiling water and let sit for 10-15 minutes to soften. Rinse noodles with cold water and drain. Add in liquid sachets. Stir and enjoy!

#2328: Qin Zong Shaanxi Cold Noodle Hot & Sour Flavor - China - The Ramen Rater - cold noodles

The noodle pouch.

#2328: Qin Zong Shaanxi Cold Noodle Hot & Sour Flavor - China - The Ramen Rater - cold noodles

The first of three liquid sachets.

#2328: Qin Zong Shaanxi Cold Noodle Hot & Sour Flavor - China - The Ramen Rater - cold noodles

Dark with sesame seeds.

#2328: Qin Zong Shaanxi Cold Noodle Hot & Sour Flavor - China - The Ramen Rater - cold noodles

Another liquid sachet.

#2328: Qin Zong Shaanxi Cold Noodle Hot & Sour Flavor - China - The Ramen Rater - cold noodles

A thin, clear liquid.

#2328: Qin Zong Shaanxi Cold Noodle Hot & Sour Flavor - China - The Ramen Rater - cold noodles

Another almost clear sachet.

#2328: Qin Zong Shaanxi Cold Noodle Hot & Sour Flavor - China - The Ramen Rater - cold noodles

Murky…

#2328: Qin Zong Shaanxi Cold Noodle Hot & Sour Flavor - China - The Ramen Rater - cold noodles

A sachet of…

#2328: Qin Zong Shaanxi Cold Noodle Hot & Sour Flavor - China - The Ramen Rater - cold noodles

…wheat gluten.

#2328: Qin Zong Shaanxi Cold Noodle Hot & Sour Flavor - China - The Ramen Rater - cold noodles

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts and fried tofu puff, The noodles had to soak for 10-15 minutes, so I went 15. Alas, they were very odd; Seems like they would’ve hydrated a little better but they just seemed kind of off. The flavor was pretty good – really oily, spicy and definitely Chinese.  Not my fave but looking forward eagerly to try more Shaanxi varieties from this brand – unique. 2.75 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 6925500714155.

#2328: Qin Zong Shaanxi Cold Noodle Hot & Sour Flavor - China - The Ramen Rater - cold noodles

SHAANXI COLD NOODLE

Years of training have provided this cook in northwest China with the skill of bouncing endless noodles in a quite bizarre style into the boiling water.

#1395: Snapdragon Singapore Laksa Curry Soup Bowl

Found this in a local grocery store the other day. It’s definitely made of the United States market, but made in Thailand, which seems kind of funny as it’s Singapore Laksa Curry. Any way you slice it, it’s a Singapore Laksa Curry that made for the United States market which is something that truly piqued my interest. What’s different here also is that it uses rice noodles instead of wheat, so it’s gluten free. I’ve only had a Laksa that used rice noodles once before. Let’s have a look at this one.

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Contains milk and crustacean. To prepare in a microwave, remove lid and empty all sachets into bowl. Add cold water to fill line and microwave 2-3 minutes. Let stand for 1 minutes and stir well. Enjoy!

When you remove the cardboard outer box, you are greeted by a plastic bowl with a clear lid.

The rice noodle block.

A dual seasoning sachet: base on the left and oil on the right.

Has a nice laksa scent.

Canola oil infused with paprika.

A coconut powder sachet.

Fluffy stuff!

The solid ingredient sachet.

Cabbage and carrot abound.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added vegetable fish ball, sweet onion, red and green bell pepper and seafood flavor tofu. The noodles were definitely not done after a 3 minute spin in the microwave and a minute of sitting. This surprised me as rice noodles tend to steep rather quickly. They were chewy and not really edible until a 2 minute extra ride in a pot on the stove. The broth had a nice rich laksa flavor, but it could have been a little thicker. The vegetable bits hydrated nicely. The rating based on microwave preparation as per box is 3.0 out of 5.0 as the noodles weren’t done (1100w oven to boot). However, if the noodles had been done, I would have given it a 4.25 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 815055010009.

This looks like the place to go in singapore!

#1117: Thai Pavilion Spicy Pad Thai Instant Rice Noodles & Sauce

My wife mentioned she saw this brand at her work and I was curious, so she brought a couple varieties home! Thanks, Kit! I’ve never heard of this brand before. It’s an interesting one as it’s made in Thailand but set up for sale in the United States. Let’s check it out!

The side and back panels (click image to enlarge). Says it’s all natural, gluten free and vegan. Contains peanuts and soy.

After you remove the cardboard outer packaging, this is what you find underneath.

An included fork!

Rice stick noodles.

The dry powder packet.

Has a nice peanut scent.

Shallot oil!

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added red bell pepper, green onion, Vidalia sweet onion and beef. The noodles are your typical rice stick – they come out nicely after sitting is hot water for five minutes. The flavor is really great – spicy and rich with peanut, sweetness and other flavors going on. As far as instant pad thai goes, this is top notch. 4.25 out of 5.0 stars UPC bar code 734492823013.

Here’s a vendor at the Pattaya Floating Market in Thailand making pad thai.

Setting The Record Straight: Rampant Claims Of Instant Noodle Dangers

3/19/2013 – UPDATE – Check this new article out – I was published on consumeraffairs.com

8/31/2012 – UPDATE – Thanks to everyone checking out this article and for the nice words! Thought I’d also mention I have an article about cup noodle rumors you might like – check it out HERE.

At first, I found it laughable, but now it’s gotten to the point where I feel something should be said. I’ve been seeing more and more posts going up on blogs from around the world about the dangers of instant noodles. They claim some ridiculous things that are just plain untrue. I think the people who might really bear the brunt of this are those among us who eat instant noodles because they can’t afford more expensive foods. Here are some of the issues I’ve seen mentioned and some facts and supporting info.

UPDATE Sept 5, 2012: Saw this picture as I was looking for articles to put on the Noodle News and

figure it’s got to be the culprit for a lot of the worries people have had.

Heating MSG (Found In Instant Noodles) Changes It Into A Toxic, Deadly Form

FALSE

This one is kind of obvious. If heating MSG made it deadly toxic, wouldn’t everyone be dead by now? Here’s a great post about this and other things from a blog called The Butcher Of Kuala Lumpur:

Here’s Snopes.com’s article about it:

Instant Noodles Are Coated With Wax

FALSE

You’re kidding, right? One of the reasons they’re saying is that the wax ‘keeps the noodles separated.’ Anyone with an ounce of reason will know that instant noodles that are coated in wax aren’t going to stay sepasrated from the wax. Wax melts and relatively moderate temperatures. They mention boiling the noodles, draining them and putting them in fresh water. The only thing you’ll get by doing this is would be that you’d get rid of some of the gluten.
Here’s what I found on a page by Monde Nissin:

Instant noodles do not contain any wax. Noodle strands do not stick together as a natural consequence of the process of slitting or cutting the noodle dough into strands, steaming, and then frying in normal cooking oil.

You can see the page at http://www.mondenissin.com/main.php/products/lucky_me/truth_myth

Instant Noodle Cups Are Lined With Wax

FALSE

Another strange one that’s circulated quite a bit lately. Supposedly, this would be so the cup wouldn’t leak. I dunno – weird reasoning there. I found two things that logically supported that this is a false claim.

First, there’s a page on Snopes.com. Snopes is renowned for shedding the light of reason on rumors that go from implausable to fact in minutes in our information based world.

Second, again you can hit up the Monde Nissin page – they have a really great list of Facts vs Myths that should answer most questions asbout the safety of instant noodles.

What got me really amped up to write this article was this article that I just found recently – http://thinkbet.com/2012/04/25/disease-caused-by-excessive-instant-noodles-consumption/

I was very interested in finding out what this ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’ was  that’s mentioned at the end. Well, This article about it mentions how MSG has never been directly proven to correlate with it.

Here’s another article – this one is about preservatives – http://health-food-nutrition.blogspot.com/2010/10/right-dose-preservative-noodles-safe.html

So much hype and so much fear don’t seem very healthy – I’m pretty sure hypertension has been proven to be unhealthy. Anyways, take everything you read with a grain of salt (I’m even groaning at that one – sorry) and use common sense when you read scary food articles online. Do your research – don’t let someone with an agenda decide what’s good for you.