Tag Archives: healthy

#3239: Vite Ramen Soy Sauce Chicken Instant Noodle Soup – United States

#3239: Vite Ramen Soy Sauce Chicken Instant Noodle Soup - United States

A few months ago I did a Meet The Manufacturer series on Vite Ramen, but the packs I tried were prototypes and not this, the finished product for version 1.0 (version 1.1 will be coming soon and I’ll be giving that a try when it comes out). It’s a neat concept brought to life by Tim & Tom Zheng.

A lot of people found the idea of a healthy instant noodle very compelling – so much so that they netted a quarter of a million dollars on their Kickstarter campaign. What we have here is the culmination of lots of work by them.

These packs have a myriad of benefits, including lots of vitamins and minerals, 30g of protein, low sodium, low fat, and is an excellent source of fiber.

It also has something that’s hard for people to get – potassium. You can a decent amount in a banana, but eating enough bananas to meet the goal  of potassium intake per day is going to have some side affects aside from the amount of sugar.This pack includes 25 percent of that.

As many of you know, I’ve been on a diet. I’ve been overweight most of my life. My doctor told me on October 18th, 2018 that I had high cholesterol, and pushed me to change my diet and exercise; something I’ve been told by doctors many times before. But I guess it was just the right time to do something about it. We got a jogging stroller and I started walking my daughter Miri on days my son has all day preschool. I also started using a fitbit and the My Fitness Pal app to track my intake and calorie burn.

I started slow; trying to get my step goal and trying to stay under the recommended calories for the day. It was hard at first, but I put myself in a good mindset and pushed forward. I started at 365lbs. I go back to the doctor on April 26th, 2019 – about 6 months afterwards for another blood test and cheup to see how I’ve done, and I think my doctor is going to be shocked. I haven’t weighed myself, but I’ve gone down 6 pants sizes. I had to skip walking a couple days after last week too – Monday I walked 9.5 miles, Tuesday 10.5 miles, and Thursday I walked almost 15 miles and hit 30,000 steps. I guess I need to get some walking shoes that are better than the ones I get at Walmart in Richmond BC for $30CAD! I really jacked up my feet…

But in a couple weeks, I’ll find out how much I weigh at the doctor and report on that. I’m pretty stoked – I’m down to around 1200~1500 calories per day and it’s no problem at this point. As far as when I review, I have the tiniest amount of noodles and broth to sample – the rest goes down the drain. But I think today I’ll figure one of these packs into my regime and see how it goes. Let’s get started.

Vite Ramen Soy Sauce Chicken Instant Noodle Soup – United States

#3239: Vite Ramen Soy Sauce Chicken Instant Noodle Soup - United States

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Take a look at the nutrition facts panel – it’s pretty monumental. Contains chicken. To prepare, add noodle block to 2 1/2 cups boiling water and cook 2 1/2 minutes. Add in sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#3239: Vite Ramen Soy Sauce Chicken Instant Noodle Soup - United States

The noodle block.

#3239: Vite Ramen Soy Sauce Chicken Instant Noodle Soup - United States

A dry sachet.

#3239: Vite Ramen Soy Sauce Chicken Instant Noodle Soup - United States

The soup base.

#3239: Vite Ramen Soy Sauce Chicken Instant Noodle Soup - United States

A second dry sachet.

#3239: Vite Ramen Soy Sauce Chicken Instant Noodle Soup - United States

This is the ‘noodtrients’ powder. This is where the vitamins, minerals, and protein come into play.

#3239: Vite Ramen Soy Sauce Chicken Instant Noodle Soup - United States

A wet sachet.

#3239: Vite Ramen Soy Sauce Chicken Instant Noodle Soup - United States

Canola oil.

#3239: Vite Ramen Soy Sauce Chicken Instant Noodle Soup - United States

A clear garnish sachet.

#3239: Vite Ramen Soy Sauce Chicken Instant Noodle Soup - United States

A vegetable mixture with 8 different varieties.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added soft egg, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, baked chicken, black sesame seeds, and spring onion. I’m definitely seeing a difference in this from the prototype. The noodle has a nice chew and texture – a unique one which worked well. The broth is on the light side; it’s not a salty bomb, however it has a good thickness and gives a taste of actual chicken broth that I liked. Very happy with the changes in addition to all the protein, low sodium, fiber, and vitamin benefits. Innovative and fresh. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.  No bar code.

#3239: Vite Ramen Soy Sauce Chicken Instant Noodle Soup - United States

Vite Ramen Soy Sauce Chicken Flavor Instant Noodle Soup

Watch me cook on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

The Ramen Rater Diet – How I lost 65 Pounds In 6 Months

The Ramen Rater Diet - How I lost 65 Pounds In 6 Months

People have been noticing I’ve lost a lot of weight in a short period of time – thanks! They’ve also been asking which diet I’m doing. Well, I decided to strike out on my own. This video outlines everything I’ve been doing. I’ll be coming out with these every 6 months or so.

Why the big change? Well, I’ve been unhappy with my weight for years and it’s always been a battle. besides being a ‘victim of deliciousness,’ a phrase coined by Homer Simpson, I’m legally blind which means it’s hard to get around. But when my doctor gave me a talk on October 18th, 2018, it made me take action. I’ve been told before that I need to make big changes by doctors, but this just turned out to be the day and words I needed. My cholesterol was really high. We used to have mac and cheese with bratwursts quite often, I also ate a lot of eggs, and on Tuesdays Papa Murphy’s has a great deal on pizza. I also didn’t have any kind of thought as to how much I’d eat – if it tasted good, I’d just eat it and as much as I wanted.

He told me that if I kept going the way I was, I would be headed for an early grave, and with two children at home, I needed to make changes not only for myself but for my family. So I did.

The video below is a rundown of everything. Please feel free to comment and ask any questions – I’m more than happy to answer them!

The Ramen Rater Diet – How I lost 65 Pounds In 6 Months

I’ve also done a video showing something I often have for dinner, which definitely has a big tie-in with the ramen world:

Here’s where to get some of the Hakubaku Mochi Barley, and some Progresso Soup. It’s a great combo I think.

I decided to get on the scale a month after visiting the doctor when I found out I’d lost 65 pounds. I lost 14 more, so I’m down 79 pounds. I’ll do another set of videos in six months with an update!

#3164: Kenko Foods Health Shio Ramen – Japan

#3164: Kenko Foods Health Shio Ramen - Japan

Today, we have one that was part of Japan Crate’s Umai Crate. So Japan Crate is a subscription service which has all sorts of different options for you. pretty neat stuff from Japan! There’s a coupon code for you too – just use THERAMENRATER to get a special discount at check out.

So here’s what the folks at Japan Crate had to say about this variety -“Enjoy the taste of shio (salt) ramen without the guilt with this healthy version from Kenko Foods. Add your favorite vegetables and meats to make it more tasty.’

Guilt free over here – let’s check it out!

Kenko Foods Health Shio Ramen – Japan

#3164: Kenko Foods Health Shio Ramen - Japan

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, boil noodles in 500ml water for 3 minutes. Add in sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#3164: Kenko Foods Health Shio Ramen - Japan

The noodle block.

#3164: Kenko Foods Health Shio Ramen - Japan

A dry sachet.

#3164: Kenko Foods Health Shio Ramen - Japan

A light powder.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added soft egg, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, baked chicken (black pepper, NuTek Salt for Life), spring onion. Noodles came out nicely and broth was a salty chicken flavor. It held it’s own and is a decent one, although seemingly more akin to your basic chicken instant. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars.  JAN bar code 4973044020036.

#3164: Kenko Foods Health Shio Ramen - Japan

Forms of Japan: Michael Kenna

Watch me cook on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!

#3024: Nissin Cup Noodle Nice Pork Shoyu (New Version) – Japan

#3024: Nissin Cup Noodle Nice Pork Shoyu (New Version) - Japan

Today we have a Zenpop.JP variety – so what’s Zenpop? They’re a subscription service for all things Japanese! Definitely, check them out. By the way, use coupon code RAMENRATER to get $2 off! Here’s what they had to say about this one – ‘This is as nice as the name indicates! While the soup is thick and rich, this is also a bit better for you with fewer  calories than the original Nissin Cup Noodles. Is that even possible? You’ll know it once you try this.’

When I opened the Zenpop box, I saw this and was excited – I’ve had it before and really liked it! Wait – that’s not entirely accurate – I had last year’s version. It’s been changed as of this April! I’m guessing it will be a little different. Here’s what I found on the Nissin Japan website –

1. Noodle

Non-fried noodles exclusively for “cup noodle nice” which kneaded plenty of dietary fiber equivalent to about 4 lettuce. I pushed the taste and taste of the noodles further to the cup noodle.

2. Soup

A thick soup which is deeply finished with pork extract added to soy sauce soup which made the peppers unique to cup noodles.

3. Materials

Cabbage, seasoned minced pork, egg, leek, red pepper.

Cool – let’s give it a try!

Nissin Cup Noodle Nice Pork Shoyu (New Version) – Japan

#3024: Nissin Cup Noodle Nice Pork Shoyu (New Version) - Japan

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Contains pork. To prepare, asdd boiling water to line and cover for 3 minutes. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#3024: Nissin Cup Noodle Nice Pork Shoyu (New Version) - Japan

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).

#3024: Nissin Cup Noodle Nice Pork Shoyu (New Version) - Japan

The noodle block.

#3024: Nissin Cup Noodle Nice Pork Shoyu (New Version) - Japan

Loose seasoning and bits of noodle.

#3024: Nissin Cup Noodle Nice Pork Shoyu (New Version) - Japan

Some of the solid ingredients from the cup.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts, spring onion, shichimi togarashi, and chashu pork. The noodles have an excellent texture which I think is leaps and bounds over the standard Cup Noodle noodle. The broth has a nice shoyu taste and carries a rich and thick character which I find extraordinarily pleasing despite its healthy restrictions. Included seasoned minced pork, egg, and vegetables bounce to life – the pork tastes good as do the vegetables – which have a nice crunch. Really impressed yet again! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.  JAN bar code 4902105246603.

#3024: Nissin Cup Noodle Nice Pork Shoyu (New Version) - Japan

Nissin Japanese Cup Noodle Ramen Standard Soy Sauce 10p set

Watch me cook this one up on an episode of 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!

Unboxing Time: Lowering Your Sodium Intake With Nutek Food Science Salt For Life

Unboxing Time: Lowering Your Sodium Intake With Nutek Food Science Salt For Life

A couple years ago, I was contacted by a company in the Midwest called NuTek Food Science. They noticed I reviewed a lot of instant noodles and thought I might be interested in learning about what they do. They flew me to Omaha, Nebraska to their HQ and I did a blind taste test between foods containing their sodium lowering product and ones with regular salt. I was immediately impressed. This is an unboxing of their consumer product – let’s check it out!

Nutek Food Science Salt For Life – United States

I should mention there’s a video and post I did about the visit to their HQ here. Thanks to everyone at NuTek Food Science for making this and sending me some more!

Unboxing Time: Lowering Your Sodium Intake With Nutek Food Science Salt For Life

Salt for Life Sea Salt Plus Potassium Blend, 15.2 Ounce

#2703: Kenko Foods Genmai (Brown Rice) Ramen

#2703: Kenko Foods Genmai (Brown Rice) Ramen - Umai Crate - Japan Crate

Today, we have one that was part of Japan Crate’s Umai Crate. So Japan Crate is a subscription service which has all sorts of different options for you. pretty neat stuff from Japan! There’s a coupon code for you too – just use THERAMENRATER to get a special discount at check out.

So here’s what the folks at Japan Crate had to say about this variety – “Kenko Foods is back with a healthy ramen to enjoy! Genmai ramen is made from brown rice which offers the fiber and benefits of the whole grain but the delicious taste of ramen.”

Alright – Genmai ramen time! Let’s go!

Kenko Foods Genmai Ramen – Japan

#2703: Kenko Foods Genmai (Brown Rice) Ramen - Umai Crate - Japan Crate

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Unsure whether it contains meat but guessing it has fish. To prepare, add noodle block to 500ml boiling water and cook 2~3 minutes. Add in sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#2703: Kenko Foods Genmai (Brown Rice) Ramen - Umai Crate - Japan Crate

The noodle block. You can see little dark flecks throughout from the rice.

#2703: Kenko Foods Genmai (Brown Rice) Ramen - Umai Crate - Japan Crate

The powder base sachet.

#2703: Kenko Foods Genmai (Brown Rice) Ramen - Umai Crate - Japan Crate

A fluffy concoction.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo organic mung bean sprouts, spring onion, narutomaki, corn and shichimi togarashi. I didn’t expect to enjoy these noodles as much I did, to be honest. They’re very hearty and chewy which is a big plus in my book. The broth was pretty good – Kind of a miso thing going on – not bad at all. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. JAN bar code 4973044020067.

#2703: Kenko Foods Genmai (Brown Rice) Ramen - Umai Crate - Japan Crate

Healthy Ramen Noodle Cookbook for Everyday Life: Fun and Tasty Kimchi Ramen Recipes – The Ultimate Ramen Noodle Cookbook

Unboxing Time With The Ramen Rater – here’s me cracking open the November 2017 Umai Crate by Japan Crate

#2390: Nissin Rice Vermicelli Pickled Vegetable Pork Flavour

#2390: Nissin Rice Vermicelli Pickled Vegetable Pork Flavour - Hong Kongh - The Ramen Rater - rice vermicelli

So here’s yet another variety from Nissin Foods Hong Kong. Indeed, they sent a massive amount of varieties for Meet The Manufacturer! This one’s a rice vermicelli for the health conscious. Here’s a little info about rice vermicelli from wikipedia:

Rice vermicelli are a thin form of rice noodles.[1] They are sometimes referred to as rice noodles, rice sticks, or bee hoon, but they should not be confused with cellophane noodles, which are an Asian type of vermicelli made from mung bean starch rather than rice.

I’m unsure if anyone would call rice stick rice vermicelli. Rice stick is literally like a stick while the vermicelli is very thin and wispy. Let’s check out this rice vermicelli from Nissin Hong Kong!

Nissin Rice Vermicelli Pickled Vegetable Pork Flavour – Hong Kong

#2390: Nissin Rice Vermicelli Pickled Vegetable Pork Flavour - Hong Kongh - The Ramen Rater - rice vermicelli

Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Contains pork. To prepare, add in sachets (except the pickled vegetables sachet) and boiling water to fill line. Let steep for 3 minutes. Add in pickled vegetables sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#2390: Nissin Rice Vermicelli Pickled Vegetable Pork Flavour - Hong Kongh - The Ramen Rater - rice vermicelli

Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).

#2390: Nissin Rice Vermicelli Pickled Vegetable Pork Flavour - Hong Kongh - The Ramen Rater - rice vermicelli

The rice vermicelli block.

#2390: Nissin Rice Vermicelli Pickled Vegetable Pork Flavour - Hong Kongh - The Ramen Rater - rice vermicelli

The dry seasoning sachet.

#2390: Nissin Rice Vermicelli Pickled Vegetable Pork Flavour - Hong Kongh - The Ramen Rater - rice vermicelli

A fine powder.

#2390: Nissin Rice Vermicelli Pickled Vegetable Pork Flavour - Hong Kongh - The Ramen Rater - rice vermicelli

A dry vegetable sachet.

#2390: Nissin Rice Vermicelli Pickled Vegetable Pork Flavour - Hong Kongh - The Ramen Rater - rice vermicelli

Bok choy and red bell pepper.

#2390: Nissin Rice Vermicelli Pickled Vegetable Pork Flavour - Hong Kongh - The Ramen Rater - rice vermicelli

The pickled vegetables sachet/.

#2390: Nissin Rice Vermicelli Pickled Vegetable Pork Flavour - Hong Kongh - The Ramen Rater - rice vermicelli

Mustard greens.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added chashu pork. The rice vermicelli was a little chewier than most. Not in a bad way – just a little surprised. The broth was very nice. It had a good kind of pork taste to it and a creamy color like a form of tonkotsu. The pickled vegetable component’s mustard greens went very well with it. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4897878160075.

Betty Saw’s Best Noodle Recipe


A short and very quick history of instant noodles.

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Mr. Lee’s Noodles

Interview with Mr. Lee’s Noodles * Product Samples from Mr. Lee’s NoodlesMr. Lee’s Noodles Warrior Fighting ShrimpMr. Lee’s Noodles Hong Kong Street BeefMr. Lee’s Noodles Dragon Fire MushroomMr. Lee’s Noodles Tai Chi ChickenMr. Lee’s Noodles Shaolin Monk VegetablesMr. Lee’s Noodles Penang Chicken Curry Laksa

I was contacted by Kasia Bigda, Head of Marketing and Communications over at Mr. Lee’s Noodles a few months ago. They sounded like interesting products and I of course was keen on giving them a try. Mr. Lee’s Noodles seems to be going the way of many food products these days – convenience with healthiness in mind. I conducted this interview with the company’s founder, Dr. Damien Lee – here’s a little bio about him:

Bio: Damien Lee, MD and Founder of Mr Lee’s Noodles, an ex-Australian Special Forces, a former City headhunter, a single dad of two and stage 4 cancer survivor. In remission, having lost his latest start-up but cleaned up his diet to help beat cancer, he realised he loved noodles but hated all the nasty chemicals in them. So he created his own healthy, gluten-free pot noodle, which he’ll soon start selling on university campuses through high-tech Noodle Kiosks that look like giant smartphones (and also online). With our appetite for Asian streetfood on the rise and with his high-tech approach to sales, he’s definitely on trend.
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of Mr Lee’s?

MR. LEE’S NOODLES> The history of Mr Lee’s… Well we were founded in June 2015 incorporated here in the United Kingdom. The birth of the company in a sense was probably a little earlier than that, in fact I started really conceptualising the company back in April 2015 on the beach in Greece with the family. I was kind of contemplating what I was going to be doing with my life post recovery from my cancer treatment. I’d lost my previous start-up company while I spent a year recovering and going through my treatment, and going to Greece was my first break away post recovery to contemplate what do I do now. I’ve never been a part of the retail industry, so I wanted my noodles to not only be unique in flavour but also delivered in a unique way, and that’s when I also started thinking about our “noodle kiosk” vending machines.

So that’s where the business started and from there spent many months working on the business plan to finally beginning in June 2015.

TRR> What was the first product you made?

MR. LEE’S NOODLES> At the beginning we developed a number of soup flavours that we were experimenting with which is when I first found Andy Chu, our Macau born Executive Chef. We spent a lot of time in his kitchen trying out different soups from Penang Chicken Curry Laksa to Tai Chi Chicken and numerous, exciting flavours. So it was really our soups! The first flavour we discovered was Hong Kong Street Beef which is still one of my favourites today.

TRR> Your company is located in England. Can you tell us a little bit about your country?

MR. LEE’S NOODLES> Well our home country England is a very multicultural society with a population of about 65 million people. There are many different nations making up the demographic from Asia to the Middle East, from North America, Europeans and so on. It’s a progressive society so as you know, it has a good economy. Obviously now the UK has voted to leave the European Union, ‘Brexit’ they’re calling it, so by 2017 the UK will no longer be a part of it – which is an interesting one! I think there’s many things still to be seen but like anything we will get through that.

The climate here isn’t what I’d call barmy, but a typical summer day is about 23-25 Celsius, which I know sounds warm…But it’s rainy! I’m from Australia so to me it’s bit too cold. Thankfully we are based in Bournemouth which is a fantastic coastal town with a fantastic beach, so we can really make the most of the little Summer we have.

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

MR. LEE’S NOODLES> Yes! Today we have six launch flavours which all use gluten-free rice noodles. We have Dragon Fire Mushroom, Shaolin Monk Vegetables, Warrior Fighting Shrimp, Hong Kong Street Beef, Penang Chicken Curry Laksa and Tai Chi Chicken. Each of our noodle cups are named in a way that shows inspiration from authentic, oriental flavours.

Our noodles are all natural, as we don’t use any nasties or additives, preservatives or colours, absolutely nothing artificial goes into them – and one of our key features are freeze-dried ingredients, and lots of it. We tend to use anything up to 8g of freeze-dried ingredients in each of our flavours, and no other brand in the cup noodle range use such a high quality and quantity of vegetables or meats in their products.

TRR> How many noodle products do you produce each year?

MR. LEE’S NOODLES> It’s hard to say but I hope in the 10’s of millions! But that’s something we’ll aim for in the future. I’m hoping that in the first year post launch that we will be on target from 500 to a million soups, but beyond that I would see that curve going remarkably higher.

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

MR. LEE’S NOODLES> It differs firstly in the quality of the ingredients. We use very high quality ingredients from seasonings to freeze-dried vegetables, meat and a high end rice noodle made specifically for us. We are also one of the lowest cup noodles in sugar, salt, calories, fats (saturated) and so on but we also differ on a packing process in the way we mill our products.

Most, in fact all the other soup brands I know that already have the powders pre opened in the cup have their dehydrated ingredients all mixed in a pre-mix, before being poured into the cups along the production line. We don’t do that. We uniquely and precisely measure out the seasoning and the exact weight of each freeze-dried ingredients so we know exactly the amount going into each soup rather than a bulk powder. In other words, the freeze-dried may differ in quantity because you may get less mushroom or more broccoli for example. By measuring each ingredient we know that every soup will have the whole quality experience we expect to give them. It’s a more expensive process for us to pack the product but ultimately the whole user experience is more unique, precise and higher in quality.

TRR> Are rice noodles the only products you make?

MR. LEE’S NOODLES> At the present our brand uses exclusively rice noodles, but we will be developing another four products which will have a variety of wheat and egg noodles. We are also developing seven fantastic super-food boosts and three taste enhancing condiments that you can mix into our soups from our vending machines. We have tamari soy sauce, sesame oils, chilly oils – a whole bunch of wonderful high quality products that you will be able to buy and personalise!

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?

MR. LEE’S NOODLES> Our product is very low in salt and we try not to add additional salts aside from the natural salts in our noodles. We tend to use seaweed vs sodium which is obviously a natural salt not a processed one, and using sea salts which are more expensive but are much better for the buyer. We work on having as little salt as possible in each of our soups. If you tend to look at our sodium values in our nutritional guides you will see our soups compared to many others is one of the lowest you’ll find.

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

MR. LEE’S NOODLES> Absolutely! Our brand ethos and values are all about giving back to the community, we are not a brand that takes, we need to give back. We are working on three pillars that we believe in called ‘HEY’ – health, education and youth. So we will be looking to identify programs within these sectors that we as an organisation can help contribute towards or maybe develop programs with. For example, we work with the Bournemouth Hospital Leukemia Foundation and with local University students, and we continue to identify other charities we can engage with and give back to the community in our own little way.

TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?

MR. LEE’S NOODLES> For sure, as I mentioned previously we are in the process of developing a protein boost range. We are also developing four more soup flavours including a vegan option to enhance our current range of six flavours, so I plan by the New Year to have a ten soup line-up.

TRR> In what countries are your products popular? Do people enjoy them differently in different places?

MR. LEE’S NOODLES> Well because we are a new brand it is a little early to say, I hope our home country the UK will be very, very popular if not the number 1! We’ve already sent our first 30,000 cups to Denmark, Scandinavia, where we are going into four hotel chains out there so I think that will be a very big market for us. We plan to be going into the US in the New Year as well, so it’s hard to say but I hope we are going to be a global brand very soon!

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

MR. LEE’S NOODLES> Oh for me I love spicy! I just love chillies and hot food with chicken and really nice fresh, crunchy vegetables. I’ll really mix it up and try lots of things because I like to experiment with fresh produce. Also different types of noodles, but the key is the sauces to really get those flavours and spices and herbs. That’s the art of noodles.

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about Mr Lee’s and your products!

I want to thank Kasia and Damien for making this Meet The Manufacturer happen! Let’s tuck in and give these new products a try, shall we?

#2018: Pulmuone Noodles With Spicy Oyster Soup

Another one from Colin – thanks again! So Pulmuone is considered a ‘healthful’ brand in South Korea. As you can see, these are non-fried noodles. Let’s look within and see what else we find.

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains fish. To prepare, add everything but the sachet with the oyster on it to 2 1/4 cups boiling water and cook for 4 1/2 minutes. Take off heat and stir in contents of sachet with oyster shown on it. Enjoy!

The noodle block.

The dry soup base sachet.

A lot of powder!

The oyster flavoring sachet.

Has a strong oyster scent.

The vegetables sachet.

A very nice quantity. I believe that Pulmuone has their own farms where they produce vegetables for their products.

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Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion. The noodles were decent – chewy with a kind of gelatinous outer coat with a firm inned core. The broth was definitely oyster and spicy. I would say that the spicy kind of overwhelms the oyster slightly – I think it it were toned down just a pinch it would be better. The vegetables were superb – nice variety and very good quality down to the little pepper rings. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.  EAN bar code 8801114124291.

Non-fried Ramyun Noodle 3.7 Oz Each – Pack of 8 (Spicy Oyster Soup)

A Pulmuone TV commercial.

#1947: Prima Taste Singapore Laksa Wholegrain La Mian

So Prima Taste has recently come out with wholegrain varieties. It was explained to me that wholegrain noodles can tend to be brittle or crumbly – so to prevent this, Prima has created a superfine powder. Indeed, the curry whole grain la mian was absolutely wonderful stuff! The noodles were perfect and had a kind of rustic, artisan kind of character to them. The point of wholegrain noodles is to promote a healthier alternative to white flour. Not only that, these are not fried noodles. Instant noodles are now starting to attempt to please the consumer with more healthy options. Pretty cool! I’m very curious how this laksa does! Let’s dig in and find out!

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains shrimp. To prepare, add the sachet contents to 500ml water and bring to a boil. Add in the noodle block and simmer for 7 minutes. Stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The first of two huge sachets: the laksa paste.

Has an elegant shrimp scent along with other spices.

The second sachet…

A very aromatic quantity of coconut powder.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Dodo fish ball and carved squid. These noodles are just amazing – they have a kind of rustic and artisan kind of heartiness to them. I get asked ‘if you had to pick one and you were going to be banished to a desert island’ – well, these are contenders. The broth is simply mind blowing with a wonderful rich laksa flavor – a nice amount of heat and layers of flavor. This is what it’s all about for me. This is perfection. I like it even better than the original. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 8886350067854.

Prima Taste Laksa La Mian, 185g, (Pack of 6)

A recipe for a more indulgent version of Prima Taste Wholegrain Laksa.

#1175: Healtimie Green Barley Noodle Milk Chicken Soup

Here’s something new – green barley noodles. I’ve had noodles that were green from a myriad of ingredients before (wonder if someday there’ll be blue?). These are supposed to be for the health conscious. Let’s check ’em out!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Looks to be meat-free but look for yourself.

A green noodle block.

The soup base sachet.

Contains non-dairy creamer.

The solid ingredient sachet.

Interesting myriad of bits and pieces.

The liquid sachet. Chili sauce on left, seasoned oil on right.

A thick sauce and thin seasoned oil.

 

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added Walla Walla sweet onion, red, yellow, and orange bell pepper, hard boiled egg and baked chicken with garlic salt. The noodles are interesting; they’re broad and flat and have an interesting texture. Aside from being green, the oddness ends – they have a nice taste. The broth is great – milky and has a nice balance of spiciness and chicken flavor. As far as health minded instants go, this is probably the best I’ve tried. 4.25 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 8888327831093.

Here’s an ad for Healtimie.