Here’s one I found up in Canada at FoodyWorld – a huge grocery store which has something from everywhere in Asia. Thai curry eh? I’m game! Never have I seen this brand before – excellent! Let’s give it a look!
Picnic Hot & Rich Curry Flavoured Instant Noodles – Thailand
Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo organic mung bean sprouts, hard boiled egg, carved squid, Dodo fishball and coriander. The noodles hydrated a little weird. Thai instants often have a neat crumble to them I like a lot. However in this application, the crumble is paired with a slightly large gauge which kin of kills it for me. The broth on the other hand is great – nice heat level and tasty curry. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 8857056004573.
On August 25th, 1958, Momofuku Ando’s mission of creating the instant noodle was complete. Today we mark the 60th anniversary of the birth of its invention.
Here’s a cooking video I made – the 50th installment of my series Instant Noodle Recipe Time. It’s funny; twice I hit landmarks on my birthday – review 1000 and 2000 both fell – quite unintentionally – on my birthday. This time, my 50th episode falls on the series’ namesake’s birthday.
Here you are (click to enlarge). Feel free to comment below and wish instant noodles as happy 60th birthday!
Here’s one I dragged back to the United States from Taiwan. I know I’ve seen close to the same thing here in the USA, but I wanted to see if the non-export version could be better. I have a feeling it will be. Here’s a little info about braising from Wikipedia –
Braising (from the French word braiser) is a combination-cooking method that uses both wet and dry heats: typically, the food is first seared at a high temperature, then finished in a covered pot at a lower temperature while sitting in some (variable) amount of liquid (which may also add flavor). Braising of meat is often referred to as pot roasting, though some authors make a distinction between the two methods, based on whether additional liquid is added.
Braising relies on heat, time, and moisture to break down the tough connective tissue (collagen) that binds together the muscle fibers collectively called meat, making it an ideal way to cook tougher, more affordable cuts. Many classic braised dishes (e.g., coq au vin) are highly evolved methods of cooking tough and otherwise unpalatable foods. Both pressure cooking and slow cooking (e.g., crockpots) are forms of braising.
Okay so braised beef that I’ve had is truly wonderful stuff; tender and tasty with a bit of sweetness to it usually. Well, let’s give this a try!
Ve Wong Instant Noodles Braised Beef Flavor – Taiwan
Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains beef. To prepare, I see that it just mentions just add water. I referenced a couple sites and going with 500ml boiling water is the standard to follow. So, add noodles and sachet contents to 500ml boiling water and cook for 2~3 minutes. Finally, stir and enjoy!
The noodle block.
The soup base sachet.
Powder and vegetable.
A seasoned oil sachet (aka the ‘sauce bag’).
Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion and beef. The noodles are great – fluffy and springy and happy. The broth has a kind of braised beef taste with a decent level of oiliness. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4710008211129.
Alright kiddie, hold onto your butts! So we have something here I had to review the day after I got it; not because it was going to expire but because I was a little wary of storing it. Why’s that? Well, first off I got this up in Canada at Osaka Market at Yaohan Centre in Richmond, BC. I’d just returned from my trip to Taiwan, my jet lag now gone (for the most part). I had some leftover Taiwanese currency and the Kingmark Currency Exchange doesn’t charge for exchanging which is nice. I converted it so I could treat my family to some wheel cake and milk tea at a little Taiwanese shop at the centre.
I had NO INTENTION OF GETTING ANY NOODLES. PERIOD. I have so many noodles at this point and have to pare down my stock on hand as soon as possible because there’s more coming all the time! Well, we wandered into Osaka Market and their usual big display of fancy imports was replaced by Christmastime cookies and treats. We then hit the noodle aisle and I saw some things I didn’t have, but I held back. So far so good. Then my wife Kit spotted a couple things. One was a Yuzu Cup Noodle that was pretty cheap so went for that. The other was this strange bowl.
My first impression: it was heavy. The second was that I noticed something mentioning ‘self-cooking.’ So I thought this is unique so went for it. Let’s look inside and see what’s going on here.
1. Open the box, remove the upper layer, tear off the sauce bag and chives bag, and pour them into the upper layer. 2. Tear off the vermicelli bag and vegetable bag, and put them into the upper layer, and stir and mix them together. 3. Add water into the upper layer, but not over the edge of the layer (hot water recommend for the better favor). 4. Open the self-heating package bag, and put the self-heating package into lower layer, add cold water until the self-heating package soaked totally. 5. Put the upper layer on the top, and cover the lid, wait 8 minutes or more and enjoy the hotpot. CAUTION: THE HOT STEAMING AND PREVENT FROM BURNING HURT.
Okay – a couple interesting things here. I do want to avoid the burning hurt when at all possible. Another is that this has a self-heating package that works via a chemical reaction in the lower level of the packaging. Wow – so this stuff literally cooks itself. Fascinating!
Here’s the distribution/import sticker (click to enlarge). Note the numbers here – 72 calories and over 9000mg of sodium. Judging by the 46% RDA on this, I’m guessing it’s 915.6mg – that’s more logical. But only 72 calories for this thing? That seems a little suspect. But let’s continue on after noting the name of the distributor – JC Bunny Bunny!
This is the fascinating item – the heating bag. When cold water is introduced, it starts a chemical reaction which brings the heat – apparently enough to cook this product. I’m really very curious about this – never have I seen such a thing in an instant noodle before. What gets me though is that it recommends using cold water in the lower tray with this and hot water in the upper tray with the food. If you need hot water to make this, why not just cook it with the hot water you’ve already prepared? But hey, this will be fun.
Finished (click to enlarge). This was quite an experience. Definitely, watch the video where I cook this up. As for the vermicelli, it was cooked nicely. The broth was exceedingly spicy and just buzzing of Sichuan pepper. A little too much acidity going on for my taste. The vegetables did alright – all in all definitely a hot pot of noodles! 2.25 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 6952395703353.
Today, I’m happy to be unboxing some samples from Maruchan!
Unboxing Time: Samples From Maruchan – United States
Maruchan has recently come out with some new additions to a couple of their ranges. Two new bowls from Taste Of Asia and a new Instant Lunch. Check out the video as I unbox them for your viewing pleasure! Thank you very much to Maruchan Consumer Affairs for sending these my way – really appreciate it!
Here’s one sent by Colin from Massachusetts – thanks again! So I don’t usually get thrilled with instant noodles that are mushroom flavored. Mushroom can be hit or miss and usually I find mushroom to be a little funky. Let’s give it a try with an open mind.
Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add everything to a bowl and add 350ml boiling water. Cover for 3 minutes. Finally, stir and enjoy!
The noodle block.
A dry base sachet.
Looks like powder and mushrooms.
A seasoned oil sachet.
An oily concoction.
Finished (click to enlarge). The noodles are thin and a bit crumbly. The broth is sickeningly sweet with a mushroom taste and pieces of mushroom here and there. Truly, this is my kryptonite. 0.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 073217060068.
This pepper duck variety was sent by Colin from Massachusetts – thanks again! It really took me a long time to warm up to duck. I think honestly the reason being was the fact that I never had the real thing until I went to Asia. Indeed, I’ve had duck in Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan and it’s definitely been a highlight of those trips. It’s got a strong flavor which is definitely one a lot of people might not be familiar with (like myself in the past). I would say that the best term for it is rich.
Here’s a little snippet about a particular kind of duck from Wikipedia –
The duck is first marinates for several hours with a rub containing a typical combination of whole or crushed Sichuan pepper, huangjiu or baijiu (fermented or distilled Chinese wine), ginger, garlic, and salt, with much of it rubbed inside the cavity of the duck. For intensity of taste, sometimes the marinade rub has choujiu, black pepper, tea leaves, and camphor leaves. Following the marination, the duck is quickly blanched in hot water to tighten the skin, and then towel and air dried. This step ensures that the skin of the duck has a crisp texture upon completion. A wok is then prepare for smoking the duck with black tea leaves and camphor twigs and leaves. Following a smoke treatment of approximately 10–15 minutes, the duck is then steamed for another 10 minutes before being deep fried in vegetable oil until its skin is crisp.
The duck is consumed wrapped in clam-shaped buns called Gua bao (割包).
So when I ate duck in Taiwan, they bring it out on a cart and carve it while a waitress gives a short speech about how amazing it is. Duck seems to be for special and auspicious occasions! Let’s give this pepper duck flavor a try.
Sau Tao Instant Noodle King Pepper Duck Soup Flavour – Hong Kong
Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains fish and crustacea. To prepare, add noodle block to 600ml boiling water and cook for 90 seconds. Take off heat and add in sachet contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!
The noodle block.
A dry base sachet.
A powder with flecks of vegetable.
The liquid base sachet.
Thick and oily.
Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion, sesame chilli oil and Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts. The noodles have that nice chewy Hong Kong style to them, kind of like wonton noodles. The broth has a nice taste and just screams for duck. I mean, it begs for duck. So much so that I swear a flock of them that live in the swimming pool here started waddling this way to hop in the bowl. Authentic and tasty. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 087303862740.
Black pepper flavor is popular in Singapore. Indeed, black pepper crab is one of those signature dishes over there. Moreover, it makes sense with it’s location – here’s some on the history of the spice from Wikipedia –
Pepper is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia and has been known to Indian cooking since at least 2000 BCE. J. Innes Miller notes that while pepper was grown in southern Thailand and in Malaysia, its most important source was India, particularly the Malabar Coast, in what is now the state of Kerala Peppercorns were a much-prized trade good, often referred to as “black gold” and used as a form of commodity money. The legacy of this trade remains in some Western legal systems which recognize the term “peppercorn rent” as a form of token payment for something that is in fact being given.
The ancient history of black pepper is often interlinked with that of long pepper, the dried fruit of closely related Piper longum. The Romans knew of both and often referred to either as just “piper”. In fact, it was not until the discovery of the New World and of chili peppers that the popularity of long pepper entirely declined. Chili peppers, some of which when dried are similar in shape and taste to long pepper, were easier to grow in a variety of locations more convenient to Europe.
Before the 16th century, pepper was being grown in Java, Sunda, Sumatra, Madagascar, Malaysia, and everywhere in Southeast Asia. These areas traded mainly with China, or used the pepper locally. Ports in the Malabar area also served as a stop-off point for much of the trade in other spices from farther east in the Indian Ocean.
Let’s check out this variety!
KOKA Delight Spicy Black Pepper Flavor Instant Non-Fried Noodles – Singapore
Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains fish and crustacea. To prepare, add noodles to 300ml boiling water and cook 2~3 minutes. Remove from heat and add powder and oil Stir. Finally, sprinkle garnish on top and enjoy!
The noodle block.
A dual sachet/.
A light powder.
The garnish sachet.
Fried onion, bell pepper and coriander.
Finished (click to enlarge). Added Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts and coriander. The noodles come out nicely – good gauge and chew. A lot of the time, a ‘healthier’ noodle isn’t as good as the regular, but this is one case in which it’s just right. The flavor is definitely a black pepper with a little spiciness to it. The included garnish adds a very nice crispy crunch and is a perfect accompaniment. This is very impressive to me. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 8888056000234.
Another one sent by Colin. I haven’t had any of this brand in quite some time! I should also say I’ve not had an onion flavor instant in quite a while too. Very curious about this one – let’s have a look! NOTE – I just was looking for info on this one and as it turned out, I reviewed it in 2010! It was review #99. I’ll still slap a new number on this one though. What’s funny is if you look at the packaging on it from back then, it says ‘New.’ It still says new! I’m sorry, but this isNOT new.
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 sachet contents to a bowl and add 400ml boiling water. Cover for 3-5 minutes. stir and enjoy!
The noodle block.
The dry base sachet.
A powder flecked with herbs.
An oil sachet.
Has an onion scent.
Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion. The nice and comfortable – pretty good. The broth was a definitely onion flavored one – and it really is strong onion. Kind of like I said in a previous review – this is like Funyuns soup! On this go around over six years later, the package still says new and the flavor seems a bit better. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4710008211686.
Yet another left over from the Nissin HK Meet The Manufacturer! Slowly getting these all done – so many SKUs! This is one big bowl of tonkotsu! let’s get to it!
Nissin Demae Iccho Tonkotsu Flavour Instant Noodle (Bowl Noodle) – Hong Kong
Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Contains pork. To prepare, add sachets market 1 and boiling water to fill line. Cover for 3 minutes and stir. Add in liquid sachet and pickled vegetables. Stir and enjoy!
Finished (click to enlarge). Added chashu pork, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts and spring onion. The noodles got nice and plump and had a good soft chew to them. The broth was a bit of a disappointment to be honest; I like the light creamy tonkotsu over this one and it kind of has an off taste to it to me; more shoyu like. The vegetable bits hydrated well and featured bits of scrambled egg as well which were prevalent and of good quality. The pickled vegetables were nice. 3.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4897878120031.
Here’s yet another left from the Nissin Hong Kong Meet The Manufacturer – thanks again! Today it’s the cup version of their black garlic oil tonkotsu. Indeed, black garlic is an interesting thing – here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it –
Loose seasoning and solid ingredients from the cup.
The oil sachet (attached to the lid).
That’s some dark, black oil!
Finished (click to enlarge). Added spring onion, Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts and chashu pork. To begin with, the noodles are decent – nice chewiness and big quantity for a cup. Next, the broth has a hearty tonkotsu taste. Moreover, the broth has a very nice look to it; creamy but with the oil giving it a unique look as well. Indeed, the garlic oil gives it a little extra tastiness which is nice. Finally, bits of vegetable, egg and pork abound! 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4897878150083.
Another variety from Nissin Hong Kong, leftover from an earlier Meet The Manufacturer. This is interesting – it’s not just spicy or spicy hot, this one’s red hot! Let’s see if it’s red – and hot! time cook cook!
Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge ). Contains fish and crustacean. To prepare, add boiling water to fill line and cover for 3 minutes. Add contents of liquid sachet. stir and enjoy!
Finished (click to enlarge). The noodles hydrated well and just a hint of sponginess but it worked here. The broth was a seafood and spicy kind of thing which was pretty good. I liked the included bits of seafood and veggies which were hydrated well. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4897878150045.