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Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Hakubaku USA – United States

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Hakubaku USA - United States

nterview With Hakubaku USA * Product Samples From Hakubaku USA (1 of 2) * Product Samples From Hakubaku (2 of 2) * Hakubaku Tonkotsu Pork Flavor RamenHakubaku Baby UdonHakubaku Mochi BarleyHakubaku Baby SomenHakubaku Shoyu Soy Sauce Flavor Ramen

As it often happens, I got an email from a company asking me if I would like to try their products. I’d never heard of Hakubaku – which was great – new is good! I tried their ramen, but have found out about their other products, one of which I’ve started enjoying almost daily at this point. I decided to invite Hakubaku to participate in Meet The Manufacturer, they accepted, and here we are. Let’s start with an interview with Mike Tsuda, VP Operations, Hakubaku USA to find out more about this interesting company.

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Hakubaku USA – United States

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of Hakubaku? Who started it and why?

HAKUBAKU> Hakubaku USA is a subsidiary of Hakubaku Japan. Hakubaku Japan was founded in 1941 by Jyutaro Nagasawa. Since the foundation and through 70 years of company history, we have been deeply involved with grains and grain-process products, and strive to passionately create an impressive value of grain product including taste, convenience, fun, unexpected quality, and richness.

TRR> Why the name Hakubaku – what does it mean?

HAKUBAKU> Our company name [Hakubaku] means white barley in Japanese. The name comes from the product called [Hakubaku mai] white rice shaped barley by removing the black crease running down the center of each barley grain. It has been our company founders passion since 1953 to promote nutritious barley rice and make it in a more enjoyable form.

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

HAKUBAKU> We have noodle factories in Japan and Australia and make all varieties of Japanese style noodles, such as Ramen, Udon, Soba (Buckwheat noodles), Somen and Hiyamugi in both fresh and dried style.

TRR> Tell us about where your company is located.

HAKUBAKU> Hakubaku USA is located in Costa Mesa CA. Our noodle factories are in Nagano and Yamanashi prefectures of Japan and in Victoria Australia, where we have access to fine ingredients and water.

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

HAKUBAKU> We are very particular about ingredients, taste, and safety. All the fine and rich ingredients are carefully chosen and well balanced in traditional recipes dating back to 1941. Specifically our noodle for our ramen kits are soft and fresh, never fried – produced without preservatives. Our restaurant-fresh ramen product contains noodles that we produce in Japan. Unlike most fried-and-dried instant ramen, our noodles are soft and made with the best Japanese wheat for that chewy texture you expect from a ramen noodle

TRR> Your noodles appear as fresh noodles but don’t need refrigeration – how is this possible?

HAKUBAKU> It’s really our trade secret – It is Hakubaku’s manufacturing technology and knowledge/experiences make it possible and really sets us apart. Our noodles in our ramen sets are made without preservatives and MSG, yet are still soft and fresh.

TRR> How do you decide on what varieties to produce?

HAKUBAKU> There is a team of people thinking of ramen all the time – develop these ideas through product development meetings and fine tuning our product through lots of testing at our product development kitchen.

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

HAKUBAKU> A lot if you total in all varieties and all our different factories! We produce noodles as listed above and produce limited production runs based on demand or season in Japan. For now, our restaurant-fresh ramen sets are so new – we will have to wait and see if we can do the same in the USA!

TRR> Apart from noodles, are there other products you produce or plan to produce?

HAKUBAKU> Hakubaku produces grain-related products, such as pearled barley, mixed grains, barley and grain tea, pancake flours. We carry decaffeinated barley tea- because after all , we are a grain company! And we produce 16-grain mixes that add nutritional benefit to any rice dish.

TRR> Can you suggest pairings for your products, like meats, seafood or vegetables?

HAKUBAKU> We suggest adding a poached egg, green onions, some meats (Chashu of course!) or Tofu and veggies of your choosing. We have a recipe page section on our website that shows what kind of toppings you can add to your ramen. We even have recipes for creating “dry” ramen meals! There are so many uses from wet to stir-fry to just random ways you can use our ramen sets.

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?

HAKUBAKU> Our no-MSG and preservative-free ramen pairs well with varieties of ingredients, we suggest adding lots of veggies and other ingredients you like to create your own healthy ramen. Also you can reduce the amount of salt intake by leaving some soup instead of using all of it. Some of our recipes are vegetarian based and you can always use vegetable stock as part of the broth to make it a Lacto-ovo vegetarian meal. (animal by-products like egg, but not meat)

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

HAKUBAKU> Hakubaku USA donates products to local events and communities a few times a year to help to reduce food insecurities here in the USA. As part of our mission as a grain evangelist we act locally, but think globally trying to spread the value of a healthy Japanese diet.

TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?

HAKUBAKU> Yes, just wait until you see what is coming! We are just getting started and will be launching more items and flavors in the near future.

TRR> In what countries are your products available?

HAKUBAKU> Fresh ramen is available in Japan and the US only for now. Other dried noodles are available in North America, some countries in Europe and Asia.

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

HAKUBAKU> Personally, I love to add a few drops of oil – sesame or hand-made onion oil for Shoyu flavor and chili oil with crunchy garlic –makes my bowl special. Yum!

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about Hakubaku and your products!

HAKUBAKU> Thanks for what you are doing! Hope this helps to educate your audience just a little more about what we are doing here at Hakubaku-USA! We invite everyone to be their own ramen artist. Be traditional, be creative – make it your own!

For more info, visit http://hakubaku-usa.com

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Suimin – Australia

Interview With Suimin * Product Samples From SuiminSuimin Origins Premium Noodle Bowl Seafood Laksa FlavourSuimin Origins Premium Noodle Bowl Beef Massaman FlavourSuimin Origins Premium Noodle Bowl Thai Green Curry Flavour

I was digging around on Instagram one day and I came across a few varieties that piqued my interest. Ones from Suimin of Australia that looked very good! Well, I contacted them and they were keen on doing a Meet The Manufacturer series, and so here we are. This is an interview I conducted with Ann-Marie Azzurro, Marketing Coordinator for Suimin.

Interview With Suimin – Australia

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers
about the history of Suimin?

SUIMIN> Suimin has been producing cup and bowl noodles for over 20 years, so we are
very proud of our heritage and longevity. Suimin first started out producing
noodle cups, and then branched out into producing a variety of noodle bowls.
Nowadays, Suimin produces both cups and bowls, and most recently introduced
a premium noodle bowl – Suimin Origins.
Suimin noodles is a brand that aims to bring to life the exquisite flavours of the
Orient. By creating traditional Asian style flavours and using authentic pastes and
ingredients, Suimin takes your tastebuds on a flavour adventure straight from
your pantry in the convenience of your own home, work or outdoors.

TRR> Why the name Suimin?

SUIMIN> Suimin is actually the Japanese word for sleep – but our noodles won’t put you to
sleep. It is just a name that works and is a good fit for an authentic noodle brand.
After 20 years in the market, I think we have made a good choice on the name as
consumers love Suimin.

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

SUIMIN> All Suimin noodles use a traditional wheat ramen noodles as their base. Our 70g
Suimin Noodle Cups include a traditional broth base and are available in 9
flavours – Braised Beef, Chicken, Chicken and Sweet Corn, Curried Prawn, Hot
and Spicy, Mi Goreng, Oriental Chicken, Prawn and Chicken and Spicy Thai. We
also make a 110g noodle bowl using traditional Thai pastes, which are available
in 3 varieties – Tom Yum, Red Curry and Coconut Chicken. Most recently, our
Suimin Origins Premium Noodle Bowls made with real authentic ingredients (i.e.
herbs, spices, coconut, chilli and traditional Thai pastes) are available in three
flavours – Beef Massaman, Thai Green Curry and Seafood Laksa. Some of our
noodle products are also vegan and vegetarian suitable for those who follow a
specific diet.

TRR> Your company is located in Australia. Can you tell us a little about your
locale?

SUIMIN> Suimin is located in Adelaide, South Australia. Adelaide is a smaller Australian
capital city with a populati
state of Australia with some of the best produce being exported around the world.
In South Australia we have the most beautiful beaches, rugged outback deserts
and picturesque regional towns. South Australia is also known for some of the
most poisonous snakes and spiders in Australia plus the enormous great white
sharks. However, that doesn’t bother us because Adelaide and South Australia
are one of the most beautiful places, not just in Australia, but in the world.

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

SUIMIN> This is hard to comment on as we don’t know the processes that other
manufacturers use, so we just focus on making our noodles the best they can
be…and you’ve tried them and rated them pretty highly, so we must be doing
something right 😊

TRR> How do you decide on what varieties to produce?

SUIMIN> As a brand, Suimin is continually striving to understand the needs of consumers
and monitor the instant noodle market. By understanding the current trends, we
research and develop flavours that we believe will be enjoyed by our consumers
that stay true to our brand identity. Our product developers love noodles and
ramen so it is really fun sourcing new flavours that will be true to the authentic
tastes of Asia. It’s kinda a dream job for a ramen rater 😊

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

SUIMIN> Too many to count on one hand. Suimin produces 15 different types of noodle
cups and bowls that are stocked nationally in major supermarkets in Australia
and New Zealand, so that’s a lot of noodles that get shipped around the country
and overseas.

TRR> Apart from noodles, are there other products you produce or plan to
produce?

SUIMIN> Suimin specialises in noodles and we are continually looking to develop new
flavours and noodle varieties.

TRR> Can you suggest pairings for your products, like meats, seafood or
vegetables?

SUIMIN> One of the nice things about ramen is that in this delicious broth you can have a
variety of textures that make the eating experience fun and enjoyable. Slices of
chicken, beef, tofu or mushrooms add protein and texture, while bean shoots add
crunch. Asian green vegetables such as bok choy or pak choy have the wilted
green leaf but the crunch of the white stem. It just depends on the flavour you
choose and what is in your fridge. Also, fresh herbs such as Thai basil or
coriander (Cilantro) are the best, as not only do they add texture but they really
elevate a simple bowl of noodles into something extra special.

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?

SUIMIN> Adding freshly cooked vegetables and protein can create a better for you meal
alternative. However, everything needs to be eaten in moderation as part of a
balanced diet.

TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?
We are constantly looking for new products. Our fans will have to keep an eye on
Suimin Noodles through Facebook, Instagram and our website.

TRR> In what countries are your products available?

SUIMIN> Our noodles are currently available in Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan, but
we are looking to expand further.

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

SUIMIN> If I am after a quick meal or snack, I prefer to eat the noodles as they are, but if I
am after a more substantial meal, I like to add a meat (generally chicken),
steamed bok choy, chilli oil and sliced spring onions. But the possibilities are
endless!

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about Suimin and your products!

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Sanyo Foods Corp Of America

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Sanyo Foods Corp Of America

Interview With Sanyo Foods Corp Of America * Product Samples From Sanyo Foods Corp Of America (1 of 2)Product Samples From Sanyo Foods Corp Of America (2 of 2)Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Original Flavored SoupSapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Original Flavored SoupSapporo Ichiban Shrimp Flavor Oriental Noodle Soup * Sapporo Ichiban Miso RamenSapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Beef Flavored SoupSapporo Ichiban Chicken Flavor Oriental Noodle SoupSapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles Hot & Spicy Chicken Flavored SoupSapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Shrimp Flavored SoupSapporo Ichiban Original Flavor Oriental Noodle SoupSapporo Ichiban Shio Ramen Japanese Style NoodlesSapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles & Chicken Flavored SoupSapporo Ichiban Beef Flavor Oriental Noodle SoupSapporo Ichiban Chow MeinSapporo Ichiban Tonkotsu Ramen White Chicken Broth

I’ve aslways wanted to do Meet The Manufacturer series with all the major players in the instant noodle world – and especially the ones at home here in the Uniuted States. Well, today I’m happy to announce I’m one step closer to the latter of thos two goals. Today starts the Meet The Manufacturer series with Sanyo Foods Corp Of America, makers of the very well known Sapporo Ichiban range of products. I conducted this interview with Karin Umeda.

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers
about the history of Sanyo Foods?

SANYO FOODS> Sanyo Foods is a family-owned company that was established in Gunma
prefecture, Japan in 1953 by Fumio Ida and Takeshi Ida. They previously ran
a Japanese sake distribution business and eventually expanded to sell
instant noodles. Sanyo Foods Corp. of America was established in 1978 in
Garden Grove, California, and has been manufacturing Sapporo Ichiban
instant noodles in California for 40 years.

TRR> Why the name Sanyo? Why the name Sapporo Ichiban

SANYO FOODS> Sanyo means three oceans (San: Three, Yo: Ocean). At the time we started
the instant noodle business, we chose the name because we wanted our
company’s influence to span the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.
In the 1960s, Takeshi Ida, founder of Sanyo Foods, traveled around Japan to
discover great ramens from all over the country for his inspiration. One day,
he made a fateful encounter in Ramen Alley in Sapporo, Hokkaido. After, he
wanted to share the amazing taste with the customers all over the country
by creating a new instant noodle product. Since “Ichiban” means “No. 1” in
Japanese, he named the product “Sapporo Ichiban” to express the praise of
the most delicious ramen in Sapporo. This product has been a huge hit and
continues to be loved by many customers.

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

SANYO FOODS> We produce Sapporo Ichiban bag noodles and cup noodles. The varieties
for the pouch noodles are original(soy sauce flavor), chicken, beef, shrimp,
miso, shio, hot & spicy chicken, tonkotsu, and yakisoba chow mein. For the
cup noodles, we have original(soy sauce), chicken, beef and shrimp flavors.

TRR> Your company is located in the California as well as in Japan. Can you tell us
a little about your locale?

SANYO FOODS> Sanyo Foods Corp. of America is located in Garden Grove, California, 34
miles, about 45 minutes south of the city of Los Angeles. Mild weather
throughout a year, close to the beach cities and known for t he Garden
Grove Strawberry Festival, annually held over Memorial Day weekend.

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

SANYO FOODS> We are very particular about the ingredients. All the rich ingredients are
carefully chosen to make its unique and delicious taste of Sapporo Ichiban.

TRR> How do you decide on what varieties to produce?

SANYO FOODS> Sapporo Ichiban Original flavor, which is soy sauce flavor, is the most typical
flavor of Japanese food. When we developed the Sapporo Ichiban Chicken
flavor and the Beef flavor, we got ideas from the chicken soup and the beef
soup from Cambell’s Soup. The concept of Sapporo Ichiban Shrimp flavor is
influenced by Saimin, a noodle dish developed by different immigrant
groups in Hawaii.

TRR> Apart from noodles, are there other products you produce or plan to
produce?

SANYO FOODS> Noodles are the only products that we manufacture here since we open.

TRR> Can you suggest pairings for your products, like meats, seafood or
vegetables?

SANYO FOODS> One of the secrets behind the success of Sapporo Ichiban Ramen is that our
unique yet versatile soup and noodle combinations that work well with
many other ingredients. While it is delicious on its own, people can expand
the flavors of our ramen by adding their favorite ingredients such as
vegetables, meat or tofu.

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?

SANYO FOODS> Since Sapporo Ichiban goes well with varieties of ingredients, we
recommend to add lots of vegetables and other ingredients you love and
create your own healthy ramen.

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

SANYO FOODS> We donate our products to the local food bank a few times per year.

TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?

SANYO FOODS> Please wait until you see what is coming!

TRR> In what countries are your products available?

SANYO FOODS> Our products are available in United States, Canada, Mexico, Pacific Islands
(Guam, Saipan, Palau, etc.), and also some of the countries in South
America.

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

SANYO FOODS> A few drops of sesame oil make the Sapporo Ichiban Original more
flavorful, and Sapporo Ichiban Miso and butter are the perfect match for
rich and fatty soup lovers. If you like spicy, Sapporo Ichiban Miso and
Kimchi is also one of the most popular combinations.

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about Sanyo Foods and
your products!

 

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Mike’s Mighty Good Craft Ramen

Interview With Mike’s Mighty Good * Product Samples From Mike’s Mighty GoodMike’s Mighty Good Craft Ramen Fried Garlic Chicken Flavor Ramen SoupMike’s Mighty Good Craft Ramen Spicy Beef Flavor Ramen Soup * Mike’s Mighty Good Craft Ramen Savory Miso Ramen Soup * Mike’s Mighty Good Craft Ramen Vegetarian Vegetable Ramen Soup * Mike’s Mighty Good Craft Ramen Spicy Pork Tonkotsu Ramen Soup * Mike’s Mighty Good Craft Ramen Chicken Flavor Ramen Soup * Mike’s Mighty Good Craft Ramen Vegetarian Kimchi Ramen Soup * Mike’s Mighty Good Craft Ramen Pork Tonkotsu Ramen Soup * Mike’s Mighty Good Craft Ramen Beef Pho Ramen Soup

A couple of months ago, I found one thing:  lot of my readers wanted to learn more about Mike’s Mighty Good Craft Ramen. People were asking if I’d tried them and if I knew anything about them. Well, I had not and I figured the best way to find out about them is to try to get a Meet The Manufacturer series wityh them – and so I gave it a whirl. The folks at Mike’s Mighty Good were receptivbe tot eh idea, and here we are today starting a series, showcasing all of their products! I conducted an interview recently with Amy Jan, Social Media & Marketing Manager for Bright People Foods. To start this Meet The Manufacturer series, let’s begin with this interview.

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Mike’s Mighty Good Craft Ramen – United States

THE RAMEN RATER Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of Mike’s Mighty Good?

MIKE’S MIGHTY GOOD> Mike began his career in food by developing custom spice blends for artisanal food companies in the budding 1980s San Francisco Bay Area natural foods scene. He loved seeing how his blends transformed the food and loved the relationships he built. He eventually began Bright People Foods in 1998 and spent the next twenty years earning a reputation an innovator in California natural foods.

The idea for Mike’s Mighty Good® was born when Mike went to one of the best ramen bars in San Francisco. He sat down, selected his broth, noodles and toppings, then tried the first slurp of ramen. He was blown away by how delicious and rich the broth was and how delicious the noodles were. He loved how ramen bar ramen was a delicious palette for piling on fresh vegetables and protein. Mike asked, “Why doesn’t ramen from grocery stores taste like this?” He decided that someone needed to make craft ramen accessible to everyone with great ingredients and fantastic flavors and set out to do it.

Mike spent the next three years studying great ramen and how it was made. He traveled to Japan numerous times to find the best way to make the organic noodles he wanted. Mike quietly tasted new recipes of ramen until he had the insanely rich broths and noodles he envisioned.

At Mike’s Mighty Good, the term “Good” means a lot to us. We hope you enjoy every last slurp of our ramen and Savor The Good ™ that comes with it.

TRR> What was the first product you produced?

MIKE’S MIGHTY GOOD> We just launched in mid-2017 with our 9 introductory flavors, 5 of which are in pillow packs and 4 of which are in cups.

TRR> You refer to your products as ‘craft ramen.’ Can you elaborate?

MIKE’S MIGHTY GOOD> Mike’s Mighty Good is committed to helping you make world-class ramen anywhere. We’re proud to bring you insanely rich broths and perfect organic noodles every time. Our goal is to show you that with a few simple toppings, you can transform any bowl into a work of art. We put a lot of love into our ramen and are dedicated to bringing you the best products around. We craft our noodles from scratch each day and mix, steam, and dry them in house. Our ramen is made with simple non-gmo ingredients, an optional organic oil packet, and never any palm oil. Our cups also come from certified sustainably-managed forests. We know that you’ll love our products as much as we do and Savor The Good with each slurp.

TRR> Your company is located in the United States. Can you tell us a little about your locale?

Mike searched for a home for his ramen company across the US and finally decided to put his roots down in the town of Woodland, CA. Each batch of Mike’s Mighty Good products is made by Californians in Woodland using the best ingredients out there.

MIKE’S MIGHTY GOOD>  Can you tell us about the varieties of noodles you make?

We have a total of 9 different flavors that range from the comfort of chicken ramen to the spicier notes of our spicy beef, and spicy tonkotsu flavor. We even made options for the vegetarians and vegans out there with our vegetarian vegetable ramen as well as the kimchi ramen!

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

MIKE’S MIGHTY GOOD> Mike’s Mighty Good is about redefining instant ramen. We bring the quality and depth of flavor previously only found in the best ramen bars to everyone with simple, organic ingredients and amazing flavors. Our broths are rich and flavorful and our noodles are made from scratch. They’re also steamed and never fried.

TRR> Can you suggest pairings for your products, like meats or vegetables?

MIKE’S MIGHTY GOOD> We have a recipe page on our website that shows people what kind of toppings they can add to their ramen! We suggest adding a soft-boiled egg, green onions, some meat and veggies of your choosing!

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?

MIKE’S MIGHTY GOOD> We recommend that people add other toppings such as eggs, veggies and whatever other toppings they want to make this a healthier, balanced meal.

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

MIKE’S MIGHTY GOOD> Mike’s Mighty Good is a sponsor of CURE TSC/ the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance and is a supporter of our local food banks and hunger-fighting foundations.

TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?

MIKE’S MIGHTY GOOD> Yes! Our community is always sending in new product ideas and our team is always testing new and exciting things in our kitchen. Stay tuned for delicious things coming down the pipeline!

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

MIKE’S MIGHTY GOOD> Currently we are only sold within the US.

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

MIKE’S MIGHTY GOOD> It depends on what flavor but if you’re having the vegetarian vegetable ramen, we recommend adding in some cilantro and topping it off with avocado! If you’re having the chicken ramen, you might be able to add in some curry powder to give it a little extra something.

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

Thank you very much to Amy and everyone else at Mike’s Mighty Good! 

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Nona Lim

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Nona Lim

Interview With Nona Lim * Product Samples From Nona LimNona Lim Pad See Ew Rice Noodles + Vietnamese Pho BrothNona Lim Pad See Ew Rice Noodles + Spicy Szechuan BrothNona Lim Hakata Ramen + Miso Ramen BrothNona Lim Hakata Ramen + Thai Curry & Lime BrothNona Lim Pad Thai Rice Noodles + Vietnamese Pho BrothNona Lim Whole Wheat Ramen + Spicy Szechuan BrothNona Lim Tokyo Ramen + Miso Ramen BrothNona Lim Laksa Rice Noodles + Thai Curry & Lime Broth

I had heard about a company here in the states that was making noodles and broth that you could mix and match. I thought it sounded interesting and so I contacted them. Well, they were enthusiastic about Meet Ther Manufacturer and here we are! Let’s start things with this interview with Ada Yim – Marketing Coordinator for Nona Lim Foods.

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of Nona Lim?

NONA LIM> As a former professional competitive fencer, Nona discovered the power of food as functional medicine. She discovered that her body responded by recovering faster when fueled with whole, clean foods. With that philosophy, she created a healing, nutrient-dense, non-inflammatory meal program made with fresh, plant-rich, whole food ingredients and clean preparations made from scratch. Word spread, and the Nona Lim brand quickly built a cult following in the Bay Area.

Today, we are a nation-wide brand and offer a variety of prepared meals and soups, broths, and noodles that you can customize to make-it-your-own. Infused with the Asian flavors and spices of Nona’s childhood in Singapore, we focus on whole clean food with no additives, no preservatives, low sodium, and low sugar. Our products are dairy free, mostly gluten free, and 100% crap-free.

 

TRR> What was the first product you made?

NONA LIM> The first product offerings we had were our vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free soups. From there, we quickly expanded into bone broths, ramens, and noodles, providing an easy solution to healthy meals.

TRR> Your company is located in California, USA. Can you tell us a little about your locale?

NONA LIM> We are based in Oakland, California and extremely fortunate to have access to fresh, wholesome ingredients with plenty of sunshine. Because of this accessibility to healthy, fresh foods, we are able to source most of our ingredients from local, nearby farms.

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

NONA LIM> We make 2 types of noodles: rice noodles and ramen noodles, each with its own 3 varieties. We have a Laksa Rice Noodle, Pad Thai Rice Noodle, and Pad See Ew Rice Noodle. The Laksa Rice Noodle is most similar to the shape of a spaghetti noodle. Each one of our rice noodles are gluten-free and halal certified with a delicious, slurpy mouth feel.

We also have 3 varieties of ramen noodles: Tokyo Ramen, Hakata Ramen, and Whole Wheat Ramen. Tokyo Ramen is most similar to the type of noodles at any ramen shop. It is a thick, curly, yellow noodle that has a great texture and bite. Our Whole Wheat Ramen is based off of the Tokyo Ramen except made with whole wheat flour as a homage to our healthy California-inspired roots. Our Hakata Ramen is made to reflect ramen from the Hakata region of Japan. This noodle is thin, slightly wavy, and white. It has a softer texture than the Tokyo Ramen. All our ramen noodles are made with kansui to maintain the authenticity of the classic bouncy bite of ramen.

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

NONA LIM> We don’t only produce oodles of noodles, but we are constantly developing new types of noodle products and different flavors for our fans.

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

NONA LIM> Our noodles are made fresh and never dried or fried. They can be kept frozen if you can’t finish everything at once. At the store, you would see them in the refrigerated section hanging out with the other fresh pastas.

TRR> Apart from noodles, you make a range of broths. Can you tell my readers about them?

NONA LIM> We make a variety of bone broths and vegetable broths from scratch. Bone broth is not only great as a sipping broth and very healthy for you because of the extracted vitamins, minerals, and collagen, but also is a great base for a hot bowl of noodles.

TRR> Can you suggest pairings for your products, for example which noodle to what broth might be nice?

NONA LIM> We love to have our Tokyo Ramen with our Thai Curry & Lime Chicken Bone Broth. It’s our absolute superstar flavor, and always our favorite to showcase for someone getting introduced to our products. A close second is our Laksa Rice Noodle with our Vietnamese Pho Beef Bone Broth. It tastes just like a bowl of pho except made with clean, healthy ingredients and no msg!

Our noodles are also great without broth as a stir-fry or a saucy dish. Pad Thai and Pad See Ew are both great as traditional stir-fry. Try our ramens with a peanut sauce or a curry sauce with some sesame and fresh green onions on top as garnish.

TRR> Are there any other products you make?

NONA LIM> We have a line of convenient Heat & Sip cups that feature a variety of our most popular soups and bone broths. These cups are perfect for on-the-go as a quick breakfast, caffeinated alternative, or an afternoon pick-me-up.

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?

NONA LIM> We have a variety of soups and broths that fits for every kind of diet. Our soups are all gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. Many like the Zucchini Soup or Carrot Ginger Soup have a much lower sodium content than typical packaged soups available on the market. Likewise, our broths have lower sodium or high protein alternatives. If someone is looking for a lower sodium broth, we suggest our Miso Broth paired with rice noodles.

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

NONA LIM> We host a rotating internship program for international students throughout the year. We currently host several students from Japan, but have also hosted students from Singapore, Korea, and Vietnam. Our team also supports local events like San Francisco Pride Day, and regularly give back to local charities like the Alameda Food Bank and Feed the Children.

TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?

NONA LIM> We are always developing new flavors and new products! Follow us on social media @nonalimfoods or sign up on our website to be part of our mailing list to be the first to know and score sweet insider deals.

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

NONA LIM> We showcase different Asian cultures through our products. Our popular Thai Curry & Lime Chicken Bone Broth was inspired from the tasty Tom Kha broth from Thai restaurants. Typically speaking, chicken or seafood is added in as a drinking soup or with rice noodles as a dish. We do the same but use whatever fresh ingredients we can find from the farmers market. We don’t think there is a “right” way or a “wrong” way to enjoy something delicious, as long as it tastes good to you!

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

NONA LIM> For myself, I love to add slices of grilled lemongrass chicken with some bean sprouts, baby bok choi, enoki mushrooms, and jalapeno slices on top of a big hearty bowl of Thai Curry & Lime Chicken Bone Broth with Laksa Rice Noodles. It’s the easiest dish to put together and simple to “dress up” if I am sharing with company- people are always so impressed with how delicious it tastes for such minimal effort.

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about Nona Lim and your products!

Alright! Thank you very much to Ada, Micki and everyone else at Nona Lim for making this series happen.

Ramen Noodlist Interviews The Ramen Rater

Ramen Noodlist Interviews The Ramen Rater - Singapore - hans lienesch - the ramen rater - instant noodle blog reviewer reviews

Ramen Noodlist Interviews The Ramen Rater – Singapore

Singaporean instant noodle reviewers Ramen Noodlist conducted an interview with me recently and it got published today! I haven’t done an interview in quite a while so it’s pretty cool of them to ask. Check it out here!

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Nissin Foods GmbH

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Nissin Foods GmbH - Germany - The Ramen Rater - Instant Noodles

Interview With Nissin Foods GmbH * Product Samples From Nissin Foods GmbHNissin Demae Ramen Tokyo Soy SauceNissin Cup Noodles ShrimpsNissin Demae Ramen SpicyNissin Soba Nudeln Mit Yakisoba Sauce Sukiyaki BeefNissin Demae Ramen Thai Tom YumNissin Cup Noodles Ente (Duck)Nissin Demae Ramen Garlic Chicken FlavourNissin Soba Nudeln Mit Yakisoba Sauce Yakitori ChickenNissin Cup Noodles Curry * Nissin Demae Ramen Korean Kimchi Flavour * Nissin Cup Noodles Huhn (Chicken) * Nissin Soba Gebratene Nudeln Thai* Nissin Cup Noodles Spicy * Nissin Demae Ramen Spicy Beef Flavour

I have had a really hard time sourcing instant noodle varieties from Europe. In fact, 99% of them have come from readers. I have to fortune to know Mr. Raffael Lauser, a reviewer at Happy Souper in Germany. He told I should contact Nissin Germany and see if they’d want to play ball. Well, thanks to him, they did! Here is an interview to kick off the Nissin GmbH Meet The Manufacturer I conducted with Anna Sattelmeier, Supervisor Consumer Communication.

Interview With Nissin Foods GmbH – Germany

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of Nissin in Germany?

NISSIN FOODS GERMANY> Nissin Foods Germany was founded in 1993. In 1995 we became also the European Sales Headquarter. At that time authentic Japanese Instant noodles were almost unknown in Europe.

TRR> What was the first product you produced?

NISSIN FOODS GERMANY> We started with Cup Noodles and Top Ramen at the same time.

TRR> Your company is located in Germany. Can you tell us a little about your country and the area you’re located in?

NISSIN FOODS GERMANY> Germany is located in the middle of Europe. We have the sea to the north and the Alps to the south. The tastes of foods are correspondingly different. Germans also like more and more international
authentic foods which is a great benefit for our products.

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

NISSIN FOODS GERMANY> We have mainly Cup Noodles, Soba cups and bags, Demae Ramen and Top Ramen.

TRR> Nissin Soba – the cups are very fancy – can you tell us about the noodles and cups?

NISSIN FOODS GERMANY> Soba is equipped with a special drainable cap so one can pour out the hot water through its openings after steeping the noodles. In this way the noodles are firm and thus perfect for saucy noodles.

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

NISSIN FOODS GERMANY> In our production which is located in Hungary we produced 2016 about 100 million units.

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

NISSIN FOODS GERMANY> Due to the history of Nissin as the inventor of Instant noodles we have gained a great technical know-how in producing instant noodles. One of the secret of Nissin noodles lies in the products’ unique texture – Nissin noodles are firmer which have more ‘bite’ (or: are more ‘al dente’)

TRR> Do your products have primarily German tastes in mind or are there varieties that bring International tastes to the table?

NISSIN FOODS GERMANY> Even the taste within Germany –and more over in Europe –varies, thus all customers in Europe enjoy our authentic international tastes.

TRR> Are any of your varieties really spicy?

NISSIN FOODS GERMANY> I would judge Demae Ramen Spicy, Demae Ramen Korean Kimchi, Top Ramen Chili and Cup Noodles Spicy as really spicy, but of course it depends on your personal feeling, whether you consider these products as very spicy.

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?

NISSIN FOODS GERMANY> Not focusing only at sodium intake: We would always recommend a varied diet to stay healthy.

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

NISSIN FOODS GERMANY> Yes. As a food producer we have a great responsibility for the community.
So for example in case of natural catastrophes or similar cases we help with donations of our products.

TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?

NISSIN FOODS GERMANY> We are constantly working on innovations. Let yourself be surprised…

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

NISSIN FOODS GERMANY> Our products are very popular amongst total Europe. There is not a big difference how the people enjoy them.

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

NISSIN FOODS GERMANY> Sometimes I add some vegetables or chicken meat to the bag type products, but mostly I enjoy them pure!

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about Nissin Germany and your products!

NISSIN FOODS GERMANY> Thank you and our best regards to all instant noodles fans from Germany!

Thanks to Anna for doing this interview and again to Raffael of Happy Souper!

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Kiki Noodle

Interview With Kiki Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - Meet The Manufacturer

Interview With Kiki Noodle * Product Samples From Kiki Noodle (1 of 3) * Product Samples From Kiki Noodle (2 of 3) * Product Samples From Kiki Noodle (3 of 3)Kiki Noodles Sichuan Spices Flavor NoodleKiki Noodles Scallion Oil & Soy Sauce Flavor Noodle

I got an email from someone at a company I’d never heard of with samples they wanted me to try. I love when this happens; happily,I get to try something new and learn some new things. In this case, a Taiwanese company called Kiki. Without further ado, let’s start things off with this interview with Chester Yeung of Kiki Noodle.

Interview With Kiki Noodle – Taiwan

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of Kiki Noodle?

KIKI> We have been running our restaurant for 26 years focusing mainly in Sichuan cuisine. Having said that we always put healthy, tasty together with safety as our objectives. We focus very much on noodle – as a main staple food for the Easterners. By using our knowledge and experience in making food, we aim to develop our own type of noodles with the best taste and texture, so as to provide a convenience but yet healthy choice to customers. 2015 marks the birth of pre- packed KiKi noodle, a head start after 26 years of experience accumulation.

TRR> What was the first product you made?

KIKI> Our first pre- packed noodle are Kiki Noodle mixed with Sichuan Spices and Kiki Noodle mixed with Scallion oil & soy sauce

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

KIKI> Taiwan is a beautiful island that dwells 23 million people, with mild climate, our people are friendly and welcoming

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

KIKI> We currently producing 2 flavors- Sichuan spices and Scallion oil with soy Sauce. Very soon we will launch new flavor with aged vinegar based sauce mixed noodle with spicy and non- spicy options too

TRR> Why the name Kiki?

KIKI> As we said, the name KiKi is to carry on the brand name of our restaurant

TRR> In what countries are your products available?

KIKI> Apart from Taiwan, currently our product are sold in Hong Kong, China, Korea, Singapore and Australia

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

KIKI> Unlike the ordinary deep- fried instant noodle; We adopt the traditional noodle making method – air drying by daylight for 48 hours with absolute zero preservative added. By this mean, the natural flavor of wheat flour is retained in our noodle.

TRR> Are instant noodles the only products you make?

KIKI> We will also launch readymade numb and spicy sauce, seasoning powder and instant Sichuan meal etc.

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?

KIKI> Making Healthy and tasty food is being our main objective, and hence we have spent a lot of time in developing KiKi Noodle, I can tell you that our seasoning has lower sodium content than the other instant noodle. Thanks to the special formula of spices mix that developed in our restaurant

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

KIKI> We always actively involved in community activities including donation to those charities that taking care of the Social vulnerable groups.

TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?

KIKI> Definitely, we are quite busy at the moment since we have a packed schedule rolling out our new products including 2 new flavor for KiKi Noodle, instant pack for Sichuan Seasoning, numb & spicy sauce as well as seasoning powder.

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

KIKI> I personally would go for a soft boil egg with runny yolk, together with some veggie and slices of meat, if I am staving, I would go for luncheon meat wih sunny side up egg.

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about Kiki Noodle and your products!

Alright – let’s have a look at their products!

라면 완전정복 저 지영준 / ‘Ramen Conqueror,’ By Ji Young Jun

About a year ago I was contacted by a man in South Korea. He was very interested in knowing my story – he also wanted me to help him and contribute to a book he was writing. He seemed like a nice guy so I figured hey – sounds like fun!My only stipulation was that when done, that he would send me three copies.Well, the book is finished! It’s in Korean and I can’t read it unfortunately, but I’m hoping someone will be able to help me out on that soon.

Here’s a pic of Ji Young Jun, the author.

He included a very nice letter with the copies (click to enlarge).

Flipping through the book

I asked him a few questions – here they are. Also included below is where you can purchase copies.

THE RAMEN RATER> Why did you write?

JI YOUNG JUN> In divided country korea, every male must serve two years of military service.
I also had to serve in the military for two years.
I was drafted into service in 2012, just like another Korean man.
Since the army was disconnected from society, I felt so bored after finishing my duties during the army career.

So I thought about what was interesting.
When I went to the snack bar in the army, there were various kinds of ramen.
I started eating them one by one.
I first learned that there are countless kinds of ramen in Korea.
Then I decided to eat all the noodles that were released in Korea.

So I searched the internet for anyone who specializes in instant noodles.
However, there were only people who introduced ramen for fun in Korea, but there was no one who introduced ramen professionally.

I happened to see a newspaper article at the time.
It was an article that introduced ‘Hans Lienesch’
When I heard his story, I found out he was the one I was looking for.

But in Korea, I wondered why there were no such people as ‘ Hans Lienesch’
Since there are countless kinds of ramen in Korea, it is much more regrettable.
So, I decided to eat countless Korean noodles and introduce them to people.
Since 2013, he introduced instant noodles via blogs and introduced them more aggressively after being discharged from the military in 2014.

Thanks to my steady efforts, Koreans have come to know me and my blog.
(my blog address http://pikich89.blog.me/)
The South Korean press interviewed me and invited me on TV.
A publishing company has also suggested writing a book to me.
Thanks to my lucky break, I started writing books since June last year.
And fortunately, a book was published in May this year.

My book name is ‘ramen complete conquest’
My book name come from my blog nickname ‘ramen conqueror piki’

This book is a book aimed at the Michelin Guide in the field of ramen.
The book contains a rating of Korea’s various instant noodles and tastes.
That is the subject of the book.

In addition, books contain the history of ramen, various ways to enjoy instant noodles, and various ramen stories.

So, if you are interested in Korean ramen, I recommend this book to you.
Someday I want to eat ramen around the world like ‘Hans Lienesch’ and I also want to publish books about ramen all over the world.
To do so, I will study hard and try hard.

Hans Lienesch gave me a dream, and also helped me write a book.
Meeting Hans Lienesch was a great blessing to me.

TRR> Where can people buy it {a link would help)

JI YOUNG JUN> My book is easy to buy in Korea.
If you buy books in other countries besides Korea, you will have to use the Internet.

Interpark global page
aladin us page
bandibook us page

Price is high if purchased abroad.I regret that there is no foreign translation yet and that I can not purchase it at a foreign bookstore.

TRR> How long did it take to write?

JI YOUNG JUN> I started writing books since last June. and I finished writing the book in February this year.
After that, I edited the design of the book.
And in May this year, the book was finally published.

The first time I tried to write a book, I had quite a bit of trouble.

Wow – I am truly honored to have been a part of this book! Good luck to you, Ji Young Jun – you’ve got a great book I hope to learn to read someday!

The Ramen Rater Interviews: Happy Souper Of Germany

The Ramen Rater Interviews: Happy Souper Of Germany

This is the 15th year that I’ve been running The Ramen Rater and I thought it was about time I did some of the things I thought might be kind of fun during the past years. One of these is the idea that it would be interesting to find out about other bloggers who review instant noodles. Indeed, there are a few of us out there.

The Ramen Rater Interviews: Happy Souper – Germany

The first in this series is with Raffael Lauser, a reviewer at HappySouper.de. Happy Souper is located in Germany. Raffael and the others in his group have reviewed well over 1,000 instant noodle products. So, here’s an interview I conducted over Facebook Video.

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?