Tag Archives: kitchen

The OneBowl: A New Product That Needs Your Support On Kickstarter!

OneBowl on Kickstarter

I was recently contacted by a fellow named Justin Herd. He is the creator of a product called the OneBowl – a special bowl that will cook instant as well as other noodles in the microwave. What’s more, it will drain them. He can do the most justice to explaining the product and it’s features of course, so I recently conducted this interview with him.

THE RAMEN RATER> Tell us a little about yourself – what’s your background?

JUSTIN HERD> My name is Justin Herd, I am 23 years old, and I am the inventor of the OneBowl. I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the USA and just graduated from Grand Valley State University in April of 2014 with my Bachelors in Marketing. I love Ramen Noodles, hiking, viral videos, and inventing.

TRR> Have you always been interested in invention or invented other things in the past?

JH> I love inventing. It’s all about creating things to make my life easier. Whenever I feel like something I do every day could be easier, faster, and/or more enjoyable, that is when I get my best ideas for an invention. Normally, my inventions look like Frankenstein gadgets held together by duct tape. The OneBowl is my first invention that I believe can be enjoyed by people around the world.

TRR> How did the OneBowl project begin?

JH> The OneBowl project began 8 months ago while I was making myself some Maruchan Chicken Flavor Ramen Noodles. As a college student, I made myself some delicious Ramen Noodles just about every day (as many college students do). After enjoying my noodles, I looked at my sink to see a pot, a strainer, and a bowl that I now had to wash. I thought to myself, “I wish I could just make noodles in one bowl.” And so began the OneBowl.

TRR> Can you tell us about the testing phase – how many different kinds of noodles did you test in it?

JH> It took 4 tries to get the prototype just right. Once I had a working prototype, I tested it out with several different kinds of noodles. I tested 1 brick of Maruchan Ramen Noodles, 2 bricks of Maruchan Ramen Noodles, Kraft Mac and Cheese, and good old spaghetti. I found that the OneBowl was the perfect size to accommodate all kinds of noodles.

TRR> How is the OneBowl different from, well, a bowl?

JH> The OneBowl is a microwave-safe bowl with a built-in strainer and a snap-on lid. It’s the only bowl out there than you can use to cook, strain, eat, and store your noodles in. The bowl converts easily from a water tight bowl to a strainer by rotating the handle an eighth of a turn. Once strained, rotate the handle back to eat. This will allow you to customize how much broth you want. The bowl also comes apart easily for cleaning, it’s dishwasher-safe, and BPA free.

TRR> What is the OneBowl made of?

JH> The bowl itself is made from a poly carbonate blend of BPA free plastic. The lid and seal are made from silicone. This means the OneBowl can withstand a temperature range of -58 F to 266 F (-50 to 130 C) and will not leak any toxins when heated up.

TRR> Where will it be made?

JH> The OneBowl will be made right in the city where I live: Grand Rapids, Michigan in the United States.

TRR> You’re opting to go the Kickstarter route to bring your product to market – how did you arrive at the decision to crowdsource?

JH> I need to raise the money for plastic injection molding so that I can share the OneBowl with the world. I chose to go with Kickstarter to raise the money because I love their platform. It is really user friendly and it makes it easy to get involved with cool new products at their earliest stages. Kickstarter has developed an awesome culture around helping others bring their dreams to life and it’s the best platform out there in my opinion.

TRR> If people donate, what do they get and when?

JH> I have several different levels of rewards for pledging to my Kickstarter project. For $20, you get a OneBowl! ($30 outside the US due to extra shipping costs). I also have rewards for 2 packs and 4 packs. There are some rewards that include a custom OneBowl cook book full of recipes I made using the OneBowl. I expect to deliver OneBowls to all who pledge on Kickstarter in October of this year.

TRR> What is your favorite thing to make in the OneBowl?

JH> 2 bricks of Chicken Flavored Maruchan Ramen Noodles. I am a man of simple taste. However, I am taking on the challenge of catching up with Hans and trying out his favorite Ramen styles and flavors.

Sounds pretty neat, eh? If you want to support his project and chip in, check out the OneBowl on Kickstarter. This sounds like something pretty neat. Good luck, Justin!

#1422: Nissin Pan Asian Kitchen Spicy Szechuan Chicken Flavor Ramen Noodles

Hey here are some noodle made here in the USA! Interesting – spicy Szechuan… I’m curious how spicy it will be. I’ve had many different takes on Szechuan before – I’m hoping this one is good as usually I don’t tend to like Szechuan variants so much. Actually, I like the ones like this usually more than the ones actually made in China! Let’s see how this one comes out.

The bottom of the tray (click image to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, remove outer wrap and open lid halfway. Take out all sachets. Add peanut and premium ingredient sachets. Add water to fill line and re-cover. Microwave 5 minutes and let sit for 1 minute. Add liquid sachet contents and stir. Enjoy!

Here’s how the lid looks under the wraps (click image to enlarge).

The noodle block.

A sachet of peanuts.

Little bits.

The premium ingredients sachet.

An interesting mix here – looks like corn peas and bell pepper in there.

A liquid sachet.

A thick and oily liquid.


Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sweet onion, red and green bell pepper and chicken I sauteed. The noodles are great – it’s amazing how well they come out in the microwave. The flavor however isn’t really my cup of tea. It reminds me of the flavor you get in microwaveable TV dinners – the low calorie ones – when they’re trying to do an Asian chicken of some type. It is like they’re shooting for teriyaki, but end up with this spicy, citrus Szechuan thing. The veggies did well though and the peanuts were a nice touch. 3.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 070662487273.

This is a demo reel showing off Nissin products. I’m imagining it was played at a trade show, most likely in Hong Kong, as these products look to be part of the Nissin Hong Kong line.

#1225: Nissin Pan Asian Kitchen Sweet & Sour Chicken Flavor Ramen Noodles

Man I’m beat and my feet hurt. Maybe Birkenstock sailboat deck sandals aren’t the best choice for walking 2 miles. This sounds good though – I really like sweet and sour! This one’s made in the United States, too! Let’s give this one a peek.

Here’s the bottom of the tray (click image to enlarge). Contains wheat and soybean. To make this one, open the tray halfway and put only the vegetables sachet’s contents in. Fill it to the line and microwave for 5 minutes.  Let it sit for 1 minute, then add the liquid sachet and stir and you’re ready to eat!

Here’s the li ditself (click image to enlarge).

The noodle block.

The premium ingredients sachet.

You know, that kind of looks like a bird’s eye chilli pepper on top. I suppose we’ll see!

The liquid seasoning sachet.

Oil and sauce co-mingling.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added baked chicken, bell pepper, sweet onion and pineapple with a bit of garlic salt. The noodles are really good – great texture and gauge. The flavor is good too, although it’s not the sweet and sour I am used to at Chinese takeout restaurants, it’s pretty darn good. The veggies hydrated very nicely (and that was a nice spicy pepper!). 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 070662487280.

This is a great tour of the Nissin Cup Noodle Museum – it is a dream of mine to visit here someday!

The Ramen Rater Tests The Rapid Ramen Cooker

A couple of weeks ago I was looking for articles to add to The Ramen Rater Noodle News and found an article with a YouTube video attached. Apparently, a recent college graduate had made something that involves cooking instant noodles and it would start selling at Walmart. I thought I’d see if I could contact the guy and get a sample of the product to review. Well, he sent a couple and here we go! Chris Johnson is the inventor of the Rapid Ramen Cooker. It promises speedy delivery of your instant noodles via the microwave! Before the review, here’s an interview I did with him recently via email.

THE RAMEN RATER> Hi Chris – thank you very much for this opportunity to find out more about your great new invention! First, how did you get the idea to make it?

CHRIS JOHNSON> I have always loved ramen noodles as kid, survived on them while I was in college, and I still love ramen noodles to this very day.  I grew tired of making it on the stove.  It takes entirely too long.  It takes over 5 minutes just to boil two cups of water, and it takes six more minutes to cook the noodles.  Then you have to let them cool.  That’s over 12 minutes to cook ramen noodles.  That is about the same it takes to cook a full meal.  To cook ramen in the microwave you have to crush the ramen noodles in the typically circular shaped bowl, add water, and place in the microwave.  Retrieving the bowl out of the microwave is a difficult task as the bowl is blistering hot to the touch.  Sometimes the noodles turn out ok, but most times the ramen noodles are unevenly cooked, pasty, unappealing, and do not taste very good.  I had the epiphany, I would create a bowl that makes perfect ramen noodles in the microwave every time, and that’s what I did. Thus creating the Rapid Ramen Cooker.

TRR> How has the public responded to your invention?

CJ> It has been out of this world!  Once people found out about the product, our online sales skyrocketed.  We sold over 2,000 Rapid Ramen Cookers just in the last 3 days!  People love them! We has received national and international attention from major retailers, and we have even received a call from one of the top ramen manufacturers. People love the product and we get tremendous feedback daily.  It is truly humbling, to see people all across the country loving a product that you created.

TRR> Can you tell us a little about the development; how was the first version different from the final product?

CJ> There are many square bowls on the market.  However none are specifically engineered to cook ramen perfectly in the microwave.  Many bowls dimensions are too big and heat excess water leaving the ramen pasty and unevenly cooked.  I had to go through countless tests to achieve the perfect measurements of the reservoir design.  After hundreds of packs of ramen, I finally developed a bowl that cooks perfect ramen noodles every time.

TRR>  There are lots of different types of instant noodles from all over the world – which brands and have you found to be compatible with your product?

CJ> Just about all of the dry block square type noodles are compatible with the Rapid Ramen Cooker; including Maruchan, Top Ramen, and Sapporo Ichiban to name a few.

TRR> How many packs of instant noodles do you think you cooked in the testing process?

CJ> Over 200 packs!  I needed to simulate the heat distribution of the stove top.  I wanted the noodles to be perfect!  Therefore I continued to test until it worked indisputably.  At the outset, I wanted to create the world’s fastest and easiest way to cook ramen noodles.  I believe I have done that.

TRR> I read that your product is being sold at Walmart in California – can you tell us about that?

CJ> Yes, due to the recent national exposure and phenomenal sales volume online; I’m in talks with Walmart to go nationally in all of their US stores.  It is quite exciting, however it is a process.

TRR> Where is the Rapid Ramen Cooker made?

CJ> Currently the Rapid Ramen Cookers are being made in Nanjing, China. I have teamed with a great manufacturer in China that produces products for GM and Ford.  To ensure that we stay proactive with the demand of these national retailers, we are in the process of locating manufacturing in the US as well.

TRR> What is your opinion of the public’s view on instant ramen noodles and health concerns concerning them?

CJ> Some of the concerns are valid, especially when it relates to sodium.  Most of these packs of ramen contains seasoning packets that are extremely high in sodium.  The Rapid Ramen Cooker solves this problem.  The Rapid Ramen Cooker only requires half the water, therefore you only need half the seasoning packet.  Rapid Ramen reduces the sodium by half, and still provides the same great taste.

TRR> How does the Rapid Ramen Cooker do with non-domestic instant noodles – bean thread, rice noodes, udon? How about larger sized blocks as come in South Korean varieties?

CJ> You know, I haven’t tried these just yet.

TRR> What’s in the future of the Rapid Ramen Cooker – any more inventions on the horizon?

CJ> We are solely ferociously focused on our number one goal; that is to provide Rapid Ramen Cookers to every consumer of ramen noodles worldwide.

TRR> What’s your favorite variety of ramen?

CJ> I’m a pretty simple guy when it comes to my ramen.  My favorite is a pack beef flavor Maruchan, Top Ramen, or Sapporo Ichiban with Ling Ling potstickers and sliced hot links!  I cook them all at once in the Rapid Ramen Cooker in 4 minutes!!  Delicious!

TRR> Thanks again for the opportunity to find out more about your great invention, the Rapid Ramen Cooker!

CJ> Thank you so much for your time Hans! Want to get one of your own? Check out www.rapidramen.com to find out how! (you can also find them on Amazon here)

Sounds like a great product – one worth checking out! I decided the only way to really find out if it works was to put it through its paces. I selected nine different instant noodles to trycooking with this thing. First, four pretty standard grocery store varieties: Maruchan Oriental Flavor Ramen Noodle Soup, Nissin Top Ramen Chicken (adding a little frozen kamaboko), Maruchan Shrimp Ramen Noodle Soup and Nissin Demae Ramen Prawn Flavor. Then I thought why not give this thing a bit of a challenge with some South Korean ramyun? I tried a round block in Nongshim’s new Jinjja Jinjja Flamin’ Hot & Nutty Noodle Soup and then a large square block in Paldo’s new Namja Ramen. Them a Doll Instant Noodles Artificial Chicken Flavour. Finally, I wrapped it up with two brothless varieties. First Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles Chow Mein, then Indomie Mi Goreng Satay. This was a truly well-rounded set of noodles. Here is the video I made of all of these tests. Time is compressed. These were done over three days.

Here are the notes I took:

1. Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup Oriental Flavor – Came out perfect! A little spillage on the handles but nothing much. Noodles are great and half the seasoning packet is ample.

2. Nissin Top Ramen Chicken Flavor – Came out perfect! Added some kamaboko at 3 minutes and 30 seconds and let microwave for 30 more seconds. Noodles came out perfect, half pack seasoning was enough and kamaboko was decently cooked.

3. Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup Shrimp Flavor – Again, perfect output.

4. Nissin Demae Ramen Prawn Flavor – The noodle block is a little more dense than Top Ramen. Still, noodles come out perfectly. My son asked if we could use the cooker for his noodles this way often; he doesn’t like
broth all that much and the lack of such is agreeable with him.

5. Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja Flamin’ Hot & Nutty Noodles – This is a round noodle block. At the outset, it doesn’t fit and required breaking it up and fitting to the chamber. Noodles came out very nicely – one thing though was that they soaked up all of the water as well. Adding half the seasoning, all the vegetable packet and the ‘nutty’ packet went quite well although one third of the packet would have been ample here. Better than expected results!

6. Paldo Namja Ramen – This is another South Korean ramyun. However instead of the round block in test number five, this is a large square block. Again, the block doesn’t fit, but with a little force and modification,
the block’s content have a snug fit. The noodles come out quite nicely – again drinking up all of the liquid. As with number five, half a packet seems to be too much and a third would suffice.

7. Doll Chicken – Perfect noodles. Half of packet was fine and wasn’t too hard at all to disperse half of the oil packet.

8. Sapporo Ichiban Japanese Style Noodles Chow Mein – The noodles came out just right. The package says to let all of the water absorb into the noodles. There was a bit left, but I found just using a fork and tilting the bowl in the sink drained it off just fine. Also note that since this is a brothless variety, I used the whole packet. Excellent results.

9. Indomie Mi Goreng Satay – I added slightly less water to this one to see if it would soak up all the liquid. To my delight, it did just that. All the liquid was nestled into the noodles quite happily. This was really great – fastest Mi Goreng I’ve ever made – probably also the least messy!

Findings: Overall, every block of noodles with water to the fill line I put into the Rapid Ramen Cooker and ran for four minutes in our 1000 watt microwave came out perfect. The only problem any of them had was a
little spillage and that was minimal. With numbers one through four, the half packet method worked great. Five and six were a slightly different story. South Korean ramyun usually is strong and spicy. They both did quite nicely as far as noodles go, but I would think that even less powder would be required, say one third of a packet as these noodle soups usually have 500-600mL of water as opposed to just over 400mL from the first four.
The last two were brothless varieties. I drained the little water that was in the bottom of the Chow Mein. Using just a slight amount less water with the Mi Goreng resulted in the noodles soaking it up completely. All in all, this product works and works very well. It has proven its versatility and ease of use to me throughout these tests. I completely endorse this product – a great invention for the noodle fan!

So there you are: this thing is excellent – I happily endorse this product and with Mr. Johnson all the luck in the world with it! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars!!!


#472: Thai Kitchen Spring Onion Rice Noodle Bowl

A brand I’ve never reviewed before I know. This one came from my mother in law! Thank you! Sounds like it should be tasty – spring onion sounds tasty.

I know I know it’s a white lid – big deal right? Well, kind of.. I’ve rarely seen a package with such a little amount of, well, anything! Of course this is underneath the cardboard boxing.

Okay three packets – sounds good to me! From the top going clockwise we have a powdered soup base, veggies (I’m going to take a chance and guess spring onions) and finally a seasoned oil.

Hey weird – the rice noodles are really short – never seen that before! Strange…

Click image to enlarge. Here’s the finished product with nothing added. Well, this one really was different. First time I’ve eaten one of these with a spoon! The noodles are very light and delicate. and somewhat mushy. The broth is very tasty and onion flavor abounds. Everything goes together very nicely – especially the nice amount of veggies. All in all, I am quite pleased with this one. What’s even more interesting is that this stuff is actually made in Thailand – didn’t really think it would be. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars – quite good! Find it here.

Some colorful curry recipes

This guy is cutting spring onions and he knows what’s up!

#255: MAMA Oriental Kitchen Spicy Seafood Cup

So here’s something new – MAMA’s Oriental Kitchen… Let’s try…

Usually MAMA’s got more packets – not this time.

Quite a bit of powder! Veggies look interesting.

Click image to enlarge. The finished product. A bit spicy and the noodles are nice. I like the veggies too, and I liked enjoying the delicious – see below…

I did enjoy the delicious – and it is delicious! 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. Get it here.