Tag Archives: los angeles

#1503: Nongshim Bowl Noodle Soup Shrimp Habanero Lime Flavor

It’s been so long since I’ve reviewed a new Bowl Noodle! I remeber a few years ago I was hunting high and low for certain varieties, many long gone. I remember the beef anfd ginger flavor was pretty good! Then they switched over to these microwaveable versions instead of the foam bowls – and I like them better! Curious how this one will be.

Something special with this review – it’s a double review! I used to review hot sauces a few years back – here’s a link to my old site, now mothballed. I got an email from the folks at TOKI Hot Sauce recently. They are trying to get their product going! It’s a Korean inspired hot sauce! They’ve got a Kickstarter campaign running at the moment – why not check them out? I’m going to cook up some nice shrimp to go with this one and slather them in the sauce! Let’s check both of these products out!

Here’s the back of the cardboard outer packaging (click image to enlarge). Contains both beef and fish products.

Here’s detail of the lid (click image to enlarge). To prepare, take the lid off completely. Add in the sachet contents and add room temperature water to the fill line. Microwave for 3-4 minutes (see the noodle texture chart!). Stir and enjoy! You can also do the same thing with boiling water.

The noodle block.

The soup base sachet.

Has a lime scent.

Here’s just a few of the little bits from the bottom of the bowl.


Finished (click image to enlarge). Added shrimp sauteed with Toki Hot Sauce, green onion, sweet onion, lime and bell pepper. The noodles have a nice texture to them – that comforty-buttery thing going on. The broth has a spicy and lime hit and a lighter shrimp flavor in the background which I would have enjoyed more of. The vegetable and shrimp bits while sparing hydrated well. 3.25 out of 5.0 stars. The Toki Hot Sauce has a decent punch of heat, and is a nice balance of sweetness with a familiar gochujang kind of flavor. Like a teriyaki gochujang wham-bam – good stuff! Worth trying! UPC bar code 031146026128.

Here’s a 6 variety pack of different Nongshim Bowl Noodle Soups!

Here’s a vid showing where these Nongshim Bowl Noodle Soups are made – in rancho Cucamonga, California!

Meet The Manufacturer: #1337: Sakura Noodle Chikara Brand Udon Beef Flavor

Well, today is the last day of the Meet The Manufacturer for Sakura Noodle Inc. It’s been interesting – I don’t think I’ve had udon so many days in a row – I was surprised how much I enjoyed it! One thing that was nice was that there’s only one gram of fat in these, which is a far cry from the amounts I usually have. Anyways, let’s have a look at this one – beef!


Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, boil 1 3/4 cups of water and add noodles. Cook for 2 minutes, adding the sachet contents right at the end. Stir and enjoy!

The fresh udon pouch.

The soup base sachet.

A beefy scent!


Finished (click image to enlarge). Added Urashima Sesale & Salt furikake, green onions, and sauteed sweet onion and beef. The noodles are nice and chewy and fresh. Lots of them too. The broth has a very good beef taste; like real beef broth and I really enjoyed it. This was a great one to end on! 4.25 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 078128120214.

As a fitting end to this Meet The Manufacturer, here are cherry blossoms falling in Japan; known as Sakura.

Meet The Manufacturer: #1336: Shirakiku Fresh Chow Mein Noodles With Seasoning

I’m sure you’re gonna say it – this looks familiar. Well, it’s part of a really neat coincidence that happened recently. I reviewed this one by Takamori Kosan of Japan the other day. Well, it was actually made by Sakura Noodle in Los angeles, California for the US market under their name! This one here is also made by Sakura Noodle but under the Shirakiku name. Are they different? Yep! If you look at the ingredients and nutrition facts on eacvh, there are some subtle differences. What’s interesting is that I contacted Takamori Kosan about doing a Meet The Manufacturer with them and they seem quite receptive, so keep an eye out for it coming soon! A day or so later, I was contacted by Sakura Noodle. I looked at their website and noticed this chow mein and asked if perhaps Takamori Kosan had contacted them, but they hadn’t – neat coincidence!

Something people might find odd is that mayonnaise is often a garnish for yakisoba. It comes in a variety of forms, from regular mayo to Karashi mayo, Wasabi mayo and so on. I have a squeeze bottle of mayonnaise, but I like the little packets that have come with other varieties of chow mein / yakisoba in the past. Since I have none of those, today I walk to the grocery store deli to see if I can purchase one during my daily constitutional. Let’s have a look inside the package and then I’m off to the store.

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Contains fish. To prepare, put a little oil in a pan and saute up some vegetables. Set vegetables aside. Add a tablespoon oil, two tablespoons water and the noodle block. Pan fry for 2-3 minutes. Return the veggies and sprinkle with contents of a sachet. Stir fry until veggies are all done. Enjoy!

The fresh chow mein noodle pouch.

The seasoning sachet.

Has a nice yakisoba sauce scent.

Man – it wasn’t raining earlier… But I was triumphant in acquiring a mayonnaise packet. Decided to do my whole walk of 2.3 miles in the rain. I figure the noodles will taste that much better when I get home.


Finished (click image to enlarge). Added cabbage, Busan fish cake, green onion, mayonnaise and green laver (seaweed). The noodles are nice – good chew. The flavor was quite nice – it’s yakisoba! 3.75 out of 5.0 stars.  UPC bar code 074410455033.

Here’s a short video displaying how one can make yakisoba at home.

Meet The Manufacturer: #1335: Sakura Noodle Chikara Brand Udon Hot & Spicy Flavor

Today is a good day for spicy noodles. I just did my big walk of the day – something I’ve not been able to do for a week or so – it’s been raining alot here just north of Seattle. A lot. In fact, there was a weather alert for landslides due to so much rain… Sheesh. Walk was good and now I’ve got the pre-season baseball audio going – Giants vs Royals today. I’m a Giants fan – my wife converted me from being a Mariners fan when we got together as she used to play softball and got quite a few trophies. The first year I started following the Giants was 2010, and lo and behold, they won the world Series! Then again in 2012. I think as long as we win the even years, we’re good to go. Anyways, spicy udon sounds really good today and I think I know just what to add to it – Fresno chilli peppers! They’re playing the game today in Scottsdale, AZ, and a lot of their minor league players get a chance to get a chance to be in the roster. Many of them are from the Fresno, CA AAA team. Let’s check these noodles out!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, boil 1 3/4 cups of water. Add noodles and cook for 2 minutes. Add the contents of the soup base sachet just before the end and give it a stir. Enjoy!

The fresh noodle pouch.

The soup base sachet.

A slightly more granular powder than the others thus far.


Finished (click image to enlarge). Added corn, jalapeno, Thai chilli pepper, Fresno pepper, sweet onion, cilantro, carrot, thin sliced sukiyaki beef and cheese. The noodles turned out just as good as the last few times; wide, chewy and of excellent quality. The broth had a very nice amount of heat to it and a rich flavor. Very tasty and enjoyable. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 078128123017.

You like it hot? These are the top ten hottest chilli peppers in the world.

Meet The Manufacturer: #1334: Sakura Noodle Chikara Brand Udon Mushroom Flavor

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms. I’ve liked them a little more and more over time, but they’re really not something I seek out and enjoy thoroughly. On the other hand, my wife absolutely loves mushroom.s and savors them. She also really likes udon, so I thought I’d make these for her. Let’s open this bag up and see what’s inside.

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Contains fish. To prepare, boil 1 3/4 cups water. Add the noodle block and boil for 2 minutes, adding the contents of the soup base sachet right before the end. Stir and enjoy.

The fresh udon pouch.

The soup base sachet.

Has a kind of miso mushroom scent.


Finished (click image to enlarge). Added Enoki mushrooms. The noodles as usual are thick, chewy and very good. The broth was a lot like the Oriental flavor I had the other day but with a light mushroom flavor. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 078128120023.

Here’s a place where they grow lots of enokitake mushrooms!

Meet The Manufacturer: #1333: Sakura Noodle Chikara Brand Udon Oriental Flavor

I asked my wife to pick today’s variety and she picked this one. I was thinking – what is Oriental flavor? Well, the French version tells us. I tried Google’s auto translate and it thought it was Spanish for ‘nice.’ In French, bonito means bonito. So, what does bonito mean? Simple.


noun: bonito; plural noun: bonitos
1.a smaller relative of the tunas, with dark oblique stripes on the back and important as a food and game fish.

Ah ha! Fish! It’s only logical, really. Fish is a staple all across the world and particularly in Asia. I think fish sounds good today – let’s give this a try!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Contains fish. To prepare, boil 1 3/4 cups of water and cook noodles for 2 minutes. Add the contents of the sachet towards the end of cooking. Enjoy!

The fresh noodle pouch.

The soup base sachet.

A light powder.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added kamaboko, sweet onion, chikawa, squid, shitaruba, green onion and Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. The noodles have a great chew yet again. Thick and luxuriously hearty. The broth has a nice seafood taste; slightly sweet and smoky. Good stuff! 3.75 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 078128120016.

Here’s an interesting video about bonito processing. Bonito is caught, prepared and smoked. The end product is katsuobushi, and it’s a long involved process.

Meet The Manufacturer: #1332: Sakura Noodle Chikara Brand Udon Chicken Flavor

Here’s the first of the Sakura Noodle Inc. Meet The Manufacturer! I thought I’d start off with chicken. I haven’t been using a lot of chicken lately and it sounded like a nice little departure from the norm lately. Usually I save the chicken varieties for my son to eat when he’s here – chicken noodles are his favorite. Let’s give this one a try!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, boil 1 3/4 cups of water. Add noodle block and cook for 2 minutes. Add contents of seasoning sachet and stir. Enjoy!

The fresh udon noodles.

The soup base sachet.

A fine powder with a pleasant scent.


Finished (click image to enlarge). Added carrot, hard boiled egg, enoki mushroom, green onion and grilled chicken. The noodles are great – excellent texture and chewiness. The broth is warm and inviting with a nice chicken flavor. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 078128120313.

Making yaki udon.

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Sakura Noodle Inc.

Interview With Sakura Noodle Inc * Product Samples From Sakura Noodle Inc * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Chicken Flavor * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Oriental Flavor * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Mushroom Flavor * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Shrimp Flavor * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Hot & Spicy Flavor *

There are many kind of noodles on the market of many different gauges. Udon is a thick and chewy noodle enjoyed around the world, but not often seen in a Meet The Manufacturer. No more! I had the fortune to get an email from Mami Cindy Suzuki, VP of Sakura Noodle, Inc. She agreed to do and interview and send some samples! Here is the interview, and thus, we begin a new Meet The Manufacturer for Sakura Noodle Inc. of Los Angeles, California.

THERAMENRATER>  Thank you very much for agreeing to do this interview! Could we start off with some information about Sakura Noodle; when was Sakura Noodle founded, where and by who?

SAKURANOODLEINC> Sakura Noodle Inc. was founded by Shohachi Suzuki back in 1983. Born and raised in HaMAMAtsu, Japan, Shohachi wanted to bring and share delicious Japanese noodles to the US.

TRR> For those of my readers who are not familiar with your line of products, could you tell us a little about them?

SNI> We manufacture varieties of Oriental style noodles. Our goal is to make fresh noodles that are easy to prepare at home or in restaurants and taste great. Our specialty is Udon noodles, which are a thick wheat flour noodle that can be enjoyed in soup or stir-fried. We also make fresh Ramen, Yakisoba, Chowmein, Soba…etc.

TRR> What is the story behind the name?

SNI> Sakura means cherry blossom in Japanese. It is also known as the symbol of Japan. We wanted to be a symbol of delicious food and our name to be easy to remember.

TRR> Is Sakura Noodle involved in the local community around you?

SNI> Yes, at Sakura Noodle, we do our best to be involved with our local communities. Many temples, churches, and missions in our areas use the noodles we donate for raising funds in festivals and events.

TRR> Why do you think noodles are such a popular food?

SNI> I believe noodles are very popular because they’re simply delicious! Why wouldn’t anyone enjoy noodles? Noodles are also easy to prepare, inexpensive yet very filling. Noodles have such a wide variety of choices that you never get bored eating them.

TRR> You are located in Los Angeles, California. Can you tell us a little about where you factory is and life in the big city?

SNI> Los Angeles is the center of everything. We are consistently surrounded by great food and energetic people. We are located next to Little Tokyo which felt like a appropriate place for our factory.

TRR> Are there any new products that will be coming out soon that you could tell us about?

SNI> We are actually in the middle of processing and testing out a delicious, Gluten-free, no MSG, Vegetarian Udon and Ramen. We are hoping they hit the shelves by 2015!

TRR> Can you tell us about the different varieties of noodles you produce and how they differ?

SNI> The main difference in the noodles are the size which makes the textures very unique. When the textures change, the flavor of the soup and sauce that goes with the noodles change also.

  • Udon: Thick, wide wheat flour noodles. Traditionally, Udon is enjoyed in a clear fish based broth soup, garnished with green onions, Kamaboko (fish cakes), bean curds and eggs. Yaki-udon is stir-fried Udon, seasoned either soy sauced based or yakisoba sauce. (cooked with cabbage, meat, onion…etc)
  • Ramen: Thin wheat noodle that can be wavy or straight, depending on the soup or origin of the noodles. (Different regions and cities of Japan have different ramen shapes and soup bases)
  • Yakisoba/Chow Mein: Literally means “fried-noodle” and is cooked in sauce. Yakisoba is usually soy sauce flavored and chow mein can be cooked with oyster sauce.
  • Soba: Buckwheat noodles that are typically enjoyed in fish based soups. There is a tradition in Japan where we eat Toshikoshi Soba. Toshikoshi means “year-crossing” and we eat toshikoshi soba to let go of any hardship of the year to a better New Year.

TRR> A lot of people wonder about the health factors (sodium, etc) when it comes to instant noodles. How do you recommend people made instant noodles a healthy part of their diet?

SNI> I understand; noodle lovers like myself would love to eat noodles all day, everyday but health comes first. Noodles contain high sodium, so it’s important not to eat too much. Sodium is mostly in the soup so we recommend adding extra vegetables. If you go a couple of days with mostly noodles in your diet, try switching to rice or bread instead. Try not to eat just noodle and soup but to make sure you garnish with some meat and vegetables.

TRR> Do you make/sell products other than noodles?

SNI> At this moment, our focus is to make our noodles even better. We hope in the future we can extend our varieties.

TRR> What was your first product?

SNI> Our very first products were Udon. We produced Udon for use in restaurants. Therefore, Udon is still our specialty.

TRR> How does the process in which you make your noodles differ from other brands?

SNI> Our noodles are special because unlike other instant noodles, it is fresh. We do not freeze or dry our noodles but have a very long shelf life and do not need to be refrigerated or frozen, ever. What is better than fresh food?

TRR> Where are your products available?

SNI> Our products are available at your local grocery stores and Asian super markets. Many restaurants use our noodles also so chances are, maybe you have already tried our noodles. You can also order them on our website at www.sakuranoodleinc.com. It is very convenient and easy! Like us on facebook to receive a coupon for $10 off your purchase of $50 or more.

TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, do you add anything or have any recommendations?

SNI> I love to be creative when it comes to making my noodles.
One of my favorite recipes:
Makes 1 serving

1 pack of Sakura Noodle, Chikara brand Udon w/ soup (any flavor will work but Hot&Spicy is my favorite)
Pieces of Kimchi (maybe about 1/2 cup:cut into small pieces
1 garlic clove (minced)
1/4 onion (cut small)
1 1/2 cup of water with chicken bullion or chicken broth
1/2 cup peeled shrimp (maybe about 4 pieces)
small piece of chicken (diced)
1 egg

In a medium pot, turn heat on and add oil. When pot is hot enough, add kimchi, shrimp, chicken, onion and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes or until brown and soft. Add water and bouillon/chicken broth. When water starts to boil, add soup packet ad mix until completely dissolved. Add noodle and cook for 2 minutes (make sure to mix once in a while to loosen noodles), drop the eggs and enjoy!

TRR> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn more about Sakura Noodle!

SNI> This was a wonderful opportunity. Thank you very much Mr. Lienesch!

What a great interview! Thanks to Mami Cindy Suzuki at Sakura Noodle Inc.! On with the reviews!

Interview With Sakura Noodle Inc * Product Samples From Sakura Noodle Inc * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Chicken Flavor * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Oriental Flavor * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Mushroom Flavor * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Shrimp Flavor * Sakura Noodle Inc Chikara Brand Udon Hot & Spicy Flavor *

Re-Review: Meet The Manufacturer: Paldo Teumsae Ramyun

I saw a YouTube video recently where a man is trying to handle the heat of this instant ramyun. He couldn’t – to the point of cursing these noodles. Another reason that Paldo’s Teumsae Ramyun is #1 on the Top Ten Spiciest Instant Noodles of All Time list. But Teumsae; what is that? Teumsae is a well known restaurant chain in Korea. They’re well known for their spicy ways as well!

The back of the packaging (click image to enlarge).

Big noodle block.

The fiery powder packet!

Here it is – a lot of burning fire awaiting your tastebuds!

The veggie packet.

Quite a bit of veggies in this one.

Finished (click image to enlarge). I added an egg, some onions, a slice of processed cheese and a bit of roast beef with Krazy Mixed Up Salt on top. As always, I sampled before I added everything. The noodles are thick and chewy. The broth is just plain mean! Yeah – this is the hottest and spiciest stuff out there that I’ve found. I had good reason to put this at #1 on that spiciest ramen list! The veggies are good too. Also, just to let you know how how this stuff is, it’s burning my mouth really good as I eat it with the egg and cheese and onions added – wow! 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 648436100613.


Here’s a guy in South Korea who checks out things – one of therm being a Teumsae restaurant!

This is pretty awesome – Korean fusion jazz using a lot of tradition instruments – called Oriental Express

Where To Get It: 99 Ranch Market in Anaheim

So after an awesome day at Lego Land California, we went back North to Anaheim to crash and ready ourselves for Disneyland the next day. Not far from where we stayed was a Ranch 99 Market. This one was different from the others I have been in – there were palm trees out front for starters! Then there was the fact that after you go through the main door there was a little gate you went through. Aside from that, it seemed a little smaller than others too. They had spoken advertising on the overhead speakers – in English – and every time they said ‘per pound’ it was exactly the same and rather amusing! They also played music and I really enjoyed that – really crazy sound track like music that sounded like a bad guy in a movie was creeping up on an unsuspecting victim! Their instant noodle selection was decent, which was very nice. I really liked the place a lot!

#425: Chikara Shrimp Flavor Udon

So something a little more tame. Shrimp udon! Should be good and tasty I imagine. Fresh noodles are always good.

Yup – just like I figured – one seasoning packet, one pack of fresh udon!

A mound of powdered seasoning.

Click image to enlarge. Gee what a nice looking bowl of udon! Basic, simple, unassuming. The broth was very nice – it wasn’t a salt fest and had a nice shrimp flavor. The noodles were stalwart and chewy. Their character was unmatched. Excellent! 4.5 out of 5.0 stars!

Oh my God how do they put all those vegetable in that?