This is one that was sent to me by the Butlers from Illinois – thanks again! They got this and a few other varieties during a trip to Italy. Ajinomoto is the company that is best known for producing MSG. Check out the video at the bottom. This variety hails from Poland actually – kind of a surprise! Let’s crack it open and see what a Polish shoyu is like!
Ajinomoto Oyakata Soy Sauce Ramen Soup – Poland
Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Contains chicken. To prepare, add in sachet contents and boiling water to fill line. Cover for 3 minutes. Finally, stir and enjoy!
Finished (click to enlarge). Added chashu pork, spring onion, and Salad Cosmo mung bean sprouts. Noodles definitely had a rubbery kind of feel that just was a disappointment. The broth wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t thrilled. Seemed like it could have used a little more ‘something.’ 2.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 5901384500603.
It’s funny how people hear something is bad for them, believe it, and then hold onto that concept for dear life. It’s kind of like Splenda. Used to have cookies with it and then my mom and sister would eat them and thoroughly enjoyed them and wanted to have more. After the second cookie, I told them they were made with Splenda. Boom. ‘Oh – yeah they’re kind of strange. Oh we don’t like those. You wanted to eat all of them until you found out Splenda was in them. Same thing with MSG. As well as climate change not being real… As well as going blind by sitting close to a TV. Bombardment by misinformation is a powerful thing. Just look at who’s in the White House…
Here’s the last of the varieties from Poland that were kindly sent by Joe & Gil of the UK! Borscht! I’ve never actually had real borscht before, but I read up on it on the Wikipedia page:
Borscht (also borsch, bortsch, borstch, borsh, borshch; Ukrainian: борщ) is a soup of Ukrainian origin that is popular in many Eastern and Central European countries. In most of these countries, it is made with beetroot as the main ingredient, giving it a deep reddish-purple color. In some countries, tomato is used as the main ingredient, while beetroot acts as a secondary ingredient. Other, non-beet varieties also exist, such as the tomato paste-based orange borscht and green borscht (sorrel soup). While the original Ukrainian name does not end with a “t”, a final t was added when the word was borrowed into Yiddish. The word was borrowed into English from Yiddish, not Ukrainian or Russian.
What I’m having today is a Polish version and here’s what it has to say about that:
The basic Polish borscht (barszcz) recipe includes red beetroot, onions, garlic, and other vegetables, such as carrots and celery or root parsley. The ingredients are cooked for some time together to produce a clear broth (when strained), and the soup is then served as boullion in cups or in other ways. Some recipes include bacon, as well, which gives the soup a distinctive “smoky” taste.
Other versions are richer and include meat and cut vegetables of various kinds, with beetroot not necessarily dominating (though this soup is not always called barszcz, but rather beetroot soup). This variation of barszcz is not strained, and the vegetable contents are left in. Such soup can constitute the main course of a Polish obiad (the main meal eaten in the early afternoon).
Barszcz in its strictly vegetarian version is the first course during the Christmas Eve feast, served with ravioli-type dumplings called uszka (lit. “little ears”) with mushroom filling (sauerkraut can be used, as well, again depending on the family tradition). Typically, this version does not include any meat ingredients, although some variants do.
The beet basis is not required. There is a sour rye soup called żurek; the wheat-flour-based variant of this soup is called barszcz biały (“white barszcz”), made from a base of fermented wheat, usually added to a broth of boiled white fresh sausage (kiełbasa). It is served hot with cubed rye bread and diced hard-boiled eggs added to the broth, and horseradish is often added to taste.
A key component to the taste of barszcz is acidity. While it can be made easily within a few hours by simply cooking the ingredients and adding vinegar, lemon juice, or citric acid, the traditional way is to prepare barszcz several days in advance and to allow it to naturally sour. Depending on the technique, the level of acidity required, and the ingredients available, barszcz takes three to seven days to prepare in this way.
Wow – never knew. Anyways, here we go!
Hey wait a minute. On this distrubotr’s sticker, we have the ingredients – one of which is interestingly enough ‘torches.’ If anyone has any idea what this could b, send along a message and I’ll add it in here.
Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge).
The noodle block has been a little beaten up – here’s some of it.
As with the other Amino varieties, one big packet.
Wow look at that color – beets!
Finished (click image to enlarge). Added beef, onions, green bell pepper and sour cream. The noodles are pretty standard – slightly broader and plumper than most. The broth is quite interesting. It is very deep in color and has a nice tomato and beet flavor with a light smokiness. This is really good stuff – 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 5900300545285.
Here’s another great one sent by Gil & Joe of the UK! This is a Polish variety. What’s Ogorkowa mean? Simple – cucumber soup. I looked around online and found lots of recipes, some using dill pickles and mentioning that pregnant Polish women favored this soup. Well, let’s check it out!
Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge).
As the noodles came from a long way via postal mail, they got a little beaten up – here’s one of the chunks.
The dry seasoning packet – a pretty big one!
Has a strong dill pickle scent and kind of a taste much like sour cream and onion chips.
Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sweet onion, finely chopped ham and black pepper. The noodles are pretty good – nothing really weird, just a nice consistency and chew. The broth is slightly on the bland side, but has a really interesting fill flavor to it I enjoyed. 3.25 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 5900300545698.
Here’s another new one from Joe & Gill of the UK! Wow! This is something brand new to me – instant noodles from Poland?! Yup they sure are. But what the heck is ‘Żurek?’ Well, Wikipedia has this to say:
The sour rye soup is a soup made of souredryeflour (akin to sourdough) and meat (usually boiled pork sausage or pieces of smoked sausage, bacon or ham). It is specific to Poland, where it is known as żur or żurek, and a variant is known as barszcz biały (“white barszcz“) which is made with wheat flour instead of rye. The soup is also found in the cuisines of other western Slavic nations such as Slovakia (kyslóvka). A variation of this soup is found in Czech Republic (kyselo – with mushrooms and without meat) and Lithuania.
Okay that’s cool – I have some ham I could add… Wikipedia continues:
In Poland it is sometimes served in an edible bowl made of bread or with boiled potatoes. The recipe varies from region to region.
In Silesia, a type of sour rye soup known as żur śląski is served in a bowl, poured over mashed potatoes. In the Podlaskie region, it is common to eat żurek with halved hard-boiled eggs.
In Poland żurek is traditionally eaten at Easter, but is also popular during other parts of the year. It is usually served with bread or buns, and sometimes flavored with bits of sausage, often in the plate made of bread.
I’ve got eggs too, so I think I’ll add some ham and hard boil an egg (of course after I have sampled the broth and noodles first for the review).
The import sticker (imported into England, that is).
The back of the package (click image to enlarge).
A big chunk of the noodle block.
The seasoning packet. A good sized one with a lot inside.
The powdered seasoning. Has a smoky scent and a definite sausage flavor – interesting!
Finished (click image to enlarge). I added thin sliced ham, sweet onion, some hard boiled egg and a bit of black pepper. The noodles aren’t bad – nothing amazing though. A nice texture that one would expect from instant noodles. The broth is very interesting. A light, smoked meat flavor – like smoked sausage. Interesting stuff. 3.25 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 5900300587728 .