Tag Archives: taichung

Unboxing Time: Happy Noodle From Taiwan

Unboxing Time: Happy Noodle From Taiwan

Today, it’s another installment of Unboxing Time With The Ramen Rater. We have some interesting things from Taiwan to check out! I thought it would be fun to have a special guest on this unboxing, so my son Andy has joined me today. Impressively, he’s sampled some of the spiciest noodles in the world – the number one from my top ten spicy list – and handled it pretty well earlier this year! Well, let’s get to the unboxing – I’ve started a new video series called ‘Unboxing Time With The Ramen Rater’ – I hope you enjoy it!

Unboxing Time: Happy Noodle – Taiwan

Here’s the unboxing – joining me today is my son Andy!

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

It’s been quite a year of reviewing as far as Taiwan is concerned. I brought back a trove of varieties I’d never had the chance to try before. Really opened my eyes many varieties that people had recommended I try over the years. This is the top ten – the best Taiwanese varieties I’ve tried from the over 2,500+ reviews I’ve posted to date. As always, if I’ve not tried your noodles, please contact me! I’m interested! Let’s check it out!

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

A special video presentation of The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition.

#10: Kiki Noodles Sichuan Spices Flavor Noodle

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

Noodles are thin with a great chew to them. The flavor is excellent – there’s a sweetness and a fire! I really like how the pepper is in a sachet – gives one the option for how hot they like their noodles. Original review

#9: Mom’s Dry Noodle Sichuan Spicy Flavor

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The scalloped edges, the width, the chew are great and in fact, I could chew on these forever – not that they’re overly chewy and would require such. The spicy Sichuan pepper flavor coats and satisfies. Furthermore, it’s not a one trick pony and in the end, it’s spicy and very tasty as well. Original review

#8: Mom’s Dry Noodle Sour & Spicy Flavor

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The noodles are flat and a little broader with a very serious chew to them. The flavor is very unique. It’s a kind of crisp black vinegar hit along with a spicy oil hit to it. It’s like ping pong; you notice the heat, then the vinegar, then the heat. Original review

#7: TTL Sesame Oil Chicken With Rice Wine Noodle

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The noodles are soft and plentiful – very nice. A soft noodle works very well here in a sea of chicken flavored broth. The notes of ginger and sesame go well with the rice wine. Finally, the real chicken is really good. Original review

#6: Uni-President Man Han Feast Super Hot Pot Beef Flavor Instant Noodles

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

Here’s one I’d been hoping to try. Recommended to me quite a few times, this one features a soft noodle with a rich beef broth. The heat isn’t too much and the beef really adds a nice extra. Original review

#5: Kiki Noodles Scallion Oil & Soy Sauce Flavor Noodle

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The noodles are thin and have a very agreeable mouthfeel. The flavor is a sweet kind of onion hit which is quite tasty. Original review

#4: Tseng Noodle Scallion With Sichuan Pepper Flavor

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

A wide noodle with scalloped edges. These have the bonus of a thin edge and thicker center, giving a delicate as well as hearty aspect. The flavor is very good – a soy bump, some onion hit, then the Sichuan pepper oil. It all works together magnificently. Original review

#3: Little Cook Thailand Green Curry Instant Noodle

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

This bowl, in fact, is two bowls. One you steep the noodles in. The second? Drain the broth from the first by poking holes in the lid and pour into it. The noodle is accompanied by a spicy green curry and chunks of vegetable and real chicken. The broth slurping soup worked well too. Original review

#2: Xiao Ban Mian Traditional Shallot & Onion Oil Noodle

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

Start with a thin kind of rectangular noodle with a strong chew. The flavor that comes with it is a sweet and savory shallot and scallion oil – and it works so well. Who would think something so simple could be so delightful. Original review

#1: Mom’s Dry Noodle Dan Dan Noodle

Taiwanese The Ramen Rater's Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles Of All Time 2017 Edition

The noodles came out with a very nice chew. They aren’t mushy whatsoever and have a confident backbone. The flavor is very good as well. The notes of sesame, Sichuan pepper oil, Sichuan pepper in the dry mix, sesame sauce as well as soy sauce all work together and play well with each other; nobody’s feet get stepped on. Simple yet complex. Original review

#2501: Happy Cook Toona Paste Noodle

#2501: Happy Cook Toona Paste Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle

This is one I brought back with me from Taiwan! Happy Cook is a brand that one of the factories in Taichung makes.

#2501: Happy Cook Toona Paste Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle

Hanging out and taking tea after touring the factory with the guys from Hung Guang. noodle company! So toona paste – here’s what I found on Wikipedia –

Toona sinensis, with common names Chinese mahogany,[2] Chinese toon, or red toon (Chinese: 香椿; pinyin: xiāngchūn; Hindi: daaraluu; Malay: suren; Vietnamese: tông dù) is a species of Toona native to eastern and southeastern Asia, from North Korea south through most of eastern, central and southwestern China to Nepal, northeastern India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and western Indonesia.[3][4][5][6][7]

The young leaves of T. sinensis (xiāngchūn) are extensively used as a vegetable in China; they have a floral, yet onion-like flavor, attributed to volatile organosulfur compounds.[9] Plants with red young leaves are considered of better flavour than those where the young leaves are green.[3][10][11]

Alright – let’s give it a try!

Happy Cook Toona Paste Noodle – Taiwan

#2501: Happy Cook Toona Paste Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add noodles to a pot of boiling water and cook 4 minutes. Add in sachets contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#2501: Happy Cook Toona Paste Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle

The noodle block.

#2501: Happy Cook Toona Paste Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle

The paste sachet.

#2501: Happy Cook Toona Paste Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle

Thick and oily.

#2501: Happy Cook Toona Paste Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle

A clear liquid.

#2501: Happy Cook Toona Paste Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle

Looks like oil.

Finished (click to enlarge). The noodles have a great chew and mouthfeel – very nice. The flavor is a salty and slightly oily kind of taste with a little something else going on – perhaps that’s the toona! Tasty bites here. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4717904326001.

#2501: Happy Cook Toona Paste Noodle - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodle

開心煮-醬拌意麵-老北京炸醬 Happy  Cook – Old Beijing Fried bean Sauce Noodle

A short video on Happy Cook.

#2318: Happy Cook Sichuan Spicy Flavor

#2318: Happy Cook Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

This is one I brought back with me from Taiwan! Happy Cook is a brand that one of the factories in Taichung makes.

#2318: Happy Cook Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Hanging out and taking tea after touring the factory with the guys from Hung Guang. noodle company! I put the video I made while touring the factory at the bottom of the post so check it out! Let’s give the finished product a try!

Happy Cook Sichuan Spicy Flavor – Taiwan

#2318: Happy Cook Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add noodles to a pot of boiling water and cook for 5-6 minutes. Drain. Add in sachet contents. Stir and enjoy!

#2318: Happy Cook Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

The noodle block.

#2318: Happy Cook Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

The first of two sauce sachets.

#2318: Happy Cook Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Has a soy scent.

#2318: Happy Cook Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

The second sachet – oil this time.

#2318: Happy Cook Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Spicy stuff!

#2318: Happy Cook Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Finished (click to enlarge). Added Chinese sausage and sweet onion. The noodles are very wide and thin with an excellent chew – light and giving. The sauce is the fiery breath of Mala, whose Sichuan pepper heat means business. I like how the peppery oil has a kind of pinelike note to it – very good! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4717904326025.

#2318: Happy Cook Sichuan Spicy Flavor - Taiwan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Made In Taichung City. Cool Gift – Mug

Here’s the factory I ‘m talking about. They use fans and heat to dry out the noodles.

The Ramen Rater Visits Taiwan – Day 3: Taichung Noodle Factories & Taipei’s Huaxi Night Market

Day 1 * Day 2 * Day 3 * Day 4  * Day 5

Woke up at the Silks Place hotel and had some breakfast. Then we were off to the Tainan rail station. We said goodbye to Darren there and then goodbye to Perry who had to head back to Taipei as he was off to travel on business the next day. The rail stations were really fascinating; almost like a mall to themselves! Tons of people, but everything seems to work very logically. We took the train from Tainan to Taichung where three more noodle factories were to explore! Met Jason, Erickk and Paul and went out for lunch at a hot pot restaurant. Got to try plum drink – kind of tasted like American barbecue sauce to be honest, but went very well with the Taiwanese beef. Was an enjoyable meal for all and then we were off to visit three noodle factories. These factories are all part of a company called Hung Guang.

The first factory was interesting. First, we see the dough flattened thinner and thinner and then cut and deposited into grid-like trays. Workers make sure the noodles are in the correct places before the trays are sent off to the drying room, a very warm place indeed. Then the dried noodles come upstairs for packaging.

The second factory makes the straight noodles found in the new varieties by Mom’s Dry Noodle. The first machine we see takes the noodles and gets them bundled. In the next scene, we see the hanging noodles ready to go up to the drying room upstairs and a processing machine (it was late in the day so it wasn’t running). In the back, the dough is being made. Upon entry, we saw a big fish tank that we took a closer look at when we were leaving. The large fish has scaled that look kind of like coins arranged in a pattern and Kyle told me that these fish bring luck in the wealth department.

On the way to the third factory, we stopped for some bubble tea. Taichung is the birthplace of bubble tea and so having some from there was really great. I also got to try wheel cakes – they’re shaped like a wheel and kind of like a pancake outside with either a custard of red bean inside, and served hot. Perfect combo!

We visit the third factory late in the day. This factory uses fans to dry their noodles as well as heat. What you end up with is the ability to dry the noodles without the sun’s help, which is great for a colder day. After our tour, we had some oolong tea and talked about our trip thus far and how I was interested in eating snake and maybe even trying steamed spider. They liked that a lot and wanted to take us out on the town in Taichung, but unfortunately we had to catch the train back to Taipei. So, we bid them adieu and headed for the THSR station. Once back in Taipei, we check into our room, again at the United Hotel, and then headed to the Huaxi night market.

I’d never been to a night market before and if you haven’t, it’s an amazing, living, breathing thing. Lots and lots of food and product stalls everywhere and lots of people too. So many smells, sounds and sights that it almost becomes a bit of a blur. Huaxi (snake alley) night makret has a lot of the more interesting things like a couple places selling snake and turtle to eat. I saw a YouTube video about snake and really wanted to give it a try. I did in this video – and quite honestly, I liked it, albeit kind of hard to eat. I hope you enjoy the video! After this we went back to our hotel and passed out.