Tag Archives: taiwanese food

Unboxing Time: Product Samples From Wu-Mu

Unboxing Time: Product Samples From Wu-Mu

Got a big and heavy box of samples today in the mail! Miles immediately decided it was his and thought he should play ‘king of the hill’ and be on top of it. Luckily, the box was very sturdy and so no harm done. Let’s crack this box open and have as look inside to see what we’ll be sampling for Meet The Manufacturer: Wu-Mu!

Unboxing Time: Product Samples From Wu-Mu – Taiwan

During my trip to Taiwan in late 2017, I met people from Wu-Mu at the International Food Expo. They gave me a sample of a variety which contains a fancy kind of wine. Well, I still have the sample and then they contacted me asking if I’d like to try other varieties. It seemed logical to make it a full-blown Meet The Manufacturer, and here we asre.

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Wu-Mu

Interview with Wu-Mu * Product Samples From Wu-MuWu-Mu Jing Xiang Ban Mian Ramen With Jah Jan Sauce

I was contacted by a representative of the Taiwanese company Wu-Mu a coiuple of months after returning from Taiwan last year. They were interested in sending me some samples and I asked if they’d like to participate in Meet The Manufacturer. They were and so here we are. Let’s begin with an interview.

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

WUMU> WuMu Ramen is a noodle brand of The SING-LIN FOODS CORPORATION, which was established in 1985. The corporation spent billions completing the very first automated factory of Asia. Facilitated with modern computer program controlled fully automatic machinery and equipment under strict quality and hygiene controls, we have passed The FSSC 22000 Food Safety System Certification, and we are able to offer the consumers high quality assured noodle products. Also, we have the largest market share in Taiwan during 2010-June 2017 No1.

TRR> Why the name WuMu?

WUMU> There were five working partners who funded for establishing the company, and the character of WU in Mandarin means“five“ in English.

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

WUMU> We have two different types of products, dry noodle and steam ramen.

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

WUMU> Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, is an island in East Asia. It has an area of 35,883 km2, and also it has a population of over 23 million. The weather here is like an eternal spring and the landscape is breathtaking. People in Taiwan are always gentle and friendly to others. Furthermore, Taiwan is paradise of gastronomy!

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

WUMU> The steam ramen that The SING-LIN FOODS CORPORATION produce differ from the FRIED instant noodles. Our ramen adopt a unique noodles steaming technique to replace to replace the traditional fried approach, which is much healthier because the total lipid content of it takes only 0.07% of the one of the fried instant noodles. The dry noodles are dried in 3 stages, the track of the drying passage is about 1 km and the whole drying process take 9 hours. Therefore, we are able to strictly control the temperature and the humidity of the noodles and to ensure that the noodles are not broken , not cracked and the surface of them are perfect, so that the quality is always stable and the best.

TRR> Do you make your own pastes, sauces and seasonings?

WUMU> Yes, we do.

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

WUMU> We decide on varieties to produce depends on the market analysis and the demand of consumers or clients.

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

WUMU> Approximately 50 products per year.

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

WUMU> No, we don’t.

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

WUMU> Our noodle products have many possibilities of pairing with other ingredients, meats, seafood, vegetables are all suitable as pairings. Besides, the noodle itself can be seasoned as well (with eggs, spinach, buckwheat, all kinds of grains 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?

WUMU> The sodium content of the salt that we add during the process of making noodle products is lower than daily/meal intake. Normally speaking, the sodium content of our noodle products won’t be a point to worry.

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

WUMU> Yes, we do, for example, we have sponsored and participated for 13 years in an activity called elderly reunion dinner, in which we organize a reunion dinner before Chinese New Year especially for the elderly who live alone.

TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?

WUMU> Yes, for an example there is a brand-new flavor coming soon named Ma Jiou Lao Jyiou Mian Xian (Seafood).

TRR> In what countries are your products available?

WUMU> In the United States, Canada, Australia and China…etc. Our products are available all over the world.

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

WUMU> By adding the ingredients (such as eggs, spinach, buckwheat, all kinds of grains etc.) to season the noodle itself, the noodle products have diversity of flavor and value added.

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for the opportunity for me and my readers to learn more about WuMu!

Unboxing Time: Mom’s Dry Noodle Samples + Taiwanese Snacks

Unboxing Time: Mom's Dry Noodle Samples + Taiwanese Snacks

Today, we’ve got a box from Mom’s Dry Noodle. Mom’s Dry Noodle has been on my Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodle lists for a few years now. Really nice folks who work really hard on their products – and it shows in their quality. If you want to check them out, here you go! Also, some snacks in here! Let’s crack it open and take a look!

Unboxing Time: Mom’s Dry Noodle Samples + Taiwanese Snacks – Taiwan

Yeah so great noodles and some neat snacks! Thanks again!

Travels: Taiwan 2017 Day 5: Eating Out Of Toilets, Coffee & Pizza

Day 1 & 2 * Day 3 * Day 4 * Day 5 * Day 6 * Day 7

So the title for the day’s travelogue is probably a little confusing – so let’s get right to it!

Taiwan 2017 Day 5: Eating Out Of Toilets, Coffee & Pizza

I saw a video about weird things to check out in Taipei and this caught my eye – Modern toilet Restaurant. The whole theme to the place is toilets, defecation; you get the picture. How odd, eh? Well, odd is definitely my wheelhouse – and the food is quite good as well!

Walked around the area after Modern Toilet – found some gifts too. This was when I got some footage inside a 7-Eleven. The clapping thing was pretty neat. Then we ended up back at the food expo and did some more samples.

Went and checked out the coffee, tea and machinery floor of the show next – this place is so huge. I mean, I swear you could park a jumbo jet on each floor.

Back to the hotel for more livestreaming and then off to… Pizza Hut?

I was really blown away by Pizza Hut. I’ve been to Asia now 4 times and always left thinking ‘man, I should have tried the fast food!’ Well, Pizza Hut here is a sit–down restaurant – buffet style. My favorite was the rice and saugage stuffed bread – oh man I feel like anything pizza related is junk compared to this stuff. I’m hooked. I think it’s completely insane that they don’t have it here in the States. Well, after this we hit Carrefour to look for a particular variety of noodles. No luck, but got some Hello Kitty bath tissue or the wife! She’s a Hello Kitty fan. Anyways, back to the hotel for some sleep.

Unboxing Time: Pineapple Cake From A-Sha Of Taiwan

Mid-Autumn Festival will be upon us very soon. October 3rd! A-Sha Dry Noodle, a company whose products have been in the Taiwanese Top Ten and once in the annual Top Ten list also makes quite a few different items.

They sent me some pineapple cake – a popular Mid-Autumn Festival treat from Taiwan. Let’s find out a little more from the latest Unboxing Time With The Ramen Rater video!

Unboxing Time: Pineapple Cake From A-Sha – Taiwan

An Unboxing Time With The Ramen Rater video

The Ramen Rater Visits Taiwan – Day 5: A Fond Farewell

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

Our last day in Taipei greets us again with the Taipei 101 yet again; a constant companion during the trip. Definitely tired still after going so many places and seeing so many new things, we start the day that will end up with us coming home.

Had some breakfast buffet at the United Hotel. Have found I like baked sweet potato as well as baked pumpkin. Also has sliced pork in oyster sauce, taro buns and some noodles. We also stopped by the 7-Eleven one more time – I found a couple gifts to bring home and yet another bowl of noodles. To be honest, I didn’t know whether or not any of my noodles would end up making it home; so many contain meat and that generally gets a big no from the CBP/USDA, so my fingers are crossed! Kyle picked us up for lunch and we planned on going to a popular beef noodle soup place but the line was pretty crazy so we went to a place called Lao Zhang. We started with some steamed rice with pork which was really good – served in a little wooden pot and underneath was a little bit of yam. It was accompanied by some cucumber and eggplant. Next was the beef noodle soup which was out of this world good! Afterwards we wandered around the area to find some snow ice. I tried this the night before at Raohe night market. Basically imagine the fluffiest snow that tastes like vanilla ice cream topped with mango and mango syrup as well as some whipped cream and custard on top. Ended up sitting next to a nice family from Washington D.C. (the other Washington!) who had moved to Taiwanbn. I asked how they liked it and they were really happy there. We walked around a little more and found something interesting. A while back, I saw a video showing a place that was selling stuff from my top ten list – not only that, it was using signs that said The Raman Rater (sp) and even pictures of me. Well, they don’t have that anymore at this particular shop but I intrroduced myself and the lady working there knew who I was. Pretty neat – gotta go 6,000 miles from home to meet people who recognize me ha! I also took a second to marvel at an automated display of chopsticks and noodles in front of a Japanese ramen shop.

Next we visited the National Museum Of Taiwan. We drove up and up and up – it’s on the side of a mountain. So many people and lots of walking and stairs – I was going to have no problem sleeping on the flight home tonight! Saw lots of Taiwanese antiquities – lots of jade, calligraphy and statues. Very impressive – especially how ancient many of them were. One bowl in particular caught my eye – I guess when I’m a billionaire maybe I can start doing my reviews in 500+ year old bowls!

We ended up going to Back Garden restaurant overlooking Taipei. A neat place with a great view, and awesome food! Had some nice fried tofu, water spinach, and sweet and sour pork. Now what’s nice about the sweet and sour pork is that it wasn’t breaded and deep fried like they do here in the states; it was moist and tender with pineapple and a sweet and indeed slightly sour sauce. Finally, we had some crusted cod which was really good. A great way to cap off our trip. We headed back to the United Hotel to get our luggage and catch a cab to the airport. We bid Kyle a fond farewell and a big thanks for showing us a great time in Taiwan – he really went above and beyond.

We took a cab to the airport and I recorded the whole thing. As soon as I uploaded the video to YouTube, it told me that there was a copyright claim (the cabbie had music going) and the whole point of posting this super long video was that towards the end you can hear him singing along to the music. The singing cab driver was one of the last fond memories of Taiwan. Unfortunately, YouTube scrapped the audio so I put in some of my own, but here’s an audio clip of what I’m talking about.

Got through security and had a few minutes to chill before the next flight. Ate the first meal and then passed out, waking up about 1,000 miles from home which was nice. Got to Seatac Airport and went through the security/customs re-entry without a hitch and rolled my luggage full of meaty noodles, big hats from flipping noodles and plenty of other things. Met my wife and two sons at the airport arrivals gate and soon we were on our way home. I want to thank everyone at Mom’s Dry Noodle for making this trip happen. I also want to thank my sister Sue for coming with me and watching out for curbs and other easily tripped over things what with my poor vision. Finally, I want to thank my lovely wife Kit for letting me go while she stayed at home with our boy Miles, dog Otis, and our daughter who she will give birth to any day now. Good to be home again.

The Ramen Rater Visits Taiwan – Day 4: Media, Malls & Raohe Night Market

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

Yet again, we start our day gazing at the Taipei 101 as it towers over the local landscape. Kyle picked us up and we went to the Mom’s Dry Noodle offices.

ET Today, a well-known Taiwanese news website wanted to do an interview with me and I accepted. It was nice to actually do an interview with the Taiwanese press; so often they don’t do interviews with me and so I don’t get a chance to comment on stories that are put out. What also was nice ws to have Kyle there to translate – I think that made a big difference,  Here’s the article (warning – Google Translate does a poor job on this one). Kyle had some work to do, so James took us out on the town.

During the trip, I asked a lot of questions. One I’d been particularly interested in was how people get their ‘Western’ names. Kyle mentioned how very often a teacher in English class will assign you one ‘you look like a Keith or John’ etc. Kyle got his from a friend who thought it was a good name. James got his from the daughter of a family friend. I asked James if he felt put  off by the need for a Western name; I mean, shouldn’t we in the West have the respect to learn everyone’s name, regardless of whether it’s European or not? He said that it was very important in school, especially in the West. Growing up here, I remember how cruel other kids could be, but it sounds like a lot of kids give Asian kids a lot of crap. Knock it off, I say!

He also mentioned something extremely funny. So if you want to make someone from Taiwan mad, say China number one. To anger the Chinese, say Taiwan is number one. Well, here’s a video from YouTube of how this got started. In fact, the guy who says Taiwan #1 ended up being invited to Taiwan by the company! I found myself saying TAIWAN NUMBER ONE repeatedly during the rest of the trip, and I think it’ll be something I’ll be saying in upcoming top ten lists when Taiwan appears.

We went to lunch at Saboten, a tonkatsu restaurant. So many of you are familiar with tonkotsu, a Japanese style of ramen with a milky pork bone broth. Tonkatsu is usually breaded pork or chicken. It was excellent – you got a choice of tonkatsu with either cheese or asparagus in the center (I went for the asparagus). A mortar and pestle with sesame seeds was there – you grind the sesame seeds and it brings out the scent and then add plum sauce; seriously good with the meat. Shredded cabbage and grapefruit dressing was refreshing as well. My set included the tonkatsu, a couple pieces of seafood tempura – oyster and shrimp. I’ve honestly never liked oyster – until I had this! Awesome lunch.

Next we hit Miramar Entertainment Park, like a big mall. Now this was huge – I think there were six floors! At the top was a ferris wheel my sister took a ride on. We checked out a Carrefour that was in there. Carrefour is like a grocery/department kind of store. Got a ton of instant noodles there! Up a bit and we saw some familiar things – Subway, Krispy Kreme, Jamba Juice – all with neat Taiwanese twists to them. Next floor was the kid’s level – I was hoping to find some clothes for Miles and our daughter who will be born next month. I ended up at Toy World, a place my son Andy would have really liked. He’s a Pokemon fanatic and so I played a game and got him a little square plastic trinket (which he’s pretty stoked on by the way). One of my favorite things were the storage lockers. Not that storage lockers are all that exciting, but the big warning signs not to leave pets, drugs, guns, diamonds or babies in there. Pretty awesome.

We got dropped off back at the hotel and said goodbye to James and took some time to chill. Then met Kyle in the lobby. We were going to go out for dinner, but we decided to go to Raohe night market instead. Got to try even more delicacies – cock’s comb (the pointy thing on a rooster’s head), duck tongue (very chewy and tough), chicken heart, fried frog (quite tasty), spicy fishball, dragonfruit drink and fried milk. I also found some clothes for the kiddos which was awesome. A good evening of tromping around and trying new things.

Full of different animals parts, we ended up back at the hotel. Another very full day in Taipei and ready to crash.

Friday Video: Takeru Kobayashi Chugs Down A-Sha Noodles!

Takeru Kobayashi is one of the most famous competitive eaters in the world. For those who’ve never heard of competitive eating, yes – there’s such a thing! In this episode of a popular Taiwanese TV show, watch him scarf down what looks to be ten bowls of A-Sha noodles! Very impressive! He’s doing some special stuff with A-Sha Dry Noodle right now, and I will have more on that soon! For now, enjoy and Happy Friday!

#1413: Chering Chang Curry La-Men

Found this one at Uwajimaya in Bellevue. What I found particularly interesting was that it was a curry variant from Taiwan. I think I’ve only had one curry instant from Taiwan before and it was truly excellent. I thought maybe I’d try some of the new stuff my wife is growing with it!

At her work, Kit has had to care for some of the plants that are sold there lately and has found she enjoys it. We went to a few places and got some planters and plants and she’s been going to town on it!

Sky Nursery has lots of neat plants. We got a Patio tomato plant as well as lots of herbs. Mint, coriander, curry , sage and more! Going to use some mint today! Let’s check out this instant noodle from Taiwan.

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add one of the noodle blocks to 500ml boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in one paste and one vegetable sachet and cook another minute. Enjoy!

One of the four noodle blocks. This is a four pack, so you get four noodle blocks and four each of two kinds of seasoning sachet.

The paste sachet.

Has a nice curry scent.

The vegetable sachet.

A very interesting mix – peas red pepper, seaweed and cabbage.

 

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sweet onion, Chinese long bean, mint, prawn flavor fish ball and tau pok (tofu puff). The noodles have a decent chewiness and have a fresh kind of feel to them I like. They are a regular instant gauge. The broth has a sweet curry flavor which also was nice – definitely leaning towards sweeter with no real spiciness detectable. The vegetables hydrated very well and I must say they were absolutely perfect. The cabbage was crisp and flavorful. The corn and peas came out excellent as well, and there was a good amount of seaweed. This was the best included veggie sachet experience I’ve had possibly ever.  I’m very pleased with this one – 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 4710589440321.

In Taiwan, the nighttime is a good time to shop. Night Markets are big business in Taiwan, and people sell just about everything imaginable – or unimaginable! Check out this video showing a taste of what a Taiwanese Night Market is all about.

#1411: A-Sha Prince Katsu Snack Noodle

Woot – snack noodles! This is one of the last ones I got at my old apartment. Really looking forward to seeing new stuff arrive at our new place! Anyways, this is a big bag with twenty little bags inside of it. That’s a lot of snacking! Let’s check it out!

Here’s the big English sticker (click image to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, open one of the little bags, tilt towards mouth and eat.

Here’s the back of the big package without the large sticker (click image to enlarge).

One of the small bags contained within the big bag – there are twenty of them!

Here’s the back of one of the mini bags (click image to enlarge).

Finished (click image to enlarge). So it’s exactly what it looks like – dry noodles. They’re very light and crunchy and have a nice salty and crunchy appeal to them. There’s a bit of a sweet and garlic or onion kind of thing going on as well as a hint of spiciness. For a snack, this one gets 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 4715635851632.

This is a neat little video on how to make a burger with A-Sha noodles.

Samples From A-Sha Dry Noodle

Got a package the other day – samples from A-Sha Dry Noodle! Curious as to what’s inside…

On the left is a new snack noodle from A-Sha. This is actually a large sized bag with little bags inside. On the right we have something new. You know how tea comes in little bags that are steeped, right? Well, these are called Mini Break, and they use that same teabag concept to make a cup of coffee. Thanks to the guys over at A-Sha! I’ll be reviewing the noodles soon and might have to brew a cup of coffee to go along with them!

#1280: Deshome Sun Dried Noodle Chlorella Powder Noodle With Curry Sauce

A new one from Deshome! Not only is it new, but it’s curry! However, it’sd also chlorella. I put one variety on instant noodles on my bottom ten list that was a green tea and chlorella combo. I’m not sure if it was the green tea or the chlorella I dislikes, but I really disliked that one! So I guess we’ll see! As far as chlorella, Wikipedia has this to say:

Chlorella is a genus of single-cellgreen algae, belonging to the phylum Chlorophyta. It is spherical in shape, about 2 to 10 μm in diameter, and is without flagella. Chlorella contains the green photosynthetic pigments chlorophyll-a and -b in its chloroplast. Through photosynthesis, it multiplies rapidly, requiring only carbon dioxide, water, sunlight, and a small amount of minerals to reproduce.[1]

The name Chlorella is taken from the Greekchloros, meaning green, and the Latin diminutive suffix ella, meaning small. German biochemist and cell physiologist Otto Heinrich Warburg, awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1931 for his research on cell respiration, also studied photosynthesis in Chlorella. In 1961, Melvin Calvin of the University of California received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on the pathways of carbon dioxide assimilation in plants using Chlorella.

Many people believe Chlorella could serve as a potential source of food and energy because its photosynthetic efficiency can, in theory, reach 8%,[2] comparable with other highly efficient crops such as sugar cane.

It is an attractive potential food source because it is high in protein and other essential nutrients; when dried, it is about 45% protein, 20% fat, 20% carbohydrate, 5% fibre, and 10% minerals and vitamins. Mass-production methods are now being used to cultivate it in large artificial circular ponds. It is also abundant in calories, fat, and vitamins.[3]

When first harvested, Chlorella was suggested as an inexpensive protein supplement to the human diet. Advocates sometimes focus on other supposed health benefits of the algae, such as claims of weight control, cancer prevention, and immune system support.[3] According to the American Cancer Society, “available scientific studies do not support its effectiveness for preventing or treating cancer or any other disease in humans”.[4]

Under certain growing conditions, Chlorella yields oils that are high in polyunsaturated fatsChlorella minutissima has yielded EPA at 39.9% of total lipids.[5]

One small (35 participant) study suggested Chlorella supplementation has a positive effect on the reduction of dioxin levels in breast milk and it may also have beneficial effects on nursing infants by increasing the IgA levels in breast milk.[6]

So there we are. Let’s give this a try!

The back of the package (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, boil 400ml water. Put noodles in bowl and add water, cover for 3-4 minutes. Drain. Stir in curry sauce and it’s done.

Here’s one of the two noodle ‘fans.’

The curry sauce sachet.

This smells quite excellent.

 

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added fish ball with crab eggs, fish ball with shrimp eggs and green onion. The noodles are very green! They had an odd scent when steeping that was like tea. They have an absolutely wonderful chewiness and gauge. These are top notch folks – then we come to the curry sauce. It’s enough to coat everything nicely and has a wonderfully rich curry taste. There were lots of bits of mushroom and onion throughout and it had a very nice homemade feel. I am thoroughly impressed with this – quite possibly the best Taiwanese variety to date. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 4716873922252.

Here’s a news story (starts at 2m45s) on my Top Ten Taiwanese Instant Noodles list I came out with in 2013. Deshome was second place!