Tag Archives: takamori

#2522: Takamori Hearty Japanese Style Curry Udon

#2522: Takamori Hearty Japanese Style Curry Udon - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

I gota ride to 99 Ranch yesterday from my sister – thanks! So I was looking for mung bean sprouts, however I found this one when we went through the store. I did a Meet The Manufacturer with Takamori Kosan a few years back and really been hoping I’d get another chance to try some more of their products. Well, this is one of them! Here’s a little about udon from Wikipedia –

Udon (饂飩?, usually written as うどん) is a type of thick wheat flour noodle of Japanese cuisine. Udon is often served hot as a noodle soup in its simplest form, as kake udon, in a mildly flavoured broth called kakejiru, which is made of dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. It is usually topped with thinly chopped scallions. Other common toppings include tempura, often prawn or kakiage (a type of mixed tempura fritter), or aburaage, a type of deep-fried tofu pockets seasoned with sugar, mirin, and soy sauce. A thin slice of kamaboko, a halfmoon-shaped fish cake, is often an add on.

The flavor of broth and topping vary from region to region. Usually, dark brown broth, made from dark soy sauce (koikuchi shōyu), is used in eastern Japan, and light brown broth, made from light soy sauce (usukuchi shōyu), is used in western Japan. This is even noticeable in packaged instant noodles, which are often sold in two different versions for east and west.

I think I’m going to let my son Andy give these a try today. Let’s check it out!

Takamori Hearty Japanese Style Curry Udon – Japan

#2522: Takamori Hearty Japanese Style Curry Udon - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Contains fish products. To prepare, add udon to 250ml boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Add in sachets contents. Finally, stir and enjoy!

#2522: Takamori Hearty Japanese Style Curry Udon - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

The pack contains 3 servings – here’s one of the pouches of udon.

#2522: Takamori Hearty Japanese Style Curry Udon - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

A powder base sachet.

#2522: Takamori Hearty Japanese Style Curry Udon - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Smells like a nice curry.

Finished (click to enlarge). Added yaki kamaboko. The udon’s perfect – great gauge and chew. The broth is more like a gravy or sauce. It’s a rich, mild curry full of flavor. I you like that House Golden Curry, you will totally love this. I do. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 4901959100826.

#2522: Takamori Hearty Japanese Style Curry Udon - Japan - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Ramen, Soba, Udon (Food Heroes)

A Takamori advert

Meet The Manufacturer: #1387: Takamori Red Pepper & Garlic Peperoncino

Well folks, this is it. The last one for this Meet The Manufacturer. I really have enjoyed reviewing all of these fresh noodle varieties quite a bit, and I think it’s finally gotten me to look at the possibility of a The Ramen Rater’s top Ten Fresh Noodles Of All Time list. They don’t exactly fit into the Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time lists as they’re usually on a different playing field; they’re not fried blocks, but fresh pouches. So that might be something coming up in the near future. I’d like to thank Yuji for the help in making these reviews happen – I’ve messaged him plenty of times with questions throughout as there’s no English on any of the packaging, let alone the title sometimes. Let’s have a look at this interesting variety from Takamori Kosan of Japan as we bid them a fond farewell for now. Yuji has mentioned that there will be new varieties coming, so it’s not goodbye, but til next time.

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Not sure if meat is present. To prepare, sautee some meat and veggies about halfway and set aside. Add a spoonful of water to a skillet and heat. Drop in the noodles and cook a little and then drop in the dry sachet content. Mix thoroughly and then add in your meat and veggies. Cook until done. Enjoy!

The fresh noodle pouch.

The seasoning sachet.


Definitely a garlic scent present!

 

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added pork, chopped Fresno pepper and sweet onion. The noodles come out nice – good chewiness and gauge. The flavor is nice and harlicky with a little zing of pepperiness. I liked it – 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 4901959100314.

Growing up, I watched a lot of cartoons. The best of them all was Star Blazers, known in Japan as Space Battleship Yamato. Well, I thought I would let those of you who also enjoyed this cartoon know that they made a live action film based on it! Here it is – enjoy!

Meet The Manufacturer: #1386: Takamori Sukiyaki Style Noodle Stew

Well, we’re almost to the end of this Meet The Manufacturer. It’s been a really fun journey through all of these Japanese flavors. Today, I’m going to review a beefy sukiyaki udon stew! But what is sukiyaki? Let’s ask Wikipedia:

Sukiyaki (鋤焼?, or more commonly すき焼き) is a Japanese dish, of the soup or stew type, prepared and served in the nabemono (Japanese hot pot) style.

It consists of meat (usually thinly sliced beef) which is slowly cooked or simmered at the table, alongside vegetables and other ingredients, in a shallow iron pot in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. Before being eaten, the ingredients are usually dipped in a small bowl of raw, beaten eggs.

Generally sukiyaki is a winter dish and it is commonly found at bōnenkai, Japanese year-end parties.

Well, it’s not Winter here anymore, but the temperature has gone down a bit. We had a couple 80+ degree days a week or so ago but today it’s dark and rainy. In fact, all the Springtime pollen from the trees is gathering around the storm drains – looks like a thick yellow soup! Let’s check this one out.

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Probably contains beef. To prepare, bring 300ml water to a boil. While it’s getting to a boil, put the liquid sachet in to heat it. After boiling, take out the sachet. Add udon and cook for 2 minutes. Add sachet content and stir. Enjoy!

The noodle pouch.

Liquid soup base sachet.

Neat looking stuff!

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sweet onion, sukiyaki beef and green onion. The noodles are excellent – soft but chewy and thick. The broth is really something – has a nice thickness to it and a sweet, salty and strong beef flavor. I can see why this is for the Winter – very stick to your ribs stuff! 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 4901959100291.

[AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”B004AE20D2″]A hotpot is what you would use to make Sukiyaki.[/AMAZONPRODUCTS]

Wow this looks really good – making Sukiyaki in Japan.

Meet The Manufacturer: #1385: Takamori Yaki-Udon Roast Soy Sauce

First things first: Happy Mother’s Day! Don’t forget to call your Mom today!

This one sounds good – yaki-udon is something really new to me and during this Meet The Manufacturer, the first time I’ve tried it. The one I had the other day was really tasty – curious how this one will be! Basically the different between yakisoba and yakiudon is that it’s a wider gauge noodle. Let’s see how this one with roast soy sauce flavor comes out!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Not sure, but I’m guessing it contains fish. To prepare, heat oil in a pan and add seafood and veggies and cook a little,m then drop in the noodles and cook longer. Add the seasoning sachet contents and cook til done. Enjoy!

The fresh udon pouch – you get three of these and three sauce sachets.

The liquid base sachet.

A nice soy scented liquid.

 

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added kizami shoga (pickled ginger), cabbage, sukiyaki beef, Kewpie mayonnaise, green onion and sweet onion. The udon noodles are very nice – great chewiness and gauge. The flavor is not your typical yakisoba sauce, but has a nice soy flavor. None of the Worcestershire flavor one might be accustomed to here. It’s really nice though and something I would enjoy on repeated offering. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 4901959100369.

Here’s a UK guy’s take on culture shock when moving to Japan.

Meet The Manufacturer: #1384: Takamori Hiyashi Udon Bonito Sauce

This is another cold noodle dish. Bonito is a fish that is used to flavor broths quite often in Japanese cuisine. The last Takamori cold noodle variety I had was one of the best I’ve ever had – let’s see how this one fares!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Not sure but probably contains fish. To prepare, add the sauce sachet to 60ml cold water and combine. Set aside. Put contents of one noodle sachet in a shallow dish and add 2cm of water. Microwave for 2 minutes 20 seconds at 500 watts or 2 minutes at 600 watts. Drain and run cold water over the noodles. Plate the noodles and pour sauce and water mixture. Enjoy!

One of the two included noodle pouches.

The liquid base.

Has a nice fish scent.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added egg, Kizami Shoga (pickled ginger), green onion and cabbage. The udon noodle is very good cold – they remain moist. The sauce has a nice bonito flavor which is rich and enjoyable. 3.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 4901959100413.

The process in which bonito is smoked and cooked and finally becomes shaved katsuobushi.

Meet The Manufacturer: #1383: Takamori Futomen Yakisoba

During this week, we’ve been reviewing different types of yakisoba – but what is Futomen yakisoba? Futomen is a variety with a slight wider gauge noodle than the regular soba noodle. Also I am told that the flavoring is a little spicier. Let’s check it out!

HHere’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Not sure if it contains meat or fish. To prepare, add a little oil to a pan and sautee some meat and vegetables a little. Add 30ml water and the noodles and cook and combine. Add the sachet contents and combine thoroughly. Enjoy!

One of the two noodle pouches in this one.

The seasoning sachet.

Has that nice Worcestershire scent.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added black pepper infused panko breaded baked chicken, green onion, cabbage, sweet onion, Kewpie mayonnaise, and Kizami Shoga (pickled ginger). Indeed, the noodles have a slightly wider gauge – kind of between soba and udon – and they were very good. The flavor was a hint warmer as far as spiciness goes. The flavor is of great yakisoba through and through – delicious! 4.75 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 4901959100178.

Here’s a video about what school is like in Japan.

Meet The Manufacturer: #1382: Takamori Hiyashi Chuka Lemon Sauce

We;ve had some nice sunny days already this spring here in Washington. Had a day that got close to 80 degrees! Was really nice. The review today is on a noodle dish that is served cold. Cold noodles are enjoyed throughout Asia, but it’s really something that isn’t commonly seen in the United States. Let’s have a look at this unique variety.

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Not sure if it contains meat or fish. To prepare, take a microwave safe vessel and put the noodle block in it. Add 2cm of water. Microwave for 2 minutes, 20 seconds at 500 watts or 2 minutes at 600 watts. Drain and run cold water over the noodles. Add the contents of a sauce sachet and serve cold.

The noodle pouch. There are two of these.

The liquid sauce sachet.

Has a lemon and soy scent.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added kizami shoga (pickled ginger), green onion and shrimp. The noodles are just right. What I really liked about them is that they didn’t get dry or stick to eachother; they retained the moisture in a good way and didn’t get mushy. The sauce has a rich soy and lemon taste which was not only tasting but made for a refreshing dish. 4.75 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 4901959100406.

A concert by famous Koto player Fuyuki Enokido, given at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Meet The Manufacturer: #1381: Takamori Curry Udon

Hey it’s curry time! Japanese curry is much different from other curries around the world. Often with a sweet and less spicy hit, it’s really excellent stuff to behold and taste. I’m really curious about this one – let’s dig in!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Not sure if this one contains meat. To prepare, boil 250ml water. Add solid ingredients and udon noodles. Cook til noodles are loose and then add soup base sachet contents. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Enjoy!

The udon noodle pouch.

The soup base sachet.

A good amount of powder with a nice curry scent.

The solid ingredients sachet.

Lots of nice little green bits.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sukiyaki beef and sweet onion. The udon comes out very nicely – great gauge and chewiness. The broth really turns into a rich curry sauce. It’s downright luxuriant with a nice deep curry flavor. This is the kind of Japanese curry I love! Perfect! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 4901959070631.

There are some really great jazz fusion musicians from Japan. For those who don’t know what jazz fusion is, it’s like you take some jaz, funk, latin or some other style and put it in a blender. This one’s by Masaru Imada and called Tropical Butterfly.

Meet The Manufacturer: #1380: Takamori Chanpon

I thought today I’d diverge from the yakisoba for something with a broth. Chanpon is great stuff in my experience so far. Pork and seafood – can’t beat that! Here’s what wikipedia has to say about chanpon –

Champon (ちゃんぽん Chanpon?), also known as Chanpon, is a noodle dish that is a regional cuisine of Nagasaki, Japan. Due to the inspiration from Chinese cuisine, it is also a form of Japanese Chinese cuisine. Champon is made by frying pork, seafood and vegetables with lard; a soup made with chicken and pig bones is added. Ramen noodles made especially for champon are added and then boiled. Unlike other ramen dishes, only one pan is needed as the noodles are boiled in the soup. Depending on the season and the situation, the ingredients differ. Hence the taste and style may depend on the location and time of year.
History

Champon was first served by Shikairō (四海楼?), a Chinese restaurant in Nagasaki. According to the restaurant, it was based on a dish in Fujian cuisine, tonniishiimen (湯肉絲麵?)[1] In the middle of Meiji period, the owner saw a need for a cheap, but filling, meal that suited the palates of hundreds of Chinese students who came to Japan for schooling opportunities. Nowadays, champon is a popular specialty food (or meibutsu) of Nagasaki.

The word champon may also be used for many kinds of random acts where things are mixed. It can also be used to describe the practice of mixing different types of alcohol on a single occasion.

So, it’s kind of a mixed bag. Variety is the spice of life, so they say and I think that might be why I enjoy this dish. Let’s have a look at the Takamori take on this one!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Not sure but I am guessing there is fish in the base. To prepare, add a little oil to a pan. Fry up the seafood, pork and veggies for a minute or so and then add 300ml water and the contents of the seasoning sachet. Cook for a minute, then add the noodle pouch content and cook for another 3 minutes. Enjoy!

One of the three noodle pouches.

The soup base sachet.

The powder base.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added squid, shrimp, kamaboko, thin sliced pork, green onion and sweet onion. The noodles have a great gauge and chew. The broth had a nice flavor to it – kind of a buttery seafood taste. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 4901959041129.

A short film by a tourist to Kumamoto Castle. I really didn’t know there were lots of castles in Japan – would be great to see someday!

Meet The Manufacturer: #1378: Takamori Yakisoba

I’ve always liked yakisoba. It’s a brothless soba noodle that’s fried in a skillet with some meat, veggies, and a nice Worcestershire sauce flavor. It’s great stuff! I’ve always been curious though, how Worcestershire sauce made it into Japanese culinary culture. I dug around and found this on Wikipedia:

A thick sauce is manufactured in Japan under brand names such as ‘Bulldog’, which reflect its English origins, but this is a brown sauce more similar to HP Sauce rather than any type of Worcestershire Sauce.[19] A thicker variety of the sauce, although labelled Worcester (rather than Worcestershire) in katakana,[19] is commonly known as tonkatsu sauce and most often used as a condiment for tonkatsu (fried, breaded pork cutlets). Both the dish and the sauce are thought to have derived from English cuisine imported into Japan in the 19th century.[20]

Japanese Worcester sauce (pronounced as Usutā sōsu) is made from purees of fruits and vegetables such as apples and tomatoes, with sugar, salt, spices, starch and caramel. It commonly accompanies western-influenced yōshoku dishes such as the aforementioned tonkatsu and korokke. Yakisoba sauce, and okonomiyaki sauce are also variants of Worcestershire sauce, often thicker and sweeter than the original.

It seems that people worldwide enjoy tasty food and when one culture enters another’s region, they tend to leave some of their food culture. Let’s give this yakisoba a try!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Not sure if it contains meat. To prepare, heat up some oil in a skillet and drop some meat and veggies in and cook them abouut halfway. Drop in the noodles and cook a little longer. Add the seasoning sachet contents and combine thoroughly. Enjoy!

The fresh noodle pouch. This is a three pack, so you get three of everything.

Here are the seasoning sachets (one per serving).

Has a nice scent of Worcestershire.

A friend of mine stopped by yesterday and treated me to lunch. I gave him a bunch of instant noodles and a new sticker for his truck! Thanks, Matt!

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added kizami shoga (pickled ginger), mayonnaise, green onion, pork, cabbage and sweet onion. The noodles are great – perfect gauge and chewiness. The flavor is just right – perfect yakisoba. I loved it and when done, I wanted to eat the other two servings! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 4901959100468.

Yeah – I think that’ll be enough for me!

Meet The Manufacturer: #1377: Takamori Yaki-Udon Mild Spicy Sauce

On the menu today is something I’ve been very curious to try – yaki-udon! As you might surmise, the yaki prefix means fried. Yakisoba are fried soba noodles, and so yaki-udon are fried udon noodles; simple! Anyways, it sounds really interesting – let’s have a look at this one.

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Not sure if there is meat of fish in this one. To prepare, saute some meat and veggies with a little oil. Add a spoonful of water and drop in the noodles and cook a little while. Then drop in the liquid sachet content. Cook until done. Enjoy!

This is a two serving pack, so you get two of these udon noodle pouches.

The yaki-udon sauce sachet.

Reminiscent scent of yakisoba sauce.

 

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sweet onion, kizami shoga (*pickled ginger), sukiyaki beef, and cabbage. The noodles were just like yesterday – very nice soft, and wide gauge. Excellent quality. The flavor of the yakiudon was very nice; it had the distinct flavor of a yakisoba sauce with a nice little tease of spiciness to it which I found quite good. 4.25 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 4901959100383.

A chef demonstrates making yaki-udon.

Meet The Manufacturer: #1376: Takamori Katsuo Dashi Udon

Udon is a very popular noodle in Japan and around the world. It’s characterized by being really thick. My wife’s a big fan of udon – they’re her favorite noodles! But what is katsuo dashi? Well, katsuo is the Japanese name for Skipjack tuna, a variety which is popular all over Asia. Dashi on the other hand is a little less simple. Here’s what Wikipedia had to say

The most common form of dashi is a simple broth or fish stock made by heating water containing kombu (edible kelp) and kezurikatsuo (shavings of katsuobushi – preserved, fermented bonito) to near-boiling, then straining the resultant liquid. The element of umami, considered one of the five basic tastes in Japan, is introduced into dashi from the use of katsuobushi. Katsuobushi is especially high in sodium inosinate, which is identified as one source of umami.[1]

But what is umami? Again, let’s cite Wikipedia:

Umami /ˈmɑːmi/, a savory taste,[1][2][3] is one of the five basic tastes (together with sweet, sour, bitter and salty).

A loanword from the Japanese (うま味?), umami can be translated as “pleasant savory taste”.[4] This particular writing was chosen by Professor Kikunae Ikeda from umai (うまい) “delicious” and mi (味) “taste”. The kanji 旨味 are used for a more general sense of a food as delicious.

People taste umami through receptors for glutamate, commonly found in its salt form as the food additive monosodium glutamate (MSG).[5] For that reason, scientists consider umami to be distinct from saltiness.[6]

Umami really is an interesting concept that isn’t really well known here in the United States, but is used in foods throughout the world. Worth reading up on! Let’s open up this one and see what’s inside!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Not sure if it contains meat, but pretty sure it contains fish. To prepare, add one noodle pouch contents to 300ml boiling water. Cook for two minutes. Add contents of one of the sachets and stir. enjoy!

In the package, you get three servings, so three of these noodle pouches.

Three of these soup base sachets as well.

Here’s the soup base – has a nice katsuo scent.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added kamaboko, sweet onion, kizami shoga (pickled ginger), egg and green onion. The udon noodle is really good in this one. The texture is quite soft compared to most I’ve had and it has a really nice mouthfeel to it. The broth is well done with a nice katsuo flavor which doesn’t overwhelm. 3.75 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 4901959070662.

Want to learn about dashi? Check this out!