Tag Archives: the ramenrater

#983: Meet The Manufacturer – Sun Noodle Tantanmen Spicy Sesame Flavor Ramen (Mild)

Winding down the Sun Noodle Meet The Manufacturer with the next to last review. I must say there have been some really good ones in this bunch! Here’s something I’ve not tried previously – Tantanmen. Tantanmen as described by Wikipedia:

Dandan noodles or Dandanmian (traditional Chinese: 擔擔麵, simplified Chinese: 担担面) is a classic dish originating from ChineseSichuan cuisine. It consists of a spicy sauce containing preserved vegetables (often including zha cai, 榨菜, lower enlarged mustard stems, or ya cai, 芽菜, upper mustard stems), chili oil, Sichuan pepper, minced pork, and scallions served over noodles.

Sesame paste is sometimes added, and sometimes replaces the spicy sauce, usually in the Taiwanese and American Chinese-style of this dish.[1] In this case, Dandanmian is considered as a variation of Ma Jiang Mian (麻醬麵), sesame sauce noodles. In American Chinese cuisine, Dandanmian is often sweeter, less spicy, and less soupy, and peanut butter is sometimes added.

The ingredients and directions (click image to enlarge).


The noodles. You get two of these and two of the seasoning packets.

The liquid seasoning packet.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added kamaboko, green onion, sweet onion, hard boiled egg and Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. The noodles rock – nice gauge and great feel – almost buttery. The broth has a strong sesame flavor. I also detect a flavor reminiscent of peanut butter and a slight spiciness. This one’s interesting! 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 085315400059.

A look indie Sun Noodle – video here.

#982: Meet The Manufacturer – Sun Noodle Ramen Miso Flavor

Miso is a classic flavor for ramen broths. Miso is a thick paste which is made from fermented soybeans and rice or barley and commonly used in Japanese soups and sauces.

Here is a close-up of the ingredients and directions (click image to enlarge).

The fresh noodle packet. In the pack you get two of these and two of the seasoning packets as well.

The liquid packet.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sweet onion, green onion, roast pork with a little garlic salt, narutomaki, hard boiled egg and Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. The noodles are perfectly chewy and plentiful – wow! The broth is great too – nice deep miso flavor. Loving this stuff – 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 085315400028.

Ivan Orkin is considered to be one of the true ‘rock stars of ramen’ and uses Sun Noodle products.

#980: Meet The Manufacturer – Sun Noodle Cold Ramen Soy Sauce Vinaigrette Sauce With Honey Apple Added

Here’s another cold variety to check out!

The ingredients and instructions (click image to enlarge).

Noodle packet.

The seasoning liquid.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added hard boiled egg, ham and Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. The noodles are nice – chewy and very hospitable to their chilliness! The liquid ‘dressing’ is salty and flavorful – light and has a nice balance of saltiness, vinegar and fruit. Delicious! 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 085315400066.

Trailer for ‘Ramen Dreams’

#979: Meet The Manufacturer – Sun Noodle Nama Soba Buckwheat Noodle

First off, I’d like to wish everyone a wonderful Lunar New Year! Here’s another one from Sun Noodle! This one is served either hot or cold, and I thought I would try it cold.

Here are the ingredients and instructions (click image to enlarge).

The noodles. Notice how they are of a different gauge and color.

The liquid seasoning.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added green onion, hard boiled egg slices and Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. The noodles are interesting; they definitely have their own flavor of buckwheat and are sturdy and chewy. The liquid has a very light flavor – this reminds me of a salad dressing but exceedingly light in flavor. This was good stuff – never been a huge fan of cold noodles until the last year and really like these. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 085315122333.

Talking ramen with Keizo Shimamoto of GoRamen.com

#978: Meet The Manufacturer – Sun Noodle Ramen Pork Flavor

Here’s another of the Sun Noodle line – pork flavor ramen! Let’s check it out!

As you can see these are fresh ramen. The way you cook them in different from an instant block (click image to enlarge).

Here are the fresh noodles in a little baggie. There are two of these included.

Here’s the broth mix. Tonkotsu is a pork bone broth.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added hard boiled egg, green onion, sweet onion, chopped ham with garlic, narutomaki and Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. The noodles are suberb – it is no wonder that ramen restaurants pick these to use. They are so nice and fresh and quite elastic. I have never understood the plusses or minuses of elasticity, but have heard many comment on a good noodle’s elasticity and these have elasticity! The broth is excellent as well – a deep and flavorful pork bone broth with a great balance of flavor, saltiness and depth. This is top-notch stuff. Easy 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.UPC bar code 085315400035.

Here’s a video made mentioning Sub Noodle during the Japan Film Festival in Los Angeles.

#977: Meet The Manufacturer – Sun Noodle Yakisoba Japanese Style Stir Fry Noodles With Powdered Sauce

 

Here’s the first review of the Sun Noodle Meet The Manufacturer spotlight, their Yakisoba. Yakisoba is one of my favorite Japanese noodle dishes. What’s nice is that the flavoring contains one of my favorite flavors – Worcestershire sauce!

Here’s the back of the packaging (click image to enlarge).

The pack comes with two packs of noodles and two packets of seasoning.


Here’s one of the packets of Yakisoba seasoning.

Has a great aroma of Worcestershire and has a nice taste.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added chicken, sweet onion, broccoli and green bell pepper. Also added kizami shoga (pickled ginger) and Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. the noodles are remarkable – nice and mellow and really good. Definitely fresh stuff! The flavoring is excellent – full of great yakisoba sauce flavor. Awesome – 4.5 out of 5.0 stars!UPC bar code 085315233350 .

Here’s a link to a really nice video about Sun Noodle.

Meet The Manufacturer: Samples From Sun Noodle

A nice big box…

…of fresh noodles from Sun Noodle for Meet The Manufacturer! Ramen, yakisoba, udon, saimin… Lots of different flavors to review! Thanks go to everyone at Sun Noodle!

Meet The Manufacturer: Sun Noodle Interview

Welcome to another installment of Meet The Manufacturer! This time, it’s Sun Noodle – purveyor of fresh ramen noodles and other fine products. Here’s an interview I did with them via email.

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

SUN NOODLE> Sun Noodle is a family-owned business which manufactures fresh noodles, gyoza (pot sticker) and wonton wrappers; as well as an importer and distributor of Japanese noodle soup bases and sauces.  The
company was founded in 1981 by Hidehito “Hide” Uki in Honolulu, Hawaii.  With the growing demand of Sun Noodle products in the mainland, Sun Noodle California was established in 2004, now located in Rancho
Dominguez, California; then Sun Noodle New Jersey (Teterboro, New Jersey) set foot in 2012 to meet the demands of the East Coast.

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

SN> We produce a wide variety of noodle products for both food service markets and for retail markets.  First off, we have our assorted ramen(s):

  • Shoyu Ramen
  • Miso Ramen
  • Tonkotsu Ramen
  • Shio “Vegetable” Ramen
  • Tantanmen (“Spicy Sesame”)
  • Hiyashi Chuka (“Cold Ramen”)
  • Cold Ramen with Gomadare (Cold Ramen with Sesame Seed Sauce)

We produce other types of Japanese noodles as well:  Yakisoba, Udon, Nihon Soba (Buckwheat), Wakana Soba (Spinach), and Okinawa Soba.  The great thing about being in Hawaii is that it has opened Sun Noodle to many different types of cultures.  With that, we produce Chinese noodles as well as “local” noodles of Hawaii.  We have Chow Mein, Chow Fun (also known as Look Fun), Cake Noodle, and Saimin Noodles.

TRR> What is the story behind the name Sun Noodle?

SN> The meaning of the “Sun” in Sun Noodle is twofold.  Hidehito Uki was attending Hawaii Pacific College for about a year before starting up the noodle business.  He said that when he thinks about Hawaii, the first
thing that comes to mind is the sun (and the beautiful ocean, of course!).  The second meaning behind “Sun” is that the Sun as the center of the solar system is the most powerful of its kind.  Without it, many living
things cannot survive and Hide believes that the sun provides people with positive energy.  Like the sun, Sun Noodle strives to be the best at providing quality noodles, providing noodles to give people the same type of
positive energy.

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

SN> Yes, we are involved in our local communities at all three locations:  Hawaii, California and in New Jersey.  Every year, we make charitable donations to non-profit organizations.  In Hawaii, we participate in
the annual Okinawan Festival, which strives to perpetuate the culture with the community of Hawaii.  We are also actively involved with the youth soccer community in Hawaii.  In California, Sun Noodle is involved with
various Japanese Festivals and other Japan related events such as the Summer Festival at the Mitsuwa Market and the Japanese Food and Sake Festival.  We recently started serving ramen at UC Santa Barbara and hold
ramen classes at our local cooking schools from time to time.  With the recent devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Sun Noodle New Jersey took part in an event with Chef Ivan Orkin to raise funds for the victims
affected by the hurricane.

TRR> How many miles of noodles would you estimate you produce a year?

SN> 600,600 miles of noodles.

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

SN> For the professional use, we have some new frozen soup stocks and NO-MSG “tare,” sauce that enhances the flavor or body of the ramen broth.  The retail packs will be redesigned to be more appealing to the customer.

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

SN> Our main business is to manufacture different styles of ramen noodles tailored to the restaurants needs.  Besides ramen noodles, we also manufacture yakisoba, Okinawa soba, Japanese buckwheat soba, udon, and pasta.

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?

SN> The key here is moderation.  Like all other types of food, it’s about consuming them in moderation – enjoy a bowl of ramen say once a week rather than…everyday.  Also, because some bowls of ramen have higher
levels of sodium, it’s important to balance that out by drinking lots of water.

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

SN> Yes, we make gyoza or “pot sticker” wrappers and wonton wrappers and we also sell noodle soup bases and
sauces.

TRR> What was your first product?

SN> Our first product was the ramen noodles

TRR> I initially found out about you via a mention on the trailer for the award-winning short film ‘Ramen Dreams‘  – can  you tell us about it and your involvement?

SN> Keizo of GO RAMEN! (www.goramen.com) is a good friend of ours and it is our goal to support anyone with a ramen dream.  ‘Ramen Dreams’ is a short documentary film about Keizo’s life to pursue his ultimate ramen
dream.  The film was featured at the NY Food Film Festival and we wanted to support him any way possible throughout the process.  The night of the Food Film Festival, we provided the ramen noodles to be served
after the film showing.

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

SN> Each company has their own secrets of making noodles. We take care of sourcing the best wheat flour, using artisanal techniques (water temp, flour temp, pressing the dough gradually, adjusting the thickness by
.1 mm for the customer) and doing the best we can to tailor make our ramen noodles for restaurants across the country.

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

SN> Traditional toppings are great [“cha-shu” (sliced char siu), “menma” (bamboo shoots), “nori” (dried seaweed), etc.] but also using local ingredients available at your nearby supermarket is a great way to play
around with flavors.

TRR> Where can people find your products?

SN> You can find our products at most Asian supermarkets such as Uwajimaya, Nijiya Market and Mitsuwa Supermarket.  If you’d like more information on the accessibility of our products in your area, you can email
us at our website on www.sunnoodle.com.  We are more than happy to help you.

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

There you have it! My thanks to Hisae and Kenshiro Uki for making this happen and everyone else at Sun Noodle! Watch for a series of reviews of their products during the next weeks!

Interview * Product Samples From Sun Noodle * Sun Noodle Yakisoba Japanese Style Stir Fry Noodles With Powdered Sauce * Sun Noodle Ramen Pork Flavor * Sun Noodle Nama Soba Buckwheat Noodle * Sun Noodle Cold Ramen Soy Sauce Vinaigrette Sauce With Honey Apple Added * Sun Noodle Ramen Miso Flavor * Sun Noodle Tantanmen Spicy Sesame Flavor Ramen (Mild) * Sun Noodle Ramen Shoyu Flavor

#976: Nissin Donbei Tensoba (Tempura Soba)

Here’s one I found at the Bellevue, Washington Uwajimaya. Pricy stuff – $3.39 for a bowl noodle? Wow. Hope it’s good! Looks like Donbei is a style and tensoba is just a shortening of tempura soba. Let’s hit it!

The importer sticker.

All of the side panels (click image to enlarge).

This was underneath the lid (click image to enlarge). Looks like a contest – did I win? Anyone know about who/what the little musical character is? Check out the website.

Buckwheat soba.

Powder base.

Salty and almost lemony.

A tempura disc.

Has a definite seafood smell.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. The noodles are very good – they have a nice strength to them and are square rather than round. I like them. The broth has a sweetness of soy and a nice comforting flavor. The tempura disc is crunchy and has a seafood taste. When it soaks up the broth, it lends itself to the other and has a nice heartiness. All in all, a great bowl of noodles. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 4902105033746 – get it here!

Nissin Donbei Tensoba TV commercial.

#975: Ottogi Spaghetti Ramen

Here one that came from Korea by way of Kristen W. of Arizona! Thank you so much! I’ve wanted to review this one for a long time! Let’s check this unique variety out.

Side panels (click image to enlarge).

The noodle block.

The powdered flavor packet.

The powder had a sweet flavor to it.

The veggie packet.

Corn and meatybits!

Here’s the sauce packet – lots of red stuff in here!

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added sweet onions, light ham and Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. The noodles are pretty standard ramyun noodles. The seasoning powder that stirs in has a light sweet’n’salty taste. The spaghetti sauce? Sweet and just a little spicy. The veggies are decent. This is a lot of fun and tastes great! 4.5 out of 5.0 stars – unique and enjoyable!UPC bar code 8801045571416.

Old Ottogi TV commercial.

Looks like an older Ottogi TV commercial!

#974: Pot Noodle Chilli Beef Flavour

Here’s another one of the great varieties sent by Joe & Gill of the UK – thanks again! Chilli Beef Pot Noodle. Looks interesting to me!

The side panels (click image to enlarge)

Powder and noodles. See, British instant noodle cups are different. Instead of a broth that is thin, it comes out more as a thick sauce or gravy.

It comes with a packet of chilli sauce – here’s the front and back.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added broccoli, sweet onion, green bell pepper, fried egg and Urashima Sesame & Salt furikake. The noodles are the standard broad and slightly crumbly and thick Pot Noodles. The flavor is a little funky – beef flavor is there. The sauce is impressive – I’ve had other varieties of ‘spicy’ Pot Noodle before and this stuff is very hot. Kind of acidic too. 2.25 out of 5.0 stars.  UPC bar code 8712566158386 .

Tastified Pot Noodle advertisement.

Stand Up Comedy Gig

Donation From South Korea

Kristen W. of Arizona sent me some noodles she got while she was in South Korea!

This is a great little collection of South Korean varieties you can’t easily find here! Ottogi Cheese Ramyun and Spaghetti bowls – been wanting to try them for a while! The two above are Paldo Korea varieties – I think Rabokki and Jjajang. The Nongshim Shin Cup in the lower right is the South Korean version. Thank, Kristen! Soon as they’re made, some The Ramen Rater stickers will be coming your way!