Tag Archives: united

#1659: United Instant Noodles Xi Gon Satay Onion Flavor

Here’s one of the ones sent by Marvin R. of Ft. Worth, TX – thanks again! So he originally asked me about identifying there. They look a lot like another Vietnamese brand, but the info on the back seems to show that it’s definitely not them. I’ve found in general that onion flavor is usually a good bet – but what about satay? Here’s what wikipedia has to say about satay:

Satay (/ˈsæt/, /ˈsɑːt/ sah-tay), modern Indonesian and Malay spelling of sate, is a dish of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with a sauce.[1] Satay may consist of diced or sliced chicken, goat, mutton, beef,pork, fish, other meats, or tofu; the more authentic version uses skewers from the midrib of the coconut palm frond, although bamboo skewers are often used. These are grilled or barbecued over a wood or charcoal fire, then served with various spicy seasonings.

Sate Ponorogo being grilled in a foodstall inSurabaya, East Java,Indonesia

Satay originated in Java, Indonesia.[2][3][4] It is available almost anywhere in Indonesia, where it has become a national dish.[5][6] It is also popular in many other Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, Singapore,Brunei, Thailand, the Philippines, as well as in Suriname and the Netherlands, as Indonesia and Suriname are former Dutch colonies.

Satay is a very popular delicacy in Indonesia; the country’s diverse ethnic groups’ culinary arts (see Indonesian cuisine) have produced a wide variety of satays. In Indonesia, satay can be obtained from a travelling satay vendor, from a street-side tent-restaurant, in an upper-class restaurant, or during traditional celebration feasts. In Malaysia, satay is a popular dish—especially during celebrations—and can be found throughout the country. In Southern Philippines it is known as satti.

Close analogues are yakitori from Japan, shish kebab from Turkey and the Middle East, shashlik from the Caucasus, chuanr from China, and sosatie from South Africa. It is listed at number 14 on World’s 50 most delicious foods readers’ poll complied by CNN Go in 2011.[7]

Satay’s popular all over it seems! Let’s check out this satay onion variety from United of Vietnam!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add noodle block and sachet contents to a bowl. Add 400ml boiling water and cover for 3 minutes. Stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The powder soup base.

A granular powder.

A seasoned oil sachet.

Bright colored oil.

The solid ingredients sachet.

Very green!

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added spring onion. The noodles had a crumble to them; not too much, but one that was evident. They had a texture I didn’t completely enjoy. The broth had a good onion taste and a nice added spiciness to it. The provided vegetables hydrated alright. 2.75 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 8936061900183.

Vietnamese Home Cooking (from Amazon) With solid instruction and encouraging guidance, perfectly crispy imperial rolls, tender steamed dumplings, delicately flavored whole fish, and meaty lemongrass beef stew are all deliciously close at hand. Abundant photography detailing techniques and equipment, and vibrant shots taken on location in Vietnam, make for equal parts elucidation and inspiration. And with master recipes for stocks and sauces, a photographic guide to ingredients, and tips on choosing a wok and seasoning a clay pot, this definitive reference will finally secure Vietnamese food in the home cook’s repertoire.

Here’s a great recipe for Vietnamese beef stew!

#1581: United 3 Con Tom Instant Noodles Thailand Sour Shrimp Flavor

Here’s one of the ones sent by Marvin R. of Ft. Worth, TX – thanks again! It’s kind of interesting – these packs looks so similar to another brand. Curious how it’ll be… Let’s check it out!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Contains shrimp. To prepare, add noodles and condiments to a bowl and add 400ml boiling water. Cover for 3 minutes, stir, and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The powder base sachet.

Powdery powder.

An oil sachet.

Has an onion scent.

The solid ingredients sachet.

Looks like onion and bits of TVP.

 

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added coriander, mung bean sprouts, fishball, vegetable tempura ball, lime,  and a little Huy Fong Sriracha chilli sauce. The noodles are on the thin side and kind of tough. Not chewy, not spongy but tough. The broth does have a kind of tom yum kind of taste but it’s a little lacking in strength. The vegetable and TVP are great. 2.75 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 8936061900107.

Vietnamese Home Cooking – (from Amazon) – With solid instruction and encouraging guidance, perfectly crispy imperial rolls, tender steamed dumplings, delicately flavored whole fish, and meaty lemongrass beef stew are all deliciously close at hand. Abundant photography detailing techniques and equipment, and vibrant shots taken on location in Vietnam, make for equal parts elucidation and inspiration. And with master recipes for stocks and sauces, a photographic guide to ingredients, and tips on choosing a wok and seasoning a clay pot, this definitive reference will finally secure Vietnamese food in the home cook’s repertoire.

Here’s a video about the Vietnamese in Thailand.

#1499: United Instant Noodles Xi Gon Artificial Stewed Beef Flavor

Here’s one of the ones sent by Marvin R. of Ft. Worth, TX – thanks again! So he originally asked me about identifying there. They look a lot like another Vietnamese brand, but the info on the back seems to show that it’s definitely not them. This is a pretty neat review – the cusp of my 1,500th. Let’s check this one out!

Here’s the back of the package (click image to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, add noodle block and sachet contents to a bowl. Add 400ml boiling water and cover for 3 minutes. Stir and enjoy!

The noodle block.

The soup base sachet.

Has a sweet scent – anise, cinnamon notes – much like a Chinese braised beef scent.

A liquid sachet.

Has a light scent – a little chilli.

The vegetables sachet.

Tiny little bits.

 

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added star anise, sweet onion, green onion, red chilli paddi, Sukiyaki beef and coriander. To the noodles were your standard Vietnamese wheat instant gauge, however they were a little spongy. The broth had a very nice beef flavor with a nice balance of flavors backing it up, as well as a slight heat. the vegetables hydrated well but were scant few. 3.25 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code 8936061900206.

Here’s a cookbook on Vietnamese cooking.

With Winter around the corner, stews are really great for dinner. This recipe looks awesome to add some Vietnamese flavor!

A Donation From A Reader In The USA!

Got contacted by Marvin R. a few weeks ago. He had come across some instant noodles that weren’t familiar to him and couldn’t find them anywhere on my blog. I did a little digging and was also kind of stumped. He said they were really good and decided to send me some – thanks!

These looks a LOT like another brand, but I think that’s where the similarities stop. These are branded as United and have very little contact/website info on them. Guess We’ll see how they are!

Marvin also sent me these 4 Quick Zabb varieties by Wai Wai! I just found these a week or so ago at a local store, but what’s funny is if you notice on the left, they’re in Thai and on the right in English. My packs are the opposite! By the way – if you’re into coffee and grills, be sure to check out Marvin’s website – Rodak’s Coffee & Grills – he’s in Ft. Worth, TX and looks like he’s got a neat shop! Thanks again!

#972: Meet The Manufacturer: Annie Chun’s Soup Bowl Chinese Chicken

This is it – the last of the nine Annie Chun’s samples that were sent for Meet The Manufacturer. It’s definitely been an interesting jaunt! Some I really liked quite a bit, some I didn’t like so much. What’s very evident here is that Annie Chun’s definitely has a wide range of flavors. The last one is Chinese Chicken.

Back of the outer cardboard (click image to enlarge).

Fresh Hokkien noodles.

Liquid soup base.

I’ve got to say, this stuff smells fantastic.

The last of the seasoning blocks I have enjoyed so much!

The seasoning block.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added oven baked chicken, cilantro and some onion. The noodles are really nice – I steeped them with the non-microwave method. Excellent. The broth was really nice – had a good real chicken flavor; I would deem it real comfort food flavor. The seasoning block lent itself nicely with lots of good veg. Great stuff – 4.25 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 765667100301 – get it here.

Annie Chun’s TV commercial.

Annie Chun’s also make seaweed snacks that people like too!

Meet The Manufacturer #888: Yamachan Ramen Nagasaki Sara Udon Chicken Flavor

Here’s something different. Sara Udon means plate noodles – what you have is a crispy noodle that is thin. You put them on the plate and crush gently, then add the sauce and during the meal, the noodles go from crisp to soft. It’s a texture sensation! Well, let’s check it out!

Here’s the back of the package (click to enlarge). Notice the directions.

Here are the noodles. Like big nests of thin noodles.

Here are the packets of liquid seasoning.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added yellow onion, broccoli, green bell pepper, chicken, green onion and Ajishima Kimchi furikake. The noodles are of a very interesting nature; when they don’t have sauce on them, they are crunchy. When they do, they absorb the liquid and become increasingly soggy – in a good way! The sauce is a slightly thick lightly chicken flavored concoction. The flavor is very nice – definitely not too salty at all and really tasty. This is a uniquely Japanese dish that evolves as you eat it – from crisp to soft noodle texture. Loved this one – 4.25 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 767921016809 .

Yamachan Ramen factory!

This guy looks pretty happy!

#859: Tradition Instant Noodle Soup Imitation Chicken Flavor

It’s been a while since I reviewed a Kosher instant noodle! Usually they’re pretty good. Let’s give this a try. By the way Kosher instant noodle company: I think Matzo Ball Ramen would be an extremely huge hit.

Side panels – click to enlarge.

Here’s the lid – click to enlarge.

Here’s the noodle block – pre-seasoned.

This is what was underneath the noodle block.

Finished (click image to enlarge). The noodles have a nice light and buttery ‘comfort texture’ that I would say is common is instants marketed towards the US market. The broth is nice and ‘comfortty’ too! Has a good chicken taste and not very salty – it’s calm. The vegetables? Not too bad – I liked the corn and carrot. This was pretty good and I liked it! 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. UPC bar code 735375601254 – here’s the bag version.

This is a really good video about what Kosher foods are and what the symbols on different packages mean. The noodles I tried today even have a quick appearance!

I was really hoping to post a documentary that used to be on youTube called “Postville: When Cultures Collide” – if you can find it, it’s a really fascinating story – but here’s a little story about a book about Postville, Iowa. Here’s a Wiki link.

#791: Acecook Super Big Ramen Tonkotsu Flavor Japanese Style Instant Noodle

Here’s one I got a while ago at Uwajimaya in Seattle. It’s big, Japanese and tonkotsu flavor – sounds much better than the last one I had!

Here’s the side panel stuff – click to enlarge.

The noodle block. Looks really nice, I think.

Only one seasoning packet, but it’s really big.

I put most of the packet in this little sake cup – it would not all fit.

Finished (click image to enlarge). Added some veggies, some chicken lunch meat, kizami shoga (pickled ginger), a hard-boiled egg marinated in Kikkoman soy sauce, some Ajishima Kimchi furikake, some Sushinori (seaweed) and finally a couple shakes of Tabasco Buffalo Style hot sauce. The noodles: not bad – a nice texture and quality to them. The broth however is way too salty for me – so much so I couldn’t handle it. I was really shocked at that but oh well. Bummed. 1.0 out of 5.0 – the noodles were good, at least. UPC bar code 074410396718 – get it here.

I bet this stuff is really really good!

Mr. Noodles and a meat tenderizer. This is bizarre.

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview with Nissin Foods USA – Makers of Top Ramen, Cup Noodles & More


Welcome to the second installment in the ‘Meet The Manufacturer’ series! This one’s with Nissin, makers of the ever-popular Top Ramen, Cup Noodles and the like. They sent a nice package of different instant varieties to sample – most of them new to me. The following interview is with Senior Marketing Manager, Linda Chung, facilitated by Senior Marketing Coordinator Scott Akazaki.

TRR: Nissin was the first instant noodles I had ever tried in my life – I am thrilled and thoroughly appreciate the chance to do this interview with you – thank you!

To start, can you give a little background on how the company was founded and a little about its history in Japan?

NISSIN: Mr. Ando began the company as part of a humble family operation back in 1948. Faced with sparse food sources after World War II, Mr. Ando realized that a quality, convenient ramen product would help to feed the masses. His goal was to create a satisfying ramen that could be eaten anywhere, anytime. In 1958, Nissin introduced “Chicken Ramen”, the first instant ramen. Ironically, it was considered a luxury item, since Japanese grocery stores sold fresh Japanese noodles (udon) at one-sixth the cost of Mr. Ando’s new food concept.
Still, Mr. Ando was convinced that his revolutionary new method of preparation would sell. The concept seemed simple enough. All users would have to do is simply remove the ramen from its package, place it in a bowl, add boiling water, cover the bowl, and wait three minutes. The conservative Japanese food industry, however, rejected the product as a novelty with no future. They had never been so wrong.
Soon, Chicken Ramen was selling beyond even Mr. Ando’s wildest expectations. Before you could say “instant”, more than ten companies were rushing to put their own versions out on the market. By the end of 1958, grocery shelves were crowded with this new staple for the Japanese kitchen. From this point on, Nissin Foods began introduction of a long list of successful and innovative ramen products.

TRR: For those who might not be familiar with all of them, what lines of instant noodle products to you offer in the United States?

NISSIN: We are constantly pushing the boundaries of instant ramen as it should be with our new products – the latest is Big Cup Noodles (It features shorter, wider noodles in a paper cup). Other products include:

Cup Noodles
Top Ramen
Souper Meal
Chow Mein
Chow Noodles
Bowl Noodles Rich & Savory
Bowl Noodles Hot & Spicy
Ramen Bowl (just launched)
Spoon it (just launched)

TRR: When and why was there a need for Nissin Foods in the United States?

NISSIN: Nissin Foods introduced Top Ramen into the U.S. in 1970. Mr. Ando saw an opportunity to introduce a new type of noodle soup product to the states. As he showed his products to grocery store buyers, he realized that no one in the US had ramen sized bowls. This insight, combined with getting served coffee in a Styrofoam cup on a business trip flight, was the genesis of Cup Noodles.

TRR: I know that the varieties available in Japan and the product line in the United States differ quite a bit. Why is that?

NISSIN: This is based on developing tastes that are suitable for a specific region of the globe. This was especially true in the 1970’s when the concept of instant ramen was foreign, we didn’t want to compound this with Asian flavors.

TRR: How do you determine when it is time to retire a flavor of Top Ramen and how do you go about determining a new one to offer?

NISSIN: This decision is based primarily on what the customer wants. We tend to let them “vote” with their wallets.

TRR: I commonly am asked if I am worried about sodium levels in all the different instant noodles from around the world I review. How would you recommend people balance their enjoyment of instant noodles and keeping them as part of a healthy meal?

NISSIN: You’ve already answered the question. It’s all about balance. Our products are ideal when you are looking for something fast, convenient and portable (and tastes good).

TRR: Often, I hear about people microwaving Cup Noodles. Is this the correct method of their preparation? Is it recommended to do so?

NISSIN: Cup Noodles was designed for optimum eating experience with boiling water.

TRR: When I was very young, my mother introduced me to Nissin Roasted Ramen, which was a close resemblance to Nissin Chikin Ramen, the first product produced in Japan in 1958 by Nissin. After Roasted Ramen was discontinued, I found an Asian grocery in Seattle and found Chikin Ramen – but it’s been decades since I’ve seen Chikin Ramen available anywhere. Any chance you’ll bring Roasted Ramen or something like it back?

NISSIN: That is up to our parent company in Japan. There are some government regulations about importing items that contain a certain amount of meat/chicken. This is especially true after the Mad Cow scare a few years back.

TRR: I recently discovered you new line of Ramen Bowls. With flavors like Kimchi and Hot & Spicy, are these meant to compete with similar Korean products?

NISSIN: We are trying to offer our consumers an authentic Asian experience.

TRR: I’ve noticed many instant noodle manufacturers are located in Southern California. Aside from the fact that it never rains there, why was this the spot you picked for your factory?

NISSIN: I’ll have to get back to you on that one. It may be because of the established Asian population that was here in the 1970’s. This was the natural first consumer base for our products – first/second generation Japanese who missed this type of ramen noodles.

TRR: How many packs and cups of Top Ramen and Cup Noodles are made every year?

NISSIN: 3.9 billion instant ramen products (including Nissin) have been consumed in the US in 2010. See the link below for more information.

http://instantnoodles.org/noodles/expanding-market.html

TRR: Can you tell my readers about any new and exciting products to look for in the near future?

NISSIN: We are launching new flavors for our Big Cup Noodles line: Roast Chicken and Spicy Chicken.

TRR: Finally, when you enjoy instant noodles, what kind do you like and what do you add (if anything) to them to make them your own?

NISSIN: What’s my favorite Nissin product? It’s like asking someone to pick their favorite child! Chow Mein is my favorite Nissin product. Stir fried noodles without the hassle of cooking or getting takeout. If I am eating instant ramen, it’s primarily due to time constraint so, I enjoy it as-is.

TRR: Again, thank you very much for this opportunity to do this interview! Thank you for making such a great product so many enjoy and have a great day!

Well, there you have it! Thanks again to the folks at Nissin USA for the samples and the interview! This was a lot of fun and I’m sure folks will be interested in seeing the new products I’ll be reviewing in the next week or so!

#420: Sapporo Ichiban Beef Flavor With Natural & Artificial Flavors Oriental Noodle Soup

As promised, here’s another of Sapporo Ichiban’s cup line. Again, we see the cooked and ready product being inundated with more piping hot water. Weird picture…

Well, I’m sad to report that this one isn’t as nice as the chicken. The chicken contained actual chicken while this one contains beefish bits. Bit o’ Fake Beef! TSP (Textured Soy Protein) is used, which is kind of a cousin to TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein), which can be made to resemble all sorts of fake meats.

A single packet of flavored powder…

This is one thirsty cup awaiting some water…

Click image to enlarge. I really like how nicely the vegetables re-hydrate. The noodles were warm and hearty, and the broth was very beefy – and not super salty. I like it – a good cup of noodles. 3.5 out of 5.0 stars. Get it here.

Found this music video while searching for one about textured vegetable protein.

#403: Maruchan Instant Lunch Lime Flavor With Shrimp Ramen Noodles With Vegetables

So this looks kind of interesting. Hmmm… I should make a list of the Maruchan Instant Lunches I’ve ingested and then I can go to the store and get all the ones I have not and then bam bam bam… Cheap noodle week!

The standard instructions. People are asking me why I hold so firmly that microwaving this stuff in the foam cup is bad. Read the instructions! Usually that say not to microwave aren’t kidding.

Uncooked and awaiting some boiling water.

Click image to enlarge. So here’s what you get after it sits for a good ten minutes. The noodles really suck up that liquid! So its citrussy – lime to be sure. I dunno, it kind of had a little too much funky lime to it and made me unenthusiastic. 2.25 out of 5.0 stars. Find it here.

Wish they tossed one of these in there!!!

What a diss.

#386: Fu Chang Chinese Noodle Company Pork, Seafood & Noodles Combo

Well, this looks like a lot of insanity! Here we go!!!

Wait – I thought this was pork and seafood flavor, not shrimp flavor…

Pretty impressive – four packets!

So there’s the contents of that retort pouch on top – looks kind of like cat food and has the same consistency. The dry powder was chunky… The oil looked okay though and a nice amount of vegetables.

Here’s where all hell breaks loose. First off, there are no instructions included on how to cook this. At the end of the seasoning packet ingredients, notice that it has Fe in it. WHAT THE HELL IS ‘Fe?’ Also, no Red Chili Powder Packet. It’s like this product isn’t this product.

I went with my instincts; hell, I’ve had over 380 different varieties of noodles and I should be able to figure out this one’s cooking directions. I added enough boiling water to cover the noodles and all the ingredients. Guess what? The biggest insult I have ever had to deal with – the bowl LEAKS. Boiling water with oil and seasoning all over my table.  And floor. I transferred this stuff to a bowl and added a little water and covered for 4 minutes.

Click image to enlarge. The noodles were absolutely horrible. No character whatsoever. The retort stuff just didn’t work at all. The broth tasted very odd. Add that to the lack of instructions, incorrect ingredients and a leaky bowl and you get a ZERO STAR bowl of noodles. 0.0 out of 5.0 stars. What a mistake these were. Get them here.

Yes, I’m voluntarily Rick Rolling this review. You know the rules…..

And I’ve sold out to the Keyboard Cat as well.