Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Famous Ramen Shop Kujira-ken Salt Double Seafood Stock Cup Ramen

This was an instant ramen from Sanyo Foods that I kind of decided to try on a whim.  Double seafood stock - gotta try! It is supposed to combine the rich flavours of bonito, beef, kelp, and chicken and then it is cooked twice to make the broth more intense and smooth.  Kujiraken is a famous ramen chain from Yokohama that focuses on a bonito/sardine base that is blended with pork bone and chicken and another soup base.  The seafood flavour is supposed to come out on top but gets it mellowed and blended with the other flavours.  They also specialize in a thinner Chinese style noodle.
Quite an attractive cup design with big bold lettering to let you know it is double seafood stock.  The soup looks very thick and creamy in the photo.  Japanese lettering with black and red colors always seems to pop nicely.
Seasoning oil sachet included.
Kujiraken's logo is centered in white print on the lid.
Lifting the lid you see thin noodles, little pieces of beef, lots of green onions and menma (dried bamboo shoots).
Zoom out...
Side view of the cup which is an oversized cup.  Like BIG Cup Noodle in size.
Photo of the restaurant.
Ingredients and nutritional information.
After rehydrating with boiling water for three minutes you get a nice looking mix of noodles, meat, bamboo, and green onion.
Nice looking noodles with a naruto fish cake that was also in the cup.
So, how did it taste?  It was definitely seafoody / fishy.  It actually really reminded me of the Nissin Cup Noodle Seafood Flavour out of Hong Kong.  It was more intense / salty?  Not a bad thing as I like this flavour, but not quite the bigger tastebud bang I was expecting either.  The noodles were nice and firm enough too.  A decent cup noodle overall. 


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Nissin Canned Cup Noodle Emergency / Survival Ration Review

I picked up this canned cup noodle at a Tokyu Hands a couple of years ago. The best before date was coming up in December of 2017 so I decided to pop the can open and have a treat.  This is an emergency ration that you keep on hand along with a 600 ml of water so you can rehydrate the noodles for a quick meal.  Even if you cannot boil your water, you can just add room temperature water to the noodles to rehydrate them.  The noodles will take like ten times longer to hydrate and won't be hot, but you can still slurp your ramen.

The one I picked up was good for at least a couple of years, which is way over the six to nine months you usually see for instant noodles on a store shelf.  This was the original cup noodle flavour which was a soy broth with the little pork cube, egg, and shrimp.

When I was at the Tokyu Hands they also had the chicken ramen flavour and it was a hard choice to pick just one as they are both really good. I believe most of the stores like Tokyu Hands, Loft, and some department stores have a section for emergency preparedness where you can find this stuff.  Earthquakes, giant monster attacks, and typhoons are all things that occur there.  Japan also produces all types of freeze dried and canned foods that are actually pretty good.  There is even a chain of canned food bars (Mr. Kanso) in Japan you can order a drink and have them prepare some appetizers out of cans like teriyaki chicken or fish.
The Nissin Cup Noodle Canned Emergency Ramen comes in a big can with a plastic lid.  Once you remove the lid, the pull top of the can is revealed.  Having the platic lid also means you can also reuse the can for other things later (nice touch).
The side of the can with the Cup Noodle logo.  It pretty much follows the white and red colour scheme of a regular Cup Noodle.  The can is quite large as it is wider than a cup, and taller than two cups stacked on top of each other.  It isn't something you throw into your backpack.
The back of the can.
Detail from the bottom of the front of the can.  It shows you get two servings of ramen, two satchets of seasoning and dried condiments, two cups, two forks, and an oxygen absorber (DO NOT EAT THIS).
Directions and an ingredients for the preparation of cup noodle.
More manufacturing and ingredients details.
Nutritional information.
Metal pull top of the can.  More directions on how to use a pull tab.
Pulling the tab up and partially opening the can reveals - the bottom of a a cup.
So I pulled out two nested cups, with the dried ingredients and soup powder packets tucked into them.  The two blocks of ramen were stored underneath and well shrink wrapped.
The two collapse-able forks were also tucked in at the bottom of the can along side the ramen blocks.
Here is everything extracted from the can.  Two blocks of noodles, two cups, two forks, and two soup powder and dried ingredients satchets.  Also an oxygen absorber packet to dispose of.
Closeup of the soup powder and dried ingredients.   It might be my imagination, but I think there is more here than in a regular cup noodle?  You can see the big shrimp, lots of egg and green onions, and the little cubes of meat.
This was pretty hard shrink wrap to get through.  You also didn't want to break up the noodles.  This wrapping and the oxygen absorber did keep the noodles pretty fresh.
A shot of just the cups, noodles, and ingredients.
In case you lost the can, the same instructions are printed on the side of each cup.
Add boiling water to the fill line on each cup and wait 3 minutes. Don't microwave styrofoam or plasticized paper cups.
The block of instant noodles fits perfectly in the cup - no surprise.
Looks like a regular cup noodle.
After adding the ingredients satchet in, it sure looks loke a nice cup of noodle.
You can see why I think there was a lot of ingredients for a regular size cup noodle.
So I added in the boiling water and waited three minutes for a piping hot cup of noodles.
Time to eat!
The two year old instant noodles re-hydrated up nicely and the soup smelled good.  I thought the noodles were pretty much normal in texture - firm with a nice chew and the broth was tasty with a good hit of savory soy-ness.  There was no stale taste to the noodles and this cup of noodle would have been a great morale booster in an emergency situation.  Tasty food to keep you going for the rest of the day or tomorrow.  I would keep this in an emergency food stash myself.  Two thumbs up!

More instant ramen and Japanese pop culture posts.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Nissin UFO Shanghai Oyster Sauce Yakisoba Bowl Noodles

Time to get some Chinese type flavouring into your instant UFO yakisoba!  Oyster sauce is one of the key savoury ingredients for Cantonese cooking and is a very Chinese type of cooking ingredient.  Nissin has a summer edition with Shanghai style oyster sauce and it sure looks tasty.
The top of the ramen bowl package.  It is a nicely printed shrink wrap that shows the golden noodles coated with a light layer of sauce.  Note Chinese type motif in brown in the top half of the package.
Bottom of the package with some nutritional information and manufacturers information.  Showing off the yakisoba noodles here in the bottom right corner.
Ingredients list.
More details on ingredients and additional information.
Once the shrink wrap is stripped off you see the pretty regular metallic foil lid of the ramen bowl.  This lid itself is a little marvel of engineering.  You can see that you are not supposed to microwave it and there are directions to prepare your yakisoba in three steps.
An angle shot of the ramen bowl - it is really a large flat bottomed bowl.
Step 1. Peel the lid off halfway from the indicator that says 1.  Inside were a sauce packet and a packet of dried ingredients like green onion, dehydrated bean sprouts (moyashi) - a first for me, carrot, bits of green peas, cabbage, and something brown that is probably some kind of mushroom/fungus.  Step 2.  Add the dried ingredients in and add in some boiling water.  Close the lid again for 3 minutes.
Add peel back part of the lid where is says 3 to reveal a built in strainer.  You will need to pour out the hot water to leave the noodles and the rehydrated vegetables behind.  Then peel back the lid and add the sauce packet to it.  Toss and mix the noodles and sauce thoroughly.
Mmmmm.  Tasty looking noodles covered in a soy, garlic, oyster sauce.
These are nice firm and round thin noodles.  Very tasty with a a good texture.
These were a pretty tasty noodle with a rich, but mild flavour of oyster sauce.  I enjoy these yakisoba bowls, but I find that the ingredients package they usually include seems a little thin for all these noodles.  I think in a cup noodle, the dried ingredients are concentrated more in a smaller surface area so it looks like there is more.  The dried bean sprouts were kind of cool, but These really did kind of blend in with the noodles so I barely noticed them.  Still, I'd definitely eat these again.


More Japanese Pop Culture Posts and Ramen Reviews


Monday, October 9, 2017

Chinese Cup Noodles Review of Stewed Chicken and Spicy Pickled Cabbage Flavours

I received these souvenirs from China over the summer and had to try them out.  I'm not even sure who the manufacturers are, but they were supposed to be pretty tasty based on the input of some Chinese university students.  They're flavours I don't usually get so it was something different.

Stewed Chicken Cup Noodle
This one didn't survive the trip home in the luggage all that well.  As you can tell from the photos there is definitely battle damage.  Still, what was inside was still going to taste just as good as new.  This was a stewed chicken flavour and I wondered how it would taste.
Quite dented, but the photographs and the paper cup are of a nice quality.
Shows mushrooms, chicken thighs, some dried ingredients such as goji berries and a type of date or something that I've had in soup before.
Ingredients and nutritional information.
Photos of the ingredients.
You got a happy chef going on here.
One of the things I like about the Chinese cup noodles is that they often have a little foldup fork inside.  Very convenient.  You can see there is a packet of dried veggies, a dry soup mix, and a fat/liquid satchet.  Lots of stuff in this.
The cup was pretty banged up so I put the block of noodle into a ramen bowl to rehydrate in boiling water instead of possibly having hot water all over my kitchen table.  You can see cabbage, goji berries, dried mushrooms, soup powder and the liquid sachet in the photo above.
Rehydrated, the noodles and soup were pretty good.
 This was a pretty tasty instant noodle with a slightly different chicken stew taste that was a nice change.  Never had goji berries either in my instant noodles before either.  I'd have this again if it was offered!  The noodles had a good chewy texture and the veggies rehydrated nicely.


Spicy Pickled Cabbage
I really wasn't too sure about this one as I'm not usually a big fan of super spicy or pickled cabbage, but I was certainly willing to give it a try.  This also had very nice packaging and it was another paper cup of noodle.  Very attractive photography and you almost wish there were actually this many vegetables in your noodles!
Very nice purple coloured backgroun that blends nicely with the darker noodle soup.  You can see the pickled cabbage jars being highlighted.
3/4 view of the cup.  You can see it also got a little battle damaged during transit.
Ingredients and nutritional information.  You can see the face of a very happy dude giving these noodles a thumbs up.
There were lots of ingredients for this noodle.  There was a dried soup powder, a spicy paste satchet, a dried veggies packet, and a foil pouch of PICKLED CABBAGE!  This has got to be a great thing for pickled cabbage fans.
I was willing to chance that this bowl was not going to leak as it seemed more intact on the bottom end.
Very dark soup.  Could smell spicy and cabbage smells.
There's the emphasis on the fresh cabbage again!
While this cup noodle did not exactly make me want more, it was pretty spicy hot and bitter in combination with the spices and the pickled cabbage.  I finished the noodles and the cabbage and it was a different experience for me.  I'm still not a convert for these flavours and I did not have more soup than was necessary.  Still, I think people who like these flavours would probably really like these noodles.  It was a nice souvenir taste of China between the two kinds of instant ramen.

More Instant Ramen Posts and Japanese Pop Culture