Saturday, July 29, 2017

Nissin Donbei Curry Udon Cup Noodle Review

One of the tastiest things I discovered about Japan was their curry.  The first time I visited I had only heard about Japanese curry and had never tasted it before.  It is a very popular dish to make at home and to eat in curry restaurants. There is a standard Japanese curry flavour, one that isn't like Indian curries, but there are obviously variations upon variations of any standard taste profile.

I ordered the Nissin Donbei Udon Curry Cup Noodle from Hobbylink.  It is what I would call a pretty regular tasting Japanese curry with a nice thick curry soup that is a little spicier than normal.  It has all of the flavour I like and is a nice warming dish of thick udon style noodles. 

The instant noodle bowl is a nice appealing yellow color to get you in the mood for curry!
The lid of the bowl of udon noodles.  The picture is a pretty good representation of what you are going to eat.
Nutritional information. This noodle has about 16 grams of fat.  Pretty standard for a cup / bowl of noodles.
Directions.  Basically empty the pouches of dried toppings and soup base into the cup, fill with boiling water to the fill line, close the lid, and wait five minutes for the thicker noodles to hydrate properly.
You get a big satchet of freeze dried ingredients and another satchet of the curry soup stock.  You can see that the noodles are nice a thick.  They are flatter than a regular udon noodle though, and I'm sure that helps with the re-hydration.
Add all of the stuff into the bowl on top of the noodle block.
After sitting in the boiled water for 5 minutes, stir to make sure the curry is mixed properly.  You can see there are nice thick chewy noodles with pieces of ground meat, fried tofu, green onions, carrot, and potato.  There was the nice smell of the curry spices coming off of the soup. Yum.
Closeup of the noodles.
Another shot of the noodle soup.
This was a good tasting bowl of noodles that was very satisfying with the thick udon noodles.  I'm still kind of partial to the regular Nissin Curry Cup Noodle, which I think is the standard that everything is compared to, but this was definitely good.
Regular Big Curry Cup Noodle.

More ramen noodle posts and Japanese pop culture.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Nissin Bowl Noodles Tonkotsu Wakayama Style Review

Nissin keeps pumping out the instant noodles for global enjoyment.  I'm a little behind on posting so here is one from a few months back.  This time, I'm talking about a deluxe tonkotsu bowl ramen with dried, not fried noodles.

I have to say the packaging for cup noodles in Japan is pretty nice as you can see from the picture below.  The nicer packaging is because the instant noodles can have a premium cachet that exists in Japan and not elsewhere much of the time.  Instant noodles are not just a cheap food in Japan.  If you've been to Japan you know that even their fast food is usually a cut above what you can get at home for quality and flavour which are really important to the Japanese.  This competitiveness also applies to their instant noodles.
This Tonkotsu Wakayama style ramen shows a delightful picture of noodles in a rich looking soup. It is a pork and soy based soup with thin noodles that is so good that people line up in Wakayama for it.  After having it, I'd say it is pretty good with a nice pork broth that wasn't too thick or thin.  It was quite enjoyable and I kind of wish I had another.  I got this one at Hobbylink, but this is probably a limited edition like so many things in Japan.  So, look for the next limited edition if you can't get your hands on it.
Cup noodle for a size comparison against the noodle bowl.
A closeup of the lid.  The whole thing comes shrink wrapped and the bowl shape sure gives it the appeal of a real bowl of ramen.
Some side details with ingredients and nutritional information.  The side of the bowl is finished in a glossy printe so it looks like a really nice looking bowl even if it is Styrofoam.
You get a lot of stuff in one of these deluxe noodle bowls.  There is the powdered soup base in the black satchet.  There is the tonkotsu/soy deep flavour liquid/paste satchet in the green, a piece of dried pork, and a satchet with dried veggies and fish stick.
Another view of the ingredients.
You can tell the noodles are air dried from how they look.
I added the ingredients into the bowl and added boiling water for four minutes.
The noodles rehydrated nicely along with the vegetables.  You need to give it a good stir to make sure all of the flavours are mixed together.  There was a nice pork and soy aroma coming off of the soup.
Closeup of the noodles.  Ingredients in this ramen inclused a slice of pork, bamboo shoots, green onion, and the flower shaped fish stick.  All very nice and I quite enjoyed the flavour of the soup.  It was nicely balanced with lots of flavour.  The noodles had a nice firm chewy texture that you just don't get with the fried noodles.
Here I am enjoying my noodle outside in the yard where I was watching my cat.
Wakayama city in eastern Japan specializes in a mix of thinner shoyu broths from eastern Japan combined with thicker pork bone broths from western Japan. The city created a tasty fusion of both styles of ramen with thin noodles.  In Japanese surveys, this style of ramen places highly on the tasty list.  In fact, one Wakayama city family shop, Ide Shoten became nationally famous in 1998 when it placed as the most delicious ramen in Japan on TV Champion, in a high-profile new years day broadcast.  New years is a big time in Japan and TVs are on in every home that day.  A ramen boom was triggered in the city after this and even today there are long lines waiting to get into this restaurant.

More ramen noodle posts and Japanese pop culture.