Sunday, May 26, 2019

Maruchan Tonkotsu Soy Sauce Instant Ramen

Maruchan's Tonkotsu Soy Sauce Instant Ramen is my favourite brand of packaged instant ramen right now.  You can buy these in Canada at T & T Market and other Asian groceries.  These noodles are air dried and not deep fried, competing against the Nissin Raoh brand of noodles which are also air dried.  Both are more deluxe brands as they have liquid soup bases rather than powder (but some powdered bases are really good too) and feature higher quality noodles.  It is kind of strange that these soy / tonkotsu flavours are not very common in North America as they are quite savoury and flavourful, but you usually find oriental or chicken or beef if it isn't spicy.  Spicy is in the realm of Korean instant ramen which I like once in a while.  Maruchan has a whole lineup of different flavours in this line and you buy them in packs of 5.
This ramen comes in a big gold foil package that contains 5 individual ramen block packs. 
The front of an individual package of the Tonkotsu Soy Sauce Ramen.  The predominant color of the package is shiny gold with shiny metallic purple text and trim.  It looks like it got the royal treatment for branding.  Centered on the package is a bowl of nice straight noodles attractively garnished with a variety of toppings.  The focus is on a quality bowl of soup and noodles.
The back of the package with nutrition, manufacturing, and cooking directions.
Inside the package is a round brick of noodles, a powdered soup packet, and a liquid soup packet.  You can always tell the air dried noodles from the fried ones as they are less squiggly.
One of the things about packaged noodles is that there are usually no dried toppings to put on, unlike cup noodles.  You are supposed to be adding your own toppings, which is pretty reasonable in most cases, but sometimes you don't have much in the fridge.  To prepare the soup for these noodles, you pour the contents of both soup packets into your ramen bowl.  The noodles are prepared separately.

You then boil 500mL of water in a pot and then add the noodle block to cook for three minutes.  I cook them a little less than the three minutes as the firmness of the noodles is up to you.  After the three minutes you then pour some of the boiled water into the soup bowl  to mix the soup base.  You can pour as much water as you want to make the soup stronger or weaker in flavour. I use most of the water.

You then add the noodles to the soup and then your toppings.  While I was preparing the noodles I also cooked some frozen carrots and beans in the water, so these went in with some hard boiled eggs, and ham.  The soup smells nice and savoury with hints of soy.  The soup itself has a nice deep flavour profile with soy notes and a rich tonkotsu undertone.  The noodles are a nice yellow colour and are thicker than the regular ramen noodles.  They are firm and have a nice chew.   I always enjoy these noodles and they are lower fat than the regular fried kind of noodle too!
A bowl of tonkotsu soy ramen with egg, ham, beans, and carrot.  Tasty!

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Monday, May 13, 2019

New Touch Nostalgic Curry Udon

Japan has many instant noodle makers and I probably have just scratched the surface of what is available in the country.  I ordered some surprise noodles from Candysan and they sent some varieties I had never tried before.  One of them was New Touch Nostalgic Curry Udon from Yamadai.  Yamadai has been refreshing its brands in recent years and their "New Touch" line is part of that.  While they are not as well known as Nissin or Maruchan, this is Japan, so they are going to be pretty good even if you don't get the huge advertising budget.  These are more of your value brand noodles, but they are still way ahead of the typical North American stuff.
Nice packaging with yellow and black colors and a more traditional wooden type background with the noodle name in bold yellow.  Looks good!
You can see it is a curry soup with nice broad udon noodles.  Peas, potatos, and little chunks of meat in the broth.
Manufacturer's information and some warnings and directions.
Nutritional content and cooking directions.
Nice looking graphics.  Red and yellow on black is always bold looking.
You get the noodles, a powdered soup packet, and a dried ingredients packet.
Soup base powder, peas, potato, and dried meat.
The noodles all rehydrated nicely after adding in boiling water and letting it sit for 5 minutes.  The thicker noodles took a little more time.  The peas, potato and meat all rehydrated well too.
This curry soup was pretty good and the thicker and broader udon noodles were pretty nice.  The noodles were chewy and went well with a mild curry broth.  This wasn't a thick soup, but the curry flavour came through nicely.  The meat, potatoes, an peas were pretty much lost in the bowl, making you wish there was more.  Nothing too surprising about this soup and it is good for what it is.
Curry udon soup.

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