2008-07-31

Wang "Oriental Style Wang Seafood Noodle Hot & Spicy"

Brand: Wang
Flavour: Oriental Style Wang Seafood Noodle Hot & Spicy
Format: cardboard bowl
Packets: four
Identifiables: noodle mass, veggie bits, seafood bits, red pepper
Sodium: 1.96 grams

The subtitle for this post should be, "Story of Noodle Epic". Holy crap.

To start with, look at the size of that bowl! That's a real CFDDP I'm holding up there. Opening it up was epic in itself. I tore off the perforated plastic safety-seal, pulled off the plastic lid – the decorative paper disc fell off – and found no less than four sealed packets within, all labelled in Korean. This had a profound effect on my psyche; I felt slightly disoriented, as though I were in a Lovecraft story and the angles weren't adding up. One packet contained a mass of thick, apparently pre-cooked noodles. Another looked to have semi-viscous liquid within. Another, the only to bear English words ("Dried Flake Sachet") was filled with dried bits. The last, a menacing red-orange foil packet, gave no clue to its contents aside from the notation that there was precisely one gram's worth within.

I began to prepare according to directions. This involved opening all but the red packet and dumping them in. The slightly damp knot of noodles broke slightly down the centre as I arranged it in the bowl. The notched brown packet oozed forth a rich-smelling paste with the consistency of chocolate syrup; I thought I'd have to squeeze it out, but it slid free of its packet in one long glop, adding to the fear factor. I poured hot tap water (I think they intended boiling water, but there's no telling) up to the rather visible internal ridge, then microwaved the resulting mix for three minutes.

It took some careful work to get the bowl out of the microwave without burning myself, but it was worth it. That angry red-orange broth in there? It was that colour before I added the danger-coloured packet. (Photographing it was a challenge because it was steaming up the lens.) A quick stir brought forth bits of seaweed and some tiny niblets of seafood. I took a spoon and sampled the broth; I found it very tasty and tangy, with a heat level of maybe a low four.

Then, I stared at the danger packet.

It stared back at me impassively, as though daring me.

I summoned my courage, tore it open, and threw its contents into the bowl before reason could assert itself in my head.

Now, understand that when heat level gets into this range, it takes a lot more to push things. The broth did indeed redden somewhat, and the heat brushed up into the five range, definitely a pleasant challenge. Part of me wants to exaggerate and compare it to my first experience with Dave's Gourmet Insanity Sauce ("Every cell in my body is turning itself inside out at the speed of thought, and I like it! I can see forever!") but it wasn't quite there. Still, it's the hottest noodle I've had to date that also has a really good flavour, and that's worth something. The noodle texture is a bit odd because they were already sort of moist, and thus they got softer but didn't soak up all that much flavour, so it's definitely good to get plenty of broth with each bite.

So, in summary, the preparation is a bit odd but not bad, the flavour is pretty good, the chewy seafood bits are fairly nice, and the somewhat-variable heat is a great thing. It is one intimidating bowl of ramen, however. In fact, I'm not even sure I should call it ramen, seeing as how the noodles weren't dry to start with, but whatever, it's reviewed now.

Numbers: packaging 4, preparation 3, heat 4/5, flavour 4, overall 4

Music: Mario Galaxy Orchestra - Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) - Wind Garden

2 comments:

krinndnz said...

I'm going to have to start looking for some of this stuff myself: there are Asian markets around here, and it's been a long time since I've had ramen. It was all Marchuan/Top Ramen ten-cents-a-pack anyhow.

Jessie Tracer / Electric Keet said...

The interesting stuff tends to be more expensive, but I do tend to figure that a bit more expense for a lot more flavour is just fine. Anyhow, many of these packets are way larger than the small bricks that show up on fifteen-cents-or-less sale.