Mr. Kon "Fried Seafood"

Brand: Mr. Kon
Flavour: Fried Seafood
Format: plastic tray
Packets: two
Identifiables: noodle brick, veggie bits, soup base paste
Sodium: 1.78 grams

"Keet, how do you choose which ramen you'll review every day?" I hear you ask. The answer is simple. I carefully consider whether I want something spicy, and how hungry I am, and what flavours I've reviewed recently... and then I ignore all that and pick the one with the prettiest package. Today's package was corrugated red plastic with a blue foil lid. Very pretty.

Only on closer inspection of that package did I realise that nowhere on it were there any instructions on how to make the stuff... at least not in English. Granted, for a ramen-eating professional like myself this is rarely a problem, though I'll admit to having a certain... trepidation. (This is not to be confused with having a trepanation. Look it up, kids.) I decided to piece together that had to be done by investigating what clues I did have. There were two obvious "open lid until here" lines, so it followed logically that I was faving a "dry" style in which I'd pour rater into one hole, allow cook time, then drain through the smaller hole. Then, I'd probably add whatever flavour packet lay within, and eat. The power of reason wins through!

When I opened the tray (and the thick foil lid was on there but good) I found a veggie packet, a semi-solid soup base packet, and... a small instruction sheet. "Now, this is fancy stuff," I said out loud to nobody. Furthermore, I discovered an additional packet which is certainly a first in CtF:tRB history. You can see it in the picture. This instant noodle came with its own chopsticks. I've seen a few that came with a plastic fork, yes, but wooden chopsticks? Truly, this is an age of miracles.

Giddy with wonder, I followed the directions. Admittedly, a wry chuckle came when the first instructed me to tear open the shrink wrap, open the lid, and remove everything that wasn't noodles. If I hadn't done that already, how would I have read the instructions in the first place? The veggie packet went into the bowl along with enough water to cover, and I closed the lid. Then, in accordance with the third instruction, I set the semi-solid soup base packet on the lid to "preheat" while the noodles cooked.

Four minutes later, I removed the packet – the contents had become a warm gritty liquid suitable for pouring – and then tried to drain the noodles. It occurred only then that I could have opened the drain spout before cooking the noodles and thus reduced my risk of scalding. Instead, I'd have to do it while steam was trying to escape. Remember, I'm a professional; don't try this at home. I succeeded in not injuring myself, though the water took forever to drain out. A reminder to others and future self: when you'll have to drain it through a teeny spout, make sure you only add water to cover in the first place.

I loosed the brown-black ichor from its packet into the tray, and stirred it into the noodles. Getting an even mix proved to be near-impossible, but I was too busy admiring the lush green bits of seaweed to care. The time had come to consume the fruit of my efforts! First, I opened the chopstick packet and split them in the time-honoured tradition of all wooden chopsticks (unevenly at the top, natch.) My gargantual American hands were almost too large, but I gripped the chopsticks and set about eating.

The scent is stronger than the flavour, in this case, but in no way are these unpleasant. There's not a hint of spice to be had, but plenty ot dark and rich soy. In fact, I could barely detect the seafood flavour with all the soy, but even so, I found it very pleasant. In fact, I could easily see the point being made that the flavour is actually "fried seafood" and some folks like there to be more sauce than meat in their fried foods. Veggies were plentiful (though a fair number got caught in the ridges of the tray) and the noodles had a good texture. Overall, I'm actually reasonably pleased with the dish, and since it comes with pretty much everything needed for consumption aside from boiling water, this bowl gets high marks.

Numbers: packaging 4, preparation 3, heat 1, flavour 4, overall 4

Music: Koji Kondo - Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii) - Ground Theme (Super Mario Bros.)

No comments: