Samyang Foods "Samyang Ramen"

Brand: Samyang Foods
Flavour: Samyang Ramen
Format: brick-in-packet
Packets: two
Identifiables: noodle brick, spice, veggie bits
Sodium: 2.40 grams

What, two Samyang ramens in a row? Worse, one of them simply named Samyang Ramen? Confusing, yes, but I swear it's not my fault. Am I really diabolical enough to design an instant noodle wrapper that looks like a box of Tide laundry detergent? Okay, perhaps I am precisely that diabolical, but one hopes that the flavour is nowhere near similar. I held this hope close to my heart as I tope open a packet of "Samyang Foods presents Samyang Ramen by Samyang, starring Samyang". This Sam Yang guy gets around almost as much as Clive Barker. (If that joke wasn't obscure enough, can I propose American McGee?)

For starters, the packaging is incredibly similar to the other noodle I've had by the same company, meaning it's precisely as convenient. The brick is the same size and thus the wrapper is also. The packets within are similarly devoid of English, all in favour of Korean. There's an amusing typographical error in the instructions whereby a line-break renders a familiar word as "vege tables", right next to "scalions". (SCA lions? I think I might know one.) These are the little joys of a ramen-blessed existence.

Enough about the words! I prepared 550cc of boiling water (stat!) and dumped in everything foodlike that was in the package. As the soup cooked, I stared at reconstituting bits of cabbage and pondered whether there was a specific Pantone colour number for the particular shade of orange which accompanies the majority of ramen broth. Wouldn't it more likely be in the Toyo Color Finder? Either way, it looks more yellowish through the camera.... Ah well, four minutes can be an eternity when hungry, but it's nothing when deep in thought. The cooked noodles went into a bowl.

Ramen which doesn't explicitly state a flavour generally falls into two categories: beefy, or seafoody. Sometimes it's hard to know which one you're eating without glancing at ingredients, either because it's so underpronounced that it can't really be told or because the actual flavour isn't what was expected so it counfounds the eater. It's not any slight against the product at all, just an awareness that there are multiple ways to get a richly-flavoured broth. In this case, it was salty and smoky and meaty and I simply couldn't determine whether it was beefy or seafoody. So, I looked at the ingredients which were some type of flavouring. Kimchi, ham, garlic, bacon. Okay, so I was wrong. Wait, there's beef, way down the list, but it's really not a primary player. So, the ramen has a porky taste overall, which is why I was confused. I have to say that I greatly approve. Also, it's gently spicy, possibly a high 2 or a low 3 but I'm erring toward the 2. Overall, the noodle is a pleasant switch from the usual beefy or seafoody fare.

How many times will I write "beefy or seafoody" in this review? Almost as many as I'll write "Samyang". I'm most certainly looking forward to other Samyang products, because so far they haven't disappointed me in the least, save for not having their products in convenient bowls.

Numbers: packaging 3, preparation 2, heat 2, flavour 4, overall 3

Music: Virt - FX3 - Bedtime Story

1 comment:

Michele said...

I just came across your blog from a link in the livejournal "Ramen Noodles" community and I love it.
I have also noticed that you and I have the same kind of disposable plates. A funny coincidence...