2008-10-08

Nissin "Chow Mein: Teriyaki Beef Flavor"

Brand: Nissin
Flavour: Chow Mein: Teriyaki Beef Flavor
Format: plastic tray
Packets: two
Identifiables: noodle brick, veggie bits, soup base
Sodium: 1.50 grams

Hot water to the line, three minutes' cooking time
Things to taste, no time to waste – Ramen Rainbow!
I can eat anything!
So come and take a ramen break – Ramen Rainbow!

(apologies to Geordi LaForge)

Let's talk about packaging. Actually, I'll write about packaging and you can read and respond when the post is over, dig?

I could get into the differences in visual style between products meant for overseas markets and products meant for the United States. It'd be interesting to perhaps three of my readers, and really, I'm not quite a graphic design expert, so it'd be absurd. I can go on about the functionality of a package, however, because I have to use it. When I saw that the cooking instructions for this particular dish were printed on the wrinkly cellophone near the seam on the back of the package, I cringed. Good luck getting the wrapper off and keeping those directions intact, Keet.

Amazingly, the cellophane wrapper practically obliged my efforts to open it, and it came apart very neatly right along the seams, leaving the instructions intact. When I flipped the package over, I saw the very same instructions printed both in English and Spanish right on the lid, so even if I'd torn that cellophane open like Cookie Monster, I'd have been just fine. It's almost like somebody actually planned ahead for this. Spooky.

I pulled the lid halfway back (a little tough, but the lid didn't tear apart so it's okay), emptied the packet of dried veggies (they always smell like the pellets one feeds to guinea pigs) into the tray, poured in room-temperature water (as directed, go fig) up to the fill line, and set it to be mauled by microwave energy for six minutes. If only the package had come with a plastic fork included, it would have earned a five, simply because all that was needed was a microwave. Once cooked, I opened the liquid packet and poured it in. There was a little clear liquid – certainly oil – and then a brown ichor which smelled of teriyaki sauce, but not the disgustingly sweet sort. I stirred, then sampled.

Here's where the dish truly wins. The flavour is very well balanced, beefy but soyish but oniony but just a little sweet. The flat noodles are perfectly cooked, a little toothy but not at all crunchy. The vegetables have just enough texture to add variety. About the only way I could think of to improve the dish would be to have a spicier version. Dear friends, I may have to bump yesterday's chajang down a notch. I think, given a choice between the two, I would take this one.

Remember that I found this in a standard supermarket, one of the stores that's basically a Kroger with a different name. You, the reader, can almost certainly find this stuff near you, and possibly even in several places. Buy at least one of these – comparison shop for price if you must – and see for yourself. It's good stuff....

...but, don't take my word for it!

Numbers: packaging 4, preparation 4, heat 1, flavour 5, overall 5
Music: 8bit Betty - Too Bleep to Blop - Reading Rainbow

15 comments:

Shawn said...

Another 5? Man, you must have gotten quite a batch.

This one looks seriously good.

Jessie Tracer / Electric Keet said...

Shawn:
It has been an awesome batch so far, but I do have a couple lined up that are practically guaranteed to disturb, possibly disgust.

Krinn said...

I can get this from my local corner store, and it's quite good, especially with a splash of something on top. Thanks for the recommendation.

Haystack said...

This is one of my staples. I love adding certain spices to it, such as a touch of cumin, or maybe a little chipotle pepper powder, or even some wasabi powder. However, it's perfectly good all by itself. <3

Love the blog; I've read through this at least three times just to enjoy the wonderful humor in your noodly journalism.

Will said...

That "brown ichor" is literally the best tasting liquid on earth. After i pour it into my noodles, i suck out every last drop of whats left behind in the package, not wasting a molecule. The flavor is so perfectly savory, salty, and intense. I wish they sold it in bottles so i could pour it on everything i eat. I wish they sold it in bottles so i could drink it like water.

Anonymous said...

That brown sauce is truly intense - and addicting! But I knew the flavor of it reminded me of something else I've tasted before, and I finally figured it out. There is a seasoning called "Gravy Master" - when making gravy, it can be used to add color and flavor. It can be found in any grocery store where the seasonings are displayed. It has an orange label and cap. It tastes almost exactly like that brown sauce in the Nissin Teriyaki Beef Chow Mein Noodles. But the Gravy Master is concentrated - so a little of it goes a long way.

Ashley Inman said...

Totally agree! You're not the only one.

Ashley Inman said...

Totally agree! You're not the only one.

kat81852 said...

They need to make the brown sauce available for purchase ! Yummy !!

Sarah Cunningham said...

I totally just logged on to see if I could buy it by the bottle....I am almost scared of what would happen if I could....

Sarah Cunningham said...

I totally just logged on to see if I could buy it by the bottle....I am almost scared of what would happen if I could....

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Anonymous said...

If you love this product as much as I do, but tired of paying retail, see the healthier recipe below to make your own at 1/3 - 1/2x retail cost.

https://www.reddit.com/r/ramen/comments/5ixto1/how_to_make_nissin_chow_mein_teriyaki_beef_flavor/

Anonymous said...

Working reddit link to above

Unknown said...

I've been wondering if they sold it by the bottle, as well....seriously tasty stuff!