Maitre Khan "Spicy Hot Pork Rib"

Brand: Maitre Khan
Flavour: Spicy Hot Pork Rib
Format: brick-in-packet
Packets: three
Identifiables: noodle brick, flavour sludge, flavour powder, veggie bits
Sodium: 3.89 grams

Spicy Hot Pork Rib? How can one go wrong? There's even a cheerful little chef-looking guy named Maitre Khan....

Hey, he looks awfully familiar....

Great googly moogly, it's Mr. Kon!

This time, the product is not in a bowl, but an unassuming plastic packet which turns out to contain a massive noodle brick in it and three smaller and easy-to-open numbered packets. One of the small packets, "20a", contained orangish-beige soup powder. A second, "05c", clearly showed a variety of dehydrated veggies, including tiny pepper rings (much to my delight.) The third packet, "15b", held a thick, dark orange mystery sludge which I could only guess to have at one time been a pork rib which was made spicy hot. There's simply no other explanation.

The directions for this one are simple. Put all the stuff in a bowl, pour a measured amount of water into the bowl, cover for three minutes, then stir and enjoy. This means that it's pretty much exactly like any instant noodle that comes with its own bowl, except without that. I wondered whether that made a significant difference in cost, but simultaneously vowed to give it a preparation rank of three simply because I didn't have a pot to clean afterwards.

The catch, really, was in finding a bowl large enough for it. Seriously, even the one pictured wasn't large enough for the brick to fit into. I had to snap the brick in half, which may come across as a brutal break from tradition for some ramen purists, but I'll have to insist that such an act doesn't really detract from the ramen experience. Thus, I prepared the ramen.

The result is a reasonably tasty, if somewhat salty and oily, bowl of noodles. The flavour's not quite as rich as I might have expected to back up the spice level, but it's not nearly as unbalanced as the disappointing "Seattle Ramen". The broth is actually quite satisfying, which is good because there's quite a lot of it. Six-hundred millilitres of hot water makes for a good bit of ramen.

It's a good thing, too. Apparently I was hungry; I finished ther bowl before I finished typing the review. So, I'll bump the rank up a notch.

Numbers: packaging 3, preparation 3, heat 4, flavour 4, overall 4
Music: Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts - Coyboy Bebop OST - Cat Blues

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