Nissin "U.F.O. BIG"

Brand: Nissin
Flavour: U.F.O. BIG
Format: styrofoam bowl
Packets: two
Identifiables: noodle brick, liquid sauce, garnishing herbs
Sodium: 2.80 grams

One of my roommates presented me with a gift. It seems that she'd been to an international grocery and spotted a square bowl with garish cellophane packaging bearing a picture of tasty-looking yakisoba, the bold declaraction of "130g!", and no English save for the name of the product: "U.F.O. BIG". Preparation would be a completele mystery, since the iconic directions were covered by a post-hoc nutrition label. Apparently, alien invasion begins with instant noodles.

Fortunately, once I'd peeled away the cellophane, the foil lid on the bowl had even more detailed iconic directions. I followed them as closely as I could, guessing by the repeated digit "3" in the sea of Japanese script that the cooking time would be three minutes. The process followed as such:

  • Pull front tab 1 to easily open lid as far as line 2.

  • Remove large opaque foil packet of liquid and small translucent packet of herbs and tiny mysterious pink bits.

  • Pour in boiling water, cover with lid, and wait for three minutes.

  • Tear side tab 3 across to reveal array of drain holes, and tilt bowl over sink to drain well. Remove lid.

  • Struggle to open the pinked but nigh invulnerable opaque packet, give up, and take a scissors to it. Dock entire point from packaging score in fit of pique.

  • Pour black liquid over noodles. Stir until noodles are a uniform medium brown.

  • Open small translucent packet easily and attempt to sprinkle contents over top of noodles. Instead, watch entire contents spill out into one central mass of herbs and inexplicable pink bits.

  • Stare at pink bits for a short time, recieve no help from ingredient list, wonder why licorice extract is on there.

  • Eat with alien-green (aliens are green, of course!) IKEA chopsticks. Enjoy.

The flavour was somewhat sweet without being overbearingly so, and reasonably rich with soy and vegetable components. The noodles were standard Nissin quality, meaning they had just the right tooth and a good flavour.. The cabbage bits were a pleasant surprise, especially in how well they reconstituted. I still have no idea what the pink bits were. And yes, if I stretch my imagination, I think I can taste a smidge of that licorice influence, though I wouldn't call any of this alien. Perhaps, however, it just might be... out of this world.

No, I still don't have the marketing chops.

Numbers: packaging 3, preparation 3, heat 1, flavour 4, overall 4
Music: Machinae Supremacy - Jets'N'Guns (PC) - Little Green Men


Unknown said...

"No, I still don't have the marketing chops."

That's why we love you. :)

Anonymous said...

I can't read any of the Japanese packaging, but having dealt with packages of similar pink flakes, I believe it's bonito flakes, little thinner-than-paper flakes of dried tuna.
If you get a hot meal served with them on top (I usually have bonito flakes on top of okonomiyaki), you'll have the fun experience of watching them 'dance', as the heat waves move them around

BRD said...

Thanks for your step-by-step guidance on UFO preparation. It was just what I needed after several minutes of staring dumbly at the inner pack with its (to me) inscrutable picto-instructions. I found that a couple of dashes of hot sauce helped to cut the sweetness of the finished preparation. Maybe that's my gaijin weirdness, though.

Unknown said...

I tried it first time last night every bit of it.Specially the Onari ( Sea Weeds ) which i didnt enjoyed when i was travelling Japan in last Summer. I am a big Noodle lover...