Sapporo Ichiban "Kitsune"

Brand: Sapporo Ichiban
Flavour: Kitsune
Format: brick-in-packet
Packets: one
Identifiables: noodle brick, soup base, graham cracker
Sodium: 1.94 grams

All right, it's not really a graham cracker. In person, though, you'd wonder, as it looks like one, feels a bit like one, and even smells a bit like one but saltier. It is most certainly kitsune-flavoured, though.

Here's an explanation, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Fox spirits are said to be particularly fond of a fried sliced tofu called aburage, which is accordingly found in the noodle-based dishes kitsune udon and kitsune soba.

What I have here is, therefore, kitsune ramen. It cooks like most any ramen at the start, if slightly longer; boil 600mL water, cook noodles for five minutes. This is quite a bit of water, but the package claims to be enough to serve three, so it's either too much or not enough. The noodles are wider than usual, but they seem similar to average ramen noodles otherwise. After that, the seasoning and fried tofu block are stirred in and it's all cooked for another thirty seconds before serving. When the cracker – I mean, aburage – was added, it almost immediately began to reconstitute and puff up.

The flavour is a bit difficult to describe. The broth is well-rounded, salty and very slightly spicy but rich with soy and gently spicy. The noodles have a good consistency. The tofu is a bit better than one might expect given its humble dried-slab-in-a-packet nature, but it's also strangely sweet. It's a little difficult to pull apart with chopsticks in the bowl, and it practically begs to be broken into small pieces before it's cooked so one can get a bit of that sweetness spread over many more bites. Still, the dish is well worth the effort.

I don't know if this tastes anything like foxes or fox spirits, but if it does, then I know why they've made themselves so difficult to catch. They'd all be eaten up by now otherwise!

Numbers: packaging 3, preparation 2, heat 2, flavour 4, overall 4
Music: Andrew Sega (Necros) - Orchard Street


Chris Meadows said...

I don't think it's "soylent kitsune". I think it's what kitsune are supposed to eat.

Purina kitsune chow.

Electric Keet said...

Yes, well, the packaging wasn't terribly clear on the concept, and it's not as though I personally have any knowledge of kitsune lore. Who knows, perhaps fox-spirits really are made of fried tofu!

TNL said...

Cool site.....I think you'd like some "Maggi" brand Indian Ramen noodles....have you tried any??
My fav is the Maggi "Tomato" and "Curry" flavors.....do try it if you get a chance!


Electric Keet said...

Actually, I became familiar with the ones you're talking about some time ago. I have a good number on my shelf now. I figure I'll review one... probably the Masala, since it's my favourite!

Haystack said...

I wonder whether there is a tanuki ramen out there... y'know, the opposite number to the kitsune version. :)

D Sato said...

Tanuki ramen is topped with fried tenpura batter, though I prefer Kitsune more.

BTW, that abura-age(fried tofu) looks foul. When I bought the instant bowls in Japan the color was just a bit lighter than fresh abura-age(light tan versus medium tan). From what you say, it probably had the same consistency(fairly rubbery from the freeze dry and reconsitution).