2009-08-01

Pulmuone "Fresh Noodles with Black Bean Sauce"

Brand: Pulmuone
Flavour: Fresh Noodles with Black Bean Sauce
Format: plastic bag
Packets: four
Identifiables: noodle nest, bean sludge
Sodium: 2.02 grams

Two months! I know, all you Keet fans out there are wondering if I fell off the planet. Rest assured that I did not. I have, however, had a turbulent time of it, and the worst part is that the camera I was using gave up the ghost. I didn't want to use my phone's camera because it's not the greatest, but the replacement camera I ordered is on indefinite backorder and I didn't want to leave everyone hanging forever.

This particular dish is quite a departure from instant ramen, but it's fun enough that I had to share. It's a sizable plastic bag from the refrigerated section of the market. It has a nice picture on it of a bowl of jjajang, a Korean noodle dish with black bean sauce. Note that the picture does not have the sauce mixed in to the noodles. That's because once mixed, the result is a terrifyingly nasty-looking concoction which could turn one away on the spot if not for the delightful smell of it. It's not only real food, but it's really good food when done right.

When I tore the large bag open, I found four packets inside, two matching pairs. One pair was translucent, showing the sturdy-looking what noodles inside. The other pair consisted of thick silver mylar pouches like one might see holding ready-to-eat meals in a camping supply store.

The first part of assembling the dish was easy; boil water, add noodles, cook for four minutes, drain. The catch is that the second part involved boiling more water and heating up the silver packets, then opening the hot packets over the noodles. That's right, it requires either a second pot, or the patience to fill the first one again and then let the noodles get cold while the sauce heats. I went for the second pot. Then there's the tricky step of opening a thick plastic packet full of hot black bean sauce and not making a disaster or scalding oneself. There are notches on the packets for this, but the force required to tear them open makes that a difficult and messy proposition, so a scissors came in handy.

Fortunately, the result was very pleasant. The black bean sauce is heavy, but well-balanced. The deep, rich flavour of it goes well with the wheat noodles. The vegetables weren't terribly plentiful, but quite welcome. The catch is that there's perhaps too much sauce for the noodles, and I'd have balanced them out differently, and with a little less sauce I might have had an easier time picking noodles up with chopsticks. The other catch is that preparation is a little complex and possibly risky. This isn't a pour-and-forget cup noodle; this is an instant meal that has to be kept in the fridge until it's prepared. For that, however, it's incredibly tasty.

Anyhow... you're unlikely to find this outside a Pal-Do Market or similar international place, so just enjoy the pictures. (Then go read Thirteen Ribbons, the serial writing project I've been engaged in while I haven't been reviewing ramen.)

Numbers: packaging 2, preparation 1, heat 0, flavour 5, overall 3
Music: Jivemaster - OCRemix - Sonic 3D Blast Power Puppet

2 comments:

Haystack said...

"sturdy-looking what noodles"?

I think you were truly impressed by these... just as I am, by how much fun I have in reading this awesome blog. :3

JohnK said...

The latest version available at Costco is a little better in the prep department. You can nuke the sauce in the packet. I wasn't as satisfied with the results. Definitely, sturdy noodles they are. The sauce I found bland. You need pickles or another side dish to cut the sauce.