Flavour: Dr. Noodle: Shiitake Flavor Spinach Ramen
Format: brick-in-packet (times four)
Packets: two (times four)
Identifiables: green noodle brick, dried veggies, salt, spotty oily stuff
Sodium: 1.24 grams
This morning, I woke to find my wife eating ramen for breakfast. It turns out that she couldn't help herself when faced with a large, friendly package with a large, friendly line-art doctor on it. I'm not sure what this means for our relationship, but speculations about that would have to wait. At any rate, this is why the pictures of the package appear after having already been opened.
One of the types of instant noodle offered by Ramenbox is a large green-hued package by the Taiwanese "Dr. Noodle". It takes up three slots in a Ramenbox, but since the package turns out to hold a plastic tray with four individual ramen bricks and (more or less) separate packets for each, it's a good deal. Once the package is open, the choice is yours; you can share with friends by making all four packets at once, store the rest in a sealed container for later, or even put them in small plastic sandwich bags to bring to work. This is an economical way to do ramen.
The amusing part – or the frustrating part, depending – is that the English text on the package is somewhat troubled. The entirety of the directions are as follows:
- Stir 1 piece of noodles in boiling water.
- Stir 3 minutes.
- Add the spice of source and stir 1 minute, then you can enjoy the delicious ramen.
This meant that from that moment forward, I would think of Ramenbox as "the Spice of Source". It also means that I had no blinking idea how much water to boil! I had to pull aside the flap covering the illustrations to find the Chinese directions, and then decode the Chinese numerals before the "cc" unit notation. It turns out that 500cc is the recommended amount, which works out to a little over two Imperial cups. Once boiling, I slid in one of the healthy-looking green-tinted noodle bricks. (The packaging is fairly clear on the health benefits of noodle bricks which aren't fried, even offering a chart of fat levels, though I can't help but wonder how concerned they really are about health if they're using hydrogenated oil in the flavour packet. Ah well.)
The flavour packets aren't precisely singular. They come in pairs. Two of the pairs are foil packets with dehydrated vegetables and salt in them; the other two pair are translucent and show some sort of dark brown fluid with white oily spots throughout. They're well-pinked, though separating one half from the other for each pair requires either scissors or a willingness to be very, very careful about tearing them apart by hand as my wife apparently did.
The flavour is... green. There's spinach and cilantro to spare, here. The shiitake adds some depth, but this noodle is definitely all about the greens, and that's in no way a bad thing. The noodles have a suitable mouthfeel, neither too firm nor too mushy, and the occasional mushroom or carrot bit livens up the appearance if not the texture. The broth is somewhat oily, however. In total, I'm not sure I can really put this on my recommendations list, but I'm not scratching it off, either. It would be a nice change of pace from meat-flavoured ramen with little vegetable influence, but if you're picking these up, there's a wide range available anyhow. I look forward to trying this brand's other offering.
"You can set your mind at ease, because we can guarantee your expenditure!"
Numbers: packaging 3, preparation 2, heat 1, flavour 3, overall 3
Music: Faith No More - Album Of The Year - Pristina