2010-04-22

Paldo "Hwa Cup"

Brand: Paldo
Flavour: Hwa Cup
Format: paper cup
Packets: one
Identifiables: noodle frustum, veggie bits, flavour powder
Sodium: (amount of sodium in grams, not milligrams)

Yes, it's good to see you again also, but let's get down to brass tacks, shall we?

Instant noodles are one of those little underrated joys of life. Instant noodles that come in a convenient cup are doubly so. It's no wonder that when somebody comes up with a popular taste, the next logical step is to put it in a cup. For Nong Shim, this meant converting Shin Ramyun into Shin Cup. For Paldo, it meant creating a whole new flavour and putting it in a cup that looks like Shin Cup. They call it Hwa Cup.

The Hwa Cup stands tall and proud like the Shin Cup, and the art on the cup looks highly similar from first glance. It has a strong red-and-black theme and large, imposing-looking brushed kanji ("spicy" for the Shin, "fire for the Hwa). The font choices are similar. Honestly, it looks like it's meant to draw in people who really wanted Shin Cup and found this to be twenty cents cheaper on sale. That's clever, but slightly disingenuous, I'd think. Regardless, it's worth a try, and since I got one with my Ramenbox....

The catch with the paper cup is that the foil lid is securely glued to it such that the cup deforms on trying to remove it. A little finesse and patience see it liberated cleanly, but there's such a thing as too secure. Once inside, a cluttered-looking foil packet sits on top of fewer noodles and more veggies than expected. Once the packet is dumped into the cup, it takes only a cup of boiling water and three minutes to get fully cooked ramen.

The broth is surprisingly dark red-brown and moderately oily. It carries a spicy vegetable taste which isn't bad but comes off as slightly hollow because of all the added glutamates; without any particular meat or mushroom flavour to back them up, they seem a little artificial, but not bad. The noodles are a little more rubbery than I'd expect, and their flavour is also slightly unusual in a not-quite-normal way that I can't describe very well. Maybe it's from all that soy peptide.

The final verdict? If you're looking for a vegetarian equivalent to the much-beloved but beef-based Shin noodles, Paldo's Hwa noodles are a bit less spicy but well worth looking into.

Numbers: packaging 2, preparation 3, heat 3, flavour 4, overall 4
Music: Gershon Kingsley - Music To Moog By - Pop Corn

1 comment:

Howard said...

Great to have you back Jessie!!