Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Samyang Japanese Seafood Flavor Udon

Made By:  Samyang Foods Co., Ltd. [Korea]
Required to Prepare:  550cc water, Saucepan & range
500 calories per package

A happy 2013 to everyone!  This year my sweetie and I have resolved to eat healthier, and this means I plan to be eating (and reviewing!) more instant noodles.  That might sound strange to some, but trust me, compared to eating lunch at fast food restaurants, ramen is a veritable health food.  To help get on board the wagon, yesterday I finally made it down to Uwajimaya in Bellevue to stock up on noodles and asian foodstuffs.

Rather than stand about wracked with indecision from an overabundance of choices, for lunch today I just plucked a packet off the top of the new-and-improved Noodle Stash and ended up with these Japanese Seafood udon noodles from Samyang.  The package informs me that "This is the oriental style Udon Which is soft noodles and clear soup taste in addition to the fresh raw-materials."  I find it amusing and slightly ironic, since these are a dried product instead of a fresh, soft-packed udon.

Anyway, inside the package, we find our large square brick of raw-materials thick noodles, a packet of soup base, and one labeled 'flake.'  We bring 550cc (or 2-1/3 cups) of water to a boil in our saucepan, add the contents of the packets and the noodles, and cook for 5 minutes.  Transfer our noodles to a bowl, and it is time to have lunch!

The broth is actually a bit more bland than I was expecting; rather than the usual dashi-and-shoyu Japanese-style broth that I am used to from some of the other udon products, this one seemed more along the lines of the generic "Oriental" flavor that you might find in a Top Ramen.  At first I thought maybe it was a straight dashi broth, but I made a small cup of HonDashi instant broth to compare, and this product seemed to be lacking both the smokiness and the seaweed undertone.  "Clear soup taste," indeed.

The noodles, on the other hand, were a pleasant surprise; I was expecting basically a Neoguri or Chapagetti-style thick puffed noodle, but these were the best rendition of the flavor and texture of fresh udon that I've had so far from a dry product.  They're still not quite the same as fresh raw-materials udon, but I enjoyed the noodles.  Overall, while these weren't bad by any means, the broth is forgettable enough that I doubt they will be a repurchase.  :|