Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Paldo Kokomen (Spicy Chicken Flavor)

Made By:  PalDo Co. Ltd. [Korea]
Required to Prepare:  Saucepan & Range
510 calories per package

Available online via Amazon.com

Next up from the May 2015 Ramen Box is Paldo's Kokomen spicy chicken soup!  The package describes it as "Clean Spicy," and according to the Ramen Box pamphlet, this should be a Korean 'Ramyun' version of a classic chicken noodle soup.  I'm anxious to give it a try!

The package doesn't have any big surprises inside; there is a very typical block of round-style Korean ramen noodles, and the standard two packets of add-ins (one powder, one veggie flake).  Interestingly, though, the ingredients list for the vegetable packet includes chicken breast and egg flake; I don't see much visual evidence of the chicken breast although I do see some tiny yellow rectangles that are probably the eggs I was looking for.  I also can't help noticing the little caricature chef near the instructions; after a cursory search, I'm assuming this is a likeness of the Korean comedian Kyung-Kyu Lee, who (according to an Amazon reviewer) developed these noodles as part of a ramen competition show.  Anyway, normal preparation instructions for a Korean noodle:  Boil 500ml of water, add everything, and cook for 4 minutes, at which point we have...

...this bowl of appetizing-looking noodles!  The broth is somewhat clear, and I can easily see the green onion pieces as well as both green and red pepper rings.  There are also a couple of little square shavings that may or may not be the mentioned chicken breast, and some longer rectangles that are probably the egg--neither one seem to contribute anything, visually, texturally, or otherwise.
The broth has a really nice flavor; the "Clean Spicy" descriptor from the package is actually a really good description.  It is a very clean, almost western-style chicken broth, accented by a very fresh-tasting pepper flavor--more than just the heat, you can taste the green accents, it reminds me of the flavor of fresh jalapeño.  While the heat level is assertive, it is definitely not overpowering, and interestingly, the heat doesn't seem to 'build' as I eat more of it.  The noodles are typical and average for Korean noodles, which is to say there is definitely nothing wrong with them; they are pleasantly firm and pick up the flavor of the soup well.

I have to say, this may be my new favorite Korean-style noodle of all time (sorry, 'Black'); I enjoy how the heat in these are a fresher, brighter flavor than simply adding a big scoop of chili powder, and how it manages to complement rather than overpower the lighter, more delicate flavors in the soup.  I could be wrong, but I am even thinking these could be a great "under-the-weather" choice--it has all the 'comfort food' quality of old-fashioned chicken soup, along with some crisp, clean pepper heat to help open up the sinuses.

Not that I would wait until I was sick to have this again; I will definitely be buying more of these.  :D

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