Sunday, August 16, 2015

Myojo Okinawa Soba

Made By:  Myojo Foods Co. Ltd.  [Japan]
Preparation:  Saucepan & Range
400 calories per package

Available online via Amazon

Today for lunch, my wife and I are having our first noodle from the July Ramen Box!  Naturally, I gravitate straight toward the Japanese ones first, and pull out the Okinawa Soba.  I'm looking forward to them!

The package has fairly simple contents:  We have the block of wide-cut  pale noodles, a packet of a soup base, and a much smaller packet of chili powder.  We are supposed to boil 500cc of water (about 2 cups), add the noodles and cook for 3 minutes, then stir in the soup base and transfer to our bowls.  Unlike most other noodles that include a chili powder component, this one is meant to be used as garnish; it is not pure chili powder but is a version of Japanese shichimi togarashi [seven-flavor chili powder] which is milder and includes things like orange zest, sesame seeds, and seaweed flakes.  So, we dust the top of our noodles with our pepper garnish for color, and we are ready to serve!

I have to say, I really like this one!  The flavor definitely reminds me of the Japanese 'mentsuyu' flavor as in the Midori no Tanuki Tensoba or Japanese-Style Udon noodles, although it seems a bit lighter and cleaner in flavor.  I think the broth might be more anchovy based and a little less of the seaweed-and-smoked-fish 'usual' dashi flavor, and based on the color, there is definitely less of the soy sauce element.

Despite the name, the noodles are not really soba noodles, but are actually closer to an udon noodle; they are a bit slippery, soft yet not soggy, and have a light and clean flavor that pairs with the broth well.  The fact that they are based on udon and not soba may or may not be surprising, depending on whether or not you knew that "real" Okinawa Soba was made with udon-like noodles, or whether you had to find this out on Wikipedia afterwards.

While I think I still prefer the deeper flavor and the 'true' soba noodles from a Tensoba, this one is quite nice and I would definitely enjoy having more of these!  The "serving suggestion" picture on the front shows additions of braised pork belly, green onion, pickled ginger, and something that looks like mushroom but might be fishcake slices; that seems like it could be fun excuse to buy more of these.  :D

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