Thursday, August 27, 2015

Paldo Korean Noodle U-Dong Flavor

Made By:  Paldo Co. Ltd. [Korea]
Preparation:  Stovetop & Range
545 calories (2284kJ) per package

Sold online at AsianFoodGrocer

Our next selection from the latest Ramen Box is this Korean take on a Japanese Udon soup.  I have to admit, I have mixed feelings about trying this one:  I love the traditional Japanese mentsuyu flavor as in Nong Shim's Japanese-Style Udon, Maruchan's Akai Kitsune Udon/Midori no Tanuki Tensoba, and others.  However, I've complained quite recently about the apparent Korean penchant for dousing things in chilies until they drown the other flavors.  The Ramen Box pamphlet does say this one is "Mild," though, so I will be cautiously optimistic--even though that cartoon chef is back, and even brought a strange little sidekick with him this time.

Inside the package, we find a packet of powdered Soup Base, a packet of "Frying Soup Base" which appears to be our dried veggie mix along with some little rice crackers, and a block of thick round noodles.  Preparation is standard for Korean noodles:  We bring 550cc of water to a boil, add the contents of the packets to the water, and then simmer the noodles in the broth for 4 minutes.  Just that easy, it is ready to serve!  I do notice the relative lack of angry red color in the broth, which helps me maintain my optimism.

And my optimism is rewarded; these are pretty good!  The broth does have (as advertised) a mild chili heat, but it doesn't overpower the broth, which has a nice light soy-mirin-seafood flavor.  It does seem like a lighter-flavored version of the mentsuyu, more along the lines of the Okinawa Soba we just had than some of the others mentioned above.  While the noodles can't really compare to fresh-packed udon, they do stay nicely firm and have a good flavor.  Even toward the end of the bowl, although the chili heat did build a little, it was at a nice level compared to the rest of the flavors in the bowl.
I would definitely have this one again! :D

(I still don't trust that little chef mascot, though.  In the immortal words of a former US president: "Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.")

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