This blog entry introduces a new semi-regular feature to Dave's Cupboard: Ramen Reviews. I've loved ramen noodles ever since I was a kid. They're cheap, flavorful, and filling, and they're available in a huge number of varieties! Although I'm starting off with a relatively common Nissin Chow Mein bowl today, expect to find some more unusual flavors and noodle styles as I rustle through the ramen aisle of my local Asian groceries in search of less familiar fare.
Ease of Preparation: 6/10.
Add water and contents of vegetable packets to the bowl; cover and microwave for six minutes; stir in contents of seasoning packet and oil packet; let stand 1 minute before serving. Easy, I know, but points off for the six-minute microwaving time and a very flimsy bowl that needed the support of a plate underneath it in order to be removed from the microwave after heating.
Vegetable packet: 8/10
Onions, green onions, carrot, shiitake mushrooms, small bits of meat-like TVP.
The delicious "teriyaki flavor" was more like a combination of teriyaki and hoisin sauce and reminded me of Moo Shu. The shiitake mushrooms, besides being a rare treat, added a richer depth of flavor, and the bits of TVP scattered here and there were tasty and added some textural variety as well (though you'd never in a million years mistake them for beef!) Although a touch on the sweet side despite the addition of vinegar powder, it should be noted that the flavoring packet now has sucralose as a sweetener rather than the glucose it once contained.
This was not a spicy ramen, but because it isn't marketed as spicy, no points will be deducted from the final score.
Overall rating: 8/10 - Recommended.
Nissin Home Page
Nissin Chow Mein Teriyaki Beef Flavor Nutrition Facts (at www.thedailyplate.com)