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52 Noodles

52 Noodles

Noodle #4: Nissin’s Raoh Shoyu Ramen

When your noodle sounds like a manga hero (and I think it rightfully is) it’s bound to be awesome.

It’s been a long while since I touched this instant noodle section of my blog. I’m just… well I’m busy but I’ve also been quite absentminded when I eat my instant ramen. I just eat it, basically. And then I realized “Ah! I could have blogged about that!” Hence this is the 4th of supposedly weekly adventure into ramen that just didn’t happen. Well, I’ll try to make 52. Hopefully, I do!

My good friend Yuecchi sent me a care package of what has become one of my most favorite instant ramen. I’m not a big shoyu ramen fan but this one has knocked me off my feet. Nissin’s Raoh Shoyu flavor ramen is possibly one of the smoothest and unctuous ramen I’ve ever tasted. Just… looking at the picture above is bringing back flavors in my mouth.

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52 Noodles home cooking

Noodle #3: Nissin’s Original Chicken Ramen

Nothing comforts me more than a bowl of chicken noodles on a cold rainy stressful day. It hasn’t been easy as of late, and sometimes you want something quick and good to remind you that there are some things that can warm your heart.

My good Japanese friend gave me some food for comfort, and quite an interesting one at that. She gave me the packet of first chicken ramen. Not that this was the very first packet but it seems that Nissin has kept the tradition of the product that changed the world.

Chicken Ramen was born from Japan where hard labor was the key to survival after the war. Preparing a lavish meal was out of the question hence a pioneering ramen cook, Momofuku Ando, founder of Nissin Ramen, decided to fry up some flavored noodles until they were dry and then sold them to some loyal customers. It was expensive at first but now we know it’s the most accessible item to many.

And why wouldn’t it? Unlike the chicken ramens available to us, this chicken ramen was very straightforward. No packets. No crazy oil. Just a simple packet of rust-colored noodles waiting for its boiling water. What was stranger for me was the instruction said I should just cook it for 1 minute in boiling water. It’s good enough to even steep for 3 minutes with hot water. My friend suggested that it tasted best with one egg. So following all of their instructions, I boiled up some water, dunked all of the noodles, cracked an egg in, and waited for a minute. Actually a little more since I had to make a quick drink of water.

The result was a nice humble comforting soup with noodles rich in flavor even without the crazy packets. It was heartwarming without being too plain or too simple. I expected salt and the egg I tasted. However, the egg, half-cooked, thickened the soup once you break it in the broth. And the broth had this lovely soft flavor of egg, chicken, and strangely, roasted sesame seeds. When I cooked the noodles, it even had sesame oil in it and I remember quite frankly that it didn’t have those crazy oil packets. I personally loved that strange roasted flavor of the noodles which made the ramen completely aromatic and engaging — like your mother welcoming you home on a wet rainy day if she had perfumed herself with a bit of sesame oil. You just want to sink into the ramen and you sigh in comfort in joy once you’re done. As you leave it in your bowl, the noodle just soaks more of the broth. It’s alright when that happens. If you like your noodles softer, you can leave it an extra minute more. If you like it a little mushy, you can leave it a little longer.

Eating the ramen makes you understand why this lived on and made an industry that sustains us in an instant. This ramen is also conveniently available to us through Chotto Stop, in Little Tokyo Makati. It costs 78 for 2 packets of ramen. And I tell you, it’s one of those things that definitely makes the day a whole lot better.

52 Noodles home cooking

Noodle #2: Lucky Me! Native Chicken Instant Mami!

Yosh! See! I’m really doing my best to make this a weekly thing, okay! It’s just my Sundays have been really precious. I really should consider writing these things a little earlier. I’ve also been irritated by these dots on my laptop. I couldn’t take them out.

Noodle for this week: Lucky Me! Native Chicken Instant Mami!


When I was a kid and chickens were still bought in the markets rather than the supermarkets, my mother would occasionally get some native chickens for us to eat. I honestly don’t know what entails a native chicken. I think any chicken that’s home raised and free range counts as a native chicken. Either way, the only difference that native chicken has over regular supermarket chicken is a very deep chicken flavor without having to use those Knorr bouillons and the likes. It may take forever to cook but once it’s done broiling in the broth it has one of the freshest chicken flavors ever. Nowadays, it’s hard to get native chicken without having to think of bird flu and the likes. So one day at the supermarket, I thought of giving this Instant Mami a chance. Since then, I haven’t bought any other chicken instant mami.

Where to buy

It’s pretty much everywhere. I’ve seen it in all the groceries. It’s a Lucky Me! product after all. It costs around 5 pesos to 6 per pack. Maybe cheaper in Shoemart’s Hypermart since you buy it in those tipid 5pc. packages.

Preparation

I think you guys might see that I went the distance in this noodle and placed some corn. But you guys don’t have to do that. Cooking our local noodles should be easy that even if you tend to overboil the noodles to 4 minutes, it’s still got  a bite. Past five minutes might be stretching the noodle so follow the instructions and it shouldn’t be any problem at all.

This noodle came with one packet for the seasoning and yet I’m a little surprised that it has those nice chicken oily bubbles on top. Where that came from, I don’t know. It does taste awesome though.

Taste

Suffice to say that this was one noodle that didn’t disappoint. We’ve had our fair share of salty MSG-ridden noodles before, but for the Native Chicken Mami, it truly has the fresh flavors of a native chicken broth. It was clean, fresh, with the right amount of saltiness and that deep chicken flavor that warms the heart. The flavor is like a really good tinola on a really good day. And yet it ain’t exactly like tinola since it doesn’t have that ginger taste. It has that really good chicken taste.

I’m trying to describe how chicken tastes like but if everything is supposed to taste like chicken, then perhaps this one is closest to the real thing. At most, I can say it ain’t one of those salty type of chicken noodles. For me, it’s a very flavorful chicken noodle that really takes me back to my childhood and those days brewing free range chicken in the province. The broth is light and heart warming and perhaps like me, you’d be sighing with satisfaction after having finished a bowl.

It’s truly a chicken soup for the soul and I cannot count how many times this noodle has made me smile. Even when the noodles got soggy, since they have this really good taste of the broth, I won’t complain at all.

52 Noodles home cooking

Noodle #1: Koka’s Laksa Noodle

I… overslept last Sunday and today was… I got busy, I daresay. I apologize for the delay but don’t worry! Our first noodle is here!!

The featured noodle for week no. 1: Koka’s Laksa Singapura Flavor noodle.

As some of you may know, Laksa’s my favorite noodle ever. So there’s a reason why this is the first and why this one caught my attention. God. This noodle had me by the red globs of oil on its broth. But that’s just the start. There’s a reason why this is the first noodle I featured.

Where to get it
I’ve seen Koka packets like these in groceries such as Landmark, Shoemart and Rustans. They are sold around 34-38 pesos, depends on which grocery you go to.

Preparation
Preparing this noodle was easy. Instructions at the back were in clear English and granted that you have no problem reading English (or Malay) you should have no problem preparing this noodle. Sort of.

The noodle for Koka’s one of those noodles that get really soggy after the 3rd minute. I suggest you follow the instruction on the packet and leave it in the boiling water for 2 minutes. After that, turn off the stove and then add the soup packets.

There are two packets for this noodle. One has the seasoning and the chilli oil and the other is the coconut powder. Oh yes, this is one noodle that didn’t forget that all good laksa should come with the fresh flavor of coconut milk.

Taste
Once I added the seasoning and the coconut powder, I was immediately caught by the fragrant smell of curry and coconut. It really took me back to Singapore although once I bit some of the noodles, I had to remind myself that this ain’t the real thing and was just a good compensation for it. If you didn’t cook your noodles right, the noodles might be too soggy for you to enjoy the bite of noodle.

On the other hand, the broth is spectacular. I was too eager to have a taste of the broth that it was a test on my patience to try to cool the broth down with my breath. The laksa broth may not be as thick as those sold in stalls in Singapore but it has a nice refreshing zing to it. It might be due to the hints of lemongrass and kari leaves. The curry flavor was not too prominent on this one but the coconut flavor is and it’s quite amusing how it slightly thickened the broth. If you added too much water, it won’t taste as good.

The chilli only hits you when the broth has coursed through your throat and it has this leftover warmth enough to tickle you to a cough. With just the broth, it was almost as good as the real thing. Almost. When you realize that you don’t have the tofu or cockles or shrimp or fish cake or the slivers of chicken, it’s almost heartbreaking.

I must add though that while this had a good laksa broth, this ain’t the best yet and was just good enough to let the tongue remember what laksa even tastes like.

If you’ve got time to visit your grocery this week, it might be fun to try out this noodle. One thing I can say is that for it’s price, it’s a good cheap way to have a taste of laksa. If you add some fishballs and fried tofu in it, it’s almost like the real thing!

52 Noodles home cooking

Taste Test: 52 Noodles at Punked Noodle

Last year, I said to myself that as soon as the new year starts, I’ll start on something that would get me to write more often in my blog. In a way, it will encourage me to share a lot of things with you folks and it would make my cousins abroad really envious of the things I leisurely have here in Manila.

Kidding aside, I realized that for a site that declares its love for noodles… I rarely talked about noodles. I know. My bad. ^^;; But I am a noodle person and I love noodles and I though I should really do everything in my power to share this love with you folks.

Hence, the 52 noodles at Punked Noodle.

This is my valiant effort to share my weekly instant noodle or pasta experience with you people. Yes. You heard me. This year, I’m going instant. It’s easy on my wallet and well… don’t worry, since I only eat 52 noodles, I’ll try not to stack up on the MSG.

What makes this easy is rather than going to restaurants, I’m going to groceries and hunt 52 awesome noodles for to try. These noodles should be well within our reach and I will also consider the cost of getting them (unless if they were gifts to me. I can’t do much about that.) as well as their flavors. This is awesome for my highly impoverished wallet and also easy to fix when I’m much too lazy to really cook something up.

I hope this will also encourage you to try out the strange noodles that line up our groceries. If you have any suggestions for me (from the cheapest to at least the pricier brands) I’d be more than happy to try them. If you want to give me the gift of instant noodle, I’ll be happy to receive them as well! Just leave me an e-mail!

I’ve pretty much done my noodle tasting ahead so that I’m ready to post by Sunday. The first noodle is… close to one of my favorite noodles ever.