Instameal: Nissin Shoyu ramen

Name: Nissin Shoyu Ramen/Japanese soy sauce noodles
Contents: Wad of ramen noodles, 3 sachets: seasoning sauce, soup base and packet of seaweed
Price: $0.65
Spiciness: 0/10
Taste: Noodles 7/10, broth 7/10
Would I buy it again? Yes

False advertising/ Does not include boiled eggs/ See my 'End Product'

Love the three sachets/ Need more pre-packed components/ Noodle alchemy?

Tip: Add your seaweed after you have transfered the noodles and soup into a bowl, or if you just eat out of the pot, add seaweed just before eating.

Soy sauce based soup base/ Add seaweed just before noms/ Otherwise, soggy

In general, I like the nissin noodles. They’re smooth, and are soft. They don’t have as much springiness to them as Korean instant noodles, but they are easier to slurp up. They can also withstand a bit of overcooking, which I am prone to do. They won’t start to dissipate into a floury mess when overcooked. But they will become pasty and look all semblance of texture when left in the broth for extended periods of time. But seeing as most poeple will eat the noodles within 6 hours of cooking them, I doubt this will become a problem.

One thing that disappoints me, especially after my streak with Korean instant noodles, is that Nissin noodle sachets don’t have a big notch or guided peeling pathway to ensure that the sachets open neatly in a straight line. The result is difficulty in opening these packets if your hands are oily, or spilling the contents over the stovetop, or having contents catch in the jagged edges then having to resort to utensils to get the remaining sachet contents out. It’s not a life-changing issue, but it makes a difference to me. I’m happy to see instant noodle manufacturers think of the lazy hoi polloi without scissors on hand. Namely because I am one of the lazy hoi polloi without scissors on hand. (Now I had scissorhands, then that would be a different story.)

I like shoyu ramen, and I order that often when I’m out at a ramen restaurant. I like it especially with seaweed. So when I saw there was a sachet for seaweed, I was very pleased. I hope to find more instant noodles with dried seaweed as part of their contents. The broth also has sesame oil, which adds to the savouriness. I like the seaweed blends in with the broth and gives it more flavour.

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Instameal: Nissin Teriyaki Garlic

Name: Nissin teriyaki garlic ramen
Contents: wad of noodles, 1 soup base sachet, packet of seasoning oil with minced garlic
Cost: $0.65
Spiciness: 0/10
Taste: noodles 7/10, broth 7/10 (I like garlic.)
Would I buy it again? Yes

Handy english text/ Otherwise, would not have guessed/ Maybe fried chicken?

Nice green colour. I wish I had a cutlet of fried chicken.

Garlic in oil/ A meme: Eat all of the garlic/ Gotta love Ally

Usually I don’t use the oil packets, but the sake of these blog posts I make an exception if the oil has other things in it, such as garlic.

Noodles with extras/ It does not come with tofu/ Or leftover beans

I don’t have a chicken cutlet, but I do have leftover deep-fried tofu and string beans. Delicious! The garlicy oil mix make a huge difference, without it you won’t get the garlicy taste. It doesn’t taste much like teriyaki, but it a sweetish savoury flavour that reminds me of the Nissin miso flavour. Either way, it has garlic in it and garlic is delicious.

Instameal: Nissin Miso ramen

Name: Nissin miso ramen
Contents: wad of noodles, 2 sachets: 1 soup base, 1 seasoning powder
Cost: $0.65
Spiciness: 0/10
Taste: noodles 7/10, broth 6/10
Would I buy it again? Yes.

Miso flavoured meal/ Many flavours of miso/ Start a miso range?

There’s a theme for these nissin ramens I’ve chosen, and that is ‘they are all Japanese flavours’. Shoyu, miso, teriyaki garlic and tonkotsu (haven’t posted that one yet, but I will soon). These caught my eye, but there are plenty of other flavours to try.

Usual Nissin set/ Ramen wad and two sachets/ No dried veggie mix

I am slightly perplexed at how there is a soup base AND seasoning powder. Usually they are the same thing, but the soup base powder is paler and presumably starts off the soup brothy flavour. Then the seasoning powder, which is quite sticky and orangey-brown, adds the miso flavour.

Full-bodied flavour/ Subtle earthy toned miso/ Not describing wine

Whichever kind of miso it seeks to emulate, it is tasty. It doesn’t taste like sweet white miso that is commonly used in the Melbourne miso ramen circles, my favour lies within darker spicier miso. White/yellow miso is very mild, and sweet. I suspect it’s used often in the Melbourne scene because it’s not overpowering and it’s agreeable with many other flavours. As a general rule, the darker the miso is, the spicier and stronger-tasting it will be. That’s not to say it’s difficult to complement it to other foods, as Eggplant Dengaku (eggplant grilled with miso) is excellent with any miso.

The Nissin Miso ramen is slightly sweet, but the predominant flavour is… smoky? Beefy? I enjoyed it. (The broth can be overly salty to some people, but miso ramen tends to be overly salty for me.) If you ever get bored of Maggi or Fantastic beef instant noodles, but still eat them because they’re famliar to you, I recommend this instant noodle. It reminds me of the fake beef flavouring, but has more dimension to it. It’ll probably be cheaper too, if you get it at your local asian grocer. I think you can find them in supermarkets now, for roughly the same price as a Maggi or Fantastic cup noodle.

 

For more about miso, read on:

Miso (fermented bean paste) is a traditional Japanese seasoning product made from fermenting soybeans with salt and the fungus Aspergillus oryzae. Miso can also be made with rice and barley, though there are misos which are made from a mixture of the three ingredients. Similar to other fermented products, miso has a high nutritional value. It’s high in protein, vitamins and minerals. There’s lots of protein in soybeans, but most of it is inaccessible. The fungus Aspergillus oryzae breaks the protein up and makes it more accessable to the human body. It’s also high in salt, so don’t eat it by the spoonful as a healthfood supplement. However, you can use it for its salt content as a flavouring for other foods.
Miso is a flexible ingredient, and depending on what you’re cooking, a different miso can be used. The flavour, texture and appearance of the miso vary by regions and season, but in addition to that, the fermentation period, method of fermentation, fermentation vessel and variety of Aspergillus oryzae can also change the flavour of miso. You can think of it much like a wine. Like wine, it also comes in two main varieties– white and red. White miso is comprised mostly of rice and barley, with very little soy bean. It’s been fermenting for a short time, so it’s sweet, mild and only a little bit of umami flavour. Red miso is comprised of mostly soybeans, which gives miso its darker colour through one of my favourite chemical reactions– the Maillard reaction. Red miso is fermented for longer, and has a saltier, and more umami flavour. So, depending on your tastes you can use different misos.

Popular miso dishes include:

  • Dengaku, which are grilled items glazed with sweetened miso. I am very fond of eggplant dengaku.
  • Miso-glazed grilled mochi (savoury and delicious!)
  • Miso fast-pickles (Love me some fast-pickles)
  • Miso braised vegetables or mushrooms (Add a dollop to your vegetable stew)
  • Miso soup (The quintessential Japanese food.)
  • Miso ramen

(Aside from being high in protein, vitamins and minerals, regular miso consumption is reportedly able to ‘decrease the size of azoxymethane induced colon carcinoma in F344 rats’. What does this mean in regular English? This study used a special sort of rat as a model for human colon cancer. They were split into groups and were fed different diets, some of them had different kinds of miso. The group that were fed the miso that had been fermenting for 180 days did best, and had the most reduction in their cancer size. So far, the misos with the shorter fermentation times have the most benefit for your body. If you think back about white and red misos, you’ll remember that white misos are the short fermentation misos.)

tl;dr? White miso is better than red at decreasing colon cancer size.

But getting back to Nissin Miso ramen, it is a miso flavoured instant noodle. There are no health benefits. Go buy some real miso.