In contrast to the previous post reviewing Ajinomoto’s Tokyo Style Shoyu Ramen with Chicken, which was essentially a ready-to-eat “nama” style “fresh” (frozen) ramen, this time we’re checking out Nongshim Udon Original Premium Noodle Soup, a semi-dry, semi fresh product. That said, this product is located where the dry ramen products are merchandised in “Cosco’s”.
Nongshim Udon Premium Noodle Soup is currently available at Costco (Hawaii Kai in this case), at $11.99 per box of six 9.73 oz. bowls.
The ingredients and nutritional numbers aren’t flattering, being no better (or worse) than the venerable Cup Noodle “dorm grub”.
Unpack the bowl, you’ll be presented with three packets that make up this udon “kit”: vacuum-packed soft udon noodles, concentrated liquid broth and dehydrated toppings. Note, this product is shelf stable at room temperature with a 7 month span “best before” date.
The concentrated liquid broth (vs powdered dry stuff) has a pleasant soy and bonito flavor profile, tasting like it would also make a great base for Tokyo style ramen, so we’re off to a great start!
The dehydrated toppings consists of radish, furikake, senbei, green onion and chili pepper.
The instructions says to first “cook” the udon noodles by pouring hot water in the styrofoam bowl and keep it covered for two minutes. Then drain the water through the pukas in the lid.
After being heated up, the fattened udon noodles have a perfect al dente feel to them. Nothin’ like the feel of a fat noodle. LOL!
Add the toppings and top it with fresh hot water, let it sit for a few minutes, stir, and voila, Nongshim Udon, madame.
And? Granted this will NEVER touch the outstanding taste, quality, freshness and stellar Yelp ratings over at Marukame Udon in Waikiki, FWIW? She go! The intense umami flavor of the almost shoyu ramen-like broth is fantastic!
The toppings, including the sharp tone of the radish, earthiness of the nori flakes, toasted cracker-like flavor of the senbei and kick of spicy heat from the chili pepper all play really well together, giving the fat udon noodles just the right character it needs.
Summing it up, while not great, this is still a satisfactory win. If you’re into Udon, or ramen for that matter, add this to your cart next time you hit “Cosco’s”.
What? Nongshim Udon Original Premium Noodle Soup
Where did you get it and how much? Costco Hawaii Kai, in the dry ramen aisle section. $11.99 per box of 6 bowls.
Big shaka to: Fat noodles have a great mouthfeel (that didn’t sound right. lol). Excellent authentic Japanese soy and bonito-like broth flavor. The mix of toppings really enhances it. Filling and satisfying meal in a bowl.
No shaka to: 2 step preparation. Processed food with poor nutritional numbers.
The Tasty Island rating: 3 SPAM Musubi (very good!)